Colorado Rockies: Ryan Rolison is tearing it up in the minor leagues

DENVER, CO - JULY 25: A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies take on the Houston Astros during interleague play at Coors Field on July 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Astros 3-2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies take on the Houston Astros during interleague play at Coors Field on July 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Astros 3-2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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In just the start of his second professional season in the Colorado Rockies organization, Ryan Rolison is already making waves. This past week, last years first round selection by Colorado earned a nice honor.

In recent years, the Colorado Rockies have become more adept at developing their pitching. Maybe due to recent success in Coors, the confidence is finally in full swing. Whatever the reason, that confidence continued last season when the Rockies selected LHP Ryan Rolison out of the University of Mississippi.

As the Rockies have developed a blueprint to perceived pitching success, the sky is the limit for Rolison, and this method and avenue of arms Colorado’s brass have managed to unearth as diamonds in the rough. The question remains: Is Ryan Rolison that next star?

Impressing at a young age

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While he did not stay at the University of Mississippi very long, Rolison certainly made a lasting impact on the mound. Rolison played his freshman and sophomore seasons there before the Rockies selected him in last year’s amateur draft.

As a 19-year-old in his first year at Mississippi, Rolison appeared in 19 games, making 10 starts. He finished 6-3, 3.06 ERA across 61.2 innings. Impressively, Rolison gave up just two home runs the entire year as well as a respectable 9.34 K/9.

In year two, Rolison got even better. His sophomore season, Rolison finished 10-4 across 16 starts, ending with a still solid 3.70 ERA. The most significant difference between his seasons was the strikeouts and Rolison’s ability to harbor that strength as he continues working his way to The Show.

Already making an impact

Ever since Colorado made Rolison their first-round pick in the draft last season, he has done nothing but tear the minors up in his short time in pro ball. In his debut year last year, Rolison began the year with the Grand Junction Rockies, the Rookie League team for the big league club. Across nine starts while there, Rolison finished with a 1.86 ERA and a 10.55 K/9 rate.

From his debut last season, Rolison has already made the jump, first Class-A Asheville, before recently being promoted to Class A-Advanced Lancaster. In Asheville, at the beginning of the season, Rolison made three starts, finishing with a 2-1, 0.61 ERA line. In those 14.2 innings, Rolison recorded only two walks to 14 strikeouts.

Within the past week, Rolison has found himself promoted to Lancaster. In his first start as a JetHawk this week, Rolison went six innings, giving up just two hits, with zero runs allowed, no walks, and seven strikeouts. Impressive, to say the least.

Rolison was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for his work last week while pitching with Asheville before his recent promotion. A significant award already for the 21-year-old, who will look to continue his impressive start and can climb the ranks sooner rather than later.

The Show awaits, Mr. Rolison

Projected with a 2021 arrival date to the show, Rolison has a couple of seasons to continue his development before that expected date. With the trajectory of his young career to this point, it would not be a surprise to see him in Colorado sooner rather than later.

He currently ranks as the team’s number six overall prospect. However, he is pitching like a number one guy. His curveball may be his best pitch but he also has a solid fastball and a changeup in which he continues to develop.

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As exciting as some of the other younger guys currently profile, Rolison is someone for fans to keep a sharp eye on as he works his way up to the big leagues. Matching him with the likes of Kyle Freeland and German Marquez is an exciting prospect.