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Monday Pebble Report: Modesto Goes Nuts, Kyle Parker Starting to Power Up

Eye On: Kyle Parker, OF - Low-A

After focusing on football last fall, the reasonable expectation for Colorado's 1st round pick in 2010 was early rust, followed by increasingly effective production. In reality, he has shown the exact opposite, producing a .987 OPS in April, .759 OPS in May and .691 OPS in June. He has rebounded with a boom and smashing July, posting a .333/.403/.667 line this month. That includes seven of his 16 home runs on the season. Last night, he hit two dingers, his second 2HR game in eight days, both against Greensboro. He has also gone yard in three straight games. This is the type of power that the Rockies were hoping they were going to get out of their first round selection, and the power that made Baseball America list him as the best power prospect in 2010's draft. 

AAA Colorado Springs - W 9-7 (48-54, 3rd, 13.5 GB)

Clayton Mortensen (2011, trade) held the Fresno Grizzlies to three runs in six innings of work, earning his first win in 2011 at the AAA level. Mike Paulk (2005, 13th round) had three hits, including a double, improving his batting average to a quiet .367.  Mike Jacobs (2011, MiLB FA) doubled twice hit a 3-run bomb, and Matt Pagnozzi (2011, MiLB FA) hit a solo home run.  Scott Beerer (2003, 2nd round) made his AAA debut, getting hit by a pitch while pinch-hitting. He then stole second base and scored on a bunt and throwing error. The Sky Sox have won 6 of 7.


AA Tulsa - L 1-5 (15-13, t-1st)

After a comebacker to start the game, Dan Houston (2008, 7th round) allowed four straight Arkansas Travelers to reach base, plating three early runs. That deficit proved to be too much for the Drillers to overcome, whose only offense came on a Lars Davis (2007, 3rd round) groundout, driving in Bronson Sardinha (2010, MiLB FA). #10 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) went hitless and struck out once, his 10th K in his last 24 AB. #17 PuRP Casey Weathers lowered his ERA to 5.57 by allowing one run in two innings....without allowing a hit. He allowed a walk, stolen base, fly out and wild pitch. He worked a scoreless eighth despite hitting the first two batters.



High-A Modesto -  W 13-9 (15-15, t-3rd, 4.0 GB)

You wouldn't know it from the name, but High Desert is the highest park in the California League, where offense rules more than any other place in the league. #21 PuRP Edwar Cabrera (2008, DR) did more than survive, allowing 3ER in 6IP to improve to 2-0 with a 3.99 ERA after his midseason promotion to Modesto. He allowed two solo home runs, which comes with the territory in High Desert, but he prevented further damage by striking out 11 and walking just one. Good old Edwar. Charlie77 was on scene and provided this unique video of Edwar.

The Mavericks' pitchers weren't so good. Kent Matthes (2009, 4th round) went nuts on the Mariners' affiliates, clubbing three home runs, doubling and driving in seven. Angelys Nina (2007, DR) also went PlayStation on High Desert, homering twice and collecting a single. #24 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) fell a triple shy of the cycle, and Beau Seabury (2007, 13th round) hit a home run as well. Granted, offense in High Desert is often a mirage, but it was encouraging nonetheless to take advantage of the offensive oasis as is.


Low-A Asheville - W 11-6 (17-13, 3rd, 2.0 GB)

#12 PuRP Rafael Ortega (2009, DR), #15 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) and #3 PuRP Kyle Parker (2010, 1st round) drove in all 11 runs for the Tourists. Parker's 2HR/5RBI night led the way. Ortega homered to lead off the game and later singled home two, while Dickerson doubled, singled, stole a base and drove in three. #28 PuRP Josh Slaats (2010, 5th round) improved to 6-1 by allowing just one run in six innings, his sixth consecutive start going 5+ IP and allowing 2 or less runs.


Short Season-A Tri-City - W 10-4 (21-16, 1st)

Congratulations are in order for the Dust Devils, who clinched a playoff spot by winning the Eastern Division first half title. They certainly celebrated last night.  Tri-City took a commanding lead early, piecing together four singles and two walks into a 5-run third inning, capped by a two-run single by Taylor Featherston (2011, 6th round), who was thrown out trying to reach second. He also walked and singled home a run later in the game, and David Hernandez (2009, undrafted) drove in two from the 9-spot in the order. Every member of the line-up drove in a run except Tim Smalling (2011, 15th round) and Tyler Massey (2008, 14th round), who reached base five times between them. Vianney Mayo (2007, VZ) worked 5.2 effective innings for the W.


Rookie Casper -  L 4-7  (9-24, 4th, 12.0 GB)

Benjamin Hughes (2011, 10th round) has his fourth rocky appearance in his four career trips to hill, getting touched up for three runs on seven hits, getting chased in the fourth inning. Patrick Johnson (2011, 25th round) lowered his season ERA with 2 ER in 1.1 innings of relief. The offense was sparse, but it came from the most interesting suspects. Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) came a home run shy of the cycle, and Trevor Story (2011, sandwich) and Julian Yan singled twice. Will Swanner (2010, 15th round) walked twice, and Carl Thomore (2011, 2nd round) hit his first professional home run, a two-run blast in the ninth inning. 


DSL Rockies - DSL AL All-Stars 5, DSL NL All-Stars 3  (28-19, 3rd, 3.0 GB)

Yep, that's right. The DSL has an All-Star game too. 19-year-old Franmy Pena (.315/.344/.461) was the starting catcher for the NL, but he struck out in his only plate appearance. 18-year-old Miguel Dilone (.311/.454/.370) got two plate appearances as a replacement at shortstop, and he walked in both. Of the 32 other players who represented the NL in the game, none were Rockies property.