Eric Young Jr. homered and drove in a pair of runs. The next infielder that hits the DL for the Rockies (or otherwise gets moved off the roster) will probably precede Young's MLB debut. Young was picked off first by Gio Gonzalez, who pitched well enough to hold the Sky Sox at bay for the victory.
Brandon Hynick and the Sky Sox would like a do-over of the first inning from Sunday, please, because after being outscored 6-0 in that frame, they righted the ship, just not enough. Mark Bellhorn homered, Chris Iannetta and Matt Miller doubled in the loss.
Esmil Rogers had his worst start of the season, getting shelled for thirteen hits, including four for extra bases, in five and two thirds innings. The first inning was particularly bad, as six of the first seven batters were able to record hits off of him. He settled down for the next four innings before running into more trouble in the sixth.
Keith Weiser had similar first inning issues to Hynick on Sunday and Rogers on Monday, giving up three runs in the first frame, which given the Drillers anemic offense was enough to take the loss even without the other three runs tacked on.
Rhadames Nazario had a pair of hits, scored twice and drove in two. Wilin Rosario also had three hits and a walk. He has been overmatched so far as an extremely young hitter for the Cal League, which has been somewhat expected and shouldn't be held too much against him. As far as his offensive work is concerned, I'm mostly curious how he'll adjust in the second half. For those wondering why he's even at Modesto where his bat would be expected to underperform in the first place, it's mostly because Jerry Weinstein wrote the book on catching instruction. Well, actually starred in the video, but close enough.
Scott Robinson, Jordan Pacheco, Jimmy Cesario and Christian Friedrich have been named to the South Atlantic League South division All-Star team.
Parker Frazier had one of his best, if not his best outing of 2009, pitching seven innings and striking out eight on his way to the victory. Tyler Massey and Kiel Roling each continued to match each other for the second straight day, both had two hits both homered. For Roling it was his fourth home run on the season, for Massey, his second.
On May 15th, I took a look at the struggles the Rockies young position player prospects were going through at Asheville, and at the time it appeared that our young and talented but raw players weren't measuring up to what we were seeing comparable players from other organizations achieving. Since then, Delta Cleary took off, but now signs are emerging that Tyler Massey is as well. Here's an updated chart to compare how the two outfielders are stacking up with similar players from other organizations:
Galloway's injured, which puts his development on hold and his numbers therefore have a bit more sample size issues than the others. Cleary's tear actually has him at least on a par with the best of these, although his power still seems a bit McCormick Field inflated right now. One major positive for the Rockies pair is that they are the only two players from the above chart to have K rates under 20%. In the long run, this gives them a leg up at sustaining their production at higher levels. Right now, it's just a matter of getting that production to a point where we could really be excited about them.
The fact that none of these young prospects are putting up really impressive numbers could be a telling sign that the quality and age of the SAL is trending higher. There are a deep pocketed, high school draft oriented teams such as the Red Sox, Phillies, Braves and the two New York teams that push the average age down by loading in their teenage prospects, but since many teams have bacome budget conscience in the draft, one big ramification seems to be a lot more collegiate level prospects in the SAL than used to be the case. That could be good news for a player like Kiel Roling, and make his numbers more impressive than we'd usually be inclined to give him credit for. Still, this isn't too different from the case last season when you had a half dozen teenagers on the SAL's top 20 leaderboard for wOBA. This season there isn't even one. It might just be that this is a bad teenager crop all around.
Cleary homered, Massey and Roling each had three hits in the loss.