Right-handed pitcher Riley Pint, the No. 4 pick in the 2016 draft, has returned to the Colorado Rockies organization after previously announcing his retirement from baseball last summer, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
Pint, 24 years old, made 10 appearances last season in High-A before stepping away. In those contests, he amassed a 3.38 ERA and a strikeout rate of 14.3 per nine innings. Unfortunately, Pint’s command continued to elude him, the way it has throughout his career. He issued 10 walks and plunked a batter in just 10 ⅔ innings of work.
“Everybody is on his own time frame. I always love seeing the kid,” Rockies player development director Chris Forbes told Harding. “He’s a fantastic kid. I’m glad to see him back.”
The Rockies became enamored with Pint out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Kansas) in large part because of his arm strength. Baseball America ranked Pint as the No. 2 prospect entering the draft, comparing him favorably to Tyler Kolek, who the Miami Marlins had drafted No. 2 in 2014. (Kolek, in an illustration of how risky high-school arms remain, never reached the majors and hasn’t pitched in a game since 2019.)
It’s to be seen whether Pint can do his part to change this in what will serve as his second act, but the top of the 2016 draft class has been a disappointment.
The top two selections that summer, Mickey Moniak (Philadelphia Phillies) and Nick Senzel (Cincinnati Reds), both have performed below replacement level, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations. No. 3 pick Ian Anderson (Atlanta Braves) qualifies as a success, yet picks four through seven (Pint, Corey Ray, A.J. Puk, and Braxton Garrett) have combined for 0.1 WAR and 33 big-league appearances.