Colorado Rockies: Ryan Vilade preparing for Grand Junction debut
GRAND JUNCTION — Ryan Vilade, the second-round pick of the Colorado Rockies, stepped into the batting cage at sunny Suplizio Field and took some swings. It may not have seemed like much to the casual observer, but it was some of Vilade’s first swings as a professional baseball player.
After a whirlwind 48 hours where Vilade was introduced to the Denver-area media at Coors Field, Vilade now found himself on the other side of Colorado, preparing for his first action with the Grand Junction Rockies.
Working through rookie ball is the first step on Vilade’s journey, and he is trying to take what has been a wild few days all in stride.
"“It’s been a new journey,” Vilade said. “Flying in, getting our stuff and going straight to practice. It’s pro ball. This is where I wanted to be. I’m excited and can’t wait to get on the field and start playing.”"
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Vilade did not see action on Friday night in Grand Junction’s 12-11 loss to Ogden. When he does make his debut, however, Vilade says he’ll try to take it in rhythm.
"“It’s another baseball game. That’s the way you have to have it,” Vilade said. “You can’t get too high or too low. You have to be even keel.”"
Vilade knows there will be bumps in the road in his first professional season, but he says he’s ready to take them on.
"“That’s part of the minor league process and the game of baseball,” Vilade said. “It’s the mental game. That’s the most important thing. You have to stay strong and make sure you’re having fun.”"
Vilade had some time at Coors Field on Wednesday to take it all in and meet some of the current MLB Rockies. The short time in Denver made an impact on the 48th overall pick out of Stillwater (Okla.) High School.
"“Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, they’re the best of the best,” Vilade said. “Hopefully I’ll get to play alongside them one day and learn from them. I got to talk to Nolan the other day and meet him. It wasn’t a long conversation. He’s a great guy and it was awesome meeting him.”"
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For now, Vilade says his approach at the plate will be simple in Grand Junction.
"“Making sure you’re having hard contact every at-bat. Trying to hit the ball in the gaps. Stay in the middle,” Vilade said."