Top pick Vilade signs, 'ready to be a Rockie'

Prep infielder has baseball connections through Minor League coach father

Top pick Vilade signs, 'ready to be a Rockie'

DENVER -- Newly signed second-round pick Ryan Vilade had Rockies connections before he was drafted earlier this month.

Vilade, 18, an infielder from Stillwater (Okla.) High School, grew up around the game thanks to the coaching career of his father, James. While Vilade and his family were at Coors Field on Wednesday to announce the signing, Vilade discussed how he'd met Rockies shortstop Trevor Story and wants to model his game after him and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

"I'm in a great spot, especially with the Rockies. With Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado, they are power-hitting infielders," Vilade said. "That's what I bring to the table. They're an organization that can develop me to be one of them."

According to's Jim Callis, Vilade signed for the slot value for that pick at $1,425,400.

Vilade and Story played for the same travel team in Texas, the Dallas Patriots, Story said. Vilade's dad was a presence there from his position as head coach at the University of Texas at Tyler and as a coach with the Rangers' Double-A affiliate in Frisco, Texas. They never played together because Story is older than Vilade, but they got to know each other through Vilade's dad.

"His dad's just a big-time baseball guy, been a coach for a long time," Story said. "Just talking to him a lot and getting to know him, he's always talked about how he has a son that was going to be pretty good."

Ryan Vilade will be sent to Rookie-level affiliate Grand Junction, according to scouting director Bill Schmidt. Vilade said he learned from being around his dad that in the Minors, one "can't take one day off."

"We just sat back and watched what happened in the Draft, but playing for my dad would've been cool," Vilade said. "I'm ready to be a Rockie."

Max Gelman is a reporter for based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.