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Friday Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: Suspended

Rescheduled as part of a double-header on August 27th

Tulsa: W 11-1

After getting schooled by one Rangers pitching prospect the night before, Tulsa turned around and showed another one some humility, driving Neftali Feliz out after three innings and five runs. Chris Nelson had three hits and drove in four, Tony Blanco also collected three hits, and Justin Nelson hit his 16th homerun of the year. Newly acquired journeyman Gary Cates took a liking to the Texas League with a five for five night and three runs scored in his system debut. Tulsa's defensive issues continue, Nelson and Eric Young each picked up another error, and Tony Blanco, after 29 errors at third, got his 30th with the Drillers in left field. Not that errors paint a clear picture of defense, but in this case, Tulsa's Texas League leading 173 isn't lying.

Chaz Roe went seven innings allowing just four hits and a walk and one run.

Modesto: W 5-2

Simon Ferrer's knuckleball was used to decent effect last night, the ten hits he gave up in six innings is probably fairly misleading as there were only two line drives hit off him, both for singles, although he did allow a pair of extra base hits on flyballs. It otherwise looks like a lot of Texas Leaguers and seeing eye grounders though, from what I can tell.

Matt Repec, Lino Garcia and Michael McKenry all homered, McKenry also drew three walks and has a 9/1 BB/K ratio in his last ten games. That's pretty ridiculous and I might add considerably lucky, as even the best players at strike zone judgment won't get all the calls to go their way due to umpire variance alone, and McKenry's had three out of his other four months this season with K rates over 20%. I could see him taking a step forward, but I'm highly doubtful he could go so far so fast. Still, the progress underscores that McKenry's potential value has once again taken off. He's the Nuts best position prospect by a considerable margin over Daniel Mayora, the question is how highly should he be regarded among Rockies prospects overall? I guess first we have to decide how he ranks among Rockies catchers. Wilin Rosario has more potential, but McKenry's got far more polish and is a better all around defender right now at the position. I think I'm still leaving Rosario ahead because of the high ceiling, but I don't think McKenry's that far off and should crack my top ten depending on how I'm going to reconcile the injury to Hector Gomez and how far I decide to drop Nelson.

So, sort of half thinking it through, a temporary draft of my top ten Rockies prospects would probably look something like this:

  1. Dexter Fowler
  2. Jhoulys Chacin
  3. Christian Friedrich
  4. Casey Weathers
  5. Greg Reynolds
  6. Gomez
  7. Rosario
  8. Brandon Hynick
  9. McKenry
  10. Aneury Rodriguez

I've got high regard for Connor Graham, am uncomfortable dropping Nelson, figure EY2's probably somewhere in this territory now, Roe too, despite concerns about his velocity, and I'm bullish enough on Parker Frazier to have even thought of putting him up here, so I'm probably going to tinker with my list over the next couple of weeks before we have our PuRPs discussion, but as it stands this will have to do.

Asheville: L 1-4

Warren Schaeffer has a .353/.378/.529 line going for the month of August after three more hits last night, and I'm scratching my head as to where it has come from. This is, after all, the same player that put up a .485 OPS in Casper last season, but he's not the only Tourist that falls into that where-have-you-been category. Brian Lapin hit his fifth homerun of the month and is at .258/.303/.774. If you've ever seen Lapin, you'll know that prodigious power should be a part of the 6'6", 230 lb. man-beast's game, but up until this month he had just two professional homeruns in 271 professional at bats. So I guess the bigger question is that if these two are having no problems hitting of late, what's going on with the rest of the Tourists? Everth Cabrera did steal his 70th base and Bruce Billings had a quality start in the loss.

Tri-City: W 9-2

Patrick Rose is also putting together a fine August, .318/.434/.568, tripling and homering in yesterday's win. Rose was one of several Dust Devils with multiple hits, Charlie Blackmon did it (again), as did Chris Vasami, James Sims and Derek Kinzler. Kenny Durst had another strong outing, he's hanging right out there on my periphery of prospects to watch with an excellent K/BB ratio, but some otherwise mediocre indicators.

Casper: Suspended

They completed one full inning before being rained out, Ethan Hollingsworth had a perfect first with a K and Rosario a single for the only marks of distiction in the game thus far.