Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Colorado Rockies

news

Rockies Pipeline

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"

View Full Game Coverage

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"

View Full Game Coverage

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

View Full Game Coverage

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

View Full Game Coverage

:: 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

View Full Game Coverage

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

View Full Game Coverage

"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

Rox recall prospect McMahon to play second

MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies will see if Ryan McMahon, the club's second-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, has found the swing that wasn't present when he began the season in the Majors.

The Rockies recalled McMahon, the No. 37-ranked prospect in all of baseball, from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday and started him at second base against the Reds at Coors Field. McMahon made the Opening Day roster but struggled in 28 games -- .180/.317/.200 with a double and three RBIs in 60 plate appearances -- before being optioned May 1.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- The Rockies will see if Ryan McMahon, the club's second-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, has found the swing that wasn't present when he began the season in the Majors.

The Rockies recalled McMahon, the No. 37-ranked prospect in all of baseball, from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday and started him at second base against the Reds at Coors Field. McMahon made the Opening Day roster but struggled in 28 games -- .180/.317/.200 with a double and three RBIs in 60 plate appearances -- before being optioned May 1.

View Full Game Coverage

The Rockies hope McMahon, 23, has learned to adapt his swing and can offer immediate help at second base. Since DJ LeMahieu suffered a left thumb injury on May 13, Pat Valaika -- who was optioned Saturday to clear active-roster room for McMahon -- and Daniel Castro are a combined 6-for-38 (.158) with two doubles, a homer, two runs scored and a .200 on-base percentage.

McMahon hit .253 with three home runs, five doubles, one triple and 16 RBIs in 22 games after being optioned. More importantly, he has hit .333 (8-for-24) with hits in five of last his six games before being recalled, although he struck out nine times.

Rockies manager Bud Black said Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill and hitting coach Tim Doherty reported that McMahon's swing has improved. The Rockies didn't ask McMahon to radically change his swing, but just to work on ways to improve it for when he would face Major League pitchers.

"He's confident in his swing, but I do think moving forward, like all hitters, there are constantly some adjustments," Black said. "And Mac will go through those like all hitters do."

Video: CHC@COL: McMahon makes a smooth backhanded play

Last season at Double-A Hartford and Albuquerque, McMahon hit .355/.403/.538, with 20 home runs and 88 RBIs, then went 3-for-19 sprinkled over 17 Major League games. He made this year's Opening Day roster by hitting .319 in 30 Spring Training games and was in line for playing time at first base, but his early-season struggles hurt his chances for playing time even though Ian Desmond and Valaika -- the other first-base options -- were struggling.

"It just really reinforced that you need to be at your best to compete with these guys every day," McMahon said. "It [the time in Albuquerque] was just getting back to that and staying in it.

"Honestly, it took a little bit. I was pressing. I was like, 'Let's do this thing. Let's get it going.' As soon as I relaxed, went out there and trusted what I was going to do, it started clicking again."

McMahon can play second in LeMahieu's absence and could be used to spell Desmond at first base when LeMahieu returns.

Valaika was recalled May 14 after LeMahieu was injured, and hit .120 with four doubles and an RBI in 37 games (16 starts) over two stints in the Majors this season.

Another step for LeMahieu

LeMahieu hit in the batting cage and briefly during batting practice -- the next step in working his way back into the lineup. Black said there is no timetable, and it's not certain if he will need a Minor League rehab assignment.

Fuentes found himself in Denver

Before left-handed pitcher Brian Fuentes converted a club-record 115 saves for the Rockies from 2002-08, he was an aspiring starter with the Mariners. He broke in with 10 appearances for Seattle in 2001 but considered himself a starter before being dealt to the Rockies, with fellow pitchers Denny Stark and Jose Paniagua for third baseman Jeff Cirillo. But Fuentes found a home in the Rockies' bullpen.

Fuentes, in Denver as part of AT&T SportsNet's celebration of the top players in club history, said he didn't realize how accomplished his career was while he was living it.

"As time went on, I'd see something and say, 'Apparently, I did this and did that,' and you start realizing that it was pretty special, especially as you watch the game as a fan," said Fuentes, 42, who made 650 total appearances over 12 seasons with six teams. "As a player, it's a business and I'm always calculating. How am I going to do this or get this guy out? Once I got out of it, I didn't care about pitch sequences. I watched to see somebody hit a 450-foot bomb or strike out the side in nine pitches.

