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Brenton Doyle and the big “if” (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, September 11, 2023

In the slog of a 2023 season where the Colorado Rockies are on pace to exceed 100 losses, the small wins have come in the form of the young players that have begun to establish themselves. Ezequiel Tovar is the poster-child of this movement, becoming entrenched at shortstop and putting together a season that could be recognized with a few votes deeper on the National League Rookie of the Year ballot.

Aside from the expected emergence of Tovar, Nolan Jones has also become a staple in the Rockies’ lineup. His production has comfortably placed him in the top-3 of virtually every category for Rockies’ hitters this season and he holds a team-high 121 OPS+ despite his belated starting role – leading to only 86 games so far.

The third prong of the call-up trident has been Brenton Doyle, who burst onto the scene as arguably the most physically gifted of the three and provided the best center field defense seen in a long time (if not ever) for someone that calls Coors Field home. But unlike Tovar and Jones, Doyle is still leaving much to be desired with the bat.

Brenton Doyle 2023

Stat Doyle League Rank
Stat Doyle League Rank
BB% 5.4% 229
K% 36.9% 257
OPS .559 257
OBP .241 258
wRC+ 33 258

While Doyle has certainly had his moments with the bat this season, the fact remains that he has largely been one of the least productive hitters in the majors this year. Heading into the weekend, 258 hitters had accrued 300 at-bats or more this season. Of those 258, Doyle appeared at-or-near the bottom in numerous categories – namely those associated with plate-approach and reaching base.

Baseball Savant tells a much similar story, labeling Doyle in the lowest tiers in expected production for wOBA, BA, OBP and SLG. He also sits in the bottom-3% in Whiff% with a 37.3% mark and around the bottom-third of the league in Chase% with a 31.8% figure and Hard-Hit% at 36.3%.

It’s not hard to see where the problems are stemming from. While Doyle has not exactly crushed fastballs this year, he has certainly done most of his damage against straighter offerings with 117 of his 201 batted-ball events and 37 of his 62 knocks coming off the pitch. He has a palatable 31.5% Whiff% against the fastball, but when it comes to breaking and off-speed offerings that number quickly sores.

Against breaking pitches Doyle has owned a 47.4% Whiff% while he sits at 50% on off-speed offerings. He has chased both outside the zone at nearly a 40% clip and has swung-and-missed over 80% of the time when he does go fishing for them.

Baseball Savant
Baseball Savant

Change-ups have presented some challenges for Doyles, which largely constructs the off-speed category. But the killer for Doyle is the slider, a pitch the opposition has exposed him on. Against the slider, he’s hitting just .114 while whiffing a remarkable 49.7% of the time and getting punched-out by it at a 44% mark.

There is still work to be done on his effectiveness against the fastball, but so far he is at least showing signs of being able to do damage against the offering. The slider, on the other hand, has been a lost-cause for him where he is chasing it in abundance and rarely doing damage when it’s mistakenly left over the plate.

It’s a severe case of Javier Báez syndrome. One that has plagued Doyle throughout his minor league career. Now that he is on the game’s highest level, he needs to make a major adjustment in order to stick as a regular. All the other tools are there and on display. But the hit tool is the most important, and the one most glaring in his profile. Whether or not he can make an adjustment to start handling the slider is at the core of whether or not Doyle will fulfill his offensive potential.

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Germán Márquez agrees to two-year extension with the Rockies | Purple Row

The biggest news of the weekend is injured righty Germán Márquez agreeing to a two-year bridge extension with the Colorado Rockies, keeping him in Colorado through the 2025 season. The contract is worth a guaranteed $20MM — $10MM in each season — along with performance escalators and a $1M trade clause in 2025 that can add an additional $7MM to the deal.

Colorado Rockies Become 3rd Team to Get Eliminated From MLB Playoff Contention | FanNation

Saturday’s 9-1 loss against the San Francisco Giants officially eliminated the Rockies from playoff contention.

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Pebble Report: September 4 - 10, 2023

The season concluded this week at the A-Ball levels, with both the Spokane Indians and Fresno Grizzlies missing out on their respective playoffs. Spokane posted a record above .500 in the Northwest League first half behind strong performances by the 2022 draft class, but that was only good for fifth in the league. They finished fifth again in the second half, but with a less stellar mark of 29-35 as much of the roster either graduated to Double-A or succumbed to injuries.

It was tougher pill to swallow for Fresno, who finished four games behind San Jose (SF) in the first half and just one behind Modesto (SEA) in the second half to finish just short of the playoff line. The hardest part is they finished with the best overall record in the California League at 78-54.

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (2-4, 60-78 overall)

It was a tough two starts at home for Tanner Gordon at home against Reno. He was tagged for five runs in each outing, allowing 18 hits and three home runs over 11 innings. The brighter news on the pitching side came in the form of a rehab start for Ryan Feltner, who threw 2 23 innings in his second outing since taking a line-drive off the head on May 13. At the plate, Jimmy Herron had a fantastic week, leading the team with ten hits while scoring nine runs and driving-in eight — finishing the week with a .417/.517/.708 slash-line. Daniel Montano also had a strong series against the Aces, hitting two homers and two triples and posting a 1.090 OPS.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (2-3, 55-73 overall)

The offense had a subpar week overall against Binghamton (NYM), but a bright spot in the lineup was Bladimir Restituyo, who finished with six hits and a .375/.375/.625 slash-line in four games. Drew Romo (No. 4 PuRP) only appeared in two games, but he made his presence known on Thursday with a three homer outburst, tallying 12 TB and five RBI against the Rumble Ponies. The rotation had larger struggles in the series, except for Carson Palmquist (No. 28 PuRP) who struck out nine over 7 IP with just two runs allowed.

High-A: Spokane Indians (2-4, 62-67 overall)

Blake Adams delivered four shutout innings on the road against Hilsboro (AZ), allowing just two hits and one walk. Victor Juarez (No. 22 PuRP) tossed 5 13 IP, permitting just one run while striking out six. Benny Montgomery (No. 5 PuRP) slugged his tenth homer of the season and also swiped two bases. Parker Kelly tied Montgomery in hits with five but did one-up him with three stolen bags.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (2-4, 78-54 overall)

The Cole Carrigg experience continued at home against Modesto (SEA) with six hits and a .364 OBP%. He was one hit shy of the team lead, which was set by Jake Snider who also went deep once and finished with a 1.196 OPS. EJ Andrews Jr. and Skyler Messinger both homered twice in the series. On the hill, Caleb Franzen provided five strong innings with just two runs allowed while Sergio Sanchez twirled four scoreless innings — allowing just one hit while striking out six.

★ ★ ★

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 Double-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/10 0 1 1 1
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 2/15 0 0 5 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 1 2 4 1
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 1/19 1 2 6 0
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 3/18 1 1 5 0
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 3/13 1 2 4 1
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 3/16 0 3 8 2
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 6/20 0 4 8 2

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

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Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 9/12-9/17 @ El Paso (SD)

Double-A Hartford: 9/12-9/17 @ Portland (BOS)

High-A Spokane: Season Concluded

Low-A Fresno: Season Concluded

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