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Lawrence thriving since working with Reed

Rockies pitching prospect learns from former sidearmer, set to pitch in AFL Fall Stars Game
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies reached into their past to help righty relief pitcher Justin Lawrence possibly become a key part of their future.

12th-rounder Lawrence embraces change

DENVER -- The Rockies reached into their past to help righty relief pitcher Justin Lawrence possibly become a key part of their future.

12th-rounder Lawrence embraces change

Lawrence was the Rockies' 12th-round Draft pick in 2015 and has an interesting backstory: He struggled at Jacksonville University, then transferred to Daytona State (junior college) and became a low sidearm pitcher while attracting scouting interest. His pro career started slowly, but in the last two seasons, Lawrence, the Rockies' No. 17 prospect, has posted ERAs of 1.65 in 2017 and 2.65 in '18 at two Class A levels.

In Arizona Fall League play, Lawrence -- who needs to be added to the Rockies' 40-man roster, and should be a prime Rule 5 Draft candidate if he isn't -- has a 3.52 ERA in seven appearances, and he has been chosen to represent the Rockies for Saturday night's AFL Fall Stars Game.

Vlad Jr., Whitley highlight Fall Stars Game rosters

To help Lawrence, who turns 24 on Nov. 25, the Rockies enlisted former Major League sidearm reliever Steve Reed to work with him at the start of his career. Lawrence's fastball has improved to 96-99 mph consistently, and he hit 100 mph twice during this past season at Class A Advanced Lancaster and six times in AFL play, which makes him difficult for right-handed hitters. He also is competitive against left-handers because he has maintained the solid changeup that was part of the package when he made strides in college.

"A lot of that was delivery work, and work over the rubber -- Steve really helped him take the next step," Rockies senior player development director Zach Wilson said. "Steve, being a sidearmer himself, he's got expertise in that area. Even the best pitching coaches, teaching a sidearm guy is difficult. The fact we were able to get Steve on board really helped Justin take it to the next level."

Lawrence researched Reed, who spent seven years over two stints with the Rockies and pitched for six other teams, and found it encouraging that the organization saw enough to have Reed tutor him. Reed taught Lawrence to monitor his stride, keep his body closed and make sure his momentum stays toward the plate rather than fall to the side.

"From an organizational standpoint, it really showed a commitment from the Rockies in my development," Lawrence said. "They didn't have to do that for me. They went out of their way to fly a guy out to work with me for two or three days. It really pushed me to continue on, because I believe in myself and they believe in me the same way. It goes hand in hand.

"It's getting to the point where everything is starting to click and make sense. I feel a bit more in control with everything I'm doing."

The Fall Stars Game is a chance for Lawrence to show his rapid development.

"The level of talent here is the best by far I have ever seen, so to represent my entire organization in this game is an absolute honor," he said.

Exhibition in Albuquerque
The Rockies will play an exhibition game in Albuquerque, N.M., against the Triple-A Isotopes on March 25, 2019, the parent club and the affiliate announced Thursday during a news conference in Albuquerque. It will be the Rockies' first exhibition game at Isotopes Park since they became affiliated with the club in 2015, and their first appearance in Albuquerque since '10, when they met the Mariners.

It'll be one of two games the Rockies will play after breaking camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. They'll meet the Twins at CenturyLink Sports Complex on March 26 -- two days before the Rockies open the regular season at Miami.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Nevin looks to sustain AFL success, health

MLB.com

The Arizona Fall League offers a chance for players who were injured during the season to accumulate extra at-bats or innings on the field. Unfortunately for Tyler Nevin, that's an opportunity that he has needed to take advantage of more often than he would like.

A Rockies supplemental first-round Draft pick out of Poway, Calif., in 2015, Nevin has missed time during each of his first three full pro seasons. Severe hamstring issues limited the corner infielder to just one game in 2016, a wrist injury knocked him out for two months in 2017 and he spent two stints on the disabled list this summer with a quadriceps strain.

The Arizona Fall League offers a chance for players who were injured during the season to accumulate extra at-bats or innings on the field. Unfortunately for Tyler Nevin, that's an opportunity that he has needed to take advantage of more often than he would like.

A Rockies supplemental first-round Draft pick out of Poway, Calif., in 2015, Nevin has missed time during each of his first three full pro seasons. Severe hamstring issues limited the corner infielder to just one game in 2016, a wrist injury knocked him out for two months in 2017 and he spent two stints on the disabled list this summer with a quadriceps strain.

Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams

"Every offseason it's like, 'Hey, what can I do to stay on the field?' because when I've stayed on the field, I've had some success," said Nevin, who also lost his entire junior season in high school following Tommy John surgery. "That's what I just love doing is playing. I've developed a good routine with my trainers this year and I'm going to continue it through the rest of my career. I've got to stay on the field, that's just the bottom line."

Nevin has been productive when healthy. He batted .328/.386/.503 at Class A Advanced Lancaster this year, ranking second in the California League in batting and fourth in slugging percentage and OPS. His numbers weren't just the product of Lancaster's The Hangar, which might be the most hitter-friendly environment in the Minors, as he posted .340/.397/.454 numbers on the road.

Nevin has stood out with the Salt River Rafters during the first two weeks of AFL play as well. He's batting .421/.500/.474, ranking third in the league in hitting, while walking four times with just one strikeout in 24 plate appearances.

The son of former No. 1 overall pick and current Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin, Tyler benefitted from growing up around the game. He has a mature approach at the plate, working counts and concentrating on driving balls in the gaps rather than worrying about home runs. He began his pro career at third base but because of the organization's depth at the position, starting with superstar Nolan Arenado, he has seen more action at first base the last two years.

"He'll still play some third base, but he'll spend a lot of time at first base," Rockies farm director Zach Wilson said. "We think he'll be a very good first baseman because he has good feet and hands. He has a great swing, and the power will come because he has a projectable body."

Rockies hitters in the Fall League

Josh Fuentes, 3B/1B -- A first cousin of Nolan Arenado, Fuentes won the 2018 Pacific Coast League MVP award after batting .327/.354/.517 and leading the Triple-A circuit in runs (93), hits (180), doubles (39), extra-base hits (65) and total bases (285). Signed as a undrafted free agent out of Missouri Baptist in 2014, Fuentes doesn't have a standout tool, but has some hitting ability and gap power and can play a decent third base.

Sam Hilliard, OF -- Originally drafted as a left-handed pitcher from Crowder (Mo.) JC by the Twins in 2014, Hilliard signed as an outfielder out of Wichita State in the 15th round a year later. He's a toolsy right fielder who hits left-handed -- prompting Larry Walker comparisons from one club official -- and he hit .262/.327/.389 with nine homers and 23 steals in Double-A this year.

