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Rockies prospects Ryan McMahon and Yency Almonte take Weekly Awards

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Weekly updates, quotes, news, and notes from the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies from April 18 to April 24

The Hartford Yard Goats (7-10) are slowly climbing up the Eastern League standings after a week where they went 4-2. They still find themselves in fourth place, but only three games back of the Portland Sea Dogs (9-6) in the Eastern Division.

This week the Goats won with pitching and lost with pitching. In their four wins they allowed a combined six runs, including two shutouts. Unfortunately, in the two loses they allowed a combined 16 runs. The sum total is their ERA improved by a full run in the past week, from 5.45 to 4.32, but they are still second to last in the Eastern League and have still allowed (by far) the most unearned runs in the league (21).

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 has actually cooled off a little from his absurd .413/.462/.783 start and is now hitting “just” .391/.443/.667 in 77 plate appearances. True, he is still hitting .405 over his last ten games, so “cooling off” is quite a relative term this early in the season. He has 18 RBI, tops in the EL, and is hanging out at the top of the leaderboard for most offensive categories.

It continues to be feast or famine for Ryan Castellani (no. 9 PuRP). On the bright side, he leads the Eastern League in K/9 among starters (10.9). On the other hand, he has been struggling to go deep into games (he hasn’t pitched in the sixth inning since Opening Day) and allowed three more walks in his last start. His 4.79 ERA and 1.31 WHIP aren’t too much higher than his 2016 in Modesto, and there should still be some consideration given to adjusting to Double-A hitters.

There’s more on Yency Almonte (no. 12 PuRP) below but suffice it to say his transition to Double-A has gone swimmingly. He still owns one of the best ERAs (1.53) and WHIPs (0.91) in the league, and is only behind teammate Castellani in K/9 (10.7).

Dom Nuñez (no. 14 PuRP) has managed to raise his batting line from a putrid .091/.259/.227 to a merely bad .121/.293/.303. Really, he just had a 2-for-11 week but one of those was a home run, meaning half of his four hits have now gone for round trippers.

Parker French (no. 26 PuRP) continued his run of success at Double-A. In his lone start this week on April 21 he went six innings and allowed one earned run on six hits and two walks. He didn’t have a strikeout and now has a 8:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 1613 innings to go with his 2.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.

Honorable mention PuRP Jack Wynkoop made two starts last week. On April 18 he struck out one and allowed seven earned runs in five innings. On April 24 he struck out two and allowed zero earned runs in eight innings. So clearly Jack should try striking out more batters. It’s science.

New Rockies relief prospect James Farris is tied to the team lead with seven relief appearances; he’s allowed just two runs in eight innings so far and is one of three Yard Goats to have recorded a save in 2017. Max White continues to be the most reliable hitter not named Ryan McMahon in Hartford’s lineup. He had two three-hit games last week, including a 3-for-5 performance against New Hampshire on April 23 where he also hit a home run.

Spotlight On: Goats sweep Eastern League weekly awards

McMahon and Almonte Win Weekly Awards | Eastern League

Those good weeks mentioned above? Folks outside of the Goats organization have taken notice. For the period from April 17 to April 23, Ryan McMahon was selected the Eastern League Player of the Week thanks in part to his huge 5-for-7 with 6 RBI game on April 17. Mac was astounding last week, going 11-for-25 with a homer, two doubles, a triple, and, in case you thought it was a pretty one dimensional performance, added four walks and two stolen bases for good measure. As we stated last week, this is exactly what you want to see out of a player repeating a level, even a level as challenging as Double-A.

Honored for the same timespan, Yency Almonte was selected as the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. This was due to his fantastic start against the Harrisburg Senators on April 20. Almonte threw seven shutout innings and scattered four hits while striking out ten (state) Senators and walking none. It just so happened that this was the Yard Goats’ first home victory at Dunkin Donuts Park. It seems that Almonte, acquired before last season from the White Sox, may be destined to join the parade of young Rockies hurlers impacting the major league club.

Looking Ahead

After a brief roadtrip to New Hampshire and Maine, the Yard Goats will return to Connecticut for an extended homestand against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (6-10, last in Western Division) and then the Portland Sea Dogs (9-6, first in 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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