I did a little bit of a mid-season review for the Rockies Farm Report at the RMN yesterday.
Colorado Springs: W 11-7
Joe Koshansky had his 50th extra base hit of the season (double #30), he led the PCL by eight in that category as of yesterday afternoon. Cory Sullivan had three hits and Chris Frey, Edwin Bellorin and Seth Smith each had a pair of hits in the offensive slugfest. Sky Sox pitchers gave up three homeruns, one each by starter Glendon Rusch and relievers Micah Bowie and Steven Register. Still, they did a pretty good job of giving up the big hits before they let runners aboard rather than after, which was the key difference between the two teams last night.
Tulsa: On holiday
Modesto (Cal League All Stars): L 1-3
You can blame Giants pitching for this, as Ben Snyder and Jesse English gave up all three runs. Really, I wish that this was significant somehow; that it means that Giants pitching prospects are overrated and that we don't need to worry about these guys shutting down the Rockies in future seasons, but that sign will only come if they struggle in AA. Aneury Rodriguez and Andrew Johnston each gave up one hit, but also struck out one and held the Carolina All Stars scoreless in their brief appearances.
Asheville: L 1-7
The last three weeks have shown an entirely different Asheville team from the beginning of the season, as the rest of the South Atlantic League has caught up in development and Jeff Cunningham and Brian Rike have failed to adjust as pitchers have to them. Cunningham's hitting .197 in June and Rike .221, which is pretty terrible for collegiate draftees in their first full season. That said, there is precedent for a "June Wall" with players unused to the constant grind of minor league baseball. At any rate, there's a large void in the Tourists run production right now, and unless somebody steps up to fulfill a run producing role, the T's could be in for a long summer. At least the playoff spot is already clinched.
Tri-City: W 6-5
The Dust Devils were down five to nothing after the seventh inning stretch when Christopher Vasami, Rhadames Nazario and Austin Rauch led off the bottom half of the inning with consecutive bloop singles to load the bases. Patrick Rose followed with a two-run double and Scott Robinson a two-run triple. After Robinson then scored on a Charlie Blackmon sac-fly, there was suddenly a ball game once again. Two errors led to the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth to complete the comeback. Parker Frazier allowed all five runs in the first three innings as his second outing -much like Juan Nicasio's on Sunday- failed to live up to the promise of his first time out. Still, as is usually the case with the Giants farm system, the Salem Keizer lineup didn't have a single player that was a less than a year older than Frazier, and several that were three or more years older, so don't be too discouraged that their mature hitters were able to capitalize on some of his mistakes.
Casper: W 9-7, L 4-11
The Ghosts split a double header against Orem, taking the first game in part thanks to two of their early stalwarts at the top of the lineup, James Sims and Carlos Martinez, who each tripled, scored twice and drove in a run. Martinez had two additional hits and both finished the game with batting averages well over .400. Of course, game two saw them each go zero for four to drop their averages well below .400. Such is life. The Ghosts pitching staff had trouble preventing traffic in both games outside of Adam Jorgensen, Kurt Yacko and Andres Marrero (almost missed those two HBP's, bad Andres). Jorgenson after just four and a third innings with a 55% K/PA rate and a 67% GB rate on balls in play already seems to be outclassing the Pioneer League, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him move to Tri-City or even Asheville rather quickly. Yacko's been perfect in his two and a third innings of work. Somewhat less than perfect was Eric Schaler, who over five career minor league innings on the Reds and Rockies rookie teams has given up fourteen runs, twelve earned.