Video: Top Prospects: Sam Hilliard, OF, Rockies

Rockies pitchers in the Fall League

Ryan Castellani, RHP -- After leading his leagues in innings and strikeouts as the youngest ERA qualifier in his circuit the previous two years, Castellani got knocked around in 2018, logging a 5.49 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 70 walks in 134 1/3 innings while repeating Double-A. A 2014 second-round pick out of Phoenix, Ariz., he has a low-90s fastball with run and sink and flashes a solid slider.

Mitch Horacek, LHP -- Signed by the Orioles as a ninth-rounder out of Dartmouth in 2013, Horacek came to the Rockies as a Triple-A Rule 5 Draft pick last December. A finesse southpaw with a low-90s fastball and a slider that neutralizes lefties, he had a 2.20 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings as a Double-A reliever.

Justin Lawrence, RHP -- A 12th-round pick out of Daytona State (Fla.) JC in 2015, Lawrence throws from a low arm slot and deals 94-98 mph sinkers and a short slider in the low 80s. He led the Class A Advanced California League in appearances (55) and holds (12) while posting a 2.65 ERA, .188 opponents' average and 62 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.

Jesus Tinoco, RHP -- Part of the Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays in 2015, Tinoco can reach 97 mph with his fastball and back it up with a pair of power breaking balls, though he lacks consistency. The Venezuelan recorded a 4.79 ERA with 132 strikeouts and 38 walks in 141 innings this season at Double-A.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies' No. 2 prospect Welker takes big step

Third baseman, just turned 21, led California League in batting average
MLB.com

DENVER -- Third-base prospect Colton Welker was happy to establish himself in 2018 as an important part of the Rockies' next wave of infielders.

Welker, a fourth-round Draft pick in 2016, led the Class A Advanced California League in batting at .333 and rose to become Colorado's No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Counting No. 1 prospect Brendan Rodgers, seven of the team's top 13 prospects are infielders. Welker and infielder Garrett Hampson (No. 4), who debuted in the Majors this season, were both taken in the 2016 Draft.

DENVER -- Third-base prospect Colton Welker was happy to establish himself in 2018 as an important part of the Rockies' next wave of infielders.

Welker, a fourth-round Draft pick in 2016, led the Class A Advanced California League in batting at .333 and rose to become Colorado's No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Counting No. 1 prospect Brendan Rodgers, seven of the team's top 13 prospects are infielders. Welker and infielder Garrett Hampson (No. 4), who debuted in the Majors this season, were both taken in the 2016 Draft.

"You got guys like Hampson, who was at my level last year and just debuted this year who is just an all-around amazing player, a utility player who can play any infield position to a high level," said Welker, who turned 21 on Oct. 9. "You've got Brendan Rodgers, who's a phenom and is going to be a great player. We've got corner guys at every level. The future looks great in Colorado in my eyes."

Welker put himself squarely among the Rockies' top prospects with a solid season for Class A Advanced Lancaster that also included 45 extra-base hits (13 homers, 32 doubles) and 82 RBIs (good for fourth in the California League) while posting a .383 on-base percentage and .489 slugging percentage.

After being limited to 67 games at Class A Asheville in 2017, his first full pro season, by a lower abdominal injury, Welker appeared 114 times in '18. More games meant a greater opportunity to learn.

"I definitely had some goals this season that I accomplished -- to hit over .300," Welker said. "I think I'm a big-time average hitter, and the power will come as I get older. Just stick with my approach: balls in the gaps.

"I was born to hit for average, because of how my swing plays and how long my barrel stays in the zone. Eventually, it will lead to power as well. But as of right now, it will play at any level for the average."

Watch: MiLB Video

Senior player development director Zach Wilson liked Welker's endurance.

"What he did at that level was quite remarkable for a 20-year-old kid," Wilson said. "He has an advanced approach to hitting, a mature approach to defense and really stayed within himself throughout the entire season and playoffs."

Welker also demonstrated an ability to move his feet and a strong arm that suggest he can stay at third base as he advances.

"I'm really happy with how I played third base this year, because that was a big question mark coming into the year. 'Can he stick at third base?'" Welker said. "A lot of guys outgrow it or lose their feel a little bit. I don't want to be that guy."

Welker freely notes that he is a draftee out of high school while the Rockies have Nolan Arenado, an established star, at third base. Welker is more interested in following Arenado's example than one day vying for his job. For now, he is representing said high school -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Fla., which was affected by a shooting tragedy on Feb. 14.

Video: Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS alum Welker on tragedy

"The baseball team and the coaches, we talk frequently, and they're doing well over there, kind of turning the page," Welker said. "On my end, it's nice to perform and give people piece of mind to say, 'He went to our high school.'

"It's something good to talk about other than the mass shooting. I use that platform to broadcast the school in a good way, like Anthony Rizzo and other people like that."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Pipeline names Rockies' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

DENVER -- While top prospect lists are mostly populated with high MLB Draft picks or top international signings, two lower-round picks -- first baseman Roberto Ramos and right-handed pitcher Rico Garcia -- earned the Rockies' Hitting and Pitching Prospect of the Year designations, respectively.

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff, based on performance during the 2018 season more than Major League potential. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

DENVER -- While top prospect lists are mostly populated with high MLB Draft picks or top international signings, two lower-round picks -- first baseman Roberto Ramos and right-handed pitcher Rico Garcia -- earned the Rockies' Hitting and Pitching Prospect of the Year designations, respectively.

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff, based on performance during the 2018 season more than Major League potential. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Unranked on the Rockies' Top 30 at the start of the season, Garcia, 24, earned the Rockies' No. 21 ranking and Ramos, 23, took the No. 23 spot in the July re-ranking on MLB Pipeline.

Both were selected by scouting vice president Bill Schmidt and the scouting staff out of unheralded collegiate programs. Ramos, a native of Hermosillo, Mexico, was a 16th-rounder in 2014 out of College of the Canyons, a two-year school in Santa Carita, Calif., and Garcia is a Honolulu native seeking to become the second player from Hawaii Pacific University to make the Majors. Former Rockies outfielder Benny Agbayani was the first.

Listed at 6-5 and 220 pounds, the left-handed hitting Ramos found his power this season.

Last year at Class A Lancaster, Ramos batted .297 with a .351 on-base percentage, but his 13 home runs and 124 strikeouts suggested adjustment was in order. This season, through 60 games at Lancaster, he hit 17 home runs and, although he had 65 strikeouts, batted .304 with a .411 on-base and a .640 slugging percentage. The performance earned him a promotion to Double-A Hartford, where he slashed .231/.320/.503 and struck out 75 times, but he powered 15 home runs in 61 games.

