Headed in the right direction

Christopher Tomlinson /The Daily Sentinel

Riley Pint, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, announced his retirement in June, but on Friday ended his retirement and reported to minor league spring training. Pint pitched for the Grand Junction Rockies in 2016, his first season in professional baseball.

Riley Pint’s retirement was short-lived, with the Colorado Rockies’ former No. 1 draft pick reporting to minor league spring training over the weekend.

Thomas Harding, who covers the Rockies for mlb.com, first reported Pint’s return to the Rockies.

Pint, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound right-hander, started his professional career in 2016 with the Grand Junction Rockies after being the fourth overall pick in the draft. He abruptly announced his retirement last June when he was pitching for Class A Spokane, where he was 1-0 with an 8.66 ERA.

After showing a fastball above 100 mph as a high school star at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas, Pint was one of the most sought-after pitchers in the 2016 draft.

He struggled with his control and dealt with injuries that hampered his progress in the minor leagues.

He was 1-5 with the GJ Rockies in 11 starts, throwing 37 innings. Although he still showed his blazing fastball, he struck out 36 and walked 23 in his first professional season.

He was promoted to Class A Asheville the next season, but went 2-11 with a 5.42 ERA.

He battled forearm stiffness and an oblique injury on top of his control problems. He walked 59 and threw 26 wild pitches for the Tourists in 93 innings.

He threw only 17⅔ innings for Asheville in 2019 after starting the 2018 season in Asheville, but then moved down to short-season Class A Boise.

After the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, Pint was assigned to Class A Spokane under baseball’s new alignment, but in 10 games, seven of which were out of the bullpen, Pint threw only 10⅔ innings, with 17 strikeouts, 10 walks, three wild pitches and a 6.74 ERA when he retired.

In his six minor league seasons, Pint is 4-20 with a 5.56 ERA, 163 strikeouts, 134 walks and 58 wild pitches.

“Everybody is on his own time frame,” Chris Forbes, the Rockies’ player development director, told Harding. “He’s a fantastic kid. I’m glad to see him back.”

The Rockies minor league players checked in and took physicals on Friday and begin workouts today at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona.