The 19-year-old Bernabel hit .432/.453/.743 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 22 games in the ACL. He moved up to Low-A Fresno, continued to bat third and hit .205/.287/.313 in 21 games with one homer.
The Rockies are excited to see how Bernabel does this season.
“For his age, it’s an advanced hit tool,” Rockies assistant player development director Jesse Stender said. “Above- average raw power that he’s starting to get into a little bit (in games).”
Bernabel, who is from the Dominican Republic, is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. If he doesn’t outgrow third base, the Rockies see him as an average defender at the position in the big leagues. He has very good hands and a slightly above-average arm.
The internal clock that dictates getting his footwork synched up with his arm and making throws will improve with playing experience.
On the season, Bernabel struck out 14% of the time while walking at a rate near 7%.
“He’s not a free-swinger from a strikeout standpoint,” Rockies player development director Chris Forbes said, “but if you got a five-pitch at-bat from him, you’d think it was a marathon. He ends at-bats as early as he can.”
Bernabel has a very good feel for the strike zone and recognizes pitches. Refining his approach is a challenge, no different than that facing a 19-year-old from the United States. If he realizes his upside, Bernabel could be a No. 3 hitter in MLB capable of hitting 20-plus home runs.
“He likes the big part of the field,” Forbes said. “I think he’s going to have the opportunity as he gets to that man strength to leave the park in all fields. He can really stay on the ball. It’s a pretty sustainable approach for such a young kid.”
— Adrian Pinto is one of 10 Latin players the Rockies brought to the U.S. and minor league camp for the first time. Primarily a second baseman, the 19-year-old Pinto was the MVP last year in the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .360/.487/.543 in 54 games with three homers and led the league in runs (64) and stolen bases (41). He drew 38 walks in 224 plate appearances with just 18 strikeout and was the only hitter to bat 200 times last season and walk twice as often as he struck out.
— Outfielder Bret Boswell, who missed the entire 2021 season with an ankle injury, was fully healthy at the start of minor league camp after not playing for two years. The 27-year-old suffered ligament damage in his left ankle on a slide into third base April 18, 2021, in an alternate training site game in Scottsdale and had season-ending surgery. After not playing in 2020 when the pandemic caused the cancellation of minor league seasons, Boswell was added to the 40-man roster.
Boswell was designated for assignment May 24 and had to be released when he cleared waivers. On May 28, the Rockies signed him to a two-year minor league contract, a deal that included 2022 with an eye toward when he would be ready to play.