Ramos might be a work in progress, but he made notable progress in 2018.

Watch: MiLB Video

"He made a nice adjustment with his approach. He wasn't attacking pitches as aggressively and he was laying off more than ever pitches out of his attack zone," Rockies senior player development director Zach Wilson said. "Because he made these small adjustments on his approach he was able to barrel up more balls. His natural power led to some pretty good home run numbers.

"He's got power to all fields and can take the fastball on the outer half to left and left-center. And if you hang a breaking ball, you're in trouble. He's done a much better job laying off good breaking balls. He had some issues in the past with that, as you see with the strikeout numbers, but he's begun to clean that up."

The Rockies generally want their prospects to play multiple positions, but Wilson said the right-handed throwing Ramos profiles strictly at first base. Wilson said Ramos "moves around OK" and has soft hands, and is trying to improve his agility and range defensively.

Garcia is not big -- listed at 5-11, 190 -- but has increased his arm strength since college.

The result was a solid year at Lancaster (7-7, 3.42 ERA while starting 15 of his 16 games, 101 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched) and Hartford (6-2, 2.28 in 11 starts, 61 strikeouts in 67 innings)

Watch: MiLB Video

"He has really made some solid delivery adjustments over the past couple of years, which has allowed his velocity to increase," Wilson said. "We've gotten him away from the college routine and into a very good throwing program, with bullpens between starts. All that has allowed him to go from 89-93 [mph] to, now, 94-96 and even touch 97. He has an above-average breaking ball and has developed a decent changeup.

"He was able to carve up the Cal League, and he earned a promotion and continued his very good year at Hartford. He's the real deal, and he's going to continue to get better because he's such a competitor."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies instructional league roster, schedule

MLB.com

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

Instructional league rosters

Here's a look at the Rockies roster, with the players' rank in the team's Top 30 Prospects list in parentheses:

PITCHERS: Jake Bird, RHP; Jacob Bosiokovic, RHP; Nick Bush, LHP; Joel Condreay, RHP; Tommy Doyle, RHP (No. 30); Breiling Eusebio, LHP (No. 19); Ryan Feltner, RHP; Eris Filpo, RHP; Will Gaddis, RHP (No. 28); Alfredo Garcia, LHP; Colton Hathcock, RHP; Boby Johnson, RHP; Mitchell Kilkenny, RHP; Shelby Lackey, RHP; Braxton Lorenzini, RHP; Alexander Martinez, RHP; Pearson McMahan, RHP; Alejandro Mejia, LHP; Riley Pint, RHP (No. 5); PJ Poulin, LHP; Andrew Quezada, RHP; Ryan Rolison, LHP (No. 6); Colten Schmidt, LHP; Rayne Supple, RHP; Will Tribucher, LHP

CATCHERS: Austin Bernard, C; Javier Guevara, C/1B; Willie MacIver, C; Nic Motley, C

INFIELDERS: Reese Berberet, 3B/1B; Bret Boswell, INF (No. 29); Marco Castilla, 1B; John Cresto, INF; Todd Czinege, UTIL; Kyle Datres, INF; Eddy Diaz, INF; Trey Jacobs, INF; Grant Lavigne, 1B (No. 9); Robbie Metz, INF; Coco Montes, INF; Cristopher Navarro, SS/2B; Hunter Stovall, UTIL; Alan Trejo, INF; Terrin Vavra, SS/2B (No. 13); Ryan Vilade, SS/3B (No. 7); Colton Welker, 3B (No. 3)

OUTFIELDERS: Niko Decolati; Casey Golden; Will Golsan; Cade Harris; Matt Hearn; Shael Mendoza; Daniel Montano (No. 26); Luke Morgan; Yolki Pena

SCHEDULE
Thu, Sept. 20 - Camp day
Fri, Sept. 21 - Camp day
Sat, Sept. 22 - Camp day
Sun, Sept. 23 - Camp day
Mon, Sept. 24 - Camp day
Tue, Sept. 25 - Camp day
Wed, Sept. 26 - Camp day
Thu, Sept. 27 - Camp day
Fri, Sept. 28 - Camp day
Sat, Sept. 29 - Camp day
Sun, Sept. 30 - Camp day
Mon, Oct. 1 - Camp day
Tue, Oct. 2 - Camp day
Wed, Oct. 3 - Camp day
Thu, Oct. 4 - Camp day
Fri, Oct. 5 - Camp day
Sat, Oct. 6 - Camp day

Colorado Rockies

Rodgers headlines Rox in Arizona Fall League

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Infielder Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies' No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline and the No. 6 prospect in the Minors overall, will highlight a list of seven Rockies who will play with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.

Rodgers, 22, has hit a combined .264 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs at Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque, and will be part of a Rafters team that is comprised of players from the D-backs, Marlins, Nationals and Twins organizations, and will play home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Infielder Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies' No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline and the No. 6 prospect in the Minors overall, will highlight a list of seven Rockies who will play with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.

Rodgers, 22, has hit a combined .264 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs at Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque, and will be part of a Rafters team that is comprised of players from the D-backs, Marlins, Nationals and Twins organizations, and will play home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

View Full Game Coverage

Rodgers started the season hitting .275 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs at Double-A Hartford. In 17 Triple-A games, he has batted .206 with three RBIs. He missed 10 days in Triple-A in August with a left hamstring injury -- a problem he experienced in Hartford. Rodgers appeared in his first Major League camp this season.

Complete Arizona Fall League rosters

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said Rodgers, who has extensive experience at shortstop and second base, will play around the infield, as much as the roster structure allows. 

"He'll definitely get some work at third to further that development, and over the course of that season he'll play a little bit of everywhere in the infield, except first base," said Bridich, who indicated Rodgers' hamstring issues are just part of learning to handle the rigors of a long professional season.

Joining Rodgers with the Rafters are outfielder Sam Hilliard, the Rockies' No. 9 prospect; righty pitchers Ryan Castellani (No. 10), Justin Lawrence (No. 17) and Jesus Tinoco (No. 20); lefty pitcher Mitch Horacek; and corner infielder Josh Fuentes.

Hilliard, 24, who's listed at 6-5 and 225 pounds, was a pitcher and position player before the Rockies selected him in the 15th round in the 2015 Draft out of Wichita State. After hitting .300 with 21 home runs and 37 stolen bases at Class A Advanced Lancaster last year, Hilliard is hitting .258 with eight homers and 23 steals at Double-A Hartford.

Castellani, 22, a second-round pick out of Phoenix Brophy Prep, was one of the youngest pitchers at Hartford last year and returned this year with mixed numbers (7-8, 5.40 ERA, 88 strikeouts, 67 walks).

