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Rockies prospects Colton Welker, Sam Howard highlight PuRPs of the Week

Weekly review of Rockies prospects for each minor league affiliate

It was a good week on the farm, as the four active Rockies affiliates combined to go 17-11 from May 14 to 20. For some teams, that leaves them in the thick of their respective playoff races. For others, it helped stave off the ignominy of occupying the cellar. We’re highlighting the prospects that had the best weeks, between two and four for each team. Some are already on our top 30 PuRPs list, some, assuming they keep up their performance, deserve consideration for your midseason list.

★ ★ ★

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes, 5-2

The Isotopes remain locked into a tight race for the PCL Pacific Conference Southern Division with the Salt Lake Bees. Their 5-2 week helped lift them to only a game-and-a-half deficit to the Angels affiliate.

The trouble with Triple-A is you have this mix between rising prospects and “Quad-A” depth guys. That’s how someone like Barry Enright, who has a 5.57 ERA across 26 career starts in four MLB seasons, threw 1123 shutout innings over two starts. Aquired earlier this month from the Double-A San Antonio Missions, Enright’s presence will sure help the ‘Topes stay competitive as top prospects like Jeff Hoffman and Raimel Tapia are shuffled between ABQ and Dener.

There are several bullpen arms that could see some time in Denver as well. Keep an eye on CC Lee, Matt Carasiti, and Austin House, who are all striking out over a batter an inning. House, especially, has been impressive, allowing less than a baserunner per inning as well (0.857 WHIP).

Barry Enright: 2 GS, 1123 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 K
Austin House: 3 G, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Mike Tauchman: 7 G, 8-for-25, 3 R, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, SB

★ ★ ★

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats, 5-3

Playing two double headers in a week is difficult for any team, but the Yard Goats used their eight-games-in-seven-days stretch to build a nice five game winning streak. Unfortunately for the Yard Goats they are still five-and-a-half games out of an Eastern League Wild Card spot. The pitching has rebounded in recent weeks, climbing out of the cellar and into the middle of the pack on most statistics.

Part of this bump comes from guys like Sam Howard (no. 20 PuRP) carving Eastern League hitters up since he came to the Eastern League. In his last two starts he’s thrown 13 innings, allowed two runs (one earned) with 12 strikeouts. That includes a seven inning complete game shutout last Tuesday.

Sam Howard (no. 20 PuRP): 1 GS, CG, SHO, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 83 pitches
Parker French (no. 26 PuRP): 2 GS, 1123 IP, 11 H, 6 4, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
Josh Fuentes: 5 G, 8-for-17, 3 R, 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI

★ ★ ★

High-A: Lancaster JetHawks, 5-2

The JetHawks had a great week, going 5-2 and winning series against Stockton, Modesto, and Inland Empire in the process. They saw their eight game winning streak snapped on Thursday, thanks to (former Rockies affiliate) Modesto.

Top performers a week ago Brendan Rodgers (no. 1 PuRP) and Jesus Tinoco (remember him?) had down weeks. Rodgers got two days off, during which Garrett Hampson slid over to man shortstop. Hampson had a big week to bring his line up to .305/.374/.409 on the season. Meanwhile, Yonathan Daza might need consideration for your next PuPRs list: he’s up to .362/.405/.474, albeit in his second turn at High-A.

Two pitchers impressed last week, getting two starts each. Peter Lambert (no. 11 PuRP) and Colin Welmon combined to allow just six runs and strike out 30 batters over a combined 26 innings pitched. Unfortunately for Welmon, Modesto couldn’t muster any offense in his start against Inland Empire and he took the tough luck loss.

Garrett Hampson (no. 22 PuRP): 10-for-26, 5 R, 2 3B, RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
Peter Lambert (no. 11 PuRP): 2 GS, 13 IP, 8 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 15 K
Yonathan Daza: 9-for-26, 5 R, 3B, 7 RBI, 2 BB
Colin Welmon: 2 GS, 13 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 15 K

★ ★ ★

Low-A: Asheville Tourists, 2-4

Things didn’t go as well for the Tourists, who narrowly avoided a sweep at the hands of Greenville by pulling out a 6-5 victory on Friday. They now find themselves nine games back in the Southern Division with time running out to clinch a first-half title.

Another tough outing for Riley Pint (no. 5 PuRP) this week, as he allowed five runs on six hits in four innings. He now has a 3.25 ERA with a 19:20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2723 innings. It should be noted, however, that he hasn’t thrown more than 75 pitches in an outing yet this year, meaning he has less opportunity to work through his repertoire during a game. On the other end of the spectrum, 2016 24th round pick JD Hammer, after two perfect outings this week, has 31 strikeouts in 1913 innings pitched.

Other 2016 draftees, Colton Welker (fourth round) and Vince Fernandez (tenth) continue to make the South Atlantic League their playground. Welker is hitting an absurd .353/.392/.537 while Fernandez is up to .331/.391/.559 on the season.

Colton Welker (no. 19 PuRP): 12-for-27, 6 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Vince Fernandez: 9-for28, 8 R, 3 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, 2 BB

★ ★ ★

Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 1 vs. Colorado Springs (MIL), 4 vs. Oklahoma City (LAD), 2 @ Fresno (SFG)

Double-A Hartford: 4 @ Bowie (BAL), 3 @ Binghamton (NYM)

High-A Lancaster: 1 @ Inland Empire (LAA), 3 vs. San Jose (SFG), 3 vs. Inland Empire (LAA)

Low-A Asheville: 3 vs. Rome (ATL), 4 @ Hickory (TEX)