Counting Down Rockies Top 30: No. 19 Mike Nikorak
19. Mike Nikorak, rhp
Born: Sept. 16, 1996. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 220. Drafted: HS-Stroudsburg, Pa. 2015 (1st round). Signed by: Mike Garlatti.
Three years ago he passed on a scholarship to Alabama and signed with the Rockies, who took him with the 27th selection in the draft and gave him a $2.3 million bonus. The Rockies remain high on his potential, but with injuries, including Tommy John suegery that wiped out his 2017 season, Nikorak has made a total of 15 professional starts, worked 47 innings and has yet to advance past rookie Grand Junction. His first pro season was spent smoothing out his mechanics under the eye of pitching coaches Ryan Kibler and Bob Apodaca. He had a strong instructional league, was sent back to Grand Junction in 2016 and in his seventh start he strained a ligament in his right index finger. Again he impressed in the instructional league, but ended spring training in 2017 faced with Tommy John surgery. He has a two-seam fastball that will induce ground balls and a four-seamer that will hit 97 miles per hour. He shows signs of a changeup and a low 80s curveball. He is 6-foot-5, but an agile athlete, who was a quarterback in high school.