Complete Arizona Fall League coverage

Lawrence, 23, who developed a unique arm slot before being drafted in the 12th round in 2015, has posted a 2.75 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 52 1/3 relief innings, and a .194 ERA against at Hartford. 

Horacek, 26, a Denver native, is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings at Hartford after the Rockies selected him from the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Tinoco, 23, obtained from the Blue Jays as part of the deal that sent away star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, is 8-12 with a 4.90 ERA in 25 starts at Hartford. The Rockies plan to introduce him to relief work in the AFL. The Rockies used a similar plan last season with righty Yency Almonte, who began this season as a Triple-A starter, but debuted in the Majors out of the bullpen. Bridich said the idea is not necessarily to convert Tinoco, but to broaden his experience and options.

Fuentes, 25, has had a standout performance at Triple-A Albuquerque (.318, 14 HR, 92 RBIs, 33 doubles, 12 triples) while becoming known for more than being a cousin of Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado. Not drafted out of Missouri Baptist in 2014, Fuentes has put himself on the Major League radar.

Anderson believes his command is returning

Rockies manager Bud Black announced that lefty Tyler Anderson, struggling with an 11.39 ERA in five August starts, will make his next start on Monday at home against the Giants. It will be eight days since his last start, when he gave up seven hits and six runs and didn't escape the first inning in a home loss to the Cardinals.

In search of the command that has escaped him this month, Anderson (6-7, 4.79) threw a bullpen session on Thursday and reported making progress.

"When you're working on your command, you've got to try to throw everything where you want it, and it went really good," Anderson said.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies don't swing any last-minute deals

Club stands pat with last week's trade for reliever Oh
MLB.com

DENVER -- The non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Tuesday without the Rockies making a last-minute move, which means they will count on the moves of the winter -- not all of which have worked so far -- and last week's deal for righty reliever Seunghwan Oh to pan out to keep the team in the postseason race.

If Deadline-period activity is the goal, the Rockies fell far behind the Dodgers, who obtained a possible game-changer in infielder Manny Machado, second baseman Brian Dozier and relief pitcher John Axford, and the D-backs, who obtained switch-hitting infielder Eduardo Escobar and relief pitchers Matt Andriese, Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler while adding more than $6 million to the payroll. But the actual goal is winning the National League West -- where the Rockies entered Tuesday trailing the first-place Dodgers by a game and the D-backs by a half-game.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- The non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Tuesday without the Rockies making a last-minute move, which means they will count on the moves of the winter -- not all of which have worked so far -- and last week's deal for righty reliever Seunghwan Oh to pan out to keep the team in the postseason race.

If Deadline-period activity is the goal, the Rockies fell far behind the Dodgers, who obtained a possible game-changer in infielder Manny Machado, second baseman Brian Dozier and relief pitcher John Axford, and the D-backs, who obtained switch-hitting infielder Eduardo Escobar and relief pitchers Matt Andriese, Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler while adding more than $6 million to the payroll. But the actual goal is winning the National League West -- where the Rockies entered Tuesday trailing the first-place Dodgers by a game and the D-backs by a half-game.

View Full Game Coverage

Last week, when discussing the acquisition of Oh from the Blue Jays for Minor League outfielder Forrest Wall and first baseman Chad Spanberger, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich clearly stated that he wasn't going to play a game of GM see, GM do.

"In terms of the people involved, in terms of the money involved, in terms of the opportunity costs that are involved, up and down the organization, reactionary decision-making is really a very risky proposition to adhere to," Bridich said. "And so I think the other part of it is honest and accurate self-evaluation is critical."

But this is not to say Bridich spent the final hours leading to Tuesday's Deadline admiring his handiwork. Manager Bud Black said there was activity, but it didn't result in deals.

"I'm in St. Louis, our front-office staff is in Denver, and they've been busy, just like all other 29 teams," Black said. "A lot of times, things don't work out. You try awful hard to do things and they don't happen because there's not a match, there's not a fit, there's not a pathway."

The way the Rockies have operated this year serves as a window into why making a deal can be difficult. For example:

• Prospects and other low-service-time players such as Garrett Hampson, infielder Ryan McMahon, catcher Tom Murphy, and outfielder Noel Cuevas, David Dahl and Raimel Tapia all have had a hand in victories. Employing such players, who have been up and down between Triple-A and the Majors, saves payroll.

• Under that philosophy, Bridich said, "Once you're at the Double- and Triple-A levels, really for any organization, you're basically on the Major League radar. We tell our kids that. That's part of their reality, and we live by that, too. We don't forget that."

• That said, it would have taken a major haul for the Rockies to give up infielder Brendan Rodgers, the team's top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline; or righty Peter Lambert, ranked No. 2. Both are at Triple-A Albuquerque and, theoretically, could be counted upon at the end of this season.

So, what does all this mean?

The first onus is on the left side of the bullpen. Jake McGee, in the second year of a three-year, $27 million contract, has a 6.11 ERA after giving up a walk-off homer to the Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna in Monday night's 5-4 loss. Chris Rusin is on the disabled list with left foot plantar fasciitis and has a 6.81 ERA; his simulated game was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday because of a rainy afternoon. Mike Dunn has left A/C joint inflammation and isn't eligible to return until Sept. 5.

Righty Bryan Shaw has a solid history against lefties, but has not performed as well this year. As an indication of how difficult the situation is, righty Scott Oberg, already taxed Monday, was the choice to face Matt Carpenter in the seventh. Carpenter delivered a two-run, game-tying single.

"Those fellows have been around," Black said. "They know what this is about. They know their own personal expectations are a lot of times higher than what's on the outside."

Of course, deals can still occur. A player can be traded after going unclaimed on waivers, and if he is with his new team by Aug. 31 at 9:59 MT, he can participate in the postseason.

Veteran outfielder Carlos Gonzalez noted that the winning difference could come from veteran first baseman-outfielder Matt Holliday, who was signed over the weekend to a Minor League deal, a prospect or a waiver acquisition. Gonzalez, who noted the Astros won it all after getting pitcher Justin Verlander  after the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, is more interested in achievement than activity.

"Not every trade works the way you always plan it," Gonzalez said. "Some trades obviously will make you a World Series champion. Some other trades will make you a loser."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Big names pepper Double-A All-Star rosters

Vlad Jr., Bichette, Tebow among headliners for Eastern League event
MLB.com

A handful of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects headline the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game rosters that were announced Friday. Toronto top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, and Colorado's Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lambert are among those on the stacked Eastern Division roster, while Detroit's Beau Burrows leads the Western Division roster.

Also included is Mets outfield prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who is in one of his most productive stretches of the season with a hit in his past six games. Tebow is hitting .261/.335/.398 this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs in 67 games.

