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Rockies prospects finally have a home in Hartford

Weekly updates, quotes, news, and notes from the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies from April 6 to April 17

One year after they were originally slated to move into their new home in the Connecticut capital, the Hartford Yard Goats (3-8, 6th in Eastern League Eastern division) have played their first truly official home game at Dunkin Donuts Park.

Unfortunately, the results on the field haven’t been as kind to the Goats. Contrary to last season, the team has struggled to prevent runs, so far allowing 73 runs through 11 games, the worst mark in the Eastern League. Their 5.45 ERA is actually better than Akron’s mark, but the 13 unearned runs allowed by Hartford has sunk them in their endeavours so far.

News and Notes, May 2 - May 15

Date Opponent Result Date Opponent Time (MT)
Date Opponent Result Date Opponent Time (MT)
May 2 v Portland L 11-12 May 9 v New Hampshire 5:05 PM
May 3 v Portland L 1-5 May 10 v New Hampshire 8:35 AM
May 4 @ Harrisburg L 2-6 May 11 v Erie 5:05 PM
May 5 @ Harrisburg L 1-2 May 12 v Erie 5:05 PM
May 6 @ Harrisburg W 6-5 May 13 v Erie 4:05 PM
May 7 @ Harrisburg W 6-1 May 14 v Erie 11:35 PM
May 8 v New Hampshire W 5-0 May 15 @ Portland 4:00 PM

Ryan McMahon is so far enjoying his second turn at Double-A. The no. 7 PuRP has put up an absurd .413/.462/.783 slash line in 46 at bats, including four doubles, two triples, and three home runs. He currently leads the Eastern League with 14 RBI, though six of those came in his extraordinary performance Monday night in a 16-14 loss in 13 innings. Obviously Mac isn’t going to go full Ted Williams for the whole season, but it’s good to see a prospect have this initial success in his second turn at a level.

The first turn through the rotation was not kind to Ryan Castellani (no. 9 PuRP). He allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings on Opening Day but rebounded to throw five shutout innings with eight strikeouts on April 11 against Harrisburg. He now owns a 3.94 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 16 innings.

After finishing 2016 with five starts at Double-A, Yency Almonte (no. 12 PuRP) has made a solid return to Hartford. Through just two starts he has a 2.53 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 1023 innings. Unfortunately he has allowed six walks in that time but has still limited baserunners thanks to a .171 batting average against.

Dom Nuñez (no. 14 PuRP) has struggled in the early going at Hartford. He’s played in nine of the Goats’ 11 games and has a .091/.259/.227 line to show for it in 22 at bats. He currently has two hits, one of them a home run, five walks, and five strikeouts. Of course, Nuñez is known for his devotion to refining his defense at each new level, so there is plenty time to wait for the bat to come around.

Parker French (no. 26 PuRP) split time between Asheville and Modesto last year and was equally impressive in both, amassing a 122:29 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 177 23 innings with a 2.63 ERA. He’s made two starts so far for Hartford, allowing four runs on ten hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in 1013 innings.

New Rockies relief prospect James Farris has adjusted well to the system. He has allowed one run (on a home run) and four hits with four strikeouts in four appearances spanning five innings. Honorable mention PuRP Jack Wynkoop has so far been able to keep his beguiling ways going, posting a 2.03 ERA in two starts with seven strikeouts and three walks—already a quarter of his total from last year across 28 starts.

Max White has enjoyed a hot start in his first action above A-ball in this, his sixth minor league season. The left fielder from North Carolina is keeping pace with McMahon with a .324/.439/.559 line with one homer and three RBI.

Spotlight On: Dunkin Donuts Park Update

Play Ball! Hartford Yard Goats Take The Field For First Game At Dunkin' Donuts Park | Hartford Courant

It was a long road home for the Yard Goats, who endured delay after delay to their home park, eventually playing the entirety of 2016 away from Hartford (and only a handful of games in Connecticut). But the stadium debuted to rave reviews; apparently it was well worth the wait.

Everyone can agree that it’s better to have the Rockies prospects with a home base, rather than traipsing about the northeast. What remains to be seen is just how much of a difference having the newest park in minor league baseball will do for the team.

Looking Ahead

This week Harford will close out their first true homestand against Harrisburg (6-5, fourth place in Eastern League Western Division) before hitting the road again to take on New Hampshire (5-5, fifth place in Eastern League Eastern Division).

For more Yard Goats news, links, coverage and Twitter, check out the links below. If you have any questions or requests of what you'd like to see in this column, drop me a line in the comments, on Twitter (@playerTBNL), or via email (adamedpeterson@gmail.com).

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