Colorado Rockies prospect Ryan Vilade will step onto the turf at Coors Field on Sunday afternoon in hopes of giving Rockies fans a taste of the future.
Vilade, ranked as the fourth-highest prospect in the Rockies system by MLB.com, is one of three Colorado prospects taking part in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game (starting at 1 p.m. Mountain time and broadcast on MLB Network), joining catcher Willie MacIver and first baseman Michael Toglia. Being selected for the Futures Game is another step in Vilade’s career and Rockies fans will get a chance to see the former second-round pick continue his transition from infield to outfield.
As recently as the end of the 2019 season, the 22-year-old was playing shortstop in the Colorado farm system. Now he’s focusing on honing his skills as a corner outfielder with hopes of expanding his skills.
“It’s been going good,” Vilade said of his move to the outfield. “I feel really comfortable playing left and right. I want to mix in center as well soon. I think I’m quick enough and fast enough to play there, but the time will come.”
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While the time will come for that, Vilade is relishing the moments he gets to spend in Denver this weekend. Playing for Triple-A Albuquerque, Vilade is currently slashing .272/.342/.371 with a .714 OPS in 202 at-bats. That comes after COVID-19 wiped out the minor league season in 2020 and Vilade played in Class A throughout the 2019 campaign.
For Vilade, not only is playing in the Futures Game a great opportunity to showcase his skills, it’s also a chance to play in the stadium he hopes to call home soon.
“It (Futures Game) is something that you watch growing up, and to be a part of it now is pretty special,” Vilade said. “I’m very excited. And the fact that it’s in Denver is pretty cool. The fans are awesome here. I can’t wait.”
And his goal for the Futures Game?
“Just enjoy it and have fun,” Vilade smiled. “As a hitter, have hard contact and just enjoy it.”