Top Prospect Rodgers' Time Has Come; Will Join Rockies in Philadelphia

© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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Brendan Rodgers has been ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Rockies organization each of the last three years as he has moved from Class A to Class AA to Class AAA.

Now, Rodgers is making the big move -- to the big-leagues. Rodgers will join the Rockies in Philadelphia for the opening of their three-game series with the Phillies on Friday night. The third player selected in the 2015 draft -- and signed to a club-record $5.5 million bonus -- Rodgers has not disappointed the organization with his impactful efforts through the minor leagues.

The Rockies, in keeping with an organization policy, will not announce nor confirm the pending move until Friday, when Rodgers reports to the ballpark in Philadelphia.

There was consideration of calling up Rodgers earlier in the week, when the Rockies sent Garrett Hampson to the minor leagues and instead recalled Pat Valaika. That decision was made because Rodgers was hit in the back of a helmet by a pitch last Saturday, and held out of Sunday's game.

He, however, returned to the lineup on Monday and showed no ill-effects from the incident. In his two games back in the Albuquerque lineup, Rodgers went 6-for-9 with two home runs and three RBI in his two most recent games with the Isotopes. Rodgers is hitting .356 with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBI.

Signed as a shortstop, he played that position primarily in the minor leagues, but this year, with Trevor Story entrenched at shortstop in the big leagues, Rogers has started at second base in 26 of 34 games at Albuqeruque this year.

Story came out of the Rockies game in Philadelphia on Wednesday after banging knees with left fielder Raimel Tapia when the two of them were in pursuit of what became a ground-rule double. Story, however, was diagnosed with only a bone bruise, and is expected to play this weekend.

The expectation is that Rodgers will step in at second base. Garrett Hampson, a right-handed hitter, who has platooned with left-handed-hitting Ryan McMahon at second base this year was optioned back to Albuquerque on Monday when utility player Pat Valaika was recalled. Rogers would have been in position to be called up at that time, but the Rockies wanted to see how he would respond after being hit by the pitch.

That question was answered his last two games.

To make room for Rodgers the Rockies would seem to have several options.

They could send Valaika back to Albuquerque in light of the fact not only has Rodgers played second, third and short in the minor leagues, but the left-handed-hitting McMahon was signed as a third baseman, began playing first base two years ago and has since added second base to his list of positions. The presence of Rodgers and McMahon would give the Rockies necessary infield depth.

There also is the possiblity that Daniel Murphy, who suffered a broken tip of his left index finger in the second game of the season, could be returned ot the injury list. He was on the injured list from April 1 until April 24, when he returned to the big leagues, wearing a protective splint on the finger.

Murphy, hitting .212 since his return, did not start five of the Rockies last six games, but the Rockies also were facing left-handed pitchers in each of those games, and started right-handed-hitting Mark Reynolds instead. And Murphy has been called on in each of those games in late innings.

There is no question, however, that Rodgers is considered one of the game's top prospects. He has been annual recognized as an elite player.

Not only was Rodgers the third player selected in the 2015 first-year player draft, but he was the third shortstop selected that year, as well. Rodgers, however, was the first high school player. So while the two players selected ahead of him -- Dansby Swanson (No. 1 overall by Arizona since traded to Atlanta) and Alex Bregman (by Houston, since moved to third base) -- are in the big leagues, Rodgers will actually make his big-league debut at a similar age Swanson and Bregman.