Rockies No. 4 prospect Beck sustains broken left hand on diving play

May 26th, 2024

DENVER -- Rockies rookie left fielder, and MLB Pipeline's No. 65 prospect, left Saturday night’s game against the Phillies after sustaining a broken left hand on a reaching catch to end the first inning.

The play saved a run in a game the Rockies led until the top of the ninth before losing, 8-4, at Coors Field.

Colorado pulled outfielder Sean Bouchard from Triple-A Albuquerque’s 6-3 victory at Salt Lake on Saturday night, and the Rockies are expected to activate him for the finale against the Phillies on Sunday afternoon.

Beck, 23, rushed forward to make a diving grab on a Nick Castellanos line drive to prevent a run, landing awkwardly on his glove hand before jogging off the field in clear discomfort. He was replaced by Hunter Goodman before the top of the second inning.

The Rockies -- with starting pitcher Dakota Hudson holding the Phillies to two runs in six innings and Brenton Doyle going 2-for-4 with a career-high three stolen bases -- carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth.

"I've been watching the guys," said Hudson, who has struggled previously. "Ty [Blach] yesterday was a good one for me to watch. I've been watching Cal [Quantrill] and [Austin] Gomber all year. [Ryan] Feltner is getting deep in games. I can take something from every one of them."

The lead, however, disappeared when Jalen Beeks walked ninth-inning leadoff man Brandon Marsh before Edmundo Sosa dropped a soft triple to right field against Justin Lawrence to tie the game. Bryce Harper highlighted the six-run unraveling of the Rockies’ bullpen with a three-run homer off John Curtiss.

Charlie Blackmon’s RBI double in the ninth marked his 600th career extra-base hit to move past Hall of Famer Larry Walker and into second in club history in the category. Hall of Famer Todd Helton owns the club record with 998 extra-base hits.

The injury to Beck delays the project of developing a power-hitting prospect at the Major League level.

The 38th overall pick in 2022 out of the University of Tennessee, Beck earned a callup on April 30, after second-year left fielder Nolan Jones went to the injured list with a back injury. Beck had earned the team’s Spring Training Most Valuable Player award, then batted .307 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 25 games at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Beck has largely struggled in the Majors. He's batting .190 with two homers and eight RBIs. Five of the RBIs came on May 15 at San Diego.

Beck struck out 30 times in his first 81 Major League plate appearances, but the Rockies have played him consistently -- 21 of his 22 starts in left field and one in center.

“There’s a self-confidence,” manager Bud Black said Saturday afternoon. “I said this about [shortstop Ezequiel] Tovar, there’s a self-assurance on who he is as a player and how he goes about it.

“From a scouting side, you can look at it and say [his tools] eventually are going to play in the Major Leagues. He’s got strength, he can run, he can throw, he’s got power. He’s shown a Minor League [batting] average but it hasn’t translated yet.”

The injury presents Bouchard, 28, with another Major League opportunity.

Bouchard was projected as a starter entering Spring Training, but an early oblique injury put him behind, so he started the year at Albuquerque. Bouchard made his 2024 Rockies debut on April 17 and slashed .222/.333/.370 with one home run and three RBIs in 18 games before being optioned to accommodate Kris Bryant’s return from the injured list on Tuesday.

Bouchard has produced in the past. He compiled a .954 OPS with three home runs in 27 games in 2022. He missed much of last season with a left biceps tendon injury, but he finished strong -- batting .316 with four home runs and seven RBIs in 21 games.