The Rockies added Vilade to their 60-man roster pool Monday. Vilade was one of nine new additions to the roster pool made by the Rockies, but none of those players are considered prime candidates to join the big-league roster in the immediate future. In Vilade's case, his inclusion in the pool is most likely a measure by the Rockies to more closely monitor the development of one of their top prospects at their alternate training site. Had the minor-league season not been cancelled this season, Vilade likely would have began the campaign at Double-A Hartford after he slashed .303/.367/.466 with 12 home runs and 24 stolen bases in the California League in 2019.
Vilade won't play any more shortstop but will instead focus on third base, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports. Vilade was exclusively a shortstop for his first two professional seasons, but he has a third baseman's build, so a transition to the hot corner was always likely. At the major-league level, trade rumors have been swirling around third baseman Nolan Arenado for quite a while, while shortstop Trevor Story doesn't appear to be going anywhere, so the position switch may increase Vilade's chances of eventually making the team.
Vilade was invited to the Rockies' major-league spring training Wednesday. Vilade performed well in 2019 for High-A Lancaster, hitting .303/.367/.466 with 12 home runs, 92 runs scored and 71 RBI in 587 plate appearances. The highly-ranked third-base prospect also swiped 24 bags last season, and he'll have the chance to learn from the major-league staff this spring before returning to the minors for ongoing development.
Vilade went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and a pair of RBI for High-A Lancaster on Thursday. Vilade had cooled a bit after a solid start to the season, but he's picking it back up, as he's logged six extra-base hits in the month of June, and had a huge day Thursday that saw him fall a triple short of the cycle. Vilade is still hitting just .263 and slugging .378 for the JetHawks, but he has shown encouraging plate discipline, as he's drawn 38 walks in 217 at-bats to help him to a solid .373 on-base percentage. He's also swiped 10 bases in 14 attempts.
Vilade is hitting .322/.431/.407 at High-A Lancaster to begin the season. He doesn't have any homers, but he does have five stolen bases in six attempts. Vilade was the Rockies' second-round pick in 2017 out of high school, and after debuting as a professional with a .934 OPS, he struggled to hit for power last season at Low-A Asheville, hitting .274/.353/.368 in 532 plate appearances. It's encouraging to see his good batting eye and contact rate, but we'd like to see him hit with more power, especially at a launching pad like Lancaster.