Future Colorado Rockies: Albuquerque Isotopes June 30 Update


Albuquerque Isotopes Logo [Image via Twitter — @ABQTopes and @Rockies]The Albuquerque Isotopes are having an up-and-down season in their first years as the AAA Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. 

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The Albuquerque Isotopes are 33-45 entering play on Tuesday, 12.5 games out of first place in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern Division (that’s a mouthful). The Topes are equal opportunity offenders at home (17-22) and on the road (16-23), which doesn’t immediately point to anything too significant to say about their season thus far, but the revolving door of the Rockies’ pitching staff of course continues to affect development down in AAA.

Every AAA club deals with that, though, and the Topes are not alone in working as a developmental arm for the big club. So throw the records out, and let’s look at the process — which players are trending in which direction, and who might be aiming for a call-up to Denver soon.

The last week (2-5): The road was tough for the Isotopes this week, and trips to El Paso and Salt Lake resulted in just two wins in seven tries. The highlight: a 9-1 victory on June 25 at El Paso. The lowlight: dropping three out of four games at Salt Lake to a club that sits in last place in their division in the Pacific Coast League at 32-46, holding the second-worst winning percentage in the entire league.

Trending up (Drew Stubbs): Kudos to Drew Stubbs, who took on a minor league demotion when he could’ve opted for free agency, choosing to stick with the Rockies’ organization and figure out his strikeout issues in the lower pressure Pacific Coast League. He’s not a world beater in Albuquerque by any means, but he has gotten right — certainly far better than what he did in Spring Training and with the Rockies — and he’s not striking out quite as much down in New Mexico, while making better contact.

Stubbs is hitting .258/.378/.383 in 128 AAA at-bats this season, with only 36 strikeouts in 36 games. I know, .258 is nothing to write home about, but considering where he came from, and the strikeout rate for the ‘Topes compared to his work in Denver, you’ve got to be happy about Stubbs’ improvement.

Trending down (Rex Brothers): Rex Brothers is a tough one, man. He’s allowed just three runs in nine inning in his last ten appearances while striking out 13 hitters, but he’s also walked nine batters. This season, he’s walked 26 in 25 innings. His command isn’t getting any better down there (at least, not based on statistics and what we can see from afar). We’re not in Tyler Matzek territory here, but…

One to watch (Jon Gray): Jon Gray. Jon Gray. JON GRAY. Jon Gray. JON GRAY.

Quick hits: The Isotopes have a cool Where Are They Now? page you should follow … Leuris Gomez, Carlos Hernandez, Ryan Casteel, Joey Wong, and Charlie Culberson are currently on the 7-day disabled list … Kyle Parker is hitting .265/.307/.406 with 8 home runs and 38 RBIs this season … Simon Castro, arguably the Topes’ best reliever, has struck out 25 batters in his last 16 innings … After making his big league debut and dealing with an injury, Ken Roberts is back in AAA, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings across his first three appearances … Cristhian Adames is quietly having a great year, hitting .303/.358/.434 as a 23-year-old taking his first shot at AAA.


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