Boise Hawks logo. Image via Twitter / @Rockies
The Boise Hawks opened up their inaugural season as the Colorado Rockies’ short-season affiliate this week, going 3-5 in their first eight games.
The Boise Hawks enjoyed their first week as an affiliate with the Colorado Rockies over the past eight days, going 3-5 but otherwise welcoming the city of Boise to the Rockies’ family with things like a blimp that blocked out the sun for fans, and a crew of young players who are in Boise immediately after being drafted in this month’s MLB Amateur Entry Draft.
The last week (4-5): The Hawks dropped five of nine games on the week, and allowed 53 runs in the nine contests, but there were good things about the week, too. Yonathan Daza has three doubles and two triples in 28 at-bats. Taylor Black and Cristian Quintin have combined for two saves across 8.1 innings pitched, giving up just five hits and one earned run while striking out eight hitters.
Trending up (Javier Palacios): Palacios led the way on the mound for the Hawks after tossing 12.1 innings across two starts and earning a win, while only allowing three runs on ten hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Palacios, who will be 22 years old in September, was initially signed by the Rockies as a 17-year old out of Venezuela. He spent three seasons with the Rockies’ Dominican Summer League team before moving up to Grand Junction last year, where he went 6-5, 6.21 in 82.2 innings (103 hits, 15 HRs, 19 BB, 61 K).
Now that he’s 21 and in his fifth year of professional baseball — though still more than six months younger than the average player in the Northwest League — the Hawks are likely expecting him to approach short season ball with as much veteran presence as a player can at this level.
Trending down (Tyler Matzek): Matzek, of course, was the Colorado Rockies’ Opening Day starter at Coors Field back in April, but after losing command of his pitches in May, was sent down to rest and work on his mechanics. He’s in Boise now, and things are getting ugly. In three appearances, Matzek is 0-1, 23.14 and has allowed two hits, eight walks and a hit batsmen in 2.1 innings pitched.
Obviously, and unfortunately, Matzek is no closer to re-joining any full season affiliate in the Rockies’ organization, let alone the big league club.
One to watch (Kevin Padlo): Padlo, a third baseman, was the Rockies’ fifth round draft pick in 2014. After hitting .300/.421/.594 in 160 ABs in Grand Junction last summer, the Rockies took a chance on jumping him a level to Class A Asheville this April. The move didn’t work out for the infielder, who hit just .174/.283/.284 in Asheville in 109 ABs, but Padlo — who won’t turn 19 until July 15 — is still advanced for his age and now in Boise to seek more consistent and higher quality playing time relative to his level.
Considering the success he had in Grand Junction last summer (31 walks against just 38 strikeouts, and 15 doubles, four triples, and eight home runs in 160 at-bats), it stands to reason Padlo will develop as he should in Boise and be on the way to Asheville again by the end of this year or, certainly, Opening Day in 2016, where he’d be a 19-year old in the South Atlantic League.
Quick hits: The Hawks won a wild 11-10 game Friday night at Everett … The Hawks play at Everett through Tuesday, before returning home on Wednesday, July 1 for three games … Aside from Matzek and Joey Wong (listed as rehabbing from AAA Albuquerque), the Hawks’ oldest player is pitcher John Sheehan, a College of William & Mary product born August 16, 1990 … Sheehan has thrown 3.1 scoreless innings so far this season … Shortstop Carlos Herrera is the Hawks’ youngest player, born September 23, 1996 … Herrera was promoted to Boise after playing in 12 games with the Dominican Summer League Rockies and slashing .340/.386/.377 in 53 at-bats.