First-round Rockies pitcher Riley Pint retires at 23 years old

·2-min read

Five years after being selected with the No. 4 pick in the MLB draft, Riley Pint has retired.

Colorado Rockies assistant general manager Zach Wilson announced the news on Tuesday. The Rockies drafted Wilson out of high school in 2016, and he played five seasons in the franchise's minor league system.

Big fastball and control issues

Pint tantalized scouts in high school with a 102 mph fastball and a plus arsenal of secondary pitches, but never advanced past the Class A level with the Rockies. He was plagued by injuries and control issues, walking 134 batters and posting a 5.56 ERA in 166.2 innings over the course of five seasons.

Pint suffered from forearm soreness, an oblique injury and shoulder tendinitis over the course of the last two seasons, exacerbating his struggles. He dropped out of national rankings of top 100 prospects in 2018.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 21:  A New Era Colorado Rockies hat is seen in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 21, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Rockies announced Riley Pint's retirement on Tuesday. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Pint threw with his father Neil Pint last summer near his hometown of Overland Park, Kansas as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the minor league season. Neil expressed optimism about Pint regaining control in a 2020 interview with the Denver Post. 

“He’s in a much better place now than he was last year,” Neil told the Post. “His delivery is much smoother, and he’s comfortable on the mound. I think we figured some things out.”

Rockies keeping door open after awarding Pint a $4.8M bonus

The Rockies invested heavily in Pint, awarding him a $4.8 million signing bonus after drafting him in the first round. Wilson told reporters on Tuesday that they're keeping the door open if Pint opts to return to baseball.

"At the end of the day, it just came down to some personal decisions for Riley,” Wilson said, per MLB.com. “We want to support Riley right now where he's at in his life. And we'll certainly support him as to the next several weeks and months and years. 

"We drafted him and he spent a lot of time here. We’ve worked very hard with him, so just because he's decided to step away doesn't mean that we're going to cut that off at all.”

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