Rockies Prospect Profile: Future ace, Chase Dollander

Let's check in with the Rockies' top pick from 2023.
Texas A&M v Tennessee
Texas A&M v Tennessee / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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On July 9th, 2023, the Rockies made right-handed pitcher, Chase Dollander their first-round choice, drafting him as the ninth overall pick. For those who are new here, the Rockies of Colorado have had a long history demonstrating an inability to develop and retain pitching talent, particularly in the last ten years.

While the altitude of the home stadium doesn't help, it is no secret that the Rockies are well behind the curve when it comes to organizational development, especially when it comes to pitching. However, the team has had some success drafting pitchers in the first round, examples being Kyle Freeland (2014), Tyler Anderson (2011), Jon Gray (2013), and Jeff Francis (2002). The team has more often than not drafted bats in the first round to a very hit or miss tune. Most recently, the team opted to draft their hopeful future ace, right-handed pitcher, Chase Dollander. So far in his Minor League career, he has more than looked the part.

Born in October 2001, in Evans, Georgia, Dollander went unselected out of high school and pitched initially at Georgia Southern University, before transferring to University of Tennessee, where he completely dominated. In 14 starts (79 innings) in 2022, Dollander finished with a 2.39 ERA, a 10-0 record, and 108 strikeouts, earning him the Pitcher of the Year award in the SEC. While 2023 for Chase wasn't quite as dominant, finishing the year with a 7-6 record and a 4.75 ERA, he still managed to strikeout 120 batters in 89 innings. Of course, stats don't tell the whole story, there is still a lot to like from the 6'2 righty, who features a blistering fastball that gets up near 100, a wicked slider, and an above average curveball and changeup. The Rockies saw enough to make him their first choice in 2023, and it's looking like one of the best draft picks they've made for a pitcher.

Since his selection, Dollander has been named the Rockies number two overall prospect (according to MLB Pipeline), behind Adael Amador. He was assigned to begin his Rockies career with the Spokane Indians in High-A, who, as of the afternoon of April 16th, are 8-1. In his debut at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Washington (fun fact: I was an extra in a commercial that was filmed at Avista Stadium, it never aired), Dollander made his first start in the first game of the year for the Indians, throwing five shutout innings, striking out eight and walking three.

His second start came in Pasco, Washington, facing the Tri Cities Dust Devils at Gesa Stadium, where Dollander threw five innings, giving up one run and four hits and striking out seven in an extra innings victory. While it has only been two starts, Dollander has shown signs of complete dominance, and currently sports a 0.90 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP over 15 innings pitched with 15 strikeouts.

Don't expect to be seeing him for long, Spokane, as he is getting himself started on a fast track through the Rockies system, and it is entirely possible we see Dollander in purple and black in the next year, as there is not much of a logjam in front of him in the Rox organization. Fans should be very excited, it looks like the Rockies have found their stud pitcher that the team has been longing for, and barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, it shouldn't be long before the people of the Mile High City are introduced to their new ace.

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