2015 Season In Review: Albuquerque Isotopes
By Bobby DeMuro
Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop T. Story plays for the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game against the Surprise Saguaros at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2016 Albuquerque Isotopes: Looking Ahead
Keys to success: Wins and losses don’t matter at any minor league level, of course, but it will be interesting to see how the Albuquerque Isotopes develop players. They’ll have at least two big prospects to start the season (in all likelihood) in Story and Murphy, and there is of course the chance that Gray, Adames, Eddie Butler, David Dahl, Jordan Patterson, Kyle Parker, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Harrison Musgrave may all spend tim with the ‘Topes in 2016.
Obviously, with names like that, there’s a lot of pressure riding on the Albuquerque Isotopes to develop talent and the Colorado Rockies to analyze it during the big league club’s rebuild. This should be fun!
Biggest challenges: Pitching in Albuquerque. The Pacific Coast League is an absurdly hitter-friendly league, and it’s always tough to determine exactly how good a pitcher is despite questionable numbers in Albuquerque (hey, just like Denver!). Gray made it through. Matzek and Butler didn’t. Can the next crop of guys, like Musgrave and Harrison, figure it out in Albuquerque? Only time will tell.
[ Related: Down on the farm: Trevor Story ]
What to expect in 2016: As is always the case in AAA, expect the Colorado Rockies to sign some veteran former Major Leaguers for depth next year, just like they did in 2014 with Roger Bernadina and John Lannan, to use two notable examples.
More than that, though, there’s this to think about: in 2014, the Asheville Tourists won the South Atlantic League championship series. This year, many of those players spent time between Modesto and New Britain, moving up levels in the Rockies’ minor league family tree. Next year, many of those players (some listed just several paragraphs above this) will likely spend at least part of the season with the Isotopes.