Riley Pint, a right-handed pitcher who the Colorado Rockies selected fourth overall in the 2016 draft, announced his retirement from professional baseball on Tuesday, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
Pint, 23, had a 3.38 ERA in 10 appearances this year for the Rockies' High-A affiliate in Spokane. Alas, the command problems that plagued him throughout this career remained. He either struck out, walked, or plunked 28 of the 49 batters he faced. If this is indeed the end of the road for him, he'll have finished his career having issued 7.2 free passes per nine innings.
Nevertheless, the Rockies were justified in selecting Pint when they did. Baseball America ranked him as the second-best prospect entering the 2016 draft, writing:
Just two years after high school right-hander Tyler Kolek went second overall largely on the basis of a 100-mph fastball, Pint is a much better version of the same template with an exceptionally fast arm. Pint sits at 97-98 mph, regularly bumps 100 and has touched 102 with a fastball that has sink and tailing action. He also throws an 89-91 mph potentially plus changeup with deception and fade. He even has two separate breaking balls--a curve and a slider that both flash above-average. Pint is athletic--he was an excellent basketball player before focusing on baseball and he's thrown less than many top high school arms. His delivery causes some concerns as he lands into a stiff front side, has a head whack at release and has some recoil which has at times caused his control to waver. In a best-case scenario he becomes a Justin Verlander-esque front-line ace. Like Pint, Verlander had problems with a stiff front side and control issues as an amateur but the Tigers were able to clean it up.
The first round of the 2016 draft has been a disappointment overall. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, Mickey Moniak and Nick Senzel, have been sub-replacement-level players. Right-hander Ian Anderson, who was picked third, is the only member of the top 10 to accumulate more than two career Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference's calculations. The most productive player in that round, again according to Baseball Reference's calculations, has been Dodgers catcher Will Smith. He was chosen 32nd overall.
The Rockies' other first-round pick in 2016, right-hander Robert Tyler, retired in January 2020.