PHOENIX — For some Rockies players and top prospects, the season didn't end on Sunday. They are heading off to winter leagues, to continue to refine their craft.
Sam Hilliard, Dom Nuñez and top pitching prospect Ryan Rolison are among the ones continuing their seasons.
For Hilliard, he hopes his time in the Dominican Republic can help jump-start his season next year. In the past, he said he felt like its taken him over a month to get back into the full swing of things. Last year, his bad April had him sent to the minor leagues.
He hit two home runs in the last three games of the season, and wants to continue to work on the adjustments he's made. He's shortened his swing, and lowered his hands, which has led to more consistent results.
"I want to come in with some at-bats under my belt against good pitching and be ready to go," he said. "I think it'll help me be ready from the get-go."
Dom Nuñez, meanwhile, wants to get more at-bats under his belt. He got only 225 this year, and still has under 300 for his career. Elias Díaz found success at the plate in the second half of the season, taking over most of the playing time.
"I'm just going in with an open mind, and ready to learn a little more," Nuñez said. "And, honestly, to just have fun."
Rolison spent most of his season on the sidelines. First he had his appendix removed, setting him back for over a month. Then he broke his hand shagging balls in the outfield. He figures to be a big part of the Rockies' plans going forward, but needs more innings under his belt.
Winter ball list:
Hilliard: Dominican Republic
Nuñez: Puerto Rico, Indios de Mayagüez
Rolison (Triple-A): Dominican Republic, Tigres del Licey
Brian Serven (Triple-A): Dominican Republic, Tigres del Licey
Julian Fernández: Dominican Republic
Chris Owings (free agent): Mexico
Arizona Fall league list:
Willie Maclver (Triple-A)
Michael Toglia (Double-A)
Ezequiel Tovar (High-A)