In contrast, Roberts had been a 25th-round Draft pick in 2010 out of Middle Tennessee State who wasn't on anyone's list of top prospects -- ever.
"In high school, I got two [scholarship] offers," he said.
Nonetheless, the Rockies purchased Roberts' contract from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, and designated righty reliever Jorge Rondon for assignment.
An astronomical 90.00 ERA in two games doomed the hard-throwing Rondon, who was promoted from Albuquerque on Sunday.
Like practically everyone in baseball, the Rockies search for power arms like Rondon. So often little is heard of guys like Roberts, who live by the groundball and mixes an adequate four-seam fastball with a changeup and curve to set up his sinker.
"It's nice to have that power, but it's a bottom-line business -- you've got to get outs, regardless how you do it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Kenny's a left-hander that knows how to pitch. He throws strikes."
At Albuquerque, Roberts was 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in six games. He gave up 17 hits, four of them homers, in 11 innings, but the big drawing card is control -- eight strikeouts, no walks. The Rockies informed Roberts of the promotion after returning to Albuquerque from a road trip Friday night. Roberts made a 1:30 a.m. call to his parents, Ken and Janet Roberts in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
"My mom was like, 'All right, we'll be watching on TV,'" Roberts said. "I was like, no, no, no, you guys are going to book a flight. I got my wife to look up flights for them. They're not going to miss it."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.