Rockies Late-Rounder Jarrod Cande Keeps Getting Better


A player drafted in the 17th round will typically fill out a minor league roster for a few seasons rather than blossom into a prospect.

Don’t tell that to 24-year-old righthander Jarrod Cande, drafted in 2021 out of Florida Southern.

“This guy is the definition of development,” Rockies assistant farm director Jesse Stender said. “We took a project in the draft, and we turned him into a guy who’s succeeding in Double-A and who will definitely get a shot at Triple-A.

“You can definitely see a big leaguer in him.”

Through 10 starts at Double-A Hartford, Cande recorded a 3.93 ERA. He struck out 51 and walked 21 in 50.1 innings. Opponents hit just .203.

“He’s not afraid to work in to both righties and lefties, (make them) move their feet,” Stender said. “He’s ultra, ultra competitive. Attacks the zone. The stuff has come along year over year and continues to get better.”

Cande averages 93 mph and touches 95 with his fastball. Hartford pitching coach Dan Meyer said, “It has good ride, jumps up on you. It performs well at the top of the zone, just the way it plays.”

Cande’s changeup averages 84 mph, is thrown with good arm speed and is his best secondary pitch. Meyer said that the pitch “mimics his fastball really well with a little bit more armside run.”

Hitters don’t barrel it up easily. If it’s down, swings-and-misses result. But Meyer said: “Even when he misses up on it, a lot of guys think it’s a fastball. So they’ll just be off time with it.”

Cande’s slider ranges from 81-89 mph, sits 83 and has a slight cutter action. His 77-82 mph curveball averages 80. Getting it to break down and a bit glove side more consistently has been a focus.

Meyer praised Cande’s “mentality of attack and finish” and how he avoids nibbling or trying to do too much.

“He continually gets better,” Meyer said. “It’s been great to kind of just watch him mature.”


— Rockies outfielder Jordan Beck suffered a broken left hand onMay 25 while making a diving catch. The Rockies called up the 23-year-old on April 30 after second-year outfielder Nolan Jones went on the injured list with a back injury. Beck, the 38th overall pick in 2022 out of Tennessee, began the season at Triple-A Albuquerque where he hit .307/.405/.594 in 25 games with five home runs. Beck struggled in 23 games with the Rockies, hitting .190/.198/.316 with two home runs. One of the homers and five RBIs came in one game at San Diego on May 15. Beck had a 37% strikeout rate but made 21 starts in left field and one in center, because the Rockies see him as part of their future and committed to playing him regularly.

— Double-A Hartford outfielder Benny Montgomery had season-ending surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder on May 10. He was injured April 20 diving for a ball. Initially, the Rockies weren’t that concerned and were hopeful the 21-year-old could soon return. But the shoulder wasn’t getting better, and Montgomery ended up having a repair of the labrum and capsule. The best-case scenario is Montgomery’s rehab progresses enough during the season that he can have a standard offseason and come to spring training full-go next year. The eighth overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Pennsylvania, Montgomery hit .333/.436/.500 in 19 games in the Arizona Fall League last year with three home runs, played well in big league camp and was off to an encouraging start at Double-A Hartford, hitting .283/.313/.500 in 11 games with two home runs.

— Star-crossed lefthander Ryan Rolison made his 2023 debut with one inning in the Arizona Complex League on May 21. It was his first game action since June 2, 2023. The 26-year-old Rolison was the 22nd overall pick in 2018 out of Mississippi. He had an appendectomy in June 2021. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in June 2022. In August 2023, Rolison had shoulder surgery to repair his labrum and treat an impingement. He missed the entire 2022 season and pitched just 11 innings last year.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone