The Rockies' top four picks of the 2009 draft were on display last night -- three were great while one comported himself with considerably less grace.
The Sky Sox really got on the Aces early in this one, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings (on just six hits) against Kris Benson (yes, that Kris Benson) and adding on two more in the fourth. Especially noteworthy were the performances of OF Matt Miller (2004 13th round), who went 2-4 with his fifth homer of the year in the first inning, a two-run shot, and SS Chris Nelson (2004 1st round), who was 3-4 with a triple and 3 RBIs. Dexter Fowler merely went 1-3 with two walks, lowering his BA to .400. Every starting position player had at least one hit by the fourth.
Greg Smith (2009 Trade) was the starter but he only lasted 1.1 IP before coming out with an injury (apparently to his arm, but not a lot of details were provided). He gave up three runs during his stint on the mound on two hits and two walks. Damian Moss took the mound in relief to get the victory, which pushed the Sky Sox to 25-28 (2.5 GB).
The Drillers got a nice pitching performance from Keith Weiser (2006 3rd round) but lost anyways, falling to 21-30 (9 GB). Weiser went 7 IP, allowing two runs on five hits. Offensively, Wilin Rosario (2006 DR) registered a multi-hit game, bringing his triple slash stats to .279/.331/.515. Obviously the slugging is what catches your attention, especially from the catcher position.
Meanwhile, Scott Beerer (2003 2nd round) seems to be turning into a pumpkin before our eyes -- not exactly the Disney imagery most were hoping for/expecting. He's OPSing .540 in Tulsa this year as a 27 year old (three-four years older than average). Meanwhile, Rosario just turned 21 a few months ago and is tearing it up. I expect that if Beerer doesn't pick it up in the next few weeks, he'll be out of the organization.
Mike Zuanich (2008 28th round) hit his first home-run of the year, a second inning solo shot. It's only the fourth game of the season at Modesto due to injury for Zuanich (he also played nine games at Asheville), who is one of my favorite prospects in the organization (I'm a sucker for pure power). Meanwhile, 2009 first round OF Tim Wheeler went 2-4 to continue his hot streak. Over the last ten games Wheeler is hitting .350/.409/.550.
In the end though, 2009 supplemental first rounder LHP Rex Brothers was handed the ball in top of the ninth with a tie game and left it with a three run deficit (allowed on three hits, two walks, and a balk). With the loss the Nuts fell to 28-24 (4 GB).
2009 first round LHP Tyler Matzek was stellar in this game, going six innings and getting eight strikeouts while giving up a run (on a home run to the first batter he faced) on four hits and two walks. Matzek also recorded a 4:3 GB/FB ratio. Obviously, this is only Matzek's third ever pro start, but he is only 19 and doing very well so far (18 Ks in 15 IP, 10 H allowed).
2009 2nd rounder 3B Nolan Arenado wasn't to be upstaged, however, as he registered another multi-hit game to drive in Asheville's only run, raising his average to .389 (and OPS to 1.003). Arenado just turned 19. If it weren't for Arenado's fielding problems (and SSS), I'd be super excited -- aw heck, I'm still super excited. Arenado could be the next Rockies first-baseman in 2013.
Oh, and the Tourists lost in extra innings, bringing their record to 23-30 (10 GB). But it's good to see Asheville's top prospects doing well.