This Colorado Rockies season is unlikely to contain much winning.

Based on the make-up of the roster, it is clear that this team would need just about everything to go right in order to get anywhere near contention and as such it doesn’t make a ton of sense for us to spend a ton of time focusing on the club’s known quantities.

The 2023 campaign will be defined by a group of players who many Rockies fans may not be familiar with yet on account of their youth and general lack of experience.

So we will be highlighting them throughout Spring Training, starting with the top prospect we shouldn’t expect to see in the Bigs right away, Zac Veen.

Veen has more name recognition and shine than most of Colorado’s youngsters. He was a first-round draft pick who immediately drew comparisons to Cody Bellinger from scouts and proceeded to tear up his first season of pro baseball.

An impressive athlete, standing 6’4 while filling out a bit more each year without losing his nearly elite speed, Veen has showcased an enticing five-tool skillset.

After posting a 135 wRC+ in A ball at age 19, Veen basically cut right through High-A and the organization decided to challenge him with a move to Double-A where he was one of the younger players in the league. A league that tends to suppress offense, mind you.

In an oddly similar fashion to Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon before him, Veen struggled mightily in his first taste of Double-A ball. It was only 34 games but he hit just a single home run and batted .177 at which point it became fair to wonder if it might be time to slow down his progress.

But, again like Story and McMahon, Veen showed up at the Arizona Fall League. He made his case for being the best all-around player in the league, batting .333, on-basing .444 and stealing 16 bases in 21 games.

That is the last note he played before his imminent arrival to camp.

If the Rockies remain consistent with how they treated Ezequiel Tovar last season, we should expect to see a lot of Veen in March and no-doubt the hype train will begin to leave the station if he impresses.

In addition to being very exciting in general, Veen also fits a specific need for the Rockies who need more power in their outfield and a bigger on-base and speed component in their lineup. He brings all those things if, and this is a big if, he is ready to hang in MLB.

Considering that this almost certainly won’t be a competitive season for the Denver baseball club, it makes sense to follow whatever path gives Veen the best chance to succeed if even rushing him a bit could potentially improve the club a little.

So, again following in Tovar’s footsteps, a best-case scenario would see him rake in Spring Training and then take some time back in the minors to continue making those final preparations for the big show. You should set the Over/Under on his arrival right in the middle of the season.

Regardless of precisely when he gets to 20th and Blake, though, Zac Veen should make his first mark this season as one of the biggest signals that the team is finally moving into a new era post Arenado and Story.

It’s unfair to pin all future hopes on any one player, and that is why we will be highlighting several more over the next month, but Veen really is one of those guys you tune into a ballgame to watch play. 

He’s been a regular on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects lists since being drafted and has hovered around in the 20s on the last few iterations of the list, making him one of the most exciting players in all of baseball set to make his debut.

For those wondering, he has played exclusively in the corner outfield spots but has shown an ability to play centerfield and the team has left that door open while simultaneously making it clear through their actions that they prefer to keep the wear and tear of that position away from him.

He just turned 21 which means he will join Tovar as one of the youngest players to debut for the Rockies should things go according to plan.