Former Colorado Rockie lends a helping hand to GJ

Former Colorado Rockies outfielder Trenidad Hubbard, center, was in Grand Junction this past work to work with the outfielders and base runners. He works and rotates throughout the entire organization, as do the other coordinators.



When David Dahl ran down the ball near the warning track Saturday night, making a lunging catch, then diving on the ground and quickly rolling back to his feet, Trenidad Hubbard couldn’t help but smile.

The first-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies had not only saved extra bases, but possibly a run, because Ogden’s Corey Seager had to retreat to first base. Seager ended up scoring on a double later in the inning, but Hubbard saw what he came to Grand Junction to see.

“Sometimes the only thing these guys are missing, even though they’re very good, is experience,” said Hubbard, the outfield and base running coordinator for the Colorado Rockies.

“Time on the field, swings at the plate, balls to run down in the outfield. The ball (Dahl) ran down, that’s going to be hard to beat. That was a beautiful, beautiful play.”

Hubbard, a former outfielder for the Rockies (1994–96), returned to Colorado six years ago when he retired from playing and started evaluating outfielders and base runners. He rotates throughout the entire organization, as do the other coordinators, and spent the past week in Grand Junction.

“Level to level,” he said. “In a six-day time frame I’ll see our big club (at San Francisco) and our A club (in Modesto, Calif.), and then I’ll go see the Triple-A club (in Colorado Springs).

“I take a look at the outfielders to make sure we’re playing properly. If we need to work on something, we will. I’m not afraid to get dirty and sweaty.

“We’ll work on some things and make sure they’re prolific at what they do and make sure they’re prepared to play it in the major leagues.”

On this trip, Hubbard spent most of his time evaluating the first-year players.

“Natural actions in the outfield. Dahl has natural actions; our scout did an amazing job with him,” Hubbard said. “(Max) White is really good out there, and (Jeff) Popick is really good. We have some really good talent out here, as well as (Julian) Yan. He’s been playing a little bit with the Rockies.

“I look for natural actions and instinctive moves where we can build on that.”

Once a Rockies batter reaches base, Hubbard evaluates everything: how the runner reads the pitcher; his lead off first; how he tracks hits; how he takes the turn at second.

And when it’s a base stealer on first, he goes into hyper-evaluating drive. The GJ Rockies have some base-stealing threats, with Juan Ciriaco swiping eight bases so far, Max Wessinger six and Dahl and Cesar Galvez, who’s out with a shoulder impingement, five each.

“Base running is more difficult because pitchers can be so tricky at every level,” Hubbard said. “We try to micromanage that a little more than the outfield. Outfield is more athleticism and to see who’s got it.

“With (Ciriaco) it’s more about ... teaching him the best time to go. The thing about base runners who like to go, you have to instill patience in them. Not every opportunity is going to be there.”

He can point to the improvement in Eric Young Jr.‘s success once he started to understand the science of stealing bases.

“Sometimes it’s even better when you don’t go because the pitcher doesn’t allow you the time to go, therefore you don’t run into an out, killing the inning,” Hubbard said of what Young learned. “Sometimes it’s more impressive to see them not go, but how do you teach that?

“That’s what it is with Ciriaco, teaching him some of those finer points. Sometimes the stolen base is not there. He has a really good aggressive spirit, and that’s a coach’s dream.”

The various position coordinators will come through Grand Junction all summer as they make their rounds, helping develop a plan to develop each prospect. After his first visit to Grand Junction, marveling at Suplizio Field’s backdrop of Grand Mesa, Hubbard will welcome a return trip.

He’s off to Tulsa today for a few days, but left with a bit of advice for Grand Junction fans:

“I encourage people in Grand Junction to come out. Someone on this field will be in the Major Leagues with the Rockies someday,” he said. “Maybe sooner rather than later.”

beautiful play.”

Hubbard, a former outfielder for the Rockies (1994–96), returned to Colorado six years ago when he retired from playing and started evaluating outfielders and base runners. He rotates throughout the entire organization, as do the other coordinators, and spent the past week in Grand Junction.

“Level to level,” he said. “In a six-day time frame I’ll see our big club (at San Francisco) and our A club (in Modesto, Calif.), and then I’ll go see the Triple-A club (in Colorado Springs).

“I take a look at the outfielders to make sure we’re playing properly. If we need to work on something, we will. I’m not afraid to get dirty and sweaty.

“We’ll work on some things and make sure they’re prolific at what they do and make sure they’re prepared to play it in the major leagues.”

On this trip, Hubbard spent most of his time evaluating the first-year players.

“Natural actions in the outfield. Dahl has natural actions; our scout did an amazing job with him,” Hubbard said. “(Max) White is really good out there, and (Jeff) Popick is really good. We have some really good talent out here, as well as (Julian) Yan. He’s been playing a little bit with the Rockies.

“I look for natural actions and instinctive moves where we can build on that.”

Once a Rockies batter reaches base, Hubbard evaluates everything: how the runner reads the pitcher; his lead off first; how he tracks hits; how he takes the turn at second.

And when it’s a base stealer on first, he goes into hyper-evaluating drive. The GJ Rockies have some base-stealing threats, with Juan Ciriaco swiping eight bases so far, Max Wessinger six and Dahl and Cesar Galvez, who’s out with a shoulder impingement, five each.

“Base running is more difficult because pitchers can be so tricky at every level,” Hubbard said. “We try to micromanage that a little more than the outfield. Outfield is more athleticism and to see who’s got it.

“With (Ciriaco) it’s more about ... teaching him the best time to go. The thing about base runners who like to go, you have to instill patience in them. Not every opportunity is going to be there.”

He can point to the improvement in Eric Young Jr.‘s success once he started to understand the science of stealing bases.

“Sometimes it’s even better when you don’t go because the pitcher doesn’t allow you the time to go, therefore you don’t run into an out, killing the inning,” Hubbard said of what Young learned. “Sometimes it’s more impressive to see them not go, but how do you teach that?

“That’s what it is with Ciriaco, teaching him some of those finer points. Sometimes the stolen base is not there. He has a really good aggressive spirit, and that’s a coach’s dream.”

The various position coordinators will come through Grand Junction all summer as they make their rounds, helping develop a plan to develop each prospect. After his first visit to Grand Junction, marveling at Suplizio Field’s backdrop of Grand Mesa, Hubbard will welcome a return trip.

He’s off to Tulsa today for a few days, but left with a bit of advice for Grand Junction fans:

“I encourage people in Grand Junction to come out. Someone on this field will be in the Major Leagues with the Rockies someday,” he said. “Maybe sooner rather than later.”


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