For a Rockies team seriously lacking pitching, these two offer a lot of upside and should be off limits
The story of this whole offseason and, really, the Rockies' franchise in general, dating all the way back to the early 2000s and the Matt Holliday era, is a lack of pitching. The Rockies have struggled to develop pitching, and it is nearly impossible to attract free agents to sign here knowing how hitter-friendly the environment is. That's why it makes it even more important to keep your young pitching when you find a potential ace.
A potential ace is what the Rockies were able to get when they drafted Chase Dollander with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft. Dollander was one of the top prospects coming into the 2023 draft, with some projecting him as high as the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick. He was widely seen as the best arm available in the draft. After some struggles with command led to a walk rate that doubled his 2022 number, he was the third pitcher taken off the board.
"Dollander's devastating arsenal begins with a 95-97 mph fastball that peaks at 99 and produces elite swing-and-miss rates with its combination of velocity and carry. His best secondary pitch is a tight slider that parks in the mid-80s and reaches 91 mph, and it can be a well-above-average offering with sweep at its best. He also has a bigger mid-70s curveball and a fading upper-80s changeup, both of which can be solid pitches."- MLB Pipeline Top Rockies Prospects
Dollander has the pitch-mix of a future ace, with MLB Pipeline stating he "continued to display frontline starter stuff" in 2023, with an elite fastball and a very solid slider. He also possesses a curveball and changeup that are reported to be at least average offerings.
Dollander should make his major league debut in 2024 and has the potential to move relatively quickly. He has the upside of an ace for a team that has desperately lacked a true ace for a long time. A lot was invested into Dollander, and the Rockies would be wise to keep him for as long as possible and reap those rewards.