"Then you realize, wow, this game is pretty hard and to do what I did for a long time is pretty special."

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, Ryan McMahon

These 5 prospects could impact NL West race

MLB.com

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

Here's a look at one prospect to watch for each club.

Video: Top Prospects: Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs

D-backs
Prospect:
Jon Duplantier, RHP
MLB Pipeline rankings: D-backs' No. 1 prospect, overall No. 68
Why you should keep an eye on him: A year after starring in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League, Duplantier has handled the jump to Double-A with ease. And he's done it while keeping his strikeout rate high and slashing his walk rate. The problem, of course, is that Arizona has plenty of pitching, even with Taijuan Walker out. What the Snakes need is a bat. Still, Duplantier has risen rapidly -- he's at his fourth level after just 30 professional starts -- so he could be putting himself in position to help if there's a need down the road sometime.
ETA: It will most likely be 2019, but Duplantier is doing everything he can to force the issue.

Video: LAD@SD: Verdugo plates Utley with a single to right

Dodgers
Prospect:
Alex Verdugo, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 30
Why you should keep an eye on him: We could have gone with Walker Buehler here, but it seems likely he'll be losing his prospect status sooner than later. He's up, and it seems he's up to stay. Verdugo appears to have a tougher fight for a spot on the big league roster. He has the ability, though. Verdugo has excellent bat-to-ball skills, and he's using them to hit .300 yet again. He also has an exceptional arm and is at least a big league-caliber right fielder, if not a potential center fielder. It's a bit of an unusual package -- Verdugo is not really a leadoff man since he doesn't walk much, and he's not really a middle-of-the-order hitter since he doesn't hit for power. But he hits, he catches, he throws and he held his own in an audition earlier this year. Verdugo will help the Dodgers again before the year is out.
ETA: September at the latest, but it will be surprising if it's not sooner.

Giants
Prospect:
Austin Slater, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Giants' No. 5 prospect
Why you should keep an eye on him: In short, because Slater is raking. And one of baseball's oldest truths is, if you hit, they'll find a spot for you. In classic Giants fashion, Slater is not a highly touted tool box. He's just a guy who's producing. Slater has refined his strike zone over the years and he's torching the PCL to the tune of .396/.472/.679. He is 25 and in his fifth year of pro ball, so he may not have a ton of growth remaining in his game. But Slater is hitting, and that's the surest ticket to The Show.
ETA: It's kind of now or never; if Slater can't force his way into the mix before the year is out, it's hard to see when he will.

Video: Top Prospects: Luis Urias, 2B, Padres

Padres
Prospect:
Luis Urias, IF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Padres' No. 3 prospect, overall No. 32
Why you should keep an eye on him: Urias doesn't have quite the hype, or the famous name, of fellow future Friar Fernando Tatis Jr. But he is closer to the Majors than Tatis, and at least arguably having a better year. Urias is the more polished of the two prized infield prospects, with an advanced approach that has produced a .407 OBP at Triple-A. He looks like he'll play a solid second base in the big leagues. Urias may never be a basher, but he's shown some improved pop this year, which will help him keep drawing walks at the top level.
ETA: It could very well come after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, once San Diego clears some space for him.

Video: COL@PIT: McMahon doubles the lead with RBI single

Rockies
Prospect:
Ryan McMahon, 1B
MLB Pipeline rankings: Rockies' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 38
Why you should keep an eye on him: You may not have heard, but the Rockies haven't gotten an awful lot of production out of first base this year. And McMahon can hit, posting a .355 average in the Minors last year. He's scuffled some this year, including in a 60 plate-appearance look with the big club, but he's come on since he was sent back down to Triple-A. Meanwhile Ian Desmond is hitting .180 with a .233 OBP, and has a .671 OPS since joining the Rockies last year. There's also been talk of giving McMahon a look at second base, but that seems like a tough ask. Still, it's an indication that he's on the big club's radar.
ETA: Like Verdugo, McMahon is certain to get a September callup, and likely to get another before then.

