felician jerry vastoPHOTO: Jerry Vasto pitching for Felician in the 2014 CACC Tournament. (Ellen O'Brien)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Colorado Rockies baseball club announced last Thursday their list of 22 non-roster players who will be invited to major-league spring training later this month. Included in the group is Felician University graduate Jerry Vasto.

Vasto will turn 25 two days before the beginning of camp. A left-handed relief pitcher, he is beginning his fourth professional season after being drafted by the Rockies out of Felician in the 24th round in 2014.

Vasto split last season between advanced Class-A Modesto and Class-AA Hartford, combining for a 4-4 record, 20 saves, a 2.26 earned-run average, and 70 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings. His 2016 campaign culminated with an invitation to the Arizona Fall League.

"My reaction is just pure excitement," Vasto said. "Getting a non-roster invite was one of the goals I set for myself after my promotion to AA. There's a lot more work that I need to do in becoming a big-leaguer, but this is a nice step in the right direction."

Vasto went 10-6 with a 3.14 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 155 innings at Felician from 2011-14. As a redshirt junior in 2014, he went 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA and a then-school record 79 strikeouts. He was voted the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Pitcher of the Year and a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Honorable-Mention All-American in helping the Golden Falcons to their first CACC Championship. He completed his B.S. in business administration in 2015.

Vasto is a native of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and a 2010 graduate of Henry Hudson Regional.

"I plan on enjoying the experience and learning as much as I can," Vasto said. "This will be a great opportunity not only on the field, but in the clubhouse as well. Being able to pick those guys' brains up there is something I think is very valuable in making myself a better pitcher. I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I can't wait to get to work."

Rockies pitchers and catchers have their first workout on Feb. 14 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.