Rockies deem Arenado not quite ready

The Rockies determiend that their top prospect, third baseman Nolan Arenado, is not yet ready.

Arenado, who turns 21 on April 16, was one of six players sent out of Major League camp on Friday. The Rockies wanted to take a long look at him in camp but were careful not to put pressure on him to break with the big club. Arenado had his moments, but also hit .192 with four doubles and five RBIs in 12 games.

Making it to the Majors would have been a push for Arenado, the club’s second-round Draft pick in 2009 out of El Toro (Calif.) High School. The team invited him to camp as a non-roster player after a big 2011 season — he hit .298 with 20 home runs and led Minor Leaguers with 122 RBIs at Class-A Modesto, and followed that up by earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Arizona Fall League. The Rockies did not announce the level of the Minors that Arenado would begin this season.

Officially, the Rockies optioned Arenado and right-handed Zach Putnam to the Minors and reassigned non-roster right-handed pither Carlos Torres, first baseman Chad Tracy (son of manager Jim Tracy) and outfielder Tim Wheeler — another highly regarded prospect, who hit .263 with a home run and two RBIs in 14 games.

The Rockies had earlier optioned infielder DJ LeMahieu to the Minors but kept him with the big club; however, on Saturday LeMahieu was reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Rockies still have 39 players in big-league camp, including six non-roster invitees.

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