Matthew Leach is the National League executive editor for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Jon Duplantier, Ryan McMahon, Austin Slater, Luis Urias, Alex Verdugo

Rox call up infielder Castro, option McMahon

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Infielder Daniel Castro trusted the advice from Triple-A Albuquerque hitting coach Darin Everson, even if it meant he had to wait. But the advice paid off when the Rockies called up Castro on Tuesday for his first Major League action since 2016.

Castro, 25, left Albuquerque with a 22-game hit streak and offensive confidence -- big for him considering he slashed .217/.250/.265 with two home runs, 12 RBIs and a stolen base in 80 games for the Braves from 2015-16.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Infielder Daniel Castro trusted the advice from Triple-A Albuquerque hitting coach Darin Everson, even if it meant he had to wait. But the advice paid off when the Rockies called up Castro on Tuesday for his first Major League action since 2016.

Castro, 25, left Albuquerque with a 22-game hit streak and offensive confidence -- big for him considering he slashed .217/.250/.265 with two home runs, 12 RBIs and a stolen base in 80 games for the Braves from 2015-16.

View Full Game Coverage

Everson convinced Castro to eliminate a leg kick, and last year he went .306/.344/.397 at Albuquerque but was not promoted. Castro became a Minor League free agent last offseason but re-signed with the Rockies, believing he had a chance.

After making a strong bid in Spring Training to make the team, Castro batted .407/.429/.516 with 11 RBIs, eight doubles, a triple, five walks and 17 runs scored in 23 games for Albuquerque.

"The biggest thing has been the consistency, the way I'm moving my body," Castro said through interpreter and first-base coach Tony Diaz. "I'm able to recognize the pitches much better. For me, that's been the biggest difference."

Castro's ability to play second base, third base and shortstop made him the Rockies' callup choice, with DJ LeMahieu on the 10-day disabled list until at least next Tuesday for a right hamstring strain. Castro started at second base Tuesday night against the Cubs.

"He was swinging the bat real well down in Albuquerque, off to a great start. He's a steady defender, knows how to play the game," said Rockies manager Bud Black, who hopes Castro helps the bottom of the lineup, which has struggled. "He can bunt. He can hit-and-run. He's a guy that goes about it the right way."

Video: Black on McMahon optioned to AAA, Castro called up

McMahon gets a reset
To bring up Castro, the Rockies optioned first baseman-infielder Ryan McMahon to Albuquerque. McMahon, 23, is the Rockies' No. 2 prospect and the No. 39 prospect in the Majors, according to MLB Pipeline. But McMahon struggled with on-and-off playing time, and hit .180/.317/.200 with three RBIs and 22 strikeouts.

The move will give McMahon regular playing time, and Black said he expects McMahon to return as a contributor.

Video: CHC@COL: McMahon makes a smooth backhanded play

"There's no doubt what he was doing here -- in and out of the lineups and pinch-hits, some consecutive starts -- he didn't get into the rhythm of the season, like a lot of guys at the start of the year," Black said. "This is the first year that he broke with the big league team. He might have been putting a little extra pressure on himself to perform. This was a move to let him exhale a little bit and go back to being Ryan McMahon."

The Rockies took a chance on young players in part-time roles to open the season. Now two of them -- Mike Tauchman, who was 1-for-23 (.043) when optioned on April 22, and McMahon -- have been sent down.

Rusin nearing return
Lefty Chris Rusin, who can return from an intercostal injury on Friday for the Rockies' series against the Mets, faced hitters at Wrigley Field for about 25 pitches.

A proponent of the quick-pitch, Rusin said he believes the injury occurred during the sudden startup of such a move. So he mixed quick pitches with his regular delivery and came through healthy, working his timing toward game sharpness.

Outfielder David Dahl, who entered Tuesday night 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts and no walks against left-handers, homered on Rusin's first pitch -- a changeup.

Rockies outfielder joins ex-Rockies outfielder
Center fielder Charlie Blackmon told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday that he is taking the team's slow offensive start -- a .224 batting average through April -- in stride. He was interviewed by Casey Stern and a man with a wealth of experience -- former Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: Charlie Blackmon jokes he "hasn't solved Coors Field" and says the #Rockies have "treaded water for this first month." #ROCKIES25TH pic.twitter.com/xSuoahJ0Qe

Blackmon entered with nine homers, eight of them on the road. Holliday noted, "The weather warms up, Coors Field will be better. It's been pretty cold, pretty chilly home games."

