Future Colorado Rockies: Grand Junction Rockies July 5 Update


Grand Junction Rockies logo / Image via Twitter / @Rockies

The Colorado Rockies’ rookie affiliate rang in the Fourth of July in style, and their recent draft picks took the next step in their development this week.

More from Colorado Rockies Prospects

Rookie ball is a process; because almost all of the players are either recent draft picks (like, from a month ago) or Latin American players who are experiencing their very first taste of the United States, the games in rookie ball are inconsistent, sometimes frustrating, and usually exciting as hell.

The Grand Junction Rockies went through all of that this week, proving that the Colorado Rockies’ rookie ball team is just one small part in a long process of development, and exemplifying the fact that despite being pro athletes, these Rox are still a million miles away from Coors Field.

The last week (2-5): Entering play on Saturday night, the Grand Junction Rockies scuffled through their last seven days, winning just two games – a home game last Saturday against the Idaho Falls Chukars, and a road game in Orem, Utah against the Owlz. Other than that, Idaho Falls and Orem had the Rockies’ number this week, including one really bad blowout (more on that below) for a Rox club that now finds themselves at 9-7 through play Friday.

Trending up (Jensen Park): There goes the local kid! The University of Northern Colorado product is hitting .405/.421/.676 in nine appearances this season, including two home runs and 6 RBIs in the last eight days. He hasn’t walked yet (37 at-bats), but he has hit four doubles, so it’s not too bad of a professional debut and first nine games for the Rockies’ 32nd round draft pick back in June.

Trending down (a 25-2 loss): Yep. The GJ Rox lost 25-2 on Sunday afternoon (June 28) to the Idaho Falls Chukars. I’m not sure what a Chukar is (a bird?), but it can hit, scoring the 25 runs on 28 hits with seven more walks by Grand Junction pitching. There’s no point in calling out specific pitchers; the Chukars scored runs in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, so it wasn’t like one or two guys took the brunt of it.

Shoutout to Julian Yan, I suppose (trending up?!) for being the only Rox hurler not to allow a run on the day — and that lowered his ERA to 7.11. The Pioneer League is kind of a hitter’s league, OK? But hey, this is what minor league baseball is about, and while it sure ain’t fun, these guys will laugh about games like this by the end of the year, let alone the stories they’ll tell about it in ten years’ time.

One to watch (Tyler Nevin): The Rockies’ first round supplemental draft pick in 2015 (38th overall), Nevin has started his season decently in Grand Junction, slashing .308/.379/.346 with a double and three RBIs in 26 at-bats. He’s walked three times, but has yet to show real power in a very limited sample size of at-bats. Still just 18 years old (he won’t turn 19 until the end of May 2016), the 6’4″ third baseman has a very bright future and plenty of time to grow into his game. And, yes, he is the son of Phil Nevin.

Quick hits: The Colorado Rockies are bringing third overall pick Brendan Rodgers along slowly, having him appear in just four of the Rockies’ first 16 games as he gets his playing rhythm back under him after the draft in June. He’s hitting .286 in limited action thus far this season. … Parker French, another high Rockies’ draft pick this June, tossed 6.2 shutout innings on Friday July 3 against Orem to earn his second win of the season in the rotation. … The other Rockies’ win this week, against Idaho Falls, was sealed when Sam Hilliard made a leaping catch at the wall to save a potential three-run home run on the last out of the game and sealed the Rockies’ 8-5 win. … The GJ Rox have a mascot named Corky. Even though the club has the big league team’s namesake, Corky is a rabbit (I think?), and he, like Dinger, doesn’t wear any pants.


More from Rox Pile