Newly drafted Rockie Zac Veen (Spruce Creek High School, Port Orange, FL) took questions from the media immediately following the draft on Wednesday. The Rockies had the ninth pick in the first round.
Veen is noted for his swing, which has received comparisons to those of a young Cody Bellinger or Christian Yelich. He stressed the importance of gaining strength in his swing development and identity as a hitter.
“I’d say a big thing for me was being a little bit more physical, gaining the weight throughout the years and gaining the strength I have now,” Veen said. “I went from being 160 lbs. to 205 in two years, so I guess that’s a reason that I have the talent I do now. I’ve never really tried to hit for power. I’ve just tried to hit the barrel. I think my power’s just going to continue to get there the more I grow into my body.”
Veen mentioned that he spoke to the Rockies “a little bit before” the draft.
“I had a pretty good feeling that they liked me,” he said. “That’s where I wanted to go play and I think it’s a good fit for me, a great fit.”
In terms of draft expectations, Veen was modest.
“I really wasn’t expecting, I guess, anything,” he shrugged. “I was just hoping that a team would take a chance on me, and the Rockies did. I’m just incredibly grateful, and I’m going to give them all I have.”
Veen also described himself for those less familiar with his play.
“I would say I’m a good all-around baseball player,” he said. “Somebody who plays with a lot of passion in the game and never really takes a play off and somebody who’s never going to get outworked.”
Before the COVID-19 lockdowns, Veen was practicing with his high school team and hoping to win a state championship.
“Since then, I’ve really just taken it as a second off season,” he said, “and [I] took advantage of it so that no matter where I end up playing, I’d be 100% ready to give it my best go.”
Since then, Veen has been working out at the same place he does off-season training.
“I was just happy that I was able to do that,” he said, “because I think it really helped me a lot.”
When asked if he was committed to signing with the Rockies or would instead go to college, Veen said, “I think that’s a question that’s going to be answered a little bit later. I love the Rockies organization, and I’m happy they decided to give me an opportunity, and I think all of that will handle itself.” (Veen is committed to the University of Florida.)
In terms of Coors Field, Veen noted, “I know that ball flies there. I know hitters love it there.” He works out daily with Brendan Rodgers who has told him “some stories about how far the ball goes there.”
Veen added, “I can’t wait to go hit there.”
From a defensive perspective, he also noted that Coors has a “big, big outfield.”
“When I talked with some of the Rockies scouts, they said it’s definitely hard to cover the ground out there,” Veen said. “It’s fun to hit the ball, but I guess it’s also hard to track down the balls there, too.”
At the end of the day, Veen’s mom is the most excited about his baseball career.
“She’s been waiting for this day about the same as I have, and she’s really excited to see my dream come true.”
★ ★ ★
The Rockies will make four draft selections today. Follow Purple Row for our continuing coverage.