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Pebble Report: Is Reagan Todd the next Lucas Gilbreath?

Both are left-handed. Both are Colorado kids. Both could soon become big league bullpen staples.

Your Salt River Rafters are sitting at an even 5-5 record through two weeks of Arizona Fall League action — and one Colorado reliever is building his big league stock in a hurry:

Colorado’s own.

Reagan Todd.

The Reagan Todd of Centennial, Colorado. Regis Jesuit High School. Colorado Mesa University.

Most importantly, of your Colorado Rockies. He’s got a flawless 0.00 ERA through four Fall League appearances.

After opening his Fall League campaign with two scoreless outings in Week 1 (a combined 1 13 IP), Todd returned to the rubber in Week 2 and continued on his hot streak. He put together two scoreless frames while allowing a single hit and striking out four.

He isn’t on the Rockies’ Top 30 prospect list, but if he keeps at his current AFL pace, he’s suggesting he might belong there. Todd is currently 25 years old, older than several on that Top 30 list, but after picking up two years of experience at Arizona State (before Colorado Mesa), he could be more primed than it may appear.

His expedited progress in 2021 could be a testament to how big-league ready the left-hander truly is. He made his jump through Double-A and into Triple-A just a year after COVID-19 kept all minor leaguers out of action.

Todd is currently following in the footsteps of key Rockies relievers with Fall League experience — Carlos Estévez and Jordan Sheffield, to name a few — and some home cooking in Colorado awaits him at an inevitable big league debut.

The Rockies saw a similar debut with Legacy High School’s Lucas Gilbreath last April, although Gilbreath only pitched 1 23 innings with Albuquerque last spring. That was the extent of his minor league action above High-A: no work in Double-A, no work in the Fall League and no work in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Todd has tasted the Double-A and Triple-A jump already, and after showing his stuff in the Fall League, he’s in position to potentially claim a roster spot when Salt River Fields calls him again next spring. 3 13 innings from Todd this fall is a limited sample, but a consistent four appearances is a welcome sight for a big league bullpen that has often lacked consistency.

Colorado has been running thin in the left-handed reliever department for over a year, and Todd could be the exact answer that Bud Black is looking for. (“Bullpens can be tweaked to improve them, which I think we need to do.”).

AFL Week 2: Rockies Pitching

Here’s how Rockies pitching lined up in the Fall League last week (Oct. 18-23):

  • Jake Bird: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Matt Dennis: 23 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K
  • Jordan Sheffield: DNP
  • Reagan Todd: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Jordan Sheffield made his lone Fall League appearance in Week 1, tossing a scoreless frame and not pitching since. After throwing an abbreviated big league season this year, Sheffield is with the Rafters presumably for workload rather than experience. This suggests his weeklong absence is less of a concern than it otherwise could be.

Matt Dennis struggled in his Week 2 start, unable to complete one full frame. Jake Bird didn’t allow a walk in AFL Week 1 (1 13 IP) and despite allowing three in Week 2, his free passes were managed relatively well in the run column.

AFL Week 2: Rockies Hitting

  • Michael Toglia: .214/.235/.214 (3-for-14, three singles), 1 BB, 5 K
  • Ezequiel Tovar: .143/.240/.238 (3-for-21), 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Ryan Vilade: .350/.458/.550 (7-for-24), 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 BB, 5 K
  • Willie MacIver: 0-for-3, 3 BB, 2 K (*Taxi squad player)

Ryan Vilade went off on Saturday night against the Scottsdale Scorpions, putting together a four-hit performance. It was his first game at first base for the Rafters this year, which is another facet to monitor (after C.J. Cron’s extension).

Vilade’s Saturday night helped the Rockies big time in the offensive tables. Rockies bats went a combined 13-for-62 in AFL Week 2, posting a .210 collective average. That number would have been .158 if Vilade didn’t play on Saturday.

Michael Toglia didn’t show the power he did in the first four days of AFL action (2 HR), but the season is still young and the sample sizes are limited. The Rafters are 10 games into their 30-game regular season, and Toglia is one of 13 players with multiple home runs.

Salt River Rafters notes

Spencer Torkelson (DET), the first-overall selection in the 2020 draft, has been pulled from the Fall League after a leg injury he sustained sliding back into third base. He initially wanted to stay in the game according to Rafters manager Matt Erickson, but ultimately agreed to play it safe.

The Tigers have decided to play it safe through November, an understandable provision with so much money invested in the fourth-ranked MLB prospect.

The 2021 Fall League schedule uses Sundays as a league-wide off day, and each team is allocated two additional off days throughout the season. Salt River’s off days are on consecutive days — this Monday and Tuesday — so our weekly AFL report will be admittedly limited as we look toward our next edition on Monday.