Journeyman Wynton Bernard makes Major League debut with Colorado Rockies after 10 seasons in the underage
DENVER – Wynton Bernard is getting a chance to play in the major leagues a decade after he was drafted by San Diego Padres.
The Colorado Rockies picked up Bernard’s contract from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. He was scored in the seventh standings and played in the center area against Arizona Diamondbacks in the opening of a series of three games.
“It was a special moment,” Bernard said. “After so many years of playing, I’m finally here. It’s great. I’m here at last.”
Bernard, 31, was included in the 35th round of the 2012 draft and spent three seasons in the Padres minor league system. He also plays for minors for Detroit, San Francisco and Chicago Cubs along with achievements in the Mexican Winter League, the Venezuelan Winter League and the independent ball.
And he played for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.
Colorado manager Bud Black went to see Bernard and quarterback Connor Joe in winter 2020. He did batting practice for both players and encouraged the Rockies to sign them.
“I suggested to our office to see if we could contract these people,” Black said. “Our front office contacted their agents and they completed the transaction.”
Joe makes his Rockies debut in 2021 while Bernard plays for the Isotopes for the past two seasons. He hit .254 with seven hosts in 2021. This year his numbers stand out: .325 with 17 hosts, 24 doubles and 26 stolen bases.
In the league’s 10 minor seasons, he’s hitting the 0.286 mark with 50 home players and 226 bases stolen.
Bernard was told he would be promoted ahead of Thursday’s game against Albuquerque. He celebrated with teammates and shared the news with his mother in a video call.
“My mother’s feelings, it broke me down even more. She did a lot,” he said. “The way I saw her taking care of my dad before he passed away, he was bedridden but she was still by his side. I said to myself, ‘I know how hard she worked, so I will work just as hard – if not harder. ‘ Just to see her reaction makes a lot of sense. “
The Rockies have assigned pitcher Jordan Sheffield on duty. They also summoned Dom Nunez’s catcher and set a midfielder Yonathan Daza (dislocated left shoulder) and catcher Elias Diaz (left wrist sprain) on the 10-day injury list.