Charlie Blackmon was more than just one of the Colorado Rockies’ top prospects when he arrived at the Arizona Fall League.
The former North Gwinnett and Georgia Tech standout had the added distinction of being rated the 17th-best prospect in the Class AA Texas League by Baseball America.
That recognition was particularly impressive because Blackmon missed nearly two months at the start of the season because of hamstring problems.
Once the center fielder joined Tulsa, though, it didn’t take him long to start showing why he went into the year ranked as the Rockies’ No. 12 prospect.
Blackmon, 24, finished with a .297 average in 86 games with the Drillers. The left-handed hitter had 22 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, 55 RBIs and 19 stolen bases while posting a .360 on-base percentage and .484 slugging mark. He struck out just 43 times while drawing 32 walks.
Blackmon was a second-round draft choice of the Rockies in 2008 after a breakout year for Georgia Tech and has had three impressive minor league seasons. He hit .338 in the short-season Class A Northwest League and then .307 in the Class A Advanced California League before moving up to Class AA this year.
But the Arizona Fall League — a six-week proving ground for top prospects that began Tuesday — will be his toughest test yet.
Blackmon is playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions, which feature players from the Nationals, Diamondbacks, Giants and Orioles as well as the Rockies. On the team is outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last June by Washington.
The Arizona Fall League has six teams and is divided into two divisions. Phoenix, which features Braves players including Freddie Freeman, and Mesa are with Scottsdale on one division. Surprise and two teams based in Peoria are in the other division.