WASHINGTON — A few years back, the Rangers had some prospects at Double-A Frisco who are now well-known — Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, Joey Gallo. While they were working on their play, they took time to educate the middle school-age son of the hitting coach.
Many children that age will never need the advice. But Ryan Vilade was not any child. Vilade, 22, recalled those days on Saturday ahead of his first game in the Majors with Colorado. The Rockies’ No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Vilade made his Major League debut as the starting left fielder against the Nationals.
“I got to hang out with them, and that really shaped me into who I am today in pro ball,” said Vilade, whose father, James Vilade, is now head coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy after stints coaching with the Rangers and Oklahoma State University and scouting for the Marlins. “They gave me good tips and that’s helped me the last five years. It was a really cool experience.”
Those early-teen days, however, were nothing like Saturday, when Vilade spent some time taking in the surroundings at Nationals Park. He also talked to some of the players he shared time with in Triple-A Albuquerque and even received sage advice from Rockies pitcher Scott Oberg, who has been an advisor to players while sidelined because of health issues.
Boiled down, the advice came to merely trying to treat it as the…