Everyone talks about Zac Veen, the Rockies’ first round pick in 2020 who recently lit it up in the Futures Game and earned a promotion to the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. Everyone talks about Ezequiel Tovar, who perhaps unfairly has enormous expectations on his shoulders as the future shortstop of the organization as fans desperately clamor for “Tovar Time.” Tovar was also named to the Futures Game but was unable to play due to a nagging groin injury. Drew Romo is the highest drafted catcher in franchise history and is largely considered to be the future of the organization behind the plate with an extremely high ceiling.
The Colorado Rockies have four prospects in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list for 2022. The aforementioned Veen (no, 20), Tovar (no. 54), and Romo (no. 72) represent the most well known potential stars of the near future for the franchise with expected MLB arrival dates between 2023 and 2024. The fourth prospect the Rockies have in the top 100 is Dominican shortstop Adael Amador, clocking in at no. 92. Of course he gets talked about... but not nearly enough in my opinion.
The 2019 international prospect class was an extremely strong one. Outfielder Jasson Domínguez sign with the New York Yankees for $5.1 million and Yoelqui Céspedes signed with the Chicago White Sox for $2 million. Both would become top prospects for their respective organizations. The Rockies signed then-16 year old Adael Amador for $1.5 million as their big international signing of the year. Amador was ranked as the no. 16 best international prospect of the class and one of the top shortstops.
Amador was briefly assigned to the Dominican Summer League Rockies to kick off 2020, but ended up not playing a single inning there as he was instead moved to the then Rookie League Grand Junction Rockies. Then the 2020 minor league season was cancelled due to COVID-19, causing the 17 year old Amador to miss what would have been his first professional season. He would instead play his first season with the Arizona Complex League Rockies in 2021. Amador—born in April of 2003—was the youngest player on the team by seven months.
Amador made his professional debut against competition that was 1.9 years older than him on average with a .299/.394/.445 slash line in 47 games and 200 total plate appearances. Note the excellent on-base percentage, bolstered by drawing 27 walks to just 29 strikeouts, a team-leading 49 hits, and a team second-best 73 total bases. The switch-hitting Amador hit four home runs with the ACL Rockies for one of the higher marks on the team despite mostly being a contact hitter from both sides of the plate. He also showcased speed on base with 10 steals in 17 attempts.
The Rockies assigned Amador (no. 17 PuRP) to the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies for the 2022 season, where was the second youngest player on the team behind Victor Juárez. He’s really come into his own with the Grizzlies, where he has a team best .307 batting average and .427 on-base percentage. He’s also tapping more into his power despite a 40 grade power per MLB Pipeline as he grows into his frame. Amador has hit 14 home runs, which is tied for the best on the current team with fellow 2019 international prospect Yanquiel Fernandez. He also has 19 doubles. His plate discipline also remains excellent. He’s drastically outpacing his strikeouts with walks so far this season. In 90 games and 434 plate appearances he’s walked a whopping 70 times and only struck out 54 times. He’s put his 50 grade hit tool to use with the most hits of any Grizzlies batter with 107, and the second most total bases (behind Fernandez) with 168. Meanwhile his 50 grade run tool has him leading the current squad in stolen bases with 21.
Amador is also a solid defensive shortstop with a 55 grade fielding tool, good footwork, and a strong arm. While he has committed 17 errors at short with Fresno this season, he has plenty of development time to clean up his defense and .946 fielding percentage. He could also be converted fully to second base in the future but either way will be a solid defensive option up the middle for the Rockies organization.
Adael Amador has rocketed up the prospect rankings for the Rockies this season. We only had him at no. 17 for our preseason PuRPs rankings and I am curious to see where he ends up when mid-season polling closes. He’s the Rockies’ no. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline and has moved into the top 100 rankings for both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America. With an estimated MLB arrival time of 2025 he could be a key part of the Rockies’ future and has the Rockies spoiled for choice at shortstop in tandem with Ezequiel Tovar. Amador is an incredible prospect and hopefully you are now equipped to help spread the word about him.
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Thomas Harding, Rockies beat reporter at MLB.com, briefly explores former first round pick and top prospect Riley Pint’s 2022 season following his promotion to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. Pint had retired last season and rejoined the Rockies organization with Double-A Hartford at the beginning of this season. He’s now made his Triple-A debut, which is the highest level of professional baseball he has played at since he was drafted in 2016.
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On the Farm
Ashton Goudeau gave up five runs, three of which were earned, over four innings of work before turning things over to the bullpen. The Isotopes bullpen held the aces scoreless for the final five innings to keep their team in the game, but the offense was unable to come back. Riley Pint made his Triple-A debut with a scoreless sixth inning. He walked two batters, gave up one hit, and tallied one strikeout. On offense the sole contributor was catcher Carlos Pérez, who hit his 24th home run of the season in the fourth inning.
The first two outs recorded by Riley Pint at Triple-A come courtesy of this beauty: J-Mo to T-Lo to DJ.— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) August 11, 2022
M6: Aces 5, Isotopes 1 pic.twitter.com/6R160USwz6
Tough night for the Hartford Yard Goats. Noah Gotsis lasted just three innings while giving up five earned runs off of six hits, two walks, and a home run. Garrett Schilling took over and went 1 2⁄3 innings while giving up another four earned runs off of seven hits and a home run of his own. Jared Biddy and Finn Del Bonta-Smith pitched a combined scoreless 3 1⁄3 innings to finish out the game, but the damage was already done. On offense the Yard Goats had just four hits while getting shut out.
It was a solid night for Joe Rock on the bump. Rock pitched five innings of two run baseball, only one of which was earned, while allowing just two hits. Adam McKillican gave up two runs—one earned—over 1 2⁄3 innings of relief work while Blake Goldsberry earned his first save of the season with a 2 1⁄3 inning outing where he struck out a whopping five batters. At the plate the Indians plated five runs on 10 hits. Bladimir Restituyo and Julio Carreras both had three hits on the night while Carreras has two RsBI. Hunter Goodman was hitless but had the team’s third RBI.
Cullen Kafka had the start for the Grizzlies against the 66ers, pitching for five innings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and a walk. Felix Ramires struggled in relief of Kafka by giving up two earned runs on two walks and two hits over just 2⁄3 of an inning. Francis Rivera was credited with the win as the pitcher on record for his 1 1⁄3 innings pitched despite allowing another two earned runs on three hits. Tanner Propst had a good eighth inning by pitching a scoreless, hitless frame with a strikeout. Angel Chivilli earned his fourth save of the season with Fresno with a shutout ninth inning and two strikeouts. Offensively the Grizzlies were firing on all cylinders. Adael Amador was a perfect 2-for-2 with two walks and two RsBI while raising his average to .311 for the season. Juan Brito, whom I affectionately refer to as “Juan Brillante,” was 2-for-5 with three RsBI and a double. Juan Guerrero drove in an additional three RsBI with a three-run home run in the fifth inning as part of a 3-for-4 night at the plate. Yorvis Torrealba continues to light Low-A on fire with his batting average at .373 after a 2-for-4 evening. Overall the Grizzlies plated 11 runs on 12 hits and drew five walks.
T5 | A 3-2 offering to Juan Guerrero is crushed to left field and the Grizzlies claw back ahead 4-3! That 3-run homer is Guerrero's 12th longball this season! He has 5 3-run clouts of his 12 in 2022. ⚾️ #RaisetheBear pic.twitter.com/pmGMUdXI2B— Fresno Grizzlies (@FresnoGrizzlies) August 11, 2022
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