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Rockies land Wheeler from D-backs11/20/2012 8:28 PM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
Slugging infielder Ryan Wheeler got to experience the benefits of playing in hitter-friendly Chase Field this year. Next season, he'll have the chance to suit up in the ultra-thin air at Coors Field.
The Rockies acquired the third baseman from the D-backs for left-hander Matt Reynolds on Tuesday as the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster approached.
If the D-backs had dropped Wheeler from their 40-man roster, he would have been available to other teams in the Rule 5 Draft since he signed with the team when he was 18 years old.
The 2009 fifth-round Draft pick out of Loyola Marymount, hit .361 between short-season Yakima and Class A South Bend in his rookie season, then batted .280 with 12 homers and 67 RBIs across two levels in 2010.
Last year, Wheeler smacked 16 and drove in 89 runs with Double-A Mobile to earn Southern League postseason All-Star honors. He went on to play in the prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League, where he was selected for the Rising Stars Game.
This season, Wheeler -- who was Arizona's No. 16 prospect -- hit .351 with 15 homers and a career-best 90 RBIs in 93 games with Triple-A Reno. He made his big league debut on July 20 and ended up batting .239 with a homer and 10 RBIs in 50 Major League contests.
The 24-year-old has split time between first and third base, although his future may be at third.
In Reynolds, the D-backs get a 28-year-old reliever with three years of Major League service under his belt. In 165 appearances, he's 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA.