Rockies promote Nolan Arenado, DFA Chris Nelson

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As first reported by MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, the Rockies have promoted top prospect Nolan Arenado from Triple-A Colorado Springs and will make him their starting third baseman going forward. Chris Nelson, who had been getting the majority of playing time at the hot corner this season, was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot.

Arenado ranked 42nd on Baseball America‘s Top 100 heading into the 2012 season and was expected to climb to Denver at some point that summer. But his offensive numbers were not great at Double-A Tulsa and there were some concerns raised about his maturity level, so he never got the call.

The talented 22-year-old slid to 52nd on Baseball America‘s Top 100 this past winter but has finally begun hitting the cover off the ball like every prospect evaluator thought he would.

Arenado had a .364/.392/.667 batting line, three homers, 11 doubles and 21 RBI through 18 games this year at the Triple-A level. He’s joining a first-place Rockies team with a surprising 15-9 record.