Welker or Tyler Nevin will have a chance to play first base for the Rockies in the coming years, according to farm director Zach Wilson, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. Wilson notes that Ryan McMahon has found a home at second base, so as things stand, it could be Welker or Nevin, assuming the Rockies decline Daniel Murphy's mutual option for 2021. Michael Toglia is the best first base prospect in the system, but he is at least a year behind Nevin and Welker. In 23 plate appearances in big-league camp, Welker hit .438 with two doubles, six walks and one strikeout. He hit just .229/.340/.253 with a 13:12 K:BB in 97 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League. Welker should head to Double-A or Triple-A when the minor-league season gets underway.
Welker was invited to the Rockies' major-league spring training camp Wednesday. Welker played 98 games for Double-A Hartford in 2019, hitting .252/.313/.408 with 10 home runs, 53 RBI and 37 runs scored in 394 plate appearances. The 22-year-old first-base prospect has impressed coaches at every level thus far in his minor-league career. Colorado's 2016 fourth-round pick will get his first opportunity to impress the big-league coaching staff this spring before likely returning to the minors for the time being.
Welker is hitting .227 with one home run in seven games since coming off the injured list at Double-A Harford. He missed a month with an undisclosed injury. Welker is hitting .257/.311/.415 with nine home runs in 89 games this year with the Yard Goats. This is the first season he has hit in a somewhat neutral environment, and he's unsurprisingly posting the worst rate stats of his career. Welker still has a chance to be a good big-league hitter in time, but his 2019 season serves as a good barometer of where his current true talent lies.
Welker was placed on the 7-day injured list with an undisclosed injury. This helps explain why Welker hasn't played for Double-A Hartford since July 12. Specifics regarding the injury remain unknown, leaving Welker without a timetable for his return. Prior to landing on the shelf, the 21-year-old was slashing .259/.312/.415 with eight home runs and two stolen bases in 82 games for the Yard Goats.
Welker is slashing .314/.358/.483 with four home runs and 23 RBI through 172 at-bats for Double-A Hartford. One of the Rockies' most highly rated offensive prospects, Welker continues to rake at the minor-league level as he now boasts an excellent .333/.380/.491 slash line over 1,090 professional at-bats between Colorado's Class-A teams and Hartford. This is his first run at the Double-A level, so the Rockies figure to leave him there for at least a little bit longer to see if he can sustain his current pace with the Yard Goats. If he keeps raking, the 21-year-old will make a strong case for a move to Triple-A Albuquerque.