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Prospect Roundup: Dominant pitching performances abound in the Rockies organization this week

Dominant pitching performances highlighted the week for Rockies prospects as two starters flirted with no hitters and Asheville's rotation put up an impressive shutout streak. Stats and video highlights are also included.

Charlie Drysdale

Rockies prospect Alex Balog pitched the game of his professional life on Saturday, nearly completing a no hitter before being lifted in the eighth inning due to pitch count. The righthander was on target all night, striking out seven and walking just three in 7.2 innings.

Manager Fred Ocasio was in a pickle as he saw his starter approaching the vaunted feat, but pitch count was on his mind when the Nuts texted Doug Linton, the Colorado Rockies minor league pitching coordinator, to ask how long they could let him throw. Linton's simple reply was 105 and Balog was lifted after the 105th pitch induced a popup to Ryan McMahon at third base for the second out of the inning

"If it was up to me, I would have let him pitch to that last hitter and go to the bullpen in the ninth," Ocasio told Ron Agostini of the Modesto Bee. "(Balog) made the pitches when he had to tonight."

Balog was frustrated that he wasn't able to complete the first no hitter of his career.

"Of course, I could've gone longer. I wanted it (the no-hitter)," said Balog. "It kind of killed me (to be relieved), but I gave my team a chance to win."

Drafted in round No. 2 of the 2013 draft, Balog is at home in the California League where he attended the University of San Francisco after graduating from high school in nearby San Jose. Pitching for Modesto this year Balog has a 3.84 ERA in 13 games and has 56 strikeouts in 77.1 innings.

At 6'5 and 210 lbs, Balog is a big pitcher, but he's more of a groundball specialist with a strikeout rate of just 6.5 per nine innings in his career. The right-handed pitcher throws a sinker in the low 90's, which he complements with a slider and power curve. He's a pitcher whose potential has so far outstripped his results, but has put up better and better numbers at each stop in his minor league career.

The California native earned the Player of the Week award for his no hit performance, he was the second Rockies pitcher in as many weeks to win the award as Zach Jemiola received the same honor a week prior.

Asheville strings together a dominant pitching week

Thursday night saw another near no hit performance by a pitcher in the Rockies organization. This time it was Helmis Rodriguez for the Asheville Tourists who went deep into the game before ultimately allowing a hit in the ninth inning. A left-handed pitcher who is a year younger than his competition in the South Atlantic League, Helmis has struggled at home where he's posted a 5.40 ERA, but has experienced success on the road with a 2.50 ERA.

The near no-no by Helmis was part of an extended streak of dominating pitching performances from the Asheville rotation this week which has allowed just one earned run in 37 consecutive innings. On Friday night Ryan Castellani was shining on the mound as the 19-year-old enjoyed his longest outing of the season, pitching six innings and giving up just three hits and one unearned run while striking out five.

Jesus Tinoco was the hero for Asheville on Tuesday night as the righty pitched six innings of shutout baseball allowing just three hits while striking out eight batters. The Venezuelan native was part of the package of pitching prospects the Rockies received in theTulowtizki trade and has been a force for the Tourists since joining the roster. Tinoco has put up a 1.17 ERA in four starts and is striking out an impressive 10.2 batters per nine in that span.

Stat Central

Top Hitters for the past 14 days

Name

Team

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

K

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

Collin Ferguson

GJ

29

5

9

0

1

2

5

7

0

0.310

0.556

0.586

1.142

Tom Murphy

ALB

38

10

12

4

1

4

9

11

0

0.316

0.350

0.789

1.139

Anthony Brito

GJ

27

7

13

1

0

0

4

2

2

0.481

0.517

0.519

1.036

Shane Hoelscher

ASH

47

14

16

2

0

2

5

7

3

0.340

0.516

0.511

1.027

Ryan McMahon

MOD

44

6

13

2

2

3

7

13

0

0.295

0.340

0.636

0.976

Kevin Padlo

BOI

52

8

17

3

0

3

12

11

5

0.327

0.410

0.558

0.968

Cristhian Adames

ALB

58

8

22

2

0

2

5

9

2

0.379

0.438

0.517

0.955

Mike Tauchman

NBR

50

6

18

5

1

0

6

6

3

0.360

0.448

0.500

0.948

Jan Vazquez

NBR

31

6

11

0

0

1

2

7

1

0.355

0.487

0.452

0.939

Brian Mundell

BOI

53

7

18

4

0

2

8

10

1

0.340

0.410

0.528

0.938

Top Pitchers for the past 14 days

Name

Team

IP

BF

ER

R

H

SO

HRA

BB

PPI

WHIP

ERA

K/9

Jorge Oviedo

DSL ROCK

13.2

45

0

0

4

15

0

0

5.8

0.303

0.00

10.2

Javier Palacios

BOI

15

65

2

7

17

7

0

4

6.3

1.400

1.20

4.2

Ryan Carpenter

NBR

22

83

3

3

12

26

2

5

13.2

0.773

1.23

10.6

Antonio Senzatela

MOD

18.1

73

3

5

12

20

2

6

7.6

0.994

1.47

9.9

Jesus Tinoco

ASH

17

69

3

3

14

19

0

5

15.3

1.118

1.59

10.1

Shane Carle

NBR

13

58

3

5

15

10

0

4

13.8

1.462

2.08

6.9

Ryan McCormick

BOI

13

58

4

8

13

11

0

6

7.6

1.462

2.77

7.6

Helmis Rodriguez

ASH

18.1

79

6

7

12

8

2

13

16.2

1.381

2.95

4.0

Kyle Freeland

MOD

19

76

7

8

21

9

4

3

5.8

1.263

3.32

4.3

Alex Balog

MOD

18

76

7

7

14

15

1

8

7.5

1.222

3.50

7.5

Highlights of the Week

Tom Murphy launches his 19th home run of the season.

Chad Bettis strikes out his seventh batter in a rehab appearance for the Isotopes.

Jordan Patterson drives the ball deep for an opposite field home run in New Britain.

Jesus Tinoco notches his eighth strikeout in a start for Asheville.

Helmis Rodriguez induces a groundout to complete eight innings of no hit ball.