His bat speed, raw power and hand-eye coordination were major reasons the Rockies chose high school first baseman Grant Lavigne with the 42nd overall pick this year. In addition to those tools, the supplemental first-round pick quickly showed much more at Rookie-level Grand Junction.
“How he talks about hitting, how he talks about his approach is extremely mature,” farm director Zach Wilson said. “He reminds me how Peter Lambert was able to talk about pitching at the same age. So just the way he thinks about hitting is extremely advanced. And then you see it in the box.”
The lefthanded-hitting Lavigne, who went to Bedford (N.H.) High, is the only high school player drafted and signed by the Rockies this year and hopes to become the first high school position player drafted from New Hampshire to reach the majors.
“He has no fear of hitting in any count,” Wilson said. “And he has a similar approach throughout an entire at-bat. And that is: I’m going to get a pitch to drive. I’m going to get a pitch that is in my area where I can attack and impact the baseball.
“And if don’t get that pitch, I’m going to be OK with being patient and taking balls. I’m going to be OK with taking bad strike calls, because I’m not coming out of my approach.”
Lavigne, who turns 19 on Aug. 27, hit .373/.478/.593 with six home runs through 41 games in the Pioneer League. He had drawn 25 walks against 32 strikeouts. Listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he had even gone 9-for-16 in stolen base attempts.
Lavigne even shows the ability to hit to all fields, and he moves very well around first base, where his defensive play has improved.
“He’s a big boy already,” Wilson said, “but when the kid strength turns into man strength, and that’s just who he is physically, he is going to be a true force and has a chance to be a monster in the middle of the lineup.”
** Sixteen months after having Tommy John surgery in April 2017, righthander Mike Nikorak returned and started for short-season Boise. The Rockies took him 27th overall in the 2015 draft.
** Shortstop Brendan Rodgers went from Double-A Hartford to Triple-A Albuquerque in a series of promotions that saw third baseman Bret Boswell (low Class A Asheville to high Class A Lancaster), righthander Reid Humphreys (Lancaster to Hartford) and righthander Robert Tyler (Asheville to Lancaster) move up.