Future Colorado Rockies: Boise Hawks July 4 Update
Boise Hawks logol Image via Twitter / @Rockies
The Boise Hawks are in the midst of their first season as members of the Colorado Rockies’ affiliate tree, in the short-season A Northwest League.
The road wasn’t kind to the Hawks this week, but hey, wouldn’t you know it — they are a Colorado Rockies affiliate! Here’s what you need to know to catch you up around Boise and the Northwest League over the past seven days (oh, and Happy Fourth of July!).
The last week (3-4): The Hawks were up and down on a long road trip during the week (and before it), winning three games but ultimately struggling in Everett against the Aqua Sox (I’m not sure what an Aqua Sox is… blue socks?), before finally coming home and winning one of their first two games against Salem-Keizer before press time Friday afternoon.
The highlight of the week might have been a wacky 11-10 win last Friday against Everett, with the Hawks taking a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the fourth, only to give up eight runs across the next five innings and be forced to win the game in the top of the ninth in a game that saw 21 total runs (just 16 earned), 25 hits, and five errors made. Rookie ball!
Trending up (Kevin Padlo): More Kevin Padlo! We mentioned him last week, and he’s at it again — in that 11-10 win against Everett, he carried the club, hitting a three run home run and going 3-for-5 with a run, two doubles, and six RBIs. He’s now got 14 RBIs in 12 games in Boise.
One knock on him, though, is the one you see with a lot of young players: plate discipline. With 16 strikeouts in 46 at-bats and just four walks, Padlo is struggling with what a lot of young hitters are struggling with — but considering he’ll turn 19 on July 15, he’s doing better than most players at his age.
Trending down (Eric Toole): Toole, the Rockies’ 22nd round draft pick out of the University of Iowa this year, started his pro career with little fanfare, and has struck out nine times in 28 at-bats for the Hawks. Toole will never hit for power — he had just one home run in his college career (in 776 at-bats), but he did steal 70 bases and he was a .308 career hitter for the Hawkeyes, starting almost from the very beginning of his freshman season.
A four year starter at a big state university, even a “northern” school in the Big Ten, is an attractive piece, and Toole is simply adjusting just like most hitters do to professional baseball. For what it’s worth, the majority of 2015 draftees are sent to rookie level Grand Junction, so Toole jumped a level to Boise to begin his career.
One to watch (Yonathan Daza): Daza deserves special recognition for his monster start to the season, and after 13 games (I know, I know) he leads the Northwest League in hitting. He’s slashing a gaudy .396/.442/.750 and has spread it around the field — seven doubles, two triples, and two home runs in 48 at-bats.
He had a big year in Grand Junction last summer — .370/.415/.490 with 11 doubles and four home runs in 192 at-bats — and his hot start in Boise after a cup of coffee in Asheville earlier this year means the Rockies have a young outfielder that might be worth watching over the next few years.
Quick hits: The Hawks set multiple attendance records over opening weekend in mid-June; they sold out the first three games of their opening five game series for the first time since 2004, and the opening night crowd of 3,427 was their largest since a crowd in 2012 hit 3,442. The Hawks also got crowds over 3,300 in the first four games overall for the first time since 2004. In total, with 15,989 fans across the first five games, it was the largest opening home stand attendance since 2008. Welcome to the Rockies’ franchise, Boise! … God bless the Hawks and welcome them to the Rockies’ franchise, but they are doing one bad thing this year: they aren’t broadcasting games on the radio or the Internet. It’s the first time in the 28-year history of the franchise that the Hawks are not using radio to broadcast games, citing the need to update the stadium and hire more employees instead of broadcast games. Hey, guys, I hear that, but I can think of a few important things about broadcasting your games, even for a short-season franchise, that make this a weird decision.