Rockies add former top draft pick to roster, protect several minor leaguers
Young right-handed pitcher Riley Pint is one step closer to the big leagues as the Colorado Rockies announced a bevy of roster moves on Tuesday, ahead of Major League Baseball’s deadline to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.
Pint, 25, was drafted fourth overall in the 2016 Draft by the Rockies out of High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He has struggled through the minor leagues, even retiring from baseball at one point. The former top-50 prospect in the sport returned in 2021 as a full-time reliever and he’s finally starting to succeed. Last season he finally made it to Triple-A Albuquerque, throwing in 38 games for Double-A Hartford. He had a 4.53 ERA in 45.2 innings with 58 strikeouts and 31 walks last season.
Pint’s draft class as a whole has not panned out yet, both top picks Mickey Moniak and Nick Senzel have struggled, while third pick Ian Anderson helped the Braves to the 2021 World Series. Anderson and Cal Quantrill are the only top 15 picks who have done well in the bigs thus far. Pete Alonso, taken with the 64th pick, has had the best major league career of the entire class thus far.
Pint is a hard-throwing righty, who once easily gassed over 100 mph. He is no longer among the top 30 prospects the team has but was likely protected on Tuesday to make sure nobody else could use his velocity in the big leagues right away.
The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to select minor leaguers who have been professionals for a certain amount of time but have yet to crack a team’s 40-man roster. That draft takes place at the MLB Winter Meetings. The one stipulation is that the prospect a team is selecting must stay on the drafted team’s big league roster for the entire next season in order to keep that player.
The Rockies also added to their 40-man roster, thus protecting from another team, Blair Calvo, Warming Bernabel, Julio Carreras and Brenton Doyle. Bernabel is the top prospect of the bunch, ranked No. 9 by MLB.com, while Doyle is No. 21 and Carreras is No. 27. Also unranked is Calvo.
Bernabel, 20, was signed by the Rockies in 2018 as an amateur international free agent. He split the 2022 season between Single-A and High-A, combining to slash .313/.370/.499 with 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 71 RBI and 23 stolen bases, posting a .920 fielding percentage in 89 games at third base. He was named a 2022 MiLB.com Organizational All-Star.
Calvo, 26, was a 23rd-round pick by the Rockies in the 2019 Draft out of Flagler College. He appeared in 29 games with Double-A Hartford in 2022, all as a reliever, going 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA (35.0 IP, 12 ER) while averaging 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Carreras, 22, was signed by the Rockies amateur international free agent also in 2018. He was a 2022 Northwest League All-Star, slashing .289/.352/.473 with 37 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 59 RBI and 17 stolen bases for High-A Spokane.
Doyle, 24, was drafted by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2019 Draft out of college. He split time between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque in 2022, combining to slash .256/.300/.473 with 82 runs scored, 22 doubles, five triples, 26 home runs, 77 RBI and 23 stolen bases.
Interestingly, first baseman Grant Lavigne, who had a nice Arizona Fall League, was left unprotected, though it’s unlikely the Rockies’ No. 13 prospect gets picked off.
None of the five players will likely break Spring Training with the big club, but each will now get a chance. The Rockies have left one spots on their 40-man roster open, signaling some moves could be coming for Colorado.
Originally they left two spots open but flipped minor leaguer Juan Brito to Cleveland for prospect Nolan Jones, who just cracked the big leagues last year.