Dover went to franchise on the SS of the Rockies

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Venezuela Ezekiel Tovar Despite his little major league experience, he always acts like he belongs at this level.

The Marrakesh native made his major league debut on September 23, becoming the youngest position player in the club’s history to see action after turning 21. After his first experience, he expressed great confidence in it Second best chance Chance to be an opening day shortstop.

When the Rockies talk about Dover, the words don’t match his age. Maybe it’s because they’ve seen him grow up so fast.

They saw it for the first time when Venezuela were 13 years old and played against old foes. During the 2020 pandemic, Dover impressed everyone with his maturity. His debut in 2022 was delayed due to inflammation in his left hip/hip area, which kept him out of action in July, August and mid-September.

But for at least one moment last weekend at Salt River Fields in Talking Stick, Tovar admitted that, like most 21-year-olds, he dreams of what he can do on the field. However, that dream has already come true.

“I always tell my teammates I go to bed shocked at where I am,” Dover said. “I thank God every day. I never imagined this, but I am so grateful.

Dovar doesn’t have to shine in the preseason. It will be hard to match what he did in the Cadets League last year, when he hit .550 (11-for-20) with three home runs and two doubles, winning the Abby Greer Award for preseason MVP. He also excelled at Double-A Hartford (.318, 13 HR, 47 KB in 66 games before the injury) and Triple-A Albuquerque (.333, 1 HR in five games) while showing plenty of confidence and intelligence. .

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“It stands out among the many who have seen it. [en las menores] — his mental health, at such a young age, will allow him to be our shortstop,” said Rockies manager Bud Black, who watched Dover play nine games in which he hit .212 with one home run — against the All-Star starter. Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw – In the last game of the season.

In his hometown of Marrakesh, Dover’s family was so large that they played baseball games, usually wearing many ball-shaped socks. He inherited the shortstop position from his older brother Anthony, now 28. His father, Rooney, taught him work ethic, while his mother, Kepsey, made sure her son was seen by scouts.

But because of the complicated relationship between the United States and Venezuela, agent Roberto Vahlis decided to take him to his academy in the Dominican Republic. At age 13, Dover spent eight months living in a shelter, usually with older players. Rockies scout Frank Roa was looking for talent to sign, but Ronaldo Fernandez, vice president of international scouts, told him: “There’s a 13-year-old boy…”.

Fernandez added, “Roa did a great job. I am here’. You see a player’s instincts and skills, then you set your sights on him.”

He then repeatedly impressed Gonzalez (.264, .357 on-base percentage).

“This is the year of Covid,” Gonzalez said. “He couldn’t go home. I was lonely. That’s one of the reasons he’s matured for his age. When I saw him last year, he was ready.

Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt was coaching in the Reds organization in 1984 when he spotted a Venezuelan prospect from Mariners named Omar Vizquel. Today he compares the two. But Schmitt emphasized that Dover’s job was to “make routine plays.”

Schmidt’s advice is to caution young players who want to risk routine plays and make spectacular plays. However, he notes that Tovar prioritizes hard work, not unattainable dreams.

“You have to practice all the plays, whether they’re simple, difficult or fancy,” said Dover. “All those plays have to come out of practice.”

Wilmot Chandler

"Explorer. Web specialist. Beer practitioner. Alcoholaholic. Social media geek. Introvert. Food lover. Future teen idol."

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