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Vilade becomes latest prospect to add promise to Rockies future

Patrick Lyons Avatar
September 19, 2021

For the third time in as many weeks, the future of the Colorado Rockies is on the field and in the box score. 

Ryan Vilade, the club’s top overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, was selected from Triple-A ahead of Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Though the 22-year-old finished his debut 0-for-4, he walked once and put the ball into play each at bat.

Originally selected 48th overall in the 2nd round out of Stillwater High School as a shortstop, Vilade transitioned to third base in 2019 before finding a home in the outfield this past season.

“We like the overall package of the player,” manager Bud Black said of his latest rookie. “The bat can be a calling card with solid defense.”

Vilade began the year with the Albuquerque Isotopes as one of the youngest players in Triple-A West. He led the ‘Topes in games played (108), hits (124) and runs scored (76) and was second in stolen bases (12) and doubles (27). Now, he hopes to be just as successful with the Rockies as the youngest member of the club.

Prior to the loss of the 2020 MiLB season for all 30 teams, Vilade played at High-A. While his jump over Double-A is not often seen in normal circumstances, he’ll join relievers Lucas Gilbreath and Antonio Santos as members of the 2019 Lancaster squad that have featured for Colorado this season. 

To make room for Vilade on the 40-man roster, Bernardo Flores Jr. was designated for assignment and Ryan Feltner was optioned to Triple-A.

Vilade’s next career milestone will be his first base hit, naturally, and first game at home. However, when he steps into the batter’s box against the Los Angeles Dodgers this week, as expected, it won’t be his first game at Coors Field. As the National League starter at DH in the 2021 Futures Game, he went 0-for-2 in his first major exposure to the Rockies’ ballpark. 

The promotion of Vilade is the third made by Colorado as they inch closer to the end of the regular season. Feltner, a 2018 4th Round Pick, was promoted from Double-A Hartford to make his debut on September 5 and Colton Welker, a 2016 4th Round Pick, was selected on September 8.

With 13 more games remaining, several more new or familiar faces could join also the Rockies such as top pitching prospect Ryan Rolison, a 2018 1st Round Pick, and Peter Lambert, who appears ready to return from Tommy John surgery in July 2020.

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