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Friday Pebble Report:

Colorado Springs: L 6-14

It was a bad loss in the home finale for the Sky Sox, Christian Colonel hit his eleventh homerun. Ryan Spilborghs had two more hits as his return to the Rox nears.

Tulsa: W 11-4

Justin Nelson tripled, homered and drove in four, and Rick Guarno drove in four more with one swing on a grand slam. A lot of patience was displayed by the top of the lineup, as Eric Young walked twice (and added two hits) and Dexter Fowler walked three times.

Modesto: W 9-1

Esmil Rogers pitched a solid seven innings, 1/7 on his BB/K rate with seven hits and a run allowed. This follows an equally brilliant outing against Stockton last weekend. I've been on the Esmil Rogers fanboat for a while and am excited to see him step up here late in the season. Still there have been several blips for him this year, including his first two starts in August, which means I can't really tell for sure if these last outings represent the true breakout that I've been sort of unnaturally anticipating since watching him last season with Asheville. I guess what I'm saying is that I hope he gets some winter league play to give me a better clue, as his stuff has a chance to give us another bright and shiny hope when it comes to our starting pitching prospects.

Michael McKenry had a pair of hits and drove in three, Michael Paulk homered and singled and Anthony Jackson and Victor Ferrante each doubled. McKenry's going to remain anonymous this offseason among prospecct hounds, but again I'm going to tell Rockies fans that the chances of him succeeding are much better than they probably realize.

Asheville: W 11-1

Darin Holcomb (3 for 4, double, homer 6 RBI), on the other hand, may make some top ten lists for our team based purely on statistical conjecture, which I'm okay with, as he's a good player, but my own problem (and it's the problem that scouts had that led him to drop in the draft) is that I just don't know how where he winds up fitting. If he could move to second base, and that's a bit doubtful given his defense at third is only mediocre, he could be a real asset and would easily qualify as a top ten. As it stands, he's out in the 14-17 range depending on how I feel on any given day.

The big problem with moving him to second base right now is that the Tourists have a good glove, speedy, and occasionaly powerful (2 for 4, also with a homer) player there already in Everth Cabrera. I think I'm underrating Cabrera on my PuRps list, as I've had him in the 20's. My big issue with him, something Holcomb doesn't have to worry about, is a too high K rate for a player that doesn't have power. Cabrera's value will be dependent on how often he gets on base, and if he's taking 25% of his PA's off the table from even a chance of that happening, it puts much greater pressure on him to succeed in the other 75%. We'll definitely want to see more contact from Cabrera at Modesto next season. Helder Velazquez, who also needs more contact, also homered in the romp and Connor Graham struck out eight and allowed just two hits but walked six in six innings.

Tri-City: L 4-7

Charlie Blackmon had two of the Dust Devils five hits, tripled walked, scored. He's in better shape than Blackmon going forward because he's got a wide range of outfielder tools and he's left handed.

Casper: L 4-7

Similarly to Dexter Fowler at Tulsa, McKenry at Modesto, Holcomb at Asheville and Blackmon at Tri-City, Wilin Rosario has become sort of a first look for me when I open Casper's box scores. I'm obviously pleased when he HR's, as he did last night. It's certainly a confirmation bias sort of a deal, and I'm well aware that it might be tinting my view of McKenry in particular, but I really don't think that's the case with Wilin. He's a keeper.

Delta Cleary has become the second Casper player I look at, and yesterday he too confirmed my bias by smacking a pair of singles. Jimmy Cesario, who admittedly I only try to look at when he does well, did well with a four for four night. Edwar Cabrera had some homerun trouble again, giving up all seven runs in five plus innings.