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Rockies Double-A affiliate announces Opening Day roster

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The Rockies’ Double-A affiliate has a bunch of pitching prospects.

The Colorado Rockies’ Double-A affiliate the Hartford Yard Goats announced their Opening Day roster. There are not a lot of surprises, but there are moves worth noting.

Ryan McMahon will return to the Yard Goats for the second consecutive season. McMahon took a step back in 2016. His power disappeared and he struck out in troves. There are two significant qualifiers, however. McMahon, at 21, was one of the youngest position players in the Eastern League. It’s not terribly surprising that he had a developmental hiccup. Second, he played half of his games at first base, which was a new position for him. In daily Pebble Reports, keep an eye out for McMahon’s strikeouts and power. Those will be indicators about how well he’s bouncing back.

Catcher Dom Nunez will continue his level-by-level progression through the system. While he had a disappointing year with the bat at High-A Modesto in 2016, Nunez continues to impress with his makeup and defense behind the plate. He’ll catch many of the same pitchers he did in the California League.

The Yard Goats’ will sport an abundance of pitching prospects. The best of the bunch is Ryan Castellani, who has continued to succeed while being young for each level he’s been at. Double-A will be a significant test for Castellani. Two other notable pitchers are Yency Almonte and Parker French.

My personal favorite, however, is Jack Wynkoop—My Dude for 2017. Wynkoop is a lefty who throws in the mid-80s. But in 2016, he struck out 23.2 percent of the batters he faced while walking 1.6 percent. It was essentially a repeat of what he did in Asheville in 2105, except he struck out more batters. It’s possible Double-A hitters will eat him alive. But it’s also possible that there’s deception and gamesmanship at the base of his success. We’ll see!

Within the next day, the rosters for the three other full-season Rockies’ affiliates should come out. You’ll find them here.