Counting Down Top 30: No. 4 Colton Welker
4 Colton Welker, 3B
Tool Grades: Batting 60 Power 60 Run 50 Arm 55 Field 50 Overall 55
Born: 10/09/1997. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Drafted: HS_Parkland, Fla. 2016 (4th round). Signed by: Rafael Reyes.
Track Record: A shortstop at Stoneman Douglas HS, the same school as Anthony Rizzo, Welker led the team to its first Florida State title and the No. 1 ranking by Baseball America in 2016. The Rockies took him in the fourth round that year and did not hesitate on a over-slot signing bonus of $855,000. He is been among the youngest players in each year in pro, playing 2016 at 18 and 2017 at 19, but isn’t awed. He, in fact, made the biggest jump in the rankings from a year ago, jumping from 16 a year ago.
Scouting Report: Moved immediately to third base, Welker is a perfect fit. He has the quick reaction necessary at the position, quick feet and a strong, accurate arm. He is a bit shorter, but does have physical similarities of current Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, although comparisons would be unfair to anyone. Welker’s bat his a major asset. He has impressive knowledge of the strike zone, particularly for a young power hitter, and makes full use of all three outfield areas for hitting. He shows potential for above-average power. Missed two months with a groin injury, but did return for final two weeks of the season. Has struck out only 68 times in 464 professional at-bats.
The Future: Rockies have the benefit of Nolan Arenado so they can move Welker a step at a time. He could eventually move across the infield if the Rockies are able to sign Arenado to a long-term deal, and there is the possibility of left field. He doesn’t have the plus speed that is an asset in an outfield as big as Coors Field is, but instincts should help him get breaks that could offset that concern.