A lot more free baseball happened Monday in the Colorado Rockies' farm system, with the Hartford Yard Goats and Modesto Nuts both going to 15 innings as the Rockies' four affiliates went 2-2 on the day.
It was a big day for the Isotopes' offense as they improved to 6-6 on the year. Chris Nelson went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, Tim Smalling went 3-for-5, and Jordan Patterson (No. 18 PuRP) went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a pair of RBI. Patterson seems to get lost in the vast sea of Rockies' prospects, but he's doing everything he can to get himself noticed. On the season, the 24-year-old is hitting .372/.472/.465 and has more walks than strikeouts. If this keeps up, the Rockies will have to seriously consider finding a place for him on the big league roster. On the hill, Matt Flemer had a solid start at the mercy of the BABIP gods. He allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings of work, walking none and striking out just one.
The Yard Goats really like playing baseball. In their second marathon game in less than a week, Hartford took down the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 4-3. First baseman Ashley Graeter broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in the top of the 15th to put the Yard Goats ahead, part of a 2-for-6 day that saw his batting average actually fall to .348 on the season. Ryan McMahon (No. 5 PuRP) had the most productive offensive day for the Goats, going 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. The Rockies' other two top prospects, however, did not fare so well. Raimel Tapia (No. 6 PuRP) and David Dahl (No. 2 PuRP) combined to go an ugly 1-for-12 with nine strikeouts on the day. Tapia is now hitting a meager .184 on the year while Dahl has struck out in just over 37 percent of his plate appearances. It's still early, but those aren't the numbers you want to see from by far the top two outfield prospects in the Rockies' system.
Zach Jemiola (HM PuRP) got the start on the hill for Hartford. He gave up two runs on six hits in six innings, but walked two and didn't strike anyone out. I'll need to see some missed bats from Jemiola before I believe in him as a legitimate prospect. The bullpen was once again the MVP in this one, as Rayan Gonzalez, Matt Pierpoint, Shane Broyles, Austin House, and Matt Carasiti combined to throw 8⅓ scoreless innings.
Marathon games are becoming a thing for Modesto as well, who played 15 innings last night after going 17 innings on Friday night. Unlike that one, though, the Nuts came away from this one with something to show for their efforts as Dom Nunez (No. 13 PuRP) scored the game winning run on, of course, a wild pitch.
Yency Almonte, acquired this offseason from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Tommy Kahnle, got the start for the Nuts and was outstanding for the second straight outing to begin the year. Almonte, a 17th round pick in 2012, allowed just one run on four hits in five innings of work. He walked two, struck out seven, and now boasts an outstanding 0.87 ERA and 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings this year. We got to take a look at Almonte's first start of the year, also against the Blaze:
This one was a pitcher's duel and offense was tough to come by. Left fielder Max White had the Nuts' only extra base hits of the game with doubles in the third and 13th innings. Forrest Wall (No. 11 PuRP), reached base twice, going 1-for-5 with a single, a walk, and a sac fly in the 14th that extended the game. He's off to a fast start, with a .362/.411/.532 slash line through his first 56 plate appearances. The Nuts also got a solid performance from Nunez who got on base three times and threw out all three of the Blaze's attempted base stealers.
Asheville's early struggles continued on Monday as they fell to an ugly 3-9 on the year. Catcher Hamlet Marte paced the offense for the Tourists, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Marte is off to a strong start in his first taste of full-season ball, hitting .350/.381/.450 on the season. Brendan Rodgers (No. 4 PuRP) also reached base twice and boasts a .286/.375/.452 slash line in the early going. Parker French, however, didn't fare so well. After not allowing a run in either of his first two outings, French gave up six runs (three earned) across five innings. The 2015 fifth round pick still owns a 1.59 ERA and has walked just 1.6 batters per nine innings thus far, so one rough day is nothing to be overly concerned about.
Triple-A: Jeff Hoffman (No. 3 PuRP)
Double-A: Carlos Hernandez
High-A: Jesus Tinoco (No. 14 PuRP)
Low-A: Jack Wynkoop