David Laurila of Fangraphs.com published an article early this morning. He had a conversation with Colorado Rockies farm director Zach Wilson about the development of the team’s #2 overall prospect (according to MLB.com), Riley Pint.
In 2016, the Colorado Rockies drafted Riley Pint as the fourth overall prospect right out of high school in the June draft and he spent the rest of the 2016 season with the Rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies. In 2017, he was promoted to Single-A Asheville. However, in 33 professional starts, numbers say that he has really struggled.
In those starts, he is 3-16 with an ERA of 5.40. He has had a WHIP of 1.70 and he has been walking nearly six batters per nine innings while striking out eight per nine innings.
However, Rockies farm director Zach Wilson said that the numbers don’t really matter:
"Numbers are numbers, and in the development world, they don’t tell the whole story. As a matter of fact, they tell very little of the story…The numbers weren’t a concern to us whatsoever. This was just a small part of the global developments scenario for Riley. He made strides."
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Wilson said that the Rockies made changes to his delivery and pitch repertoire in order to gain some consistency. Even though he said that numbers don’t matter right now, that will not always be the case.
"Eventually the numbers are going to matter. But eventually the numbers will be there, because of the talent he has. It’s just about honing, and putting your arms around, that talent so the ball is coming out of his hand consistently…At the end of the day, it’s not about the numbers at Asheville.When he’s pitching at the big-league level, yeah, then it’s about the numbers. Here it’s about getting incrementally better so that in four, five years from now — whatever it might be — he’s the No. 1 starter in the majors that he has a chance to be. That’s what we’re trying to create: a major-league No. 1 starter, not a Low-A No. 1 starter."
In other words, Wilson is saying that even though the numbers say that Pint hasn’t developed much, he actually has. Also, he just turned 20 years old last month.
As Wilson said, they seem to be expecting him at the major league level in four or five years so he has plenty of more time to develop into a top-flight starter that he has the potential to be.