A handful of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects headline the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game rosters that were announced Friday. Toronto top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, and Colorado's Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lambert are among those on the stacked Eastern Division roster, while Detroit's Beau Burrows leads the Western Division roster.

Also included is Mets outfield prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who is in one of his most productive stretches of the season with a hit in his past six games. Tebow is hitting .261/.335/.398 this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs in 67 games.

Guerrero Jr., the No. 2 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, is a third baseman batting .407 with 11 homers for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and his teammate, No. 8 overall prospect Bichette, is hitting .280/.344/.447. Guerrero Jr. hasn't played since June 6, however, because of a left knee strain and might not be able to participate. Bichette, a shortstop, ranks second in the Double-A circuit with 85 hits.

Rodgers, the No. 7 prospect in baseball and the Rockies' top prospect, has hit 14 homers for Hartford, tied for fifth in the league, and has a .277/.333/.514 slash line.

Lambert, a Rockies right-hander, has a league-leading 2.23 ERA for the Yard Goats and is No. 91 on Pipeline's Top 100. In 92 2/3 innings, Lambert has struck out 75 and walked only 12. The announcement notes that Lambert will be unable to participate in the game, however, perhaps with a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque on the horizon.

No. 66 prospect Beau Burrows, a right-hander ranked fourth in the Tigers' organization, is 6-5 with the Erie SeaWolves and has a 3.33 ERA. Burrows earned his spot with 65 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings this season.

The All-Star Game will take place on July 11 at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, N.J.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Bo Bichette, Beau Burrows, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Peter Lambert, Brendan Rodgers, Tim Tebow

Almonte called up, gets key outs in MLB debut

After hitting go-ahead HR Wednesday, McMahon optioned to get regular playing time
MLB.com

DENVER -- Righty pitcher Yency Almonte, the Rockies' No. 9 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, knew the waiting, striving and physical pain could be taxing if one allows it to be. So last July 4, he pinned a tweet:

"Don't rush anything to happen. Take it day by day and allow it to happen on its own"

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DENVER -- Righty pitcher Yency Almonte, the Rockies' No. 9 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, knew the waiting, striving and physical pain could be taxing if one allows it to be. So last July 4, he pinned a tweet:

"Don't rush anything to happen. Take it day by day and allow it to happen on its own"

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Tweet from @showtimealmonte: Don't rush anything to happen. Take it day by day and allow it to happen on its own

Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, Almonte's introduction to the Major Leagues with the Rockies happened really fast.

The Rockies summoned Almonte, 24, from Triple-A Albuquerque as an extra pitcher to help a gassed bullpen. The club optioned left-handed-hitting infielder Ryan McMahon -- a day after his game-turning, three-run pinch-hit homer against the Mets Wednesday night -- to Albuquerque for consistent playing time.

It's not clear how long Almonte will be here, since the Rockies are expected to call up a position player for Friday's opener of three games against the Marlins. But Almonte was needed in Thursday's 6-4 win over the Mets.

With runners at first and third with no outs in the eighth and a three-run lead, Almonte not only entered the game; he thrived. He forced a Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly and worked Devin Mesoraco into an inning-ending double play.

"Real different," Almonte said of the high-leverage big league experience.

Video: NYM@COL: Flores skies a sacrifice fly to right field

Almonte displayed a fastball, which topped at 96.9 mph twice, on 11 of his 12 pitches. He has a tight slider and a slurve that can be a wipeout pitch when thrown consistently. But catcher Chris Iannetta's repeated fastball calls were consistent with his directive to attack the strike zone.

"I feel like they brought me in today to help out, and I came in a tight situation and got the job done," Almonte said. "I know a lot of guys here have a lot of time in the big leagues and they know what they're doing. I'm just glad I could help."

After being traded twice for Major League talent earlier in his career and struggling through a right elbow nerve issue and a right shoulder impingement earlier this season, Almonte was shocked to receive the call late Wednesday night.

Video: Almonte on getting called up to big leagues

It was late in his native Miami, but Almonte reached his father, Ramon Almonte, who runs a baseball academy there, and a guy who really knows about the frustrating climb -- his brother, Denny Almonte.

A Mariners second-round pick in 2007 as an outfielder, Denny Almonte made it to Triple-A, but suffered a meniscus injury and then a hamstring blowout. After trying to keep the dream alive in independent ball, Denny joined his dad training future players and earned sports agent certification.

Yency Almonte said, "He was like, 'Congratulations, you made it farther than I did. That was my dream, and I'm going to live it through you.' It's pretty much a blessing."

Originally drafted in the 17th round by the Angels in 2012, Almonte was traded to the White Sox for infielder Gordon Beckham before the '15 season, and from the White Sox to the Rockies for pitcher Tommy Kahnle after that season.

With Albuquerque this year, Almonte is 1-4 with a 6.27 ERA in nine starts in a season twice interrupted by disabled list stints. But he went six innings in each of his last two starts, and he was in position to help the Rockies win Thursday.

More action for McMahon
McMahon's homer came in his first at-bat since changing his bat angle in his setup -- an adjustment the coaches spotted on video. For it to take, the left-handed-hitting McMahon will need playing time.

But with the Rockies facing Mets lefty Steven Matz on Thursday and scheduled to face lefty starters for two of the three home games this weekend against the Marlins and most likely two of the three games against the Giants next week, manager Bud Black determined that McMahon would not see many starts in the Majors.

Video: NYM@COL: McMahon drills a pinch-hit 3-run HR to right

McMahon, 23, who is expected to be a key contributor, is departing with some success under his belt. His first two Major League homers came in his last seven at-bats. Wednesday's homer -- the pull shot into the Coors Field bullpen that the Rockies have wanted to see -- came on an 86.5-mph changeup from Mets righty Robert Gsellman.

Black said "much-needed playing time" could help McMahon hone his swing so it can catch up to pitches with more steam. McMahon must stay down at least 10 days unless an injury forces his return.

"It was a good confidence builder," Black said of McMahon's homer. "He got a hold of that high changeup in the middle and hit a ball to right field with some authority. You saw the excitement on Mac's face when he crossed home plate and came into the dugout. That was awesome."

Dunn to begin rehab
Lefty reliever Mike Dunn, who has missed the last 13 games with an upper back injury, said he will join Albuquerque at Fresno on Saturday for an injury rehab assignment.

Dunn has a 9.00 ERA in 23 games, but the back problems occurred during a nine-game scoreless streak. His performance suffered when he kept pitching through the pain.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Yency Almonte

Rockies sign 1st-rounder Rolison

Club also agrees with 25 other selections from the 2018 Draft
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies and left-hander Ryan Rolison, the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Draft who helped Ole Miss into NCAA Regional play this season by striking out 120 in 97 1/3 innings, agreed to terms on Wednesday, the club announced.

