DENVER — Wynton Bernard got his chance to play in the major leagues a decade after he was drafted by the San Diego Padres.
The Colorado Rockies picked Bernard’s contract from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. He finished eighth and played midfield in the Rockies’ 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opening game of a three-game series.
Bernard went 1-on-3 with an infield single in the seventh inning.
“It’s a special moment,” said Bernard before the game. “After how many years I’ve been playing, I’m finally here. It is amazing. I’m finally here.”
Picked in the 35th round of the 2012 draft, Bernard, 31, spent three seasons in the Padres’ minor-league system. He also played in the minors for Detroit, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs, along with stints in the Mexico Winter League, Venezuela Winter League and Independent Ball.
And he played for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.
Colorado manager Bud Black visited Bernard and outfielder Connor Joe in the winter of 2020. He offered both players batting practice and encouraged the Rockies to sign them.
“I’ve recommended to our front office to see if we can sign these guys,” Black said. “Our front office contacted their agents and they closed deals.”
Joe made his Rockies debut in 2021 while Bernard has played for the Isotopes for the past two seasons. He hit .254 with seven homers in 2021. This year his numbers are outstanding: .325 with 17 home runs, 24 doubles and 26 stolen bases.
In 10 minor league seasons, he hits .286 with 50 homers and 226 stolen bases.
Bernard was told he was promoted before Albuquerque’s game on Thursday. He celebrated with teammates and shared the news with his mother on a video call.
“My mother’s feelings made me break down even more. She’s done so much,” he said. “The way I saw her taking care of my father before he died he was bedridden but she stayed by his side. I said to myself, ‘I know how hard she worked, so I’m going to work just as hard – if not harder.’ Just seeing her reaction meant a lot.”
The Rockies named pitcher Jordan Sheffield for the assignment. They also recalled catcher Dom Nunez, putting outfielder Yonathan Daza (left shoulder dislocation) and catcher Elias Diaz (left wrist sprain) on the 10-day injured list.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34390652/journeyman-wynton-bernard-keys-colorado-rockies-win-10-seasons-minors Journeyman Wynton Bernard makes Major League debut with Colorado Rockies after 10 seasons in minors