Colorado Rockies: 3 players who could make their MLB debuts in 2021

Mar 10, 2021; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Justin Lawrence (74) throws in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2021; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Justin Lawrence (74) throws in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 19, 2020; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence (74) poses for a portrait on media day during spring training at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2020; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence (74) poses for a portrait on media day during spring training at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Justin Lawrence

We’ve detailed Lawrence’s suspension from baseball in 2020 here, as well as Rockies assistant general manager for player development and farm director Zach Wilson’s thoughts on what Lawrence would bring to the table. Before the suspension, the 26-year-old right-hander struggled in 2019, posting an 8.76 ERA in 38 appearances (37.0 innings) split between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque.

There’s the bad. Here’s the good.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

Lawrence first really put himself on Colorado’s radar in 2018 with a career-high 55 appearances for Class-A (High) Lancaster, where he logged a 2.65 ERA and struck out 62 in 54.1 innings of work. He was named a Rising Star in the Arizona Fall League after that season and, after being added to Colorado’s 40-man roster shortly thereafter, he seemed on the fast track for Coors Field.

Now, after a two-year bump in the road that comprised that fast track, Lawrence seems to be finding his groove again. This spring (heading into Saturday), the sidearmer has scattered four hits over 4.2 innings and opponents are hitting .143 against him.

There is still some control work for Lawrence to do, however, as he has walked three in those 4.2 frames. But if Lawrence can harness a power sinker that has hit 97.8 mph this spring, there is plenty of opportunities for him to showcase that at the Major League level this season.

"“The way he’s thrown the ball, it gives us a great deal of hope that we have something on our hands in the future,” Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black recently said."

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