• Rockies Draft Tracker

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies and left-hander Ryan Rolison, the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Draft who helped Ole Miss into NCAA Regional play this season by striking out 120 in 97 1/3 innings, agreed to terms on Wednesday, the club announced.

• Rockies Draft Tracker

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:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

According to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline, Rolison signed for the full slot value for the 22nd pick -- $2,912,300.

Rolison, 20, was eligible for the MLB Draft as a sophomore, and became the third player in Ole Miss history to finish with 10 wins and 100 strikeouts in a season. He was drafted out of high school by the Padres in the 37th round of the 2016 Draft, but did not sign and attended Ole Miss.

The Rockies will send Rolison to their Rookie-level squad in Grand Junction, Colo., which starts its season on Friday. Bill Schmidt, the Rockies' vice president of scouting, said the Rockies' player development staff will keep a close rein on Rolison's innings this summer as he and the coaches become acquainted.

The Rockies love the lefty's pitch mix and competitiveness.

"He's got stuff, to start with," Schmidt said. "His fastball is going to be competitive at the Major League level, he's got a plus breaking ball, and the ability to throw strikes with all four of his pitches gives him a chance to pitch on a Major League staff. What role he eventually fulfills, that will develop over time.

"We scouted him in high school and liked his stuff. We knew it was going to be tough to get him out of his commitment to Ole Miss [in 2016], then we watched him the last two years in college and watched him in the Cape Cod League. Just the way he competed on the mound, the way he pitched and went about his business, we felt he had the ability to be a productive Major League pitcher."

Rolison is the 10th collegiate pitcher the Rockies have taken with their first pick in the Draft. They've selected 20 first-round pitchers, including seven left-handers -- current rotation members Kyle Freeland (2014) and Tyler Anderson (2011), plus Tyler Matzek (2009), Christian Friedrich (2008), Jeff Francis (2002) and Doug Million (1994).

The Rockies did not confirm the bonus figure, nor did they announce financial terms with other picks that have been signed.

According to the club's press release, 26 draftees total have signed. That includes picks from six of the top 10 rounds -- Ohio State right-hander Ryan Feltner (fourth round); UCLA right-hander Jacob Bird (fifth), Loyola-Marymount outfielder Niko Decolati (sixth), LSU left-hander Nick Bush (eighth) and Oklahoma outfielder Cade Harris (10th).

According to Callis, Feltner signed for $434,700, which is his pick's slot value.

Decolati, who will move to the outfield from third base, signed for $249,600, according to MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo. The 14th-rounder, left-handed pitcher Will Tribucher of the University of Michigan, signed for $125,000, according to Callis.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Draftee Rolison, Rockies address 'stupid' tweet

MLB.com

DENVER -- Shortly after the Rockies selected Ryan Rolison with the 22nd overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday night, it was discovered that the left-handed pitcher from the University of Mississippi had posted an ill-advised tweet about President Obama on election night in 2012.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

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DENVER -- Shortly after the Rockies selected Ryan Rolison with the 22nd overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday night, it was discovered that the left-handed pitcher from the University of Mississippi had posted an ill-advised tweet about President Obama on election night in 2012.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

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"Well we have one hope left … if someone shoots him during his speech," said the tweet, which was deleted on Monday night after Rolison was drafted.

Rolison expressed his regret on Tuesday at posting the tweet in the first place.

Tweet from @bmaciavelli: pic.twitter.com/YY1IZP5Krt

"It was a stupid tweet and immature of me," Rolison said on a conference call with reporters. "I had no idea what I was talking about, and it was immature of me to post something like that. People know that's not who I am, and I think the Colorado Rockies know that's not who I am."

Rolison was 15 years old when he posted the tweet.

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich reiterated what Rolison said, adding that the tweet was "regrettable."

Video: Draft 2018: Rockies draft LHP Ryan Rolison No. 22

"If there was some sort of pattern of behavior, then we would be talking about a whole different thing," Bridich said. "In this world that we live in, in this Twitterverse, these sorts of things are going to happen -- especially when it's fully available to individuals who are not yet adults or who are not thinking like adults."

Bridich and vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that the Rockies do look at players' social media accounts.

"We know Ryan is a good person and have had many conversations, and our people got to know him," Bridich said. "I think it's an opportunity to learn a lesson and move on to baseball, and I appreciate Ryan being upfront about it. We look forward to him being a part of our organization."

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies start Day 2 with SS Vavra in Round 3

Colorado spends all eight Draft picks on college players
MLB.com

DENVER -- Colorado drafted four college pitchers and four college infield position players on Tuesday during Day 2 of the 2018 Draft. Vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that's how the board fell, but the Rockies will be getting more developed players because of it.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

DENVER -- Colorado drafted four college pitchers and four college infield position players on Tuesday during Day 2 of the 2018 Draft. Vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that's how the board fell, but the Rockies will be getting more developed players because of it.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. MT. Here's a look at Colorado's Day 2 selections:

• Rockies take left-hander Rolison 22nd overall

Round 3 (96th overall): SS Terrin Vavra, Minnesota
The son of Joe Vavra, the Tigers' quality control coach and former Twins bench coach, Terrin is the best prospect out of the Vavra family that includes two older brothers who reached Class A Advanced in Minnesota's system. Vavra's baseball IQ helps him in all aspects of the game. Spending time with his dad and players like Joe Mauer when he was young gave him learning opportunities that he pounced on.

"Any time you're around the sport more, you're going to pick up little things that other people might not," Vavra said. "I've been fortunate enough to learn more about the game any chance I can."

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Although he might not have the range and arm desired at shortstop, Brett Baldwin, who scouted Vavra, said he deserves the chance to play the position. Baldwin said Vavra will be relied upon to move around the infield with his versatility.

What piqued Baldwin's interest, though, was Vavra's smooth left-handed swing, even with his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame.

"[Minnesota] plays in the dome where the Vikings play early in the year, and I saw him hit like two ground-rule doubles, and I went from thinking that he's a small frame, playability guy to a guy who has a little pop in his swing," Baldwin said. "He's just a true ballplayer."

Vavra slashed .279/.351/.382 in 24 games last summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League and hit .393 in 56 games this season for the Gophers.

Round 4 (126th overall): RHP Ryan Feltner, Ohio State
Feltner, a junior, is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in college baseball. He's been clocked as high as 98 mph and can carry a 93-95 mph fastball deep into games. Feltner dominated as a reliever in Cape Cod last summer, sharing the league lead with eight saves and no earned runs in 13 appearances. As a Buckeye, Feltner went 5-5 this season with a 4.95 ERA, allowing 99 hits over 91 2/3 innings pitched.

