Strike 3: It’s no secret that the Colorado Rockies are knee-deep in another youth movement. Casual fans will need to keep their phones available at Coors Field later this season to get the lowdown on many of the players stepping up to home plate for the guys in purple pinstripes.

Unlike the tenants of Ball Arena, there’s no real danger in the Rockies sending out unproven but talented young players this season for some on-the-job training. Coming off a 100-loss season, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Fans will start the new season watching familiar faces like Charlie Blackmon, Ryan McMahon, Elias Diaz, Kyle Freeland and Kris Bryant (hopefully) take the field at 20th and Blake. They should be entertained by young standouts like Nolan Jones, Ezequiel Tovar and Brenton Doyle.

But it’s what’s on the horizon that’s the most interesting.

While the bulk of the club’s top prospects will start the season at Double-A Hartford, it’s not out of the question for those being fast-tracked to arrive at Coors Field sometime later this year. Especially if this season is anything like the last injury-riddled season.

Most Rockies fans already know names like Zac Veen and Drew Romo. The highly touted outfielder and catcher are each still climbing the minor league ladder. In both cases, injuries and ailments have slowed their progress somewhat, but both remain fully in the team’s long term plans.

Names that aren’t so familiar – but certainly could be Rockies sooner rather than later – include Cuban-born Yanquiel Fernandez, a talented outfielder with a power stroke who’s learning to hit big time fastballs. Catcher Willie MacIver may have nudged ahead of Romo in the race to get to Coors Field. Left-handed pitchers Carson Palmquist and Joe Rock have captured the attention of onlookers at Spring Training. And outfielder Jordan Beck, a 2022 draft pick out of baseball power Tennessee has survived every cut to the roster so far this spring and has opened a lot of eyes.

And even though he’s already been assigned to Hartford, the best of the bunch may be middle infielder Adael Amador, already labeled the Rockies second baseman of the future. Amador is very young – at just 20-years-old he’s likely to be the youngest member of the Yard Goats roster. But by all accounts the Dominican-born infielder has the goods, especially defensively.

The Rockies are pushing many of their top prospects up to minor league levels they probably wouldn’t be starting at in other organizations. But those are organizations with much more to lose at this point. The Rockies have good reason to be in a hurry.

Like Veen and Romo, Amador is probably going to struggle some offensively in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League. But if he develops like they hope he will, Amador could make Gold Glove second baseman Brendan Rodger expendable (provided he can stay healthy) next off season.

Sterlin Thompson. Benny Montgomery. Bradley Zimmer. Warming Bernabel. If you’re a Rockies fan, get to know all these names. Could be that they become part of a group that helps make Coors Field an exciting place for fans of the home team in a year or two.