Rocketing up the Colorado Rockies prospects lists for 2021, outfielder Brenton Doyle is fully aware of the attention he is receiving as a “name to watch” in the organization’s future. He’s embracing the coverage and kudos, and using it as motivation.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently named Doyle as the most underrated prospect in the Rockies organization (story here, subscription required). In the article, Bowden says that Doyle is “one of the most underrated outfielders in Minor League Baseball.”
Baseball America sees big things ahead for Doyle with the Rockies, listing him as the team’s starting left fielder when Colorado opens its 2024 campaign.
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The accolades and projections are great, but Doyle told me it’s not going to change his approach or work ethic.
“I always love seeing all my hard work pay off and getting recognized by some big name writers. But, at the same time, ever since college, I was an under-the-radar, overlooked kind of guy and that’s how I kind of developed my play style into always playing like I have something to prove. I don’t think that’s ever going to change, whether I’m in the minors or in Denver. It’s not going to change how hard I play whatsoever.”
Colorado’s fourth-round pick in 2019 out of Division II Shepherd (W.V.), Doyle told me about the “chip on his shoulder” the very first time I met him shortly after being drafted by the Rockies. That drive to succeed led to Doyle posting solid numbers at rookie-level Grand Junction (.383/.477/.611 in 51 games). He endured a freak injury mid-season where he was hit in the face while sitting in the dugout and the facial fractures caused him to miss three weeks of play. He returned with a vengeance, batting .395 with a 1.100 OPS in 24 August contests and .647 with a 1.858 OPS in five September games.
Not being able to play allowed Doyle time to focus on a swing refinement that he is still employing today.
“When I first got into pro ball, I had my college swing, which was a very wide, low to the ground stance,” Doyle explained. “When I got hit in the face and I wasn’t able to play, I had a lot of time to reflect and slow the game down. I had really nothing better to do because I literally couldn’t do anything besides walk around, so I used that time to really talk with my coaches and see how I could make my swing more efficient and more appropriate for my build.
“As soon as I was able to get back to swinging on the tee, I started just experimenting with a bunch of stuff and then we found something that works. I’ve been using it ever since and it’s been a huge confidence boost for me.”
That confidence carried over to the instructional league in the fall, where Doyle impressed.
"“Maybe the most unheralded and underrated prospect in our organization, and maybe in all of baseball, is a kid by the name of Brenton Doyle,” Colorado assistant general manager of player development Zach Wilson said in this article. “If you watched him here [at instructs], and you just look at him and you go, ‘Oh, that’s a big league player that’s just rehabbing at instruction.’ And no, no, no, no. You know, that’s a second-year player, and he just looks every bit like a dude.”"
Doyle is going to keep working hard to be seen as “a dude” for the Rockies. He doesn’t know what the season ahead will hold in terms of playing location, but he’s ready for the challenge ahead.
“The biggest goal, of course, is helping whichever team I’m on win,,” Doyle said. “But if you want to get a little bit more personal with goals, that to me is just always playing 100 percent. I’m never taking any game for granted and always going to play like its my last one.
“I think if you just enjoy the moment, your stats and everything else will happen. And they’re going to turn out well.”