Roling wins minor league award
Kiel Roling had no idea, but he’s been hearing a lot about his latest accomplishment.
The Asheville Tourists’ first baseman and Central High School graduate was recently selected the Colorado Rockies’ minor league hitter of the year by MLB.com.
“It was kind of a surprise,” Roling said. “People were calling me and telling me. I still haven’t read it yet. I don’t have my computer with me.”
Roling, who was home for Thanksgiving, is back in Tempe, Ariz., working out with teammates. He plans to return to Grand Junction for Christmas before reporting for spring training in February.
The first baseman and designated hitter hit .331 with 20 home runs and 66 RBI in 94 games.
He missed the first month of his first full season at Class A Asheville because of a hamstring injury. Once he got healthy, he had a .593 slugging percentage and 26 doubles. He finished eighth in the minor leagues in slugging with 48 of his 114 hits for extra bases.
“It was one of those years,” Roling said. “Awards are a plus. You can never get too many of those. I had no clue. There are some good players that deserve it as much as me.”
Roling was a sixth-round pick out of Arizona State as a catcher in 2008, but was moved to first base and designated hitter. The move has allowed him to keep his legs fresh and continue to develop as a power hitter.