DENVER -- Rather than have their non-roster invitees to Spring Training largely populated with veterans from other organizations looking for big league jobs, the Rockies' list released Thursday weighs toward prized homegrown players.
All but three of this year's 24 invitees spent last season in the Rockies' organization. The list includes three of MLB.com's Top 100 overall prospects -- center fielder David Dahl (No. 46), third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 48) and right-hander Jeff Hoffman (No. 52) -- plus catcher Dom Nunez, who was rated the seventh-best prospect at his position by MLBPipeline.com.
Dahl, whom the Rockies selected 10th overall in 2012, and Hoffman, taken ninth overall by the Blue Jays in 2014 and acquired in last year's deal that sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto, and lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland, whom the Rockies took a spot ahead of Hoffman, are the first-round picks on the list.
Also getting a taste of big league camp are outfielder Jordan Patterson, rated Colorado's No. 22 prospect at the end of the 2015 season, and lefty Sam Moll, ranked 23rd.
The three non-roster signees who weren't with the Rockies last year, however, will be fighting for Major League jobs. Righty reliever Brian Schlitter appeared in 61 games for the Cubs in 2014 and 10 last season, while righty reliever Brock Huntzinger has appeared in Triple-A with the Red Sox, Orioles and Athletics the last four years. Catcher Jackson Williams appeared in seven games with the Rockies in 2014 and seven with the Giants last season.
Back in camp are four pitchers who appeared in the Majors with Colorado last season -- lefty fan favorite Yohan Flande (3-3, 4.74 ERA in 19 games, 10 starts), lefty reliever Jason Gurka (0-0, 9.39 in nine games), and righty relievers Simon Castro (2-0, 6.10 in 11 games) and Gonzalez Germen (0-0, 3.86 in 29 games, one start). Outfielder Kyle Parker, who hit .179 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 46 games last season, was also invited.
Hoffman was one of three invitees acquired in trades. The others came in deals after the 2014 season -- righty Shane Carle (from the Pirates for righty Rob Scahill) and outfielder Noel Cuevas (from the Dodgers for righty Juan Nicasio).
Catchers Ryan Casteel, who hit .292 at Triple-A Albuquerque, and Will Swanner, who batted .260 at Double-A New Britain, will join Nunez and Williams.
Additionally, the Rockies will take a look at lefty Harrison Musgrave, who is 15-9 with a 3.59 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 195 1/3 innings since being drafted in the eighth round out of West Virginia in 2014; outfielder Michael Tauchman, who has hit .294 with a .370 on-base percentage since being taken in the 10th round out of Bradley in 2013; righty Matt Carasiti, who has fanned 227 in 293 2/3 innings since being chosen in the sixth round in 2012; switch-hitting outfielder Rosell Herrera, who has battled injury in recent years but has the speed to be a leadoff type; and righty Nelson Gonzalez, who was 4-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 relief appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday, with their first workout Feb. 19. The full squad begins workouts Feb. 25.