The Rockies announced that they have selected first base prospect Michael Toglia to their roster and recalled infielder/outfielder Sean Bouchard. Outfielders Wynton Bernard and Sam Hilliard were optioned to Triple-A in corresponding moves. The club already had a vacancy on their 40-man roster for Toglia. Thomas Harding of MLB.com tweeted about Toglia’s promotion before the official announcement.
Toglia, 24, was a first-round draft pick, being selected 23rd overall by the Rockies in 2019. He landed on Baseball America’s list of top Colorado farmhands in 2020 and has been there ever since. He got into 41 games at Low-A the year of his draft, but missed out on formal game action in 2020 when the pandemic canceled the minor league seasons.
Getting back into action last year, the switch-hitter split his time between High-A and Double-A, hitting 22 home runs and stealing 10 bases in 115 games. Overall, he hit .228/.333/.445, walking in an impressive 13% of his plate appearances but also striking out in 28.5% of them. In 2022, he’s produced fairly similar results while splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A. In 114 games between those two levels, he’s hit 30 long balls and swiped seven bags. His .249/.341/.510 batting line comes with a 12.1% walk rate but a 30.1% strikeout rate. Despite that high-strikeout approach, he’s still been 24% above average at the plate for the year, as evidenced by his 124 wRC+.
Defensively, Toglia has primarily played first base in his young career thus far, though he also played right field in nine games this season. The Rox have used C.J. Cron as their primary first baseman in recent seasons, though it may be possible for both he and Toglia to share the lineup. Cron is in the designated hitter slot tonight while Toglia will be making his MLB debut and playing first base. That could potentially limit the club’s flexibility if Toglia proves himself worthy of everyday at-bats, though Cron will be a free agent in just over a year. Also, if the club deems Toglia a passable defender in the outfield, he could see some time out there. The Rockies are 55-74 and in the NL West basement, 15 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. They can use the remaining weeks of the season to evaluate young players for future roles, with Toglia now stepping up for his audition.