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Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers making Major League strides

Rockies news and links for June 7, 2018

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Prospect Brendan Rodgers on fast track to Rockies | The Athletic ($)
Entering Wednesday’s action, Colorado Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers was putting up a .291/.345/.529 slash for the Hartford Yard Goats, the team’s Double-A affiliate. This continues a hot stretch of hitting for Rodgers, who had a bit of a slow start in the first couple weeks of the season, but has seemingly been hitting everything since. Much like Ryan McMahon in 2017, Rodgers could soon find himself with a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque, and before the year is out, eventually to the Major Leagues if he continues to show positive developments.

Rockies’ director of player development Zach Wilson placed an emphasis on Rodgers learning to play third base, and noted that this will play an integral role in a potential decision to call up the wunderkind. The Rockies have made it a priority to expose their infielders to all positions around the diamond, having done so with McMahon, Trevor Story, and Pat Valaika.

A few players drafted along with Rodgers in the first round of the 2015 draft have already had success at the Major League level- Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi, and Ian Happ, among others. Rodgers is not concerned about putting more pressure on himself than necessary, and the Rockies’ organization is very pleased with his development physically and mentally.

Now comfortable with curveballs, the Rockies chased Ryan Rolison for years and finally drafted him | The Athletic ($)
Nick Groke of The Athletic has the details on a few of the Rockies’ latest draft picks, including first round pick Ryan Rolison, Grant Lavigne, and Mitchell Kilkenny. Rolison has developed a curveball, and represents the Rockies’ organization no longer being hesitant to develop pitchers with breaking balls. The successes of Jon Gray and Chad Bettis seems to have led to the team being less wary of adding such pitchers. Lavigne doesn’t get much hype being from New Hampshire, but Rockies’ director of scouting Bill Schmidt lauds his ability to hit the ball to all fields with power. Kilkenny represents a high-velocity right-hander who the team projects to be a starter.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Comparing the early careers of Jon Gray and Nolan Ryan | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman draws parallels between the beginning of Jon Gray’s career and the career of Nolan Ryan. Gray’s ERA+ of 105 has been better than Ryan’s 98 ERA+ through their respective first three seasons. Gray has struggled with his command a bit lately, but that has generally not been an issue for the Rockies’ ace to begin his career. Ryan had much more significant struggles with walks to begin his career with the New York Mets, and the organization had essentially seen enough after his first few seasons. Creasman also draws a comparison between Gray and Max Scherzer, another power pitcher who struggled with command to begin his career.