Top Rockies Prospects of 2024: No. 15 LHP Mason Albright

We kick off our 2024 prospect rankings with a recently acquired lefty that could move fast due to his maturity and polish.
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Throughout the Rockies history, the one thing that they have really struggled with, is developing elite level pitching. They have found really good starting pitchers like Ubaldo Jimenez, Jeff Francis, German Marquez, Jon Grey, and Kyle Freeland. But they have yet to really develop and retain that franchise ace and iconic pitcher. You think of the teams like the Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers and the pitching that they have had throughout their existence. The Rockies just haven’t had that. 

They are in the midst of a rebuild and have made it a true point of emphasis to acquire solid, young starting pitching. I love this strategy for the Rockies. They have been able to develop bats, but they have not invested heavily into the pitching side of things until recently. The Rockies would be smart to continue this trend and look to stockpile young arms (similar to what the Mariners did during their rebuild). One of those pitchers is an arm that was acquired in a trade just last year.

Recently acquired lefty, Mason Albright, kicks things off as our No. 15 prospect

Albright was acquired in the 2023 trade that sent C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk to the Angels. He was a 12th round pick in the 2021 draft (though he received a crazy $1.25 million signing bonus which is second round money). Coming into the 2021 MLB Draft, Albright was a solid prospect, but had a strong commitment to Virginia Tech; the Angels were able to pull him away from that commitment with a very aggressive signing bonus.

Check out some of Albright's 2023 highlights, courtesy of The Hub for Baseball Highlights

Albright struggled in his first full season in 2022, throwing 55 innings with an 8.67 ERA. He got hit around pretty good, giving up 13.1 H/9 and 2 HR/9, though he did display some solid stuff with 9.7 K/9. He made some changes to his arm motion, and it resulted in some really good numbers in 2023. Between the Angles and Rockies, he threw 109.2 innings, with a really solid 3.28 ERA. He was able to limit a lot of the hard contact he had previously surrendered, with just 8.5 H/9 and a 1.1 HR/9.

"Albright is not your prototypical high school projection case, as the six-footer is more about his feel for pitching than raw stuff. His fastball typically has been sitting in the 90-92 mph range, though it can get as high as 94. It also plays up because he can command it and misses bats thanks to deception in his delivery. His curve has the chance to be a solid pitch, though it can get slurvy at times, and he has feel for his changeup and is developing a cutter."

MLBPipeline.com

Albright is a pretty polished pitcher (Pipeline gives him 50-grades for fastball, curveball, cutter, changeup, and control), which is impressive considering his age and the fact that he was a high school arm drafted just a couple of years ago. Albright should be able to move relatively quickly due to this maturity and feel. If he can get more value out of the off-speed pitches, it could increase his strikeout ability, giving him more number three or four upside versus just number five upside.

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