GRAND JUNCTION – The MLB is nothing like the NFL, NHL or NBA. Prospects selected on draft day in baseball will not see a major-league stadium for several years, if they do at all, with seldom exceptions.
Even Ryan Rolison, the Colorado Rockies’ first-round selection of 2018 whom many touted as highly polished, mature and capable of advancing through the minor leagues quickly, is several years away. But, after reaching the Grand Junction Rockies, the MLB team’s Rookie-level affiliate, Rolison’s clock may have been slowed.
“He’s been throwing and throwing and throwing,” GJ Rockies manager Jake Opitz said. “So, we’re going to calm him down and then build him back up. So, [the] timetable for Rolison, we don’t really have yet.
After being drafted on June 4 and signing his contract on the 13th, Rolison has yet to throw a pitch in professional baseball, or even a bullpen session. He is stretching and working out with the team, but after pitching nearly 100 innings in his sophomore campaign for Ole Miss, the 20-year-old is being halted to allow his arm to recover from the break down that comes with being a collegiate ace.
This isn’t uncommon. The Rockies were also cautious with other first-round arms Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland, who both made fewer than 10 starts in their first professional season. What is surprising, however, is just how far the team appears to be going with Rolison.