Blackmon said, "We've been battling snow, rain ... I just have a feeling as the summer goes on, it heats up, it's going to turn on a little bit at Coors Field.

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, Daniel Castro, Ryan McMahon

Where Rockies' Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Rockies' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Brendan Rodgers (MLB No. 14), SS/2B -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
2. Ryan McMahon (MLB No. 41), 1B/2B/3B -- Colorado Rockies (MLB)
3. Riley Pint (MLB No. 100), RHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
4. Colton Welker, 3B -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
5. Peter Lambert, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
6. Ryan Vilade, SS -- Asheville Tourists (A)
7. Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
8. Ryan Castellani, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
9. Tyler Nevin, 1B/3B -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
10. Yency Almonte, RHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
11. Tom Murphy, C -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
12. Sam Hilliard, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
13. Breiling Eusebio, LHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
14. Jesus Tinoco, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
15. Forrest Wall, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
16. Will Gaddis, RHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
17. Sam Howard, LHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
18. Brian Mundell, 1B -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
19. Daniel Montano, OF -- Extended spring training
20. Yonathan Daza, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
21. Jordan Patterson, OF/1B -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
22. Dom Nunez, C -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
23. Jairo Diaz, RHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
24. Ben Bowden, LHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
25. Chad Spanberger, 1B -- Asheville Tourists (A)
26. Wes Rogers, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
27. Willie Abreu, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
28. Shael Mendoza, OF -- Asheville Tourists (A)
29. Vince Fernandez, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
30. Mike Nikorak, RHP -- Extended spring training

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Rockies' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Brendan Rodgers (MLB No. 14), SS/2B -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
2. Ryan McMahon (MLB No. 41), 1B/2B/3B -- Colorado Rockies (MLB)
3. Riley Pint (MLB No. 100), RHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
4. Colton Welker, 3B -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
5. Peter Lambert, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
6. Ryan Vilade, SS -- Asheville Tourists (A)
7. Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
8. Ryan Castellani, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
9. Tyler Nevin, 1B/3B -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
10. Yency Almonte, RHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
11. Tom Murphy, C -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
12. Sam Hilliard, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
13. Breiling Eusebio, LHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
14. Jesus Tinoco, RHP -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
15. Forrest Wall, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
16. Will Gaddis, RHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
17. Sam Howard, LHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
18. Brian Mundell, 1B -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
19. Daniel Montano, OF -- Extended spring training
20. Yonathan Daza, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
21. Jordan Patterson, OF/1B -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
22. Dom Nunez, C -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
23. Jairo Diaz, RHP -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
24. Ben Bowden, LHP -- Asheville Tourists (A)
25. Chad Spanberger, 1B -- Asheville Tourists (A)
26. Wes Rogers, OF -- Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
27. Willie Abreu, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
28. Shael Mendoza, OF -- Asheville Tourists (A)
29. Vince Fernandez, OF -- Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
30. Mike Nikorak, RHP -- Extended spring training

•  Rockies prospect coverage | Rockies Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
The Rockies sent several of their best prospects to Double-A Hartford. Shortstop/second baseman Brendan Rodgers ranks No. 14 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospect list after batting .336/.373/.567 in 89 games a year ago, including 38 with the Yard Goats. Right-handers Peter Lambert and Ryan Castellani may push for spots in an already crowded Colorado rotation at some point in 2019. Second baseman Garrett Hampson led the Minors with 113 runs in 2017 and ranked fourth with 51 steals, a category topped by outfielder Wes Rogers with 70. Outfielder Yonathan Diaz won the high Class A California League batting title last year at .341.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Albuquerque Isotopes
Hartford Yard Goats
Grand Junction Rockies

New faces
All of our Rockies Top 30 Prospects already have played for the organization. Outfielder Daniel Montano will make his U.S. debut this summer.

On the shelf
None of Colorado's Top 30 Prospects is opening the season on the disabled list, though right-hander Mike Nikorak is still in extended spring training as the 2015 first-rounder continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery last April.

