I did a review of the Rockies past five drafts yesterday at the RMN's Farm Report blog.
Colorado Springs (18-20, 12 GB): W 9-6
Jayson Nix, Seth Smith, Christian Colonel and Eduardo Cornejo all had multi-hit games for the victors last night. One of Smith's two hits was his fourth homerun of the season off of former Rockie Marcos Carvajal. John Koronka pitched with some traffic, but got the job done with four runs allowed over eight innings. Colonel has an amazing pinch hitting streak going (six straight, tying the PCL record, as TulsaDriller pointed out Monday) but he's just been swinging the bat well in general with three more hits yesterday to bring his average up to .375 on the season, which is tops on the team of those over 50 PA's. Of course, we're not the only ones to notice, his manager had this to say to the Colorado Springs Gazette:
"Anybody that hits .375 is a bit of a surprise," Runnells said. "What I'm most impressed with is his pinch-hitting."
You could ask Jeff Baker how difficult, and how much of a skill pinch hitting can be as you rarely have the luxury of getting a second look at a pitcher. The one drawback for Colonel, and it could be important outside the PCL, is that only five of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases -all doubles- so his value is almost entirely in that average.
Tulsa (14-24, 6 GB): L 4-7
Ching-lung Lo followed his best outing of the season with a fairly disappointing one, giving up nine hits -including two HR's- and six runs in 5 2/3 innings. Much of the Drillers offense has been slumping lately, including Dexter Fowler until two days ago, but he at least seems to have broken out of the doldrums following Monday's two hit performance with a four for four night last night. He's back in the top ten in the Texas League in OPS, barely, but he's rising. I'm going to have a little more on him later today. Matt Miller had two hits, including his eighth double of the season in the loss.
Modesto (18-21, 8 GB): L 1-2
Keith Weiser was the hard luck loser for the Nuts, pitching a strong seven innings and allowing just a pair of runs to cross the plate, but the offensive woes that plagued the team early in the year have returned to the Nuts in San Jose, with just one run in eighteen innings thus far. Cole Garner has been a bit of an exception with two hits yesterday. He's batting .359 over his last ten games to bring his average to just below the .300 threshold for the season. Michael Paulk and Geoff Strickland both also knocked out a pair of hits, but there wasn't enough punch to overcome the Giants.
Asheville (27-12 1st Place): L 6-2
Craig Baker doesn't figure to stay on top of Jason McGill's Tourist Power Rankings in week nine after giving up four runs in the eighth inning last night. Baker and Matt Reynolds let another strong start by Connor Graham result in a no decision. Graham pitched six innings, giving up one unearned run on three singles and four walks. He struck out six. Darin Holcomb had three hits in three attempts and Jeff Cunningham had a pair of singles in the loss.