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A Deep Repertoire Elevates Colten Schmidt

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Summing up lefthander Colten Schmidt’s impressive progress, farm director Zach Wilson said, "This guy has grasped every opportunity being given to him.”

The Rockies drafted Schmidt in the 23rd round last year out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He began his pro career with nine relief appearances at short-season Boise.

This year, he was in the mix to break camp with low Class A Asheville but began the season in extended spring training before a late-April assignment. Schmidt dominated for a team that went just 29-41 in the first half of the South Atlantic League season. He led the league in ERA (1.95) and WHIP (1.06) and allowed just four home runs in 92.1 innings

He capped his time at Asheville with a two-hit shutout before being promoted in mid-July to high Class A Lancaster.

"His stuff isn’t eye-popping, but his pitchability is very intriguing,” Wilson said. "He can work his fastball to both sides and down. He will throw a changeup and a curveball to any hitter in any count at any time.”

Listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Schmidt is not imposing on the mound. But he mixes his fastball, changeup and curveball exceedingly well and has a very good feel for reading hitters' swings.

"He knows how to use what he has with extreme effectiveness, to the point where when you mix (pitches) like him and you throw strikes like him and you do it with aggressiveness, I think you can get outs at any level,” Wilson said.

Schmidt’s fastball ranges from 88-93 mph and sits around 90 but plays up because of his ability to keep hitters guessing. His changeup is around 79 mph and his best secondary pitch. Wilson called it a "dead-fish changeup” that "sort of floats” to the hitter.

Schmidt's curveball arrives in the low 70s but doesn’t have the latest or sharpest break, but it enhances Schmidt’s arsenal because of consistent shape and advanced command.

"He can front-hip it to a lefthander, and it falls in there for a strike," Wilson said, "and he can also back-foot it to a righthander. So the consistency behind it is what makes it good.”

ROCKY ROADS

— Shortstop Brendan Rodgers is expected to be ready for spring training after having surgery on July 16 to repair a labral tear in his right shoulder. The Rockies’ No. 1 prospect and third overall pick in the 2015 draft, Rodgers went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to June 24 with what the club announced as a right shoulder impingement.

Rodgers, who turns 23 on Aug. 9, made his major league debut May 17, and in two stints with the Rockies, he hit .224/.272/.250 in 25 games with four walks and 27 strikeouts in 81 plate appearances. Rodgers suffered the shoulder injury making a throw in a game at Dodger Stadium on June 23. The operation was conducted in New York by noted orthopedic surgeon David Altchek.

— First baseman Luis Castro, 23, and righthander Antonio Santos, 22, were promoted from Lancaster to Double-A Hartford. Castro hit .303/.418/.557 in 87 games at Lancaster with 20 home runs and 72 RBIs. Santos went 3-6, 4.35 in 18 starts at Lancaster with 96 strikeouts and 18 walks in 99.1 innings.

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