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Tyler Ahearn has the chance to be a late round steal

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, January 20, 2022

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It’s a new year, there’s a new season coming, and there are new faces to highlight. There tends to be a lot of negativity towards the Colorado Rockiesbottom of the pack ranked farm system. However, it remains important to recognize that even a lower-ranked farm system has plenty of exciting and interesting faces that could represent the future of the organization. The top prospects in the Rockies organization are fairly well known, but when you take a deeper dive into the minor leagues, you discover some talented young men who deserve to be highlighted. We’re going to be taking a look at players in the Rockies’ system over the next few weeks and shining a spotlight on players from each level that could have a very promising future.

RHP Tyler Ahearn: Arizona Complex League (ACL) Rockies

I have the receipts to prove that I was excited when the Rockies drafted the right handed Tyler Ahearn out of Florida State University with their 20th and final draft pick of 2021. I had Ahearn on my draft board as a late round pick because of his tantalizingly high potential. Ahearn was a top rated prospect coming out of high school, but struggled in his first two seasons with the Seminoles. In 2018 and 2019 he finished the season with ERAs of 5.50 and 9.72 respectively, and showed issues with command with 33 walks to 29 strikeouts.

Tyler Ahearn at FSU

2018 11 18.0 5.50 14 12 11 2 18 13 1.778 7.0 1.0 9.0 6.5
2019 12 16.2 9.72 17 19 18 3 15 16 1.920 9.2 1.6 8.1 8.6
2020 6 9.1 1.93 8 5 2 0 4 14 1.286 7.7 0.0 3.9 13.5
2021 15 20.2 3.48 20 10 8 2 14 21 1.645 8.7 0.9 6.1 9.1

Ahearn showed tremendous improvement in 2020 and 2021. Working entirely out of the bullpen, Ahearn had an ERA of 1.93 in 2020 and sharpened his command significantly with just four walks to 14 strikeouts in six appearances. He did walk 14 batters in 2021, but also struck out 21 and held an ERA of 3.48 in 15 games. Throughout college he did have a tendency to give up contact with an elevated H9 in each campaign, but as his strikeouts became more prevalent in his final two years it became less damaging. With the strides he made in his game, it’s clear why a team like the Rockies would want to add the then-22-year-old via a late-round pick. The potential is there, and the refinements will come.

Tyler Ahearn pitches with a high 34 arm slot and currently operates with a three pitch mix: a four seam fastball ranging from 92-96, a sharp slider ranging from 84-97 mph, and a changeup—a pitch the Rockies covet—ranging from 83-86 mph.

After being drafted by the Rockies, Ahearn played with the ACL Rockies in 2021 and looked incredibly sharp through five outings and four innings. He struck out six batters with no walks, and gave up just one home run. Said home run came the only time he did not finish his inning of work. Ahearn finished his season with a 2.25 ERA, a WHIP of 0.500, an H9 of 4.5, an SO9 of 13.5, and two saves.

Now 23 years old, Ahearn will likely start the 2022 season with either the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies or High-A Spokane Indians. If the Rockies organization can continue refining his pitching and capitalize on that immense potential, I strongly believe Tyler Ahearn can develop into something truly special as a late round steal.

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Rockies fan survey: rate Dick Monfort, Bud Black, trades, unis and more | The Athletic ($)

Nick Groke over at the Athletic is conducting a Rockies fan survey for the upcoming 2022 season and to gauge fans’ feelings on the team.

Rockies broadcaster Jenny Cavnar named CO Sportscaster of the Year | Roxpile

Fire up the fountains, because the National Sports Media Association has named the Rockies’ and AT&TSRM’s Jenny Cavnar as Colorado’s sportscaster of the Year! A Colorado native, Cavnar is the first woman to win the award for the state. Congratulations, Jenny!

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