|Eric Young Jr. adding tools to his skill set|
How good has Young Jr. been? He has 20 hits in his last 42 at-bats for a .476 average. Always known for his speed on the basepaths, surprising Young Jr. has but two steals during that span. What's that mean? He's becoming more than a one-trick pony. He's working hard and getting results, don't you think?
Tyler Chatwood was excellent last night and now has allowed but two runs, one earned, in his last 11 innings. He was miserable in the majors earlier this season and poor at Triple-A. He found success in Double-A and is now doing so back with the Rockies.
Carlos Gonzalez had four hits and if you can believe this is, might be having a better season than in 2011, and that's with missing Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup for most of the season. CarGo might not reach 100 RBI or maybe not even 25 homers but you can pitch around him now and yet he's still hitting .321.
Rookie Wilin Rosario hit his 19th homer and his power has played well this season because he's found a way to hit .244. That number is no great shakes but it's sufficient for him to be an attractive option to manager Jim Tracy to start frequently. If Rosario can hit a little more, cut down on his strikeouts, he could become a 27-30 homer player. For now, he's going to be a 20-plus homer hitter.
Rookie Josh Rutledge has exceeded expectations, in a small sample size, with his bat (.315, 6 homers, 10 doubles, two triples and 20 RBI). He's been excellent. Defensively, he's in need of some offseason work as he made his seventh error last night in 27 games.
Pitchers are starting to figure out how to attack Rutledge though, as he's just 3-for-his-last-21 at-bats for a .143 average.
Jordan Pacheco is hitting .309 with 20 doubles in 85 games but his plate defense (only 13 walks to 35 strikeouts) and weak home-run power (a known as a prospect) - 1 homer this season - make his bat lesser quality as a corner infielder. Maybe the Rockies can use him in the short term, while prospect Nolan Arenado gets more experience in the minors, if Pacheco can play a full season and produce 40-plus doubles, hit .300 and find a way to drive in 80 runs. His career shelf life as a starter, though, likely on the clock without increased power production.
Reliever Rex Brothers ERA is now 5.11. So much was expected of him this season but he's been a major disappointment. You have to believe 2013 will be much different because Brothers' talent is so big.
The biggest problem for Brothers this season is he simply is much more hittable. Last season he gave up 33 hits in 40 2/3 innings while this year he's allowed 50 hits in 44 frames. He's striking out slightly fewer batters and walking slightly more. Add all that up and he's just not as good. Some fine tuning and he should be back to being an asset in the bullpen.
Rockies' Prospects Spotlight
Outfielder Michael Cuddyer homered, doubled and finished 4-for-4 at Triple-A Colorado Springs in a rehab stint with the Sky Sox.
|Kyle Parker (Modesto Bee photo)|
Christian Bergman coughed up seven runs in five innings, his third poor start in the last four games for Modesto. His season ERA is still a solid 3.33.
Low-A second baseman Taylor Featherston hit his 10th homer of the season.
Shane Broyles (14th round - 2012 draft) keeps pitching well at Tri-City, allowing but two runs, one earned, over 5 1/3 innings. In eight starts, the former Texas Tech Red Raider has six effective outings for a 75 percent rate of success. In 10 total appearances he has held his own or excelled eight times for an 80 percent rate.
Broyles has given up but one homer in 51 2/3 innings, has nearly a 5/1 K/BB rate and batters are hitting but .226 against him. There's potential here with him.
2012 draftee and Grand Junction righthander Eddie Butler threw six shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.57. It was Butler's fifth start of no-run ball, with three of those outings going at least six innings.