ASHEVILLE, N.C. — It’s been a busy week for Colton Harlow.
The 2014 Stonewall Jackson graduate has been promoted to the Colorado Rockies’ Class A Asheville Tourists team, located in Asheville, N.C. The team plays in the South Atlantic League.
Harlow, a relief pitcher, was originally supposed to play for the Rockies’ Class A short-season squad, the Boise Hawks. He said once he arrived for the first game in Salem, Ore., last week they told him they needed him to go to Asheville.
Harlow said he arrived in Asheville on Friday and made it to the team’s home game at about 6 p.m. as it was starting. On Saturday, he pitched two innings for Asheville against the Lakeland BlueClaws, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Class A squad. Lakeland won the game, 4-2.
“I threw in the eighth and ninth,” Harlow said on Monday afternoon. “That was my first two innings for the year for me. It went well. So I was pretty pleased with that.”
Harlow allowed just one hit and had one strikeout in the two innings of work. He said he was told on Sunday that he would be headed back to Boise on Monday. However, one of the Tourists’ pitchers was injured while warming up Sunday and Harlow was later that night that he would be staying in Asheville for the season.
“Right now they’re on All-Star break,” Harlow said. “So I figured I’d come home for a few days.”
Harlow said he plans on heading back to Asheville tonight and play begins again Thursday.
He said it’s nice to be playing close to home again.
“It’s awesome,” Harlow said. “That was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be in Asheville — it’s just a hop, jump and a skip away from home. So it’s pretty cool. It’s a good feeling.”
The 2018 JMU graduate was drafted by the Rockies in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball Draft in June 2018. He spent last year in the Rookie-level Pioneer League with the Grand Junction Rockies.
The 5-foot-10 left-hander finished the season with a 4.57 ERA in 19 games. He pitched 21.2 innings, went 1-0 with 22 strikeouts.
In February, Harlow left for his first spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona. He said it was a great experience.
“It was a new experience for me, for sure,” Harlow said. “It was a lot of work every day, day in day out. It was real hot. It was a grind.”
He said one of the highlights was being around many of the Rockies’ major league players.
“We shared a complex with the big leaguers,” Harlow said. “So I was eating lunch with [Colorado Rockies’] Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. It was a really cool experience for sure.”
From there Harlow stayed in Arizona for the Rockies’ extended spring training until getting assigned to play for Boise recently.
The Tourists hosts the Columbia Fireflies, a New York Mets affiliate, on Thursday. The Tourists are 29-41 and are 8 1/2 games out of first place in the South Atlantic Southern Division. The last game of the regular season is Sept. 2.
Harlow said he’s excited to play for the Tourists and see how well he can do.
“Hopefully, I’ll just stay in Nashville,” Harlow said. “It would be cool to get moved up to [the Rockies’ Class-A advanced league team] Lancaster, [Calif., JetHawks]. But right now I’m happy where I’m at. I just want to keep working hard and performing and doing the best of my abilities.”