The deadline for protecting players from the Rule V draft was Friday and the Colorado Rockies decided to protect four players and let go of two.
The Colorado Rockies announced on Friday afternoon that they have selected the contracts of infielders Bret Boswell and Colton Welker along with left-handed pitchers Lucas Gilbreath and Helcris Olivarez. In corresponding moves on the Rockies 40-man roster, they have designed right-handed pitchers Ashton Goudeau and Jesus Tinoco for assignment.
Boswell, 26, was drafted by the Rockies in 2017 in the 8th round out of the University of Texas-Austin. The highest level he has played at for the Rockies is Double-A as he spent the full season in Hartford in 2019.
He hit .219/.290/.397 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI in 106 games. In Hartford, he primarily played second and third base but he also played 22 games in center field. While his bat hasn’t played as well as the Rockies hoped, it has played well in Spring Training as in 36 at-bats in each of the last two seasons, he has hit .444 with one home run and 10 RBI, nine of which came in 2020.
Welker, 23, was rated the #95 prospect entering the 2019 season according to MLB.com. Like Boswell, the highest level he has reached is Double-A as with Hartford in 2019, he .252/.313/.408 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI in 98 games. He is primarily a third baseman but he has played a bit of first base in the last two minor league seasons.
Gilbreath, 23, is a local product as he graduated from Legacy High School in Westminster, Colorado. The Rockies liked him so much that they drafted him twice: once out of high school in the 36th round and again out of the University of Minnesota, where he went to college, in the 7th round. He has pitched as high as Advanced-A Lancaster where, in 2019, he went 5-10 with a 5.81 ERA in 28 starts.
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Olivarez, 20, was signed by the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2017. He hasn’t pitched above Rookie-ball as he split 2019 between the Rockies rookie-ball team in the Dominican and Grand Junction. Between the two, he went 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts and he struck out more than 12 batters per nine innings.
Goudeau, 28, made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2020. He has bounced around in the minor leagues between organizations but 2020 was his second year in the Rockies system. In the majors, he made four appearances in long relief, and in 8 1/3 innings, he allowed 15 hits, seven runs, and three homers with an ERA of 7.56.
Tinoco, 25, is the most puzzling move of the six for the Rockies but their handling of him in the last year has been puzzling, in general. After pitching to a 4.75 ERA in 24 games in 2019 and being one of their more reliable relievers, the Rockies kept him in the minors and then, traded him to the Miami Marlins in August. Less than three weeks later, the Marlins put him on waivers and the Rockies claimed him off waivers.
As Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry noted in this article shortly after the season ended, Rockies manager Bud Black seemed to indicate that Tinoco would be part of the Rockies future plans especially since he made some improvements in 2020. Don’t be surprised if the Rockies re-sign Tinoco to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
Notably, left off the list is former top prospect Riley Pint. The oft-injured right-handed pitcher will now be subject to the MLB and MiLB portion of the Rule V draft.