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

Colorado Rockies

Right-hander Pint enters Top 100 prospects list

Bridich expresses confidence in Rockies' young starters
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Riley Pint, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, moved into MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list on Monday. Pint will begin the '18 season where he spent last year, with Class A Asheville.

Pint, 20, went 2-11 with a 5.42 ERA in 93 innings over 22 starts last season, his first full year in the Minors. Rockies director of player development Zach Wilson said last season was a necessary education for Pint, ranked No. 3 in the Rockies' system by MLB Pipeline.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Riley Pint, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, moved into MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list on Monday. Pint will begin the '18 season where he spent last year, with Class A Asheville.

Pint, 20, went 2-11 with a 5.42 ERA in 93 innings over 22 starts last season, his first full year in the Minors. Rockies director of player development Zach Wilson said last season was a necessary education for Pint, ranked No. 3 in the Rockies' system by MLB Pipeline.

View Full Game Coverage

"He's continuing to learn his delivery and understand his body," Wilson said. "This year, we're going to allow him to really unleash all of his weapons, so there won't be certain restrictions on him that there were last year in terms of pitch mix.

"Right now, it's about continued experience. There were bouts last year with success, and then there were bouts with some adversity. All those things helped make him better."

• MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: With Jesse Winker graduating from @MLB's Top 100 Prospects list, #Rockies RHP Riley Pint enters: https://t.co/TuTZgd5PTS pic.twitter.com/hsKC3xQgxl

Pint's fastball has been clocked at over 100 mph, but his secondary pitches -- especially his changeup -- are far ahead of the heater. So the Rockies had Pint use last season to develop the fastball. A lot of is finding the right deliver for his growing body. Pint is listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, but Wilson said he has grown to 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds. This year, there will be greater flexibility in pitch selection, although fastball command will still be a priority.

Wilson said it's not clear how big he will be when his growth stops, but he is confident that however big Pint ends up being, his understanding and effectiveness will grow.

"Right now, this is where he's going to start," Wilson said. "He's in a good place as we leave Spring Training. And really, it's not about where you start. It's about that cumulative effect, day after day, year after year of continuing to get better."

Rockies stick with their young arms
Even during their run to the Wild Card last season, the Rockies never made a move toward acquiring a veteran starting pitcher. They didn't do it during the offseason, nor did they seek experienced depth at the end of Spring Training even though their six pitchers on the current staff and Jeff Hoffman (working his way back from a shoulder injury) are the only starters on their 40-man roster who have started a Major League game.

Of course, an unfortunate run of injuries could cause the Rockies to reconsider. But beyond Hoffman, the Rockies' depth is at Triple-A Albuquerque in two pitchers on the 40-man -- righty Yency Almonte, their No. 10 prospect, and lefty Sam Howard, No. 17 -- plus non-roster right-hander Zach Jemiola and lefty Harrison Musgrave, who also could pitch as a reliever.

The fact that general manager Jeff Bridich's philosophy to develop pitchers first has resulted in confidence. Right-hander German Marquez is the only current Rockies starter not drafted or signed by the club, but he was acquired from the Rays before making the Majors. Almonte came in a trade with the White Sox.

Video: COL@ARI: Marquez freezes Goldschmidt in 1st

"If we can get guys who come into this organization, understand what our general philosophies are and how we need to do things to be successful, hopefully all that adds up to not just depth but also talent and performance," Bridich said.

So the Rockies are a bad week of injuries away from someone's big league debut. Almonte and Howard were being used as starters late in camp, while Musgrave was being introduced to relief-type work.

"Both Almonte and Howard -- in very specific ways for each guy -- showed growth from where they were last year," Bridich said. "They both came into camp ready to grow and ready to compete, so there are a lot of thoughts about both those guys as they left Major League camp and went to Triple-A. Is there still work to be done? Do they still need seasoning and certain things to happen before they're truly ready? Probably, but I would say it's nice to see their development."

Video: Top Prospects: Yency Almonte, RHP, Rockies

Injury updates
• Right-hander Carlos Estevez, who missed much of Spring Training with a left oblique injury, will throw a simulated game Tuesday at the Rockies' complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.

• Lefty Zac Rosscup has a wart on his left middle finger. He has taken an injection, and the Rockies are seeing if that works before trying other methods.

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