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 Rockies’ bottom-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.
OF Yorvis Torrealba: Arizona Complex League (ACL) Rockies
If the name sounds familiar it’s because the 24-year old Yorvis Torrealba is the oldest son of beloved former Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who played a combined five seasons with the Rockies and was voted to the franchises’ All-25 roster. Yorvis Torrealba was drafted by his father’s team in the 20th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Tampa.
Yorvis Torrealba first made the news not for baseball reasons, but for being kidnapped in his native Venezuela during the 2009 season. When he was released by his captors, his father Yorvit moved him to the United States.
The 11-year old Yorvis grew up in baseball clubhouses with his father alongside Rockies stars like Todd Helton and Carlos González. Here he was always eager to learn, and watched the work ethic the Rockies greats put into their game.
‘“Even though I was young,” Yorvis said, “I’d see how they would go about using their ability. Todd Helton and Matt Holliday would get to the park early and get to work. It’s not like they thought they were all-stars and didn’t need to learn anymore,”’ Torrealba told The Athletic.
Torrealba attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida with friend and fellow Rockies draft pick Colton Welker before playing JuCo ball with two different schools: Wake Technical College as a freshman and College of Central Florida as a sophomore. Torrealba leveraged his success at the JuCo level into a successful season with the University of Tampa Spartans, a Division II NCAA program.
Yorvis Torrealba - JuCo and NCAA
|Wake Technical College
|College of Central Florida
|University of Tampa
Torrealba led Tampa in total hits with 86 as the Spartans won the Division II championship in 2019, just four days after he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.
‘““I never hit like he did,” Yorvit [Torrealba] said. “My first choice was always the Rockies. I was hoping and praying for it. It’s obviously a dream come true for him. But it is for me too.”’
Torrealba was assigned to the A- Boise Hawks following the draft, where he struggled in his first professional season. With the Hawks he slashed just .228/.307/.284 with zero home runs and 48 total hits through 211 at-bats. Something he excelled at in Boise—as he had throughout college—was his patient plate approach. In each level of college ball and in his first professional season, Torrealba kept low strikeout numbers and a tendency to draw walks as often as he whiffed. With the Hawks he struck out just 30 times (a 14.2% strikeout rate) and walked 20 times.
Like many minor leaguers, Torrealba didn’t play during 2020 due to the cancelled minor league season. He was assigned to the Arizona Complex League Rockies for 2021, where he was older on average than his teammates by 3.2 years. However, Torrealba might make a big jump up in the Rockies farm system after an excellent rebound from 2019 over 43 games in the ACL. He slashed .356/.465/.500 with 42 total hits, eight doubles, and three home runs. His even-keeled plate approach continued as well with a 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He struck out 20 times (16.9%) and walked 20 times. He was also awarded All-Star honors following the season.
Yorvis Torrealba has tools to succeed in professional baseball, including some his father never had. He has quality speed and is a threat when on base, having stolen 26 bases both in Tampa and with the ACL Rockies. He’s also a more consistent hitter than his father. “I never hit like he did,” Yorvit Torrealba told The Athletic. Due to his success in 2021, Yorvis Torrealba might find himself jumped up several levels in 2022, and he needs to keep pushing to improve like he watched Todd Helton and Matt Holliday do all those years ago. Regardless of what happens, his father is very proud.
“My first choice was always the Rockies. I was hoping and praying for it. It’s obviously a dream come true for him. But it is for me too.”
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In Patrick Saunders’ most recent mailbag, he addresses several questions from readers. He believes Rockies new general manager Bill Schmidt will retain his position for at least three seasons, saying “it’s a bit early to be writing Schmidt’s professional obituary, don’t you think?” Saunders also states that free agent shortstop Trevor Story does not want to change positions if/when he goes to a new team. Several teams have expressed interest in signing Story to play third or second base instead of his natural position.
The New York Mets recently announced the return of their Old Timer’s Day during the 2022 season with players like Mookie Wilson, Mike Piazza, and Turk Wendell expected to make appearances. Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry discusses who he thinks would need to make an appearance if the Rockies did a similar promotion. Obviously names like Todd Helton, Larry Walker, and Carlos González are on the list. He also supports David Nied, Andrés Galarraga, Seth Smith, and the long-desired return of Troy Tulowitzki to Coors Field.
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