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Brendan Rodgers is molten lava for the Asheville Tourists

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Weekly updates, quotes, news, and notes from the Colorado Rockies' Low-A affiliate Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers
Charlie Drysdale

Just a couple of weeks into the season and the Asheville Tourists are ranked near the bottom of the South Atlantic League with a record of 7-11. The team has been strong offensively, sitting near the top of the league with 5.0 runs scored per game. Pitching has been an enigma however, as the team boasts four good starters in the rotation, but their overall numbers have been dragged down by the rest of the staff to the tune of a team ERA of 4.36 - one of the worst in the league.

Offensively the team is led by Brendan Rodgers who has played in nearly every game and is batting .313 with a 172 wRC+. The 19-year-old has been molten lava over the past week, posting a game on Tuesday with two home runs and then driving in five RBI on Friday with a pair of doubles.

The shortstops efforts have garnered attention from both his manager and prospect experts around the country, as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com named Rodgers to his Prospect Team of the Week. In the article Mayo points out that Rodgers has produced those numbers away from the friendly confines of McCormick  field and against three pitchers in the Braves Top 30.

"I see a good player all around," Tourists manager Warren Schaeffer said to Bob Berghaus of Rodgers. "I see a good hitter. He takes quality at-bats pretty much every time he goes to the plate. That's been impressive, so far."

The pitching staff is one of the jewels in the Rockies minor leagues. Four of the five starters in the rotation have been excellent for Asheville, and boast an ERA below 3.

Name

Age

ERA

GS ▾

IP

WHIP

H9

HR9

BB9

SO9

SO/W

Parker French

23

1.17

4

23.0

0.91

6.7

0.0

1.6

5.1

3.3

David Hill

22

2.74

4

23.0

1.17

8.6

0.0

2.0

8.2

4.2

Jack Wynkoop*

22

2.62

4

24.0

1.25

10.1

0.8

1.1

6.8

6.0

Trey Killian

22

12.08

3

12.2

2.21

19.2

1.4

0.7

9.9

14.0

Peter Lambert

19

2.45

3

14.2

1.02

8.6

0.6

0.6

8.6

14.0

All four have been dominant early in the season, but Parker French has been unhittable, holding opposing batters to just .205 against him.  The big Texan has terrorized hitters by working inside and his five hit batters puts him on pace to eclipse Dan Winkler's mark of 22 hit batsmen from 2012.

The Tourist's rotation is known for attacking hitters and not giving free passes, in fact they've walked just 14 all season. David Hill, Peter Lambert and Jack Wynkoop have been successful at missing bats as all three are striking out nearly a batter per inning. Trey Killian is also striking out batters, nearly 10 per nine innings, but he's also getting lit up with batters hitting .429 against him.

Playing losing baseball isn't normal for a team that's appeared in four of the past five SAL Championships. It's too soon to get worried however, as the Braves affiliate in Rome is also one of the current bottom dwellers in the league, but they were called out by Jim Callis prior to the season as being one of the most talented minor league teams in the country. Both Rome and Asheville are younger than the rest of the league and sometimes it takes a little traction to get things moving correctly.