Rockies Extend Deal With Asheville, Last of the Original Affiliates

ASHEVILLE- The Asheville Tourists are the last of the Rockies original minor-league affiliates.

And they aren't planning on changing affiliation anytime soon.

The Tourists and Rockies announced on Monday a two-year extension that will run through 2020, assuring the two parties will be affiliated for at least 27 years, dating back to 1994, the first year the Rockies had a Low-A team.

It is the longest current working agreement in the Low A South Atlantic League.

“We are thrilled and grateful to once again extend our longstanding partnership with the Asheville Tourists and we look forward to continuing to bring exciting baseball to this beautiful city while also positively impacting this wonderful community off the field,” said Zach Wilson, the Rockies Director of Player Development.

The Rockies currently have 18 players on their 40-man roster who have played for the Asheville Tourists, including seven players on the active 25-man roster. The only home-grown players on the Rockies big-league roster who did not play at Asheville is right-handed pitcher Jon Gray, and center fielder Charlie Blackmon.

The Rockies No. 1 draft choice in 2013, the third player taken overall, Gray debuted at short-season Grand Junction, and after four appearances was promoted to High-A Modesto. Blackmon, a second-round draft choice 2008, went from short-season Tri-City in 2008 to High A Modesto , where he hit .307, in 2009.

“Historically the relationship between the Tourists and the Rockies is one of the strongest between a Major League franchise and a Minor League organization,” said Tourists President Brian DeWine. “The ultimate destination of players here in Asheville is Denver. We take pride in our role of helping develop these individuals as they work towards that goal.”

Current Rockies Who Played at Asheville

Player Year Highlights
LHP Tyler Anderson 2012 Pro Debut 12-3, 2.47
3B Nolan Arenado 2010 5th SAL .308 BA, 3rd .520 SP
RHP Chad Bettis 2010 3 GS, 2-0, 0.96 ERA
OF David Dahl 2013 Hamstring injury limited to 10 games
2014 Mid-season and post-season SAL All-Star
LHP Kyle Freeland 2014 1st rounnd draft; 2-0, 0.83 5 GS
C Chris Iannetta 2004 Pro debut .314, 36 games
SS Trevor Story 2013 5th SAL 18 HR; Led Rockies system 43 2b; 96 runs

Rockies Minor League Affiliates

Team League Level Affiliate since
Albuquerque Pacific Coast AAA 2015
Hartford Eastern AA 2016
Lancaster Cal High A 2017
Asheville South Atlantic Low A 1994
Boise Northwest Short-Season A 2015
Grand Junction Pioneer Rookie Level 2012