Welker was sent to minor-league camp on Monday. A .333/.383/.489 line last season for High-A Lancaster earned Welker time with the big-league coaching staff at the start of camp. He'll likely open the season with Double-A Hartford.
Welker was invited to the Rockies' big-league camp Wednesday. Welker has yet to play above High-A, so he won't be seriously considered for an Opening Day roster spot. He's posted strong numbers at all three of his minor-league stops so far, and will be rewarded with the chance to work with the Rockies' big-league staff, a set of coaches he may be seeing every day in a year or two.
Welker extended his hit streak to 15 games Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with two walks for High-A Lancaster. Even amid this streak, he has really heated up of late, notching two hits in five of his last six games. Welker's .339/.433/.534 slash line is all well and good, but given Lancaster's extreme hitter-friendly conditions, a better gauge of the third baseman's season is his .263/.354/.456 line on the road. Welker is the seventh youngest hitter in the California League and should continue to post monster numbers thanks to his home park. He is a top-50 prospect for dynasty leagues.
Welker will open the year with High-A Lancaster. This was expected after Welker faced little resistance (.350/.401/.500) in 67 games in the Sally League last season. The top thing he will work on this season is his defense at third base. He has one of the top hit tools in the minor leagues and should put up cartoonish numbers in the JetHawks' home park, which has become an annual tradition among Rockies hitting prospects and Astros hitting prospects before them, back when Lancaster was one of Houston's affiliates. Last year Welker missed time with a groin injury, but if he stays healthy during his age-20 season he will likely need to be challenged by Double-A pitching at some point this summer.
Welker (groin) has been activated from the 7-day DL with Low-A Asheville. Even though he missed over two months with a groin injury, this season can still be considered a major success for Welker. He was one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League as a 19-year-old, showing he could hit for average and power while striking out at just a 15.1 percent clip. Welker has one of the best hit tools in the minors. The number one thing he has to work on is his defense at third base.