Perhaps no Colorado Rockies minor leaguer turned more heads and drew more attention during the shortened 2020 season than pitcher Ryan Rolison. Now what comes next for the 23-year-old southpaw?
In 2020, there were plenty of milestones for Colorado Rockies prospect Ryan Rolison. Despite not having a minor league season, there were still plenty of opportunities for the left-hander to impress, and he did just that.
Rolison earned his first-ever invitation to spring training and got in 2.2 innings on the mound (surrendering four hits and four unearned runs) before COVID-19 shut baseball down.
When baseball returned for Spring Training II at Coors Field, Rolison was there as well. He drew the start in Colorado’s first intrasquad game (on July 11, his 23rd birthday) and had some impressive moments in the outing as you can see below.
Colorado’s first-round pick drew praise from Rockies bullpen coach Darryl Scott for how he carried himself against batters like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, telling reporters, “Rolison has showed some maturity and what he’s made of in this (big-league environment). He’s opened some eyes.”
While Rolison showed well in exhibition action, the Rockies were not ready to push him into Major League action last season. He spent the 2020 campaign at Colorado’s alternate training site, but plenty of Rockies fans were ready to see what Rolison could do with Colorado stumbling to a 26-34 mark and falling out of postseason contention.
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Rockies assistant general manager for player development and farm director Zach Wilson understands the excitement surrounding Rolison, but is also quick to remind anyone who will listen that Rolison has never pitched competitively above Class A Lancaster.
“I think we forget that he’s pitched for us for less than two years, and he’s only pitched in High A” Wilson said. “He hasn’t seen an inning in Double-A and to sit here and say that summer camp and the alternate site and instructional league replace an entire Double-A season, I think that’s stretching things a little bit.”
So what’s next for Rolison? That’s one of the questions I asked Wilson.