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Photo by Gretel Daugherty

Ryan Vilade hadn’t played a baseball game for close to one month when he joined the Grand Junction Rockies last Thursday at Suplizio Field. The Rockies’ top draft pick, however, won’t be rushed into the starting lineup because of the team’s depth in the middle infield, meaning manager Frank Gonzales can make sure Vilade is ready to play.

LEARNING ON THE FLY

Vilade hopes time in GJ will aid his development as a player

He learned the game of baseball at the elbow of his father. Now, Ryan Vilade is eager to learn from the likes of Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado … eventually.
“They’re the best of the best, Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado. Hopefully I’ll get to play alongside them one day and learn from them, but I’m going to continue to do everything down here and see what happens,” the Colorado Rockies’ second-round draft pick said after his first couple of rounds of batting practice as a pro ballplayer with Grand Junction.
“He’s been the big factor in my life from the game of baseball,” Vilade said of his father, James, an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, where Ryan had signed to play before being drafted. “He’s been with me through everything, so I give a lot of my development to him, for sure.”


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HIGH SCHOOLS
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