Riley Pint kicked off his pro career in impressive style on Friday night, firing two scoreless innings for Rookie-level Grand Junction against Idaho Falls. The 2016 No. 4 overall Draft pick allowed one hit and struck out two of the six hitters he faced in the outing, throwing 14 of his 23 pitches for strikes.
Pint, 18, surrendered an infield single to the first batter he faced but bounced back to record a sacrifice bunt followed by a groundout to third base. Grand Junction catcher Steven Leonard then threw out a would-be basestealer attempting to swipe third to bring the first inning to an end.
In his second and final frame, Pint showcased the power stuff that earned him the No. 2 overall ranking on MLBPipeline's list of the Top 200 Draft prospects. The 6-foot-4 right-hander induced a pair of whiffs on his heater, which sat between 94-95 mph in the outing, and he also racked up a pair of strikeouts with his curveball. Both strikeouts were of the called-third-strike variety and came versus left-handed hitters who gave up too early on backdoor breaking balls.
Pint received consideration as a possible No. 1 overall pick in this year's Draft before the Rockies nabbed him with the fourth pick and signed him for $4.8 million, less than the $5,258,700 slot value. The right-hander stands out for his big-time arm strength, which generates a 70 fastball (on the 20-80 scouting scale) that's been clocked in excess of 100 mph. He also features a pair of grade-60 secondary offerings in a powerful, late-breaking curveball and an advanced changeup with good fading action, while his slider has the makings of becoming an average pitch.
During his senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) High, Pint posted a 0.43 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 49 innings. He had been committed to Louisiana State before signing with the Rockies.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.