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Ashton Goudeau has yet to pitch with an MLB ‘spotlight’

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After pitching exclusively in lopsided contests, we are left to anticipate how the 28-year-old will handle tight situations

Welcome to the 2020 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2020. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.

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No. 22, Ashton Goudeau: -0.1 rWAR

Much remains to be seen out of 28-year-old Ashton Goudeau, even though he has seen virtually all facets of minor league competition. The 10-year minor league veteran made his MLB debut in 2020, but he faced the misfortune of blowout contests, empty ballparks, and several trips to the alternate training site.

Goudeau appeared in four games with the 2020 Rockies, pitching a combined 8 13 innings. With a WHIP north of two, Goudeau played with fire in many of those outings. He walked two batters, struck out two, allowed three long balls, and acquired a 7.56 ERA across the 39 batters he faced.

Goudeau has yet to pitch in an MLB game that his team didn’t lose by six or more runs.

He threw 19 pitches across 1 23 frames in his MLB debut, as he allowed one earned run in a seven-run loss to Houston. Goudeau pitched again four days later inside Dodger Stadium, where his one inning of work featured Max Muncy and Mookie Betts going deep. Five days later, Goudeau took on the Padres: after allowing two more earned runs over two frames, he was sent back to the alternate site.

He faced alternate-site options on three different occasions. For someone with such extensive minor league experience, the changed format could have certainly disrupted his rhythm.

Goudeau made his professional debut at 19, as part of the Royals’ organization. He worked his way up to Double-A in his fourth season with Kansas City. He was traded to Seattle during spring training in 2018, elected free agency the following offseason, and began his Rockies tenure in 2019 with Double-A Hartford.

He was riding high after six showings in the 2019 Arizona Fall League: in 13 innings of work, Goudeau did not allow a single run. He was one of the older players in the league, but he certainly proved his worth against elite prospects. He struck out 13 hitters without allowing a walk. He finally cracked the big leagues a few months later.

Goudeau has thrown 585 professional innings. About 90 percent of those innings have been in Double-A or below, which is interesting for somebody entering their 10th professional season in 2021. As Rockies fans forecast the team pitching structure moving forward, the Arizona Fall League version of Goudeau suggests the 28-year-old is a worthy bullpen candidate.

The 2020 rendition of Goudeau paints an incomplete picture. A return to normalcy should bode well for such a seasoned minor leaguer.