With one month having passed since the end of the Colorado Rockies’ 2023 season, those players interested in playing winter baseball have accepted their assignments. As the weather gets colder here in Colorado, players from across the organization are just getting warmed up. The Rockies have 11 players scattered across Latin America with only two players on the same team. With offseason baseball now in full swing, let’s take a look at where everyone has landed.
Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana
The Rockies have sent five players to assignments in the Dominican Republic, the most of any winter ball league.
Infielder Adael Amador (no. 1 PuRP) is playing with Los Toros del Este in his native Dominican Republic. Amador has yet to make his debut with Los Toros, but is joined by former teammate and Rockies prospect Juan Brito. Brito was traded to the Cleveland Guardians last offseason.
First baseman and designated hitter Elehuris Montero is taking his third assignment in LIDOM, his first with Las Águilas Cibaeñas. Las Águilas Cibaeñas have the highest-capacity stadium in the league, nicknamed “The Valley of Death” for how intimidating it can be to play in. Montero has previously played in LIDOM twice with Las Estrellas Orientales.
Third baseman Warming Bernabel (no. 14 PuRP) is on the roster with Los Leones del Escogido, where former Rockies infielders Neifi Pérez and Juan Uribe both played during their professional careers. This season, Los Leones’ big draw is hometown hero José Ramírez of the Cleveland Guardians. Ramírez decided to play winter ball for the first time in almost a decade for the opportunity to play in his home country and close to home after he was unable to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
Infielder Julio Carreras (no. 22 PuRP) is playing his second season with Los Gigantes del Cibao and is the first player on our list to have already logged significant playing time. In 11 games and 32 at-bats, Carreras is hitting .438/.550/.750 with two home runs, 10 RsBI, two doubles, a triple, and five stolen bases in six attempts. He’s also walked eight times to just five strikeouts.
Catcher Willie MacIver missed significant time due to injury before starting his season with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. MacIver is getting his winter swings in with Las Estrellas Orientales. He’s currently 1-for-7 in nine plate appearances over four games and has struck out twice.
Liga Mexicana del Pacífico
The Rockies have four players assigned to teams in Mexico this winter, as well as one member of the coaching staff working as a manager.
Utilityman Alan Trejo is making his debut in Mexican professional baseball after playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Trejo is playing for Los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, where he is hitting .222/.267/.278 with three doubles and five RsBI over 15 games and 54 at-bats. Trejo has been actively posting photos and videos on his social media, particularly his InstaGram.
Outfielders Jimmy Herron and Sean Bouchard are playing together with Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo. Herron put together an excellent season with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes and took his talents to Mexico for additional at-bats. He’s currently hitting .175/.329/.175 with two RsBI and six stolen bases in seven attempts. He’s also walked eight times with nine strikeouts.
Bouchard got limited playing time this year after rupturing his bicep during spring training. He made 43 total appearances across the Rockies organization in 2023 but ultimately decided to get more work in this winter. Bouchard is hitting .200/.368/.467 with two doubles, two home runs, and 10 RsBI so far while drawing seven walks and seven strikeouts.
First baseman and outfielder Michael Toglia has a fairly unique assignment. He’s playing in Mexico with Los Sultanes de Monterrey in Nuevo León, where his skipper is former Rockies third baseman and current special assistant to the general manager Vinny Castilla. Toglia is off to a solid start over 13 games, hitting .244/.357/.511 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and nine RsBI.
Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional
The Rockies have just one player from their organization playing in Venezuela this winter. Outfielder Yorvis Torrealba, son of former Rockies catcher Yorvit. Torrealba is Los Navegantes del Magellanes out of Valencia. He has yet to make his season debut as Los Navegantes have played nine games so far.
Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente
Perhaps the Rockies’ highest profile winter assignment has yet to happen. Outfielder Zac Veen (no. 2 PuRP) had season ending surgery on a severe left wrist injury in June after appearing in a diminished capacity with the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats in 2023. Veen will be cleared for baseball activities in December. When he does, he will have an available assignment with Los Leones de Ponce. Ponce’s bench coach is current Rockies assistant hitting Andy González, who will help Veen prepare for 2024 spring training.
“This year was part of him growing up, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be a good player,” González said. “Hopefully, he gets healthy, goes to winter ball and does his thing, then comes to Spring Training next year.”
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Former Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard has landed with a new team: the Baltimore Orioles. The Rockies traded Hilliard to the Atlanta Braves last offseason, where he had a strong start offensively. Hilliard was shut down in July with a heel contusion and would not play again in 2023. We wish Sam Hilliard the best of luck with his new team!
After ending the season with a bumpy September and starting the playoffs on the IL, former Rockies pitcher Jon Gray is doing special things for the Texas Rangers in the World Series out of the bullpen. Our Skyler Timmins discusses the much-missed pitcher.
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Arizona Fall League
The Rockies’ delegation of the Rafters’ pitching staff had an excellent afternoon, working a combined seven shutout innings. Case Williams made the start, giving up one hit and one walk with one strikeout in three innings of work. Chris McMahon pitched the next two innings, striking out two while giving up one hit and one walk. McMahon was credited with the win. Alec Barger and Juan Mejia both worked hitless innings and each pitcher gave up a walk, but Barger struck out two batters. On offense the Rockies’ had two starters in the lineup. Sterlin Thompson went 1-for-4 with a walk and a two RBI double, while Drew Romo went 1-for-3 with a walk. Both hitters struck out twice.
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