Colorado Rockies: 3 prospects we’re watching closely in Arizona

The Colorado Rockies have announced a fall instructional camp will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., for some of their top prospects. Here are three of them that we are most interested in seeing their progress.

Without a minor league season in 2020, there are plenty of questions about the next steps for Colorado Rockies prospects at all levels. During the season, Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich hinted that there would be a fall league set up for these prospects, and now we know more details about it, including the 39 players who will be participating.

These prospects have reportedly already shown up to Colorado’s spring training complex in Scottsdale as part of their five-week regimen. That stint in Arizona will also reportedly include competition against prospects from other Major League franchises.

There will be plenty of intriguing players as part of the activities this fall, but there are three on the list who immediately caught our eye. Here’s who they are and why we’re watching them perhaps a bit more closely.

Riley Pint

The fourth overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft, Pint (who will turn 23 on November 6) has battled injuries and control problems and hasn’t pitched above Class A yet.

Just how wild has Pint been in recent outings? In 2019, in 17.2 innings of work, he walked 31 batters (that’s 15.8 walks per nine innings), hit six other batters, and threw 18 wild pitches. Those are some serious red flags.

There is a lot of potential within Pint (why he was drafted so high), but can the Rockies figure out how to harness it? That will be one of the biggest questions after Pint didn’t have a 2020 season to try to improve upon those frightening numbers above.

Ryan Rolison

On the other end of the spectrum from Pint is Rolison, who also has pitched no higher than Class A since being drafted by the Rockies with the 22nd overall pick in 2018.

Rolison attended Spring Training I in Scottsdale and Spring Training II with the Rockies in Denver before the 2020 season. He made an impression on Colorado coaches, with pitching coach Darryl Scott saying Rolison had “opened some eyes.” There was even talk that Rolison would travel with the Rockies on their final road trip of the season but it didn’t happen.

The 23-year-old southpaw has impressed already in 2020. Will that continue in the fall, setting Rolison up for a bigger role in 2021 spring training?

Zac Veen

Taken ninth overall in the 2020 draft, Veen enters fall camp with a lot of hype … and a lot of expectations riding on his young shoulders.

Veen won’t even turn 19 until December 12, but there are plenty of people who are ready to see what the left-handed-hitting outfielder can bring to the organization.

Next: How things have changed for the Rockies since their 2018 Wild Card win

However, let’s pump the brakes a little on Veen being the next savior/All-Star/anything for the Rockies until we actually see him in action in a professional setting. That starts this fall in Arizona.