Rockies call up No. 2 prospect Tovar

DENVER — Ezequiel Tovar, the Rockies’ No. 2 prospect and the No. 27 overall prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, was called up before Thursday’s finale against the Giants. He’ll wear No. 14.

To make room on the roster, infielder Brendan Rodgers was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Monday, with a left hamstring strain.

Tovar, 21, went 2-for-4 in his final game for Triple-A Albuquerque, a 4-3 loss at Sugar Land. In five games with the Isotopes, Tovar batted .333 (7-for-21) with a home run, two RBIs, two walks and two strikeouts.

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Before joining the Isotopes, Tovar was rehabbing a groin injury that prevented him from playing for Double-A Hartford after June 29. In 66 games with the Yard Goats, Tovar batted .318 with 13 home runs, 47 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

“He played well in Double-A, played baseball to a level that got us really thinking about it, got us on a program where we were watching him closely,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Through his performance, he got on the radar.

“We saw him in Spring Training, liked what we saw, and he continued. He was arguably the best player in the Eastern League up until the injury. Since he returned this time, he went to Arizona and got back into baseball shape, and after a short look in Albuquerque, we thought it was a move to get him experience.”

Tovar is 21 years and 52 days old. When he plays, he will become the youngest position player in club history to appear in a game. Roberto Mejia was 21 years and 92 days old when he debuted in 1993. The only younger players in club history were right-handed relief pitchers Marcos Carvajal (20 years, 250 days) in 2005, and Miguel Castro (20 years, 251 days) in ’15.

During Major League Spring Training, Tovar attracted attention by batting .550 (11-for-20) with three home runs and seven RBIs in 10 games to earn the Abby Greer Award given to the MVP of camp.

A native of Maracay, Venezuela, Tovar signed with the club in 2017 for $800,000. A switch-hitter in his youth, Rockies coaches and club officials saw his potential to advance quickly because of his defensive tools. So the team convinced him to bat right-handed, where he displayed a shorter swing, to simplify his development.