Hitters see the ball well against Feltner and don't miss his fastball as much as would be expected with his velocity. Because his command lacks consistency, it can make him vulnerable, but Rockies scout Ed Santa has Feltner down as a starter. .

"I think he could be an inning-eater type of guy," Santa said. "He has a [third pitch], good pitching mix."

Feltner's breaking ball needs work with its consistency, and he's looking forward improving it.

"I've faced a lot of adversity at Ohio State because my spring numbers haven't been the best in any of my years, but I feel like I've battled through it and developed well," Feltner said. "I've been working on [the breaking ball] a little bit, but I'm excited to get some new input from a different perspective in the Rockies' organization."

Video: Rockies VP of Scouting discusses Vavra, Decolati

Round 5 (156th overall): RHP Jacob Bird, UCLA
Undrafted and disappointed with last year's Draft, Bird went into his final collegiate campaign with something to prove. He ended his senior year as the Friday starter, going 7-4 with a 2.18 ERA. Bird pitched 111 2/3 innings this year, giving up 111 hits and striking out 61.

UCLA coach John Savage said Bird redid his delivery after his junior year and is primarily a ground-ball pitcher without a lot of strikeouts

"One thing I hear about the Rockies all the time is their Major League park is a home run stadium," Bird said. "I'm a ground-ball pitcher, so I think it fits perfectly with what I do.".

"He's kind of an old-school pitcher," Savage said. "He's not a big strikeout pitcher, but we really worked on pitching contact and getting ground balls. That could change, but it's a heavy sink. He's a tough matchup for anybody."

Matt Hattabaugh, who scouted Bird, said there's a chance Bird will end up in the bullpen. His fastball ranges from 89-92 mph, and he has a slider that disappears.

"He also mixes in what I like to call a tear-drop curveball," Hattabugh said. "That usually freezes hitters. They don't even swing. He's also got a quality changeup. He's a guy that's bringing four quality pitches to the Rockies."

Round 6 (186th overall): 3B Niko Decolati, Loyola Marymount
Decolati, a right-handed hitter, has been a three-year starter at Loyola Marymount, primarily as shortstop. The Rockies have drafted him as a third baseman, however, and some have even said he can play a corner-outfield spot.

With impressive bat speed and raw power, Decolati's potential has been slighted by his performance during his junior season, slashing .207/.367/.444 in 207 at-bats. His aggressive approach has led to 60 strikeouts, but when he does make contact, it's loud.

A product of the Las Vegas high school ranks, Decolati was actually born in Boulder, Colo., and his father, Chris, played at Northern Colorado. The Rockies are hoping to tap into Decolati's offensive potential, as well as move him to third base and the outfield.

Round 7 (216th overall): RHP Andrew Quezada, Cal State Fullerton
Quezada transferred to Cal State after two years at Cypress Junior College, where he recorded the school's first no-hitter and a 1.17 ERA during his sophomore season. At Fullerton, he went 4-5 with a 3.90 ERA as a junior this season.

Quezada has a three-pitch mix, with a 90-94 mph fastball, changeup and slider that can develop into a Major League breaking ball quickly. He struck out 58 batters in 14 appearances this season with a comfortable and easy delivery. Scouts see him as a back-end starter, but he pitched in the bullpen last summer in the Cape Cod League, recording 17 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings.

Round 8 (246th overall): LHP Nick Bush, LSU
Bush turned a strong season with the Tigers into a Draft pick by the Rockies. Bush, a Draft-eligible sophomore, appeared in 24 games this season, going 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA while striking out 42 over 47 1/3 innings.

Bush had Tommy John surgery in his senior year at Lee Country High School in Georgia, sparking the redshirt year at LSU. He filled several roles with the Tigers this season, starting in middle relief and finishing the season alternating between a closer and starter.

Round 9 (276th overall): C Willie MacIver, Washington
Playing first and third base for the Huskies, MacIver is a power hitter who brings strength and aggressiveness to the plate. This season, he slashed .246/.336/.331 in 130 at-bats and played third base for Washington after returning from a hamate injury last year.

At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, MacIver throws and bats right. He played in the Cape Cod League last summer and hit .272 in 173 at-bats with 24 runs scored, six doubles and two home runs. After seeing him play in Cape Cod, the Rockies want to develop him to the catcher that he began his college career as.

Round 10 (306th overall): 3B Cade Harris, Oklahoma
Slashing .278/.443/.466, Harris has an eye for the strike zone. His 65 walks rank second in Division I baseball, and he continues to prove a tough out at the plate, often working the deep count while remaining calm.

Harris played outfield for the Sooners this season as a junior, and Schmidt said that's probably where the Rockies will play him.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies

Rockies pick left-hander Rolison 22nd overall

MLB.com

DENVER -- Ole Miss left-handed pitcher Ryan Rolison, who struck out 13 on Saturday in NCAA Regional play, became the Rockies' top pick -- 22nd overall -- on Monday in the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies Draft pick

DENVER -- Ole Miss left-handed pitcher Ryan Rolison, who struck out 13 on Saturday in NCAA Regional play, became the Rockies' top pick -- 22nd overall -- on Monday in the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies Draft pick

Rolison is 10-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 17 games, 16 starts, and has 120 strikeouts to 45 walks in 97 1/3 innings as a Draft-eligible sophomore.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Rolison was one of the Rockies' three choices during the first day of the three-day Draft. They took Bedford, N.H., left-handed-hitting first baseman Grant Lavigne 42nd overall in Competitive Balance Round A and Texas A&M right-handed pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny 76th overall, as compensation for losing relief pitcher Greg Holland to free agency.

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 10:30 a.m. MT, with exclusive coverage starting at 11 a.m. MT.

In 2016, Rolison was heavily scouted out of University School of Jackson (Tenn.), where he earned USA Today Tennessee Mr. Baseball. He was ranked among the top 50-60 Draft prospects, but Rolison made it clear he wanted to pitch at Ole Miss, and fell to the 37th round, where the Padres took him.

"We liked his stuff," Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said. "We liked his feel to pitch, his competitiveness. We've watched him since high school. He had a high price tag going to Ole Miss, knowing that he's a sophomore-eligible coming out. We just think that there's a lot of ceiling left to this kid."

Rolison is the second pitcher in Ole Miss history to be taken in the first round. The Indians took lefty Drew Pomeranz, who would briefly pitch for the Rockies and now is with the Red Sox, fifth overall in 2010.

After a standout freshman year at Ole Miss (6-3, 3.06 in 19 games, including 10 starts), Rolison caught scouts' attention in the collegiate wood-bat Cape Cod League last summer. He went 3-0 with a 1.92 ERA.

"A lot of it is the expectations of being a Friday night starter in a good college conference," Schmidt said. "He pitched very good in the Cape Cod League last summer. With that experience, he showed improvement."

Ole Miss was eliminated from NCAA Regional competition on Monday night, and Rolison was not made available to reporters after the game. He is expected to talk to Denver-area media on Tuesday.

While Rolison, 20, can hit 95 mph with his fastball, he works in the low 90s and is especially adept with his curveball, plus uses a slider and a changeup.

Video: Draft 2018: Rockies draft 1B Grant Lavigne No. 42

Lavigne, who is listed at 6-4 and 220 pounds and bats left-handed, has signed with Wake Forest. No position player from New Hampshire has ever made the Majors, although 2015 Orioles Draft pick Ryan McKenna is at Double-A.

Lavigne has good tools at the plate and on the bases, and some toughness -- developed as a defenseman in hockey. Some scouts believe he can play left field. Lavigne has been the New Hampshire Division I high school player of the year the last two seasons.

"It showed up last summer as he made the summer tour to the different showcases and we saw him at the tournaments, that the kid had a natural feel to hit," Schmidt said. "He wasn't strictly a big, physical pull hitter.

"He had the ability to use the whole field. He had power. He just happened to grow up in New Hampshire. But he's a good-looking player. We think he has a very good future."

After pitching in relief in 14 of his 15 games as a freshman and 21 of his 25 games as a sophomore, Kilkenny, listed at 6-4 and 206 pounds, started all 16 of his appearances in 2018. He responded by going 8-5 with a 3.34 ERA, a .243 batting average against and 92 strikeouts against 24 walks in 97 innings pitched.

Video: Draft 2018: Rockies draft RHP Kilkenny No. 76

Kilkenny, 21, won eight of his first nine decisions. With a fastball that tops at 94 mph and a low-80s slider and a changeup, Kilkenny displays good control and the ability to keep the ball low in the strike zone.

"It's a tall, rangy body," Schmidt said of Kilkenny. "The arm works good, solid stuff. He was up to 94-95 earlier in the year, and he probably got tired because he had been a reliever in earlier seasons.

"And as the season moved along ... he probably wore down a little bit toward the end. But we think there's a very good upside for him."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies

Rox eyeing power bat, crafty arm in 2018 Draft

MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies' price of the postseason -- a lower position in the 2018 MLB Draft -- is one Colorado is more than happy to pay. And they'll expect a solid player in the 22nd spot in the first round.

The Rockies relied on early picks to build a team that went to the postseason last year and is playing solid baseball early this year. Some difficult seasons allowed them to pick righty pitcher Jon Gray third overall in the 2013 Draft, lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland eighth in '14 and outfielder David Dahl 10th in '12.

DENVER -- The Rockies' price of the postseason -- a lower position in the 2018 MLB Draft -- is one Colorado is more than happy to pay. And they'll expect a solid player in the 22nd spot in the first round.

The Rockies relied on early picks to build a team that went to the postseason last year and is playing solid baseball early this year. Some difficult seasons allowed them to pick righty pitcher Jon Gray third overall in the 2013 Draft, lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland eighth in '14 and outfielder David Dahl 10th in '12.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

But to build successfully, the Rockies had to be solid outside the top 10. Lefty Tyler Anderson was 20th overall in 2011, and shortstop Trevor Story came as a compensatory first-rounder, 45th overall, for example. So the pick bears watching.

The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 4 p.m. MT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 10:30 p.m. MT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 10 a.m. MT.

Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Video: Mayo breaks down Top 200 Draft prospects

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Rockies.

In about 50 words
The Rockies' initial pick has come below the 22nd slot seven times since they began participating in the Draft in 1992, including last year -- Stillwater (Okla.) High School infielder Ryan Vilade. (Under old Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, the Rockies lost the 11th pick when they signed Ian Desmond). Right-handed pitcher Jamey Wright, 28th overall in '93, had the most impact.

The scoop
Vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt has been running the Draft since 2000. Recent efforts under general manager Jeff Bridich have improved the depth of the starting pitching and outfield. The Rockies haven't felt so stocked that they can use their prospects in trades, and it would be nice to produce another star behind third baseman Nolan Arenado and center fielder Charlie Blackmon -- both second-rounders. But a solid system is in place, and the athletic ability around the diamond is improving. Expect the Rockies to hope for a power bat -- tough to get in this Draft and in that position -- or a pitcher who can miss bats.

First-round buzz
This is tough at the top of this year's Draft, much less with the 22nd pick. But according to Callis, the Rockies are spending quite a bit of time in Georgia. Callis predicted recently the club will nab righty pitcher Cole Wilcox of Ringgold (Ga.) Heritage High School, but also has interest in switch-hitting catcher Anthony Siegler of Cartersville, Ga.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Rockies have a pool of $7,633,900 to spend in the first 10 rounds, and their first-pick slot is valued at $2,912,300.

Shopping list
It's possible that the Rockies could bolster two spots where there is never enough -- pitching and catching. But the key for this team is positional versatility, so if a hole develops at the big league level, there are multiple choices. Speed and overall athletic ability are king.

Trend watch
The Rockies have prided themselves on avoiding trends and looking squarely at players and their individual value and ability. Even in the top of the Draft, where college players are often willing to sign for less than high schoolers, they have chosen the player they liked best.

Rising fast
In 2016, the Rockies zeroed in on right-handed-hitting infielder Garrett Hampson in the third round. Many of the preview ratings saw him as a possible utility infielder at the big league level. But Hampson's hitting eye and speed -- plus his above-average ability at second base and above-average fielding rangeat shortstop -- led to his being promoted recently to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Cinderella story
The Rockies have emphasized pure power in recent Drafts, but lefty Harrison Musgrave (eighth round, 2014) made a quick rise and is in the Rockies' bullpen. Entering Sunday, Musgrave had a 1.29 ERA in five appearances.

Video: Musgrave, Black on Musgrave's callup to Rockies

In The Show
Arenado and Story are part of the regular infield; Chris Iannetta (a 2004 fourth-round pick) is back after time with the Angels, Mariners and D-backs; Blackmon and Dahl are in the outfield, though Dahl is currently on the disabled list; and infielder Ryan McMahon has been up and down this season. The bullpen is the only place not homegrown -- lefty Musgrave is the club's only Draft pick.

Rockies' recent top picks
2013 -- Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies
2014 -- Kyle Freeland, RHP, Rockies
2015 -- Brendan Rodgers, INF, Double-A Hartford
2016 -- Riley Pint, RHP, Class A Asheville
2017 -- Ryan Vilade, INF, Class A Asheville

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies