I have been fortunate to cover many former and current Colorado Rockies players long before they actually made it to Coors Field. While living in Tulsa, Okla., I had the chance to help cover the Double-A Tulsa Drillers for the Tulsa World newspaper during their affiliation with the Rockies from 2003 through 2014.
While looking through some boxes in my basement recently, I came across the 2012 Texas League All-Star Game program. The game was played on June 28, 2012, at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa. It was the first All-Star Game hosted in Tulsa’s downtown venue (which opened on April 8, 2010) and proved memorable for a number of reasons.
Tulsa was well-represented on the North squad, meaning there were plenty of Rockies prospects on display. Among them was Nolan Arenado, who would play 134 games for the Drillers that season, putting together a .285/.337/.428 line with 12 home runs and 56 RBI.
That would be Arenado’s last full season in the minor leagues as he made his debut with the Rockies on April 28, 2013, at Arizona. That baby-faced picture at the top of this page was taken a couple of weeks later. And how about this young Nolan in this All-Star Game photo?
In the 2012 Texas League All-Star Game, it was reported that Arenado made the best defensive play of the game (no surprise there) and lined an RBI double to help the North to a 3-1 win. The player Arenado drove home with that double? Kolten Wong, who debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2013 season and still calls St. Louis home.
So we know about Arenado but what about those other Double-A All-Stars for the Drillers? Did they ever become Rockies or what happened? Let’s take a look.