Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox were blown out 16-2 by the Rangers' affiliate in Oklahoma yesterday. Marc Kaiser got shelled, giving up nine of the runs on only ten hits and three walks. Interestingly enough, his opponent Mark Redman gave up nine hits, but only two runs. The difference was Kaiser allowed the BB's and a pair of homeruns, while Redman did a fairly decent job of spreading the singles around and a pair of doubles around. Clint Barmes went four for five with one of the doubles, Ian Stewart hit the other one. Barmes finally seems to be figuring the whole contact hitting thing out again, he's only had two no-hit games in his last ten, and is batting .350 over that span. I'm going to guess that there are pretty good odds that one of the three of Barmes, Omar Quintanilla or Jamey Carroll get moved during the season, but I still don't see a lot of value for utility infielders on the trade market.
Still, it beats the return we're seemingly destined to get for Cory Sullivan and Jayson Nix after this season. Both are taking up valuable 40 man roster slots and under-performing severely at the plate in a hitter friendly league. I'm guessing the return will be nil when they are cut to make room for others.
Tulsa: Another Rockies vs Rangers affiliate match-up, this time with the good guys winning seven to five. The Drillers weren't able to do much against Eric Hurley, a Matt Macri solo homerun in the third and a Jordan Czarniecki walk plus two singles from Jonathan Herrera and Chris Frey in the fifth accounted for the two runs against the Rangers' top prospect, but after staying close the rally opened up against Frisco's bullpen. Macri's been slumping lately, but his bat definitely handles quality pitching. He'll be one of the players I'd worry about losing in the Rule 5 draft in December, particularly if he puts together a second half like he's capable of.
Modesto The Nuts were off for a travel day.
Asheville: The Tourists lost a heartbreaker at home to Augusta in the tenth inning, five to two. From a strict Rockies fan standpoint this probably doesn't register for many of you, particularly since there were enough positive prospect performances to take from the game, but from a Tourists fan perspective, this one hurt, as Augusta stretched their divisional lead out to three and a half games with just a couple of weeks left before the first half ends. Manager Joe Mikulik called it the most disappointing loss of the year.
Anthony Jackson hit his second homerun of the season, and Esmil Rogers once again looked very impressive, limiting the mature Augusta offense to just four hits in seven innings, while striking out six. He walked two, and overall his command was fairly sound. The above link mentions that Logan Wiens was sent back to extended Spring Training to get more AB's while the Rockies closely evaluate Michael Paulk. Keith Weiser pitches tonight.
PuRPs: Let's go ahead and continue to discuss prospects and make sample lists. It's not going to be too easy this time around. If I see enough samples today, I'll put up the poll this evening, but I want to make sure we have a thorough and deep discussion as there are a lot of question marks, some possible flukes, some performances that look good in the numbers at first glance but might not actually be that impressive, and some like Paulk, who might be more impressive than that second glance at the numbers would indicate...
Also, feel free to post draft thoughts. Like David Ohno and others, I was highly impressed by the job the "Rockies" did in Minor League Ball's mock draft yesterday. Detwiler's a great pick at #8, Cole Abbott was a bit of a stretch in the second round, but kind of like David Christensen last season, his upside merits an overdraft if the scouts say it's a go and you think you can sign him. I'm not a big Denny Almonte fan, but I know smart people who are, and again, it's a solid upside pick there in the third. I also think he'd be asking for well above slot money at that pick, and do not see the actual Rockies going that direction in the third round, but without budgets or having to deal with agents the choice was very solid. I especially liked the value in our fourth and fifth round selections. Merklinger and Sublett are solid college players with enough tools that I can see them being on Bill Schmidt's board in this range. Good job, Angels and Demons.