One name stands out when considering the Colorado Rockies’ top prospects, and that name is Michael Toglia.
Of course, the Colorado Rockies still need Ezequiel Tovar, Zac Veen, and Drew Romo to succeed in order for the organization to be successful in the future, but Michael Toglia might wind up making the distinction between the group of exciting players and the top players.
Who is Michael Toglia?
For many years, baseball fans and analysts have been very familiar with the name Toglia. He is a very gifted player who possesses top-tier power and the ability to handle first base and the corner outfield positions with elite defense.
Michael Toglia, born August 16, 1998, was born in Phoenix, Arizona. Toglia played three years of college baseball at UCLA, before being selected by the Colorado Rockies as a first-round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Michael Toglia is a 6 ‘5, 230 lb switch-hitter who has all the tools except speed, and he’s not exactly a set of square wheels either as he swiped seven bags at the Double-A last year which is approximately seven more than most power-hitting first basemen).
Colorado Rockies fans are probably more excited about the 30 home runs he hit in 114 games across Double-A and Triple-A, adding two more once he got to the MLB.
Michael Toglia – Colorado Rockies (1)
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 1, 2022
Developing With Todd Helton
It is worth noting that Michael Toglia has been working closely with Rockies legend Todd Helton, who is someone who knows a little something about being a cornerstone first baseman. Helton might be up there among the best Colorado Rockies of all time.
A worry sign for Toglia might be his strikeout numbers. During the last season in the minor league, Toglia averaged right at 30 percent, and things got worse during the brief stint in the majors last year as his percentage jumped to 36 percent.
An inability to adjust to major league pitching can end a career before it even really has a chance to begin, but if Toglia can figure it out, he will become a team favorite in a hurry.
One bright spot on his resume is that Toglia has always had decent walk numbers, sitting between 12 and 13 percent in the minors.
Today in 2001, the Rockies signed Todd Helton (who was then arbitration-eligible) to a 9-year, $141.5M contract.
And boy did Helton deliver, putting up 44.3 WAR in those 9 years (and remember that WAR is very much corrected for offensive environment and ballpark.) pic.twitter.com/De7sMFHG0w
— High Heat Stats (@HighHeatStats) March 29, 2023
Toglia during the Spring Training
So far this spring, we’ve seen it all. Toglia is hitting .255/.345/.412 with a pair of home runs and a stolen base in 55 plate appearances.
Those numbers would be more than acceptable if they were translated to the regular season.
However, he has also struck out 18 times, which only teammate Nolan Jones has more across all of Spring Training. Toglia is also tied with Yonathan Daza for the team lead in hits with 13 hits.
Toglia 1st spring homer came during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was on the first pitch of the fourth inning, where Toglia hit the ball 419 feet deep to the right-field seating berm.
The Home Run came off the Arizona Diamondbacks No.7 prospect, Drey Jameson, and stayed in the air 6.7 seconds.
“I knew I got it good,” Toglia said. “But I thought maybe the field crew was still on the field or something, because he [Muñoz] had his hands up. I had no idea what he was doing.”
Is He The Best Prospect?
Michael Toglia’s first homer of the spring was also the first among the three prospects projected as competitors for bench jobs (Brenton Doyle and Nolan Jones are the others).
With utility men Harold Castro and Cole Tucker having positive showings so far this spring, and with the Colorado Rockies having signed Jurickson Profar, it was definitely a good time to impress the coach and the fans.
During the bottom of the fourth, Michael Toglia made a diving catch of Seth Beer liner, adding to his resume of a potential Gold Glove threat at first base.
Manager Bud Black saw offensive progress during Toglia’s 2-for-5 performance.
“That was a good swing, for sure, but he’s capable of that,” Black said. “Jumped on a first-pitch fastball, squared it up. Looks to me that he’d been trying to do too much — at-bat to at-bat, you could see different plans. But eventually he’ll be fine.”
We Will Have To Wait: Back To Triple A
The version of Toglia that pops us the most, is the player that swings and misses too much to get a spot in a daily lineup and that may not ever come close to having a decent batting average. He could be anywhere from Joey Gallo at this best to the worst version of Joey Gallo. Terrible at-bats, phenomenal defense.
Nonetheless, the version that the Colorado Rockies want is the Helton one, a well-known battler at the plate.
The Colorado Rockies really has something special in the club if he can really develop Toglia into something close to his best version.
For the moment, though, Michael Toglia will remain in the Triple-A as he was Optioned to the Rockies Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday. Toglia is still very likely to get a chance in the Colorado Rockies roster this season.
Michael Toglia 🌮🌮🌮
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 28, 2022