Rockies’ Sterlin Thompson Quickly Shows Advanced Bat

High-A Spokane third baseman Sterlin Thompson will be able to draw upon a reservoir of remarkable April success when confronting the adversity that inevitably will arise in his first full professional season. 

“For him just coming out of college last year,” Rockies assistant farm director Jesse Stender said, “and what he’s showing already really at a level that we kind of pushed him into, it is remarkable how well he’s hit the ground running.”

Drafted 31st overall last year out of Florida as a compensation pick for the loss of free agent Trevor Story, Thompson got into 26 games in his pro debut and hit .307/.351/.436 as he reached Low-A Fresno.

Through 18 games with Spokane this season he hit .463/.513/.746 with three home runs and five stolen bases. He had seven walks and six strikeouts.

“It’s a very handsy swing,” Stender said. ‘When he gets to a ball, he squares it up more times than not. He has a plan. He recognizes the way he’s being pitched. He adjusts over the course of a game to how he’s being pitched.

“He’s very, very advanced for the limited amount of pro ball that he’s played.”

Thompson played second base and right field in college, and the Rockies plan to have him play those positions this season. But they introduced him to third base at Fresno and are having him concentrate on that position in the early season.

He has plenty of arm at third. His hands and feel for the position as far as syncing his feet and arm are works in progress. But Thompson has shown enough to play the position.

It’s too early to tell if Thompson will become an average defender at third base. Getting him in the lineup so his bat can play will be the priority.

“It’s a pure swing,” farm director Chris Forbes said. “He drives both gaps, can use the whole field. It’s more doubles power now. But I can see him being a 20-home run guy.”


— Reliever Tommy Doyle’s appearance on April 19 for Triple-A Albuquerque was his first since he took the mound June 24, 2021, for Double-A Hartford. Doyle injured his shoulder on May 18, 2021, and had a 14.54 ERA in his final five appearances for Hartford before having surgery on Sept. 21, 2021, to repair his labrum.

Drafted out of Virginia, Doyle, 27, was the Rockies’ second pick in the 2017 draft and the 70th player selected overall. Doyle, who made three appearances for the Rockies in September 2020, has flashed a plus slider this year, but his 91 mph velocity is down from his pre-surgery 96-97. Regaining his velocity may prove challenging for Doyle, but the Rockies are very fond of him and want to give him every opportunity now that he’s healthy. 

— Lefthander Carson Palmquist began his first full professional season at High-A Spokane, bypassing Fresno because of his advanced feel to pitch and his ability to read swings and attack hitters. The Northwest League should be a good test for Palmquist, 22, who throws a low-90s fastball, at least an average changeup and a sweeping slider from a low arm slot. He began the season 1-1, 4.00 in two starts for Spokane. Palmquist pitched one inning in the Arizona Complex League last year after logging 84 innings at Miami before the Rockies drafted him in the third round.


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