He’s been claimed by one of our broadcasters as kin despite no relation. He’s quickly propelled himself up the prospect rankings and farm system over the last two seasons. He’s your mom’s favorite player. We’ve talked about Colorado Rockies outfield, first base, and catching prospect Hunter Goodman before, but he keeps giving us reasons to talk about him.
When I last wrote in-depth about Hunter Goodman, he was coming off a minor league season that saw him emerge as what I considered an unsung prospect. After being drafted by the Rockies in 2021 from the University of Memphis and getting his first professional innings with the Arizona Complex League, Goodman started 2022 with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies and ended the year with the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats.
Goodman crushed the ball wherever he went in 2022. He hit 22 home runs with the Grizzlies and held the top mark in the California League until mid-September. He was promoted to High-A in early July. He hit an additional 12 home runs with the High-A Spokane Indians, including a Northwest League-leading ten in August as he earned Player of the Month honors. He capped off the year with a promotion to the Yard Goats where he hit two more home runs in 12 games. Goodman finished the season hitting 295/.354/.572 across the three levels with 106 RsBI and led all of Minor League Baseball with 36 total home runs.
Goodman entered 2023 at no. 19 on our preseason PuRP listing and started the season back with the Yard Goats, but with a key difference in that he would be logging far fewer innings as a catcher. Goodman played outfield in addition to first base and catcher in college, but was the Tigers’ primary catcher in 2021 and was drafted as a catcher. In 2022 he played a combination of first base and catcher, but logged almost twice as many innings at first base (674 innings) than he did behind the plate (363 1⁄3 innings).
Goodman’s defensive skills as a catcher are behind those of other catching prospects, which has led the Rockies organization to capitalize on his versatile skill set. In 2023 he’s played just 103 innings as a catcher He picked his outfielder’s glove back up with relative ease, logging 31 appearances and 265 2⁄3 innings in left field despite not playing there since his 2019 freshman year. He’s also made 24 appearances as a first baseman and 25 as a designated hitter.
While the versatility is something the organization values and helps him find playing time in a crowded farm system, what really helps Goodman stand out is his power bat. Goodman has continued to wallop the ball in 2023. In Hartford he had both the second most doubles with 24 and home runs with 25 in the Eastern League. He also leads the Eastern League with 78 RsBI.
Goodman was promoted to Triple-A on Tuesday to join the Albuquerque Isotopes and immediately made an impression by making his first hit at the highest minor league level a grand slam.
HUNTER GOODMAN! Our newest addition makes his presence known with one huge swing of the bat, a grand slam for his first Triple-A hit! pic.twitter.com/rkFr4114cU— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) August 9, 2023
He followed it up the next night with an RBI double. Goodman may be 2-for-8 in his first two games with the Isotopes, but those two hits have had a tremendous impact. With his promotion, the Rockies’ no. 13 organizational prospect is potentially knocking on the door to an MLB debut this season. If he doesn’t make his debut this season, he will almost certainly do so next year.
Hunter Goodman’s ascent to top prospect has been as meteoric as the home runs being launched from his bat. Now that he’s been promoted to Triple-A it’s only a matter of time until that bat is hitting home runs in Major League Baseball.
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After an error by rookie shortstop Ezequiel Tovar led to the Rockies getting walked off on by the Milwaukee Brewers in extra innings on Wednesday, the club and the rookie are looking to bounce back and “finish strong” with roughly two months left in the regular season.
“The biggest thing is everyone up here is ready to go,” Tovar said. “Regardless what month it is, everyone wants to finish strong.”
Tovar also mentioned that he and the other rookies in the lineup are excited to be getting regular playing time and contribute to the team regardless of what time of year it is.
Of all the rookies in this Rockies lineup, Nolan Jones is among those who have shined the most. Jones might not even be playing if not for injuries to veteran outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Kris Bryant, but he is making the most of his opportunity. Jones credits the mentorship he has received from Blackmon and Bryant as part of his success.
“I got here and he kind of took me under my wing a little bit,” Jones said. “I get to watch and learn from him. Charlie Blackmon, the same way. Chuck has been in the league forever and he’s had a ton of success. I think every single pitcher that gets on the mound, Chuck has something for me, so I’m able to pick his brain.”
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On the Farm
The Isotopes dropped their second straight game to Round Rock due to difficult evenings on the mound for starter Jeff Criswell and reliever Eli Lingos. Criswell worked 3 2⁄3 innings while giving up five earned runs on six hits and three walks, but struck out five batters. Lingos allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk in the fifth inning thanks in part to an error by Hunter Stovall. Rockies no. 22 prospect Victor Vodnik made his Triple-A debut with a two-hit scoreless inning. The ‘Topes scored six runs on just four hits, two of which belonged to Coco Montes and one of which was an RBI double from Hunter Goodman. They drew 10 walks from Round Rock pitching but were also just 2-for-13 with RISP. Sean Bouchard had two RsBI as he continues to rehab from his ruptured bicep.
Joe Rock had a strong outing for the Yard Goats as he pitched six innings and gave up just two earned runs while striking out nine Portland batters. Juan Mejia also had a strong Double-A debut for the Yard Goats by striking out five batters in two scoreless innings of work. Kyle Datres cracked open the scoring with a two-run home run in the third inning while Bladimir Restituyo and Drew Romo both enjoyed 2-for-3 ballgames.
Juan Mejia already being out to the test. Gets the first out by way of strikeout!— Blake Street Banter ⚾ (@blakestbanter) August 10, 2023
(The batters reaction at the very end) pic.twitter.com/yoN5C0atX4
Much like their parent club, the Indians were walked off on in extras. Starting pitcher Mason Green had a solid six inning game on the mound while giving up only two earned runs while reliever Tyler Ahearn pitched a scoreless seventh inning. 2023 7th round pick Seth Halvorsen gave up the game-tying run in the eighth inning while Angel Chivilli picked up the loss by giving up two runs (one earned) in the tenth. The Indians were just 2-for-14 with RISP. Corner infielder Parker Kelly went 2-for-5 in his High-A debut with a triple while Benny Montgomery and Robby Martin Jr. both had two-hit games.
The Grizzlies came up empty against the Giants despite six hits scattered across the lineup. Michael Prosecky pitched a strong six innings while giving up just two earned runs and striking out seven batters while Sergio Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies just weren’t able to string hits together and plate runs to back up the pair of pitchers.
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