Rockies announce the promotion of slugger Sam Hilliard for debut

Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Hartford Yard Goats outfielder Sam Hilliard (25) at bat during the Eastern League All Star Game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

In another wave of promotions for Colorado Rockies’ farmhands, the club announced Tuesday that they have promoted No. 9 prospect Sam Hilliard from Triple-A Albuquerque. He will wear No. 43, hit seventh and start in centerfield.

The outfielder will join Rico Garcia on the roster in place of both Joe Harvey and Phillip Diehl who were optioned back to Triple-A. Chad Bettis was also transferred to the 60-day injured list, ending his 2019 season. 

For the Isotopes, Hilliard has consistently built up excitement for his debut. As a slugging outfielder, he led the club with 35 home runs – the third-highest total in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Alongside the long ball production, Hilliard has hit .262 for the Isotopes this year and driven in a career-high 101 runs.

The promotion comes in the wake of the club’s loss of outfielders Raimel Tapia and David Dahl. Both are currently on the 10-day injured list, with their returns likely occurring in September, if at all.

Hilliard’s promotion is part of a franchise wave in recent weeks to concede the season to give their youngsters an opportunity. Of their top-20 prospects, the Rockies have called up five this year.

In just the last two weeks, they’ve promoted Garcia, Hilliard, Yonathan Daza, Dom Nunez, Wes Parsons and Tim Melville – among others.

As the year stretches on, they figure to make more moves to impact the future. Ben Bowden, Ryan Castellani and Josh Fuentes all figure to get extended looks when September roster expansions occur.

The club has already lost their entire opening day rotation to the injured list and figures to also give their veterans like Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond days off down the stretch.

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