Jonathan Mayo

Q&A with Rockies prospect Riley Pint

Colorado's No. 3 prospect discusses offseason, touching 100 mph

Q&A with Rockies prospect Riley Pint

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Riley Pint was the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2016 Draft, taken No. 4 overall. The right-hander from the Kansas high school ranks is preparing for his first full season after pitching briefly in the Rookie-level Pioneer League during his summer debut. He is ranked No. 51 on's Top 100 Prospects list and No. 3 on the Rockies' Top 30 Prospects list. What was your offseason regimen like, and how was it different than you thought it would be as you prepare for this year?

Pint: It's been tough. I've been out here in Arizona since November. They've been pushing us hard, just trying to get some weight on me. I think we've done a really good job since I've been here, we've been going at it pretty much five days a week. They've done a great job. I've had a great time out here and hopefully it translates to the field. It's been a lot of weight training. Just eating healthy, eating the right foods. Taco Bell was the go-to for sure, but I don't eat it anymore.

Rockies' Top 30 Prospects list You didn't throw a ton in your pro debut. What were your takeaways from your time in the Pioneer League?

Pint: You just can't groove fastballs in there. They're going to hit it. They're going to catch up to however hard you're throwing. You have to mix your pitches well and locate your pitches, instead of just throwing your fastball right down the middle. That's probably been the hardest thing for me, just learning how to be more of a pitcher and not just a thrower anymore. That's what we've worked on since instructs and now early in Spring Training, working on hitting your spots and not just blowing it by somebody. You have to actually pitch. Was there an a-ha moment, when you threw a fastball and a guy crushed it and you thought, 'Huh, that worked in high school'?

Pint: There was one time, in Billings I think, it was one of the only home runs I gave up. He hit one. It was an 0-2 fastball down and away and he just kind of flicked his bat out there. I thought, "I probably shouldn't throw that 0-2 anymore." I should've thrown a different pitch. It's definitely a learning curve. You see the stuff you did in high school, it works. Now at this level, it doesn't work, so you have to adjust a lot and figure out something else to throw.

Rockies Spring Training overview As a power pitcher, is there a balance you're learning to strike between being a pitcher, and not being a thrower, but not giving up any of the velocity?

Pint: I think I've done a pretty good job early on at instructs and early this year, just working on not really giving up anything, just being more focused on locating and not just throwing it. Focusing on a spot and hitting the spot, not just throwing the ball, which is what I did in high school. Now, I'm more focused on a spot and looking to execute the pitch. I'm just trying to slow everything down a little bit. I was kind of rushed, even back in Grand Junction. People have made a big deal about how you can throw 100 mph as a teenager. I know it's something you're used to, but how much attention do you pay to that now?

Pint: It doesn't really bother me. If it happens, it happens. Right now, I'm just focused on getting people out. Radar guns don't really mean anything to me right now. With Spring Training, people will be focusing on what I throw and everything, but as long as I'm getting people out, I'm going to be happy with it.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.