Three of the four full-season affiliates were involved in one-run affairs last night, with Hartford and Asheville notching wins and Lancaster falling short.
The Yard Goats trailed the Akron RubberDucks 7-5 through the top of the 7th inning but scored three runs between the 7th and 8th innings to pull off the comeback win. James Farris, the pitcher acquired from the Cubs in the Eddie Butler trade, struck out the side in the top of the 9th to seal the victory. Farris now has an ERA of 1.15 and is striking out 12.64 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.15 per nine. Farris doesn’t light up the radar gun, but has always put up excellent numbers in his minor league career, with a career strikeout rate of 10.9 per nine innings and a career walk rate of 2.5 per nine.
More good news for the Goats (and the Rockies) is that Dom Nunez might be breaking out of his season-long slump. He now has multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time all season. While his batting average sits just over .200 (at .213), his on-base percentage is an excellent .351. The Rockies are clearly big believers in Nunez, as they promoted him to Double-A despite coming off a rough 2016 season in High-A.
The Asheville Tourists scored five runs in the top of the first inning but were unable to do much damage after that, while their opponent, the Greenville Drive, managed to equalize the score at five by the 7th inning. Fortunately, a Vince Fernandez triple and a wild pitch with Colton Welker at the plate put the Tourists back up, 6-5. Flamethrower Julian Fernandez (who tops out at 102 MPH) struck out the side in the 8th, and J.D. Hammer (who has the best name among Rockies prospects, honestly; ed’s note: Not as long as someone named “Hamlet” is around) struck out two more in the 9th to get the save.
Fernandez is a name to watch, primarily because of his rare fastball velocity. After walking 20 hitters in 23 innings last year, Fernandez has walked only 7 in 18 innings this season. If he can harness control of his rocket-speed fastball, he could be a dominant reliever in the major leagues.
The best news in Albuquerque's 5-0 shutout of Colorado Springs is that Trevor Story, on rehab assignment, appears to be healthy. He had 2 hits, including a home run, along with a walk. The opposing pitcher, Josh Hader, is a talented prospect in the Brewers’ organization, making it somewhat more impressive that Story didn’t strike out. A healthy, effective Story will go a long way to leading the Rockies to a playoff spot come October.
Trevor Story (Rehab assignment): 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB
Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 0-for-4, K
Austin House: 1 IP, 2 K
Dom Nunez (No. 14 PuRP): 2-for-4 ,2 R, RBI
Dillon Thomas (Connor’s “My Dude”): 1-for-4, R
James Farris: 1 IP, 3 K, Save
Garrett Hampson (No. 22 PuRP): 0-for-4
Sam Hilliard: 0-for-4
Brian Mundell (PuRP HM): 1-for-4
Colton Welker (No. 19 PuRP): 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI
Jose Gomez (No. 30 PuRP): 1-for-4, R
Vince Fernandez: 1-for-3, 2 R, 3B
Julian Fernandez: 1 IP, 3 K
Triple-A: Matt Flemer
Double-A: Parker French
High-A: Peter Lambert (No. 11 PuRP)
Low-A: Alejandro Requena