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Rockies' Adael Amador Draws Praise As A Throwback Player



Rockies player development director Chris Forbes calls shortstop Adael Amador “an intriguing player” because he is “kind of a throwback.”

And the reason is the 6-foot, 160-pound Amador, who won’t turn 20 until April 11, has shown rare pitch recognition and strike-zone discipline for such a young player.

“Some of these kids don’t bat an eye and punch out 30% of the time,” Forbes said.

Not the switch-hitting Amador. Last season at Low-A Fresno, Amador had more walks (87) than strikeouts (67) in 115 games. He had a 15.7% walk rate and a 12.1% strikeout rate while hitting .292/.415/.445 with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs.

As Fresno’s primary leadoff hitter, Amador led the California League in runs (100), was third in hits (131) and fourth in walks while setting a single-season franchise record in that category.

“His ability to control the zone is exceptional, and it allows him to have a lot of success,” Fresno hitting coordinator Nic Wilson said. “But I think his separator is he hits the ball hard so often. The guy really does a good job of squaring the baseball up, and I think that allows him to be a guy who hits for average.”

Amador, who signed for $1.5 million in 2019 from the Dominican Republic, did not play particularly well at shortstop early last season. But he worked hard and was helped greatly by Rockies defensive coordinator Doug Bernier.

After making seven starts and playing 62 innings at second base last year, Amador will play the position once or twice a week this season, according to Forbes. That’s because the Rockies like their infield prospects to be versatile, and 21-year-old shortstop Ezequiel Tovar will have the chance to open the season with the Rockies and could hold down the position long term.

Forbes said he was surprised at Amador’s actions, groundball instincts, angles and reads last year, because they were much better than in 2021. So was his preparation.

“He’s got a chance to be a really steady defender,” Forbes said.

ROCKY ROADS

—Eleven of the 22 non-roster players invited to big league camp are homegrown: righthanders Stephen Jones, Karl Kauffmann and Case Williams; catchers Braxton Fulford, Hunter Goodman, Willie MacIver, Ronaiker Palma and Drew Romo; first baseman Grant Lavigne; infielder Coco Montes and outfielder Zac Veen.

—The Rockies hired Bobby Meacham to be the bench coach and Chris Michalak to be the pitching coach at Triple-A Albuquerque, where Pedro Lopez will manage. He was Albuquerque’s bench coach last year for manager Warren Schaeffer, now the Rockies’ third base and infield coach. The Rockies brought Joe Mikulik back to the organization as the High-A Spokane bench coach. Mikulik managed Low-A Asheville from 2000 to 2012, when the Tourists were a Rockies affiliate.

Robinson Cancel will manage Spokane after managing Low-A Fresno the past two seasons. Darin Everson, the Rockies’ minor league hitting coordinator the past five years, left the organization to become the Double-A Binghamton hitting coach after interviewing for the Rockies hitting coach position that went to Hensley Meulens. Wilson replaced Everson as hitting coordinator after one season as Fresno’s hitting coach. Trevor Burmeister, the Rockies' Arizona Complex League hitting coach the past two seasons, was promoted to Fresno hitting coach.

Rockies

Adael Amador: Rockies 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year

Shortstop Adael Amador's precociousness helped him achieve his goals in the batter's box and in the field in a breakthrough 2022 season at Low-A.

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