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Minor League Baseball is one of the great events in sports. You can see the next big thing in baseball. You can watch the Mariachis de Nuevo México (Albuquerque Isotopes) play the Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Dodgers). Food? Ballpark creations are like nothing else you will find. When you head out to Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park you can indulge in the new El Fuego; a spicy combination of flavors that starts with a green chile and cheese bagel loaded with tender Beef Brisket Burnt Ends, slow cooked in a tangy and spicy herbed Brazilian barbecue sauce. The meaty goodness is topped with a decadent layer of green chile mac n’ cheese. I tried it and it lives up to its name.

The best thing you’ll see at Isotopes Park this season could be Jordan Beck. The 22-year-old was rated as the Colorado Rockies fourth best prospect coming into the season by MLB Pipeline and 78th in the overall Top-100. In just two years Beck has risen from rookie ball, after being selected 38th overall in the 2022 MLB Draft, to beginning the season with the Rockies Triple-A affiliate.

“I’m just excited to play baseball,” Beck said when asked what he was feeling starting the year in Albuquerque.

The right-handed hitter made his mark in the Isotopes opening three game homestand against El Paso hitting two home runs, driving in six runs while hitting .417 with a 1.083 slugging percentage.

Speaking the day before the regular season began last Friday the Hazal Green, Alabama native set a tone that echoed how he has been able to rise so quickly through the Rockies organization. He doesn’t run from his faults and is focused on one thing, getting better.

“Just looking at each season that I play and finding something that I need to improve on…You’re never going to be a perfectly complete player so at the end of the day you just got to be real to yourself, look at what you weren’t good at and improve on it,” Beck told the Sports Animal.

After playing in 26 games in 2022 following the draft, Beck slashed 295/432/477 between rookie and High-A ball. He started the 2023 season with High-A Spokane and went through a stretch that a lot of hitters don’t come back from. Through the first seven games Beck was 1-27. All he did was go on to hit .292 with 20 home runs, 72 RBI with 11 stolen bases in 76 games to earn a promotion to Double-A Hartford. In 50 games Beck stole 20 bases, hit five home runs and slashed .240/.342/.406.

The 25 home runs were tied for the second most in the Rockies organization. The 91 RBI were third most in the system.

It’s not just the bat that stands out for Beck. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he is the new school outfielder with an arm rated at 60 by the scouts (prospects are graded on a scale of 20-80) and has played all three spots in the outfield. He started two games in right and one in left field for the Topes over the weekend.

Speaking of athleticism, Beck was a two-sport athlete at Hazel Green High School where he won a baseball state title as a junior and also helped his basketball team reach the final four. He said the focus began to shift to baseball his senior season. That earned the attention of a major program in the SEC the Tennesse Volunteers.

If you know anything about the south and college sports you know SEC rivalries run deep. How does an Albama kid end up in Tennesse?

After declining to sign with the Boston Red Sox after being selected in the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Beck took his talents to Knoxville.

“Grew up a huge Albama fan, obviously. Tennessee was the only SEC offer that I had. I grew up loving the SEC, so I took that opportunity and ran with it.”

It was the right move for Beck. In three years with the Vols he hit 34 HR’s and slashed .284/.366/.553. He capped of his junior season in NCAA postseason play hitting .357 with five hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in a team-best six RBI during the Knoxville Regional. That elevated him from a 14th round pick out of high school to the 38h overall selection.

The only negative to this past weekend for Beck was his Vols losing to Purdue in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. He was very excited when asked about his bracket because he had them winning it all. Beck has a hoopers heart (said he would be a basketball player if he wasn’t playing baseball).

Beck’s performance on Sunday to finish off his opening weekend in Albuquerque featured three hits that registered over 100 MPH: 104.4 MPH, triple; 103.9 MPH, single; and 102.9 MPH, homer. The three hits resulted in four runs batted and made it two multi-hit games in his first three Triple-A outings.

He has the Rockies attention as noted early in spring training by MLB writer Thomas Harding from his Rockies Beat Newsletter.

“There’s a self-assurance of his ability,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We called him up last year from Minor League camp. Now he’s here every day…I like the strength to the swing. There’s power in there. There’s a guy that recognizes the strike zone for a big fellow with some power. He can run. Defensively, he’s done fine. We’re going to keep him here for a little bit, keep our eyes on him.”

Keep your eyes on him as long as you can in Albuquerque. Beck is a shooting star destined for a starting job in the Rockies outfield.