Eye On - Ben Paulsen - AA 1B
If catcher Jordan Pacheco impressed the most in Spring Training, first basemen #23 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) was second. The left-handed hitter went 11-for-24 with four triples, a home run, four walks and just four strikeouts. This came after a solid season in Modesto in 2010: .313/.354/.476 with 12 home runs. Many wanted to tab him as Todd Helton's heir just two months ago, but he hasn't created any buzz after heading east to Tulsa.
In 40 games for the Drillers, Paulsen is hitting just .235/.299/.370 with five home runs. His numbers aren't deflated by a recent slump either - quite the contracy. The left-handed slugger has just eight multi-hit games this year, and three of them came in his last three games, capped with a 3-for-5 performance Monday with a home run. Hopefully, it is a sign of things to come.
AAA Colorado Springs - W 15-6 (19-27, 4th, 8.0 GB)
Monday night, the Sky Sox rallied late and came up one run short against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Tuesday, they would leave no doubt in their comeback. Down one run in the ninth inning with Merkin Valdez (he of SpillySlam fame) on the hill, the Sky Sox put TEN runs on eight hits on the board. At one point, ten consecutive batters reached base. Here is how it happened.
- Eric Young singles to second base.
- Charlie Blackmon pops out.
- Chris Nelson hit by pitch.
- Matt Macri doubles to right field. Score tied 6-6.
- Josh Fields intentionally walks .
- Eliezer Alfonzo singles to left field. Sky Sox lead 7-6.
- Jordan Pacheco singles to center felder. Sky Sox lead 8-6.
- Willy Taveras doubles right field. Sky Sox lead 10-6.
- Matt Pagnozzi singles to center field. Sky Sox lead 12-6.
- Eric Young singles to center field.
- Charlie Blackmon homers to right field. Sky Sox lead 15-6.
- Chris Nelson walks.
- Matt Macri grounds into double play.
Ian Stewart went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, dropping him to just 4-for-17 with NINE strikeouts since his demotion. I haven't discovered why he was replaced after just two plate appearances. #12 PuRP Rex Brothers (2009, sandwich) worked a hitless eighth inning for the win. Eric Young Jr. (2003, 30th round) reached base in all six of his plate appearances, while #7 PuRP Charlie Blackmon (2008, 2nd round) went 3-for-5 with 4 RBI and that ninth inning big fly.
The rest of the minor league system had the day off. According to Tulsa pitchers Rob Scahill and Christian Friedrich, the air conditioning in the team hotel in Midland, Texas broke last night, leaving Scahill coming up with creative ways to stay cool.
AA Tulsa Off Day (22-16, 1st)
The Drillers were one of three Rockies affiliates to have an off day yesterday. #2 PuRP Wilin Rosario (2008, DR FA) and his teammates traveled from Tulsa to Midland for a three game series against the Rock Hounds (Athletics). #3 PuRP Christian Friedrich (2008, 1st round) will get the start, looking to build on his steadily decent performances of late. Hopefully Friedrich got enough sleep in his hot hotel room.
High-A Modesto Off Day (21-24, t-4th, 6.0 GB)
The Nuts got a travel day to head out to High Desert to commence a 4-game set against the Mavericks (Mariners). The starting pitchers have not been decided for either side.
The Tourists had an off day and traveled to Hagerstown to open a four game series at the Suns (Nationals), whose 28-16 record is best in the South Atlantic League. Asheville's starter has yet to be determined.