No. 21 prospect clubs a pair of jacks
Welcome to the Rockies prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.
Rockies top prospect: Rankings | Stats | Box scores
Doyle clubs a pair of jacks (Sept. 26)
Brenton Doyle produced the power for Triple-A Albuquerque in a 15-4 drubbing of El Paso at Isotopes Park.
The 21st-ranked Rockies prospect launched a three-run homer to left in the third inning and smacked one off the scoreboard in left for a two-run shot in the eighth. His five RBIs set a new season high.
In seven games since joining the Isotopes, Doyle is 13-for-29 with three homers, two triples, eight RBIs and eight runs scored. He has hit safely in all seven games. -- Rob Terranova
Doyle perfect at the plate (Sept. 23)
Good luck keeping Brenton Doyle off the bases this last week.
The No. 21 Rockies prospect produced his fourth multi-hit game of the week as he went 4-for-4 with one triple in Triple-A Albuquerque’s 6-4 loss to Sugar Land.
The 24-year-old started the day showing off his bat and hustle, hitting a triple in his first at-bat. Doyle capped off his performance with three singles and a walk.
The outfielder’s productive day improved his slash line to .255/.296/.467 between Double-A and Triple-A. -- Edwin Perez
Tovar gets the call to the Major Leagues (Sept. 21)
The anticipated debut of shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, the Rockies' No. 2 prospect and the No. 28 overall prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, will happen soon. The club confirmed that Tovar will be joining the team on Thursday.
El Extra Base, a Venezuelan baseball publication, first reported the move in a tweet Wednesday.
Tovar, 21, went 2-for-4 in his final game for Triple-A Albuquerque, a 4-3 loss at Sugar Land. In five games with the Isotopes, Tovar batted .333 (7-for-21) with a home run, two RBIs, two walks and two strikeouts. Full story »
Tovar belts first Triple-A home run (Sept. 16)
It didn’t take Ezequiel Tovar long to club his first Triple-A home run.
The Rockies’ No. 2 prospect left the yard in just his second game with Albuquerque as part of a two-hit effort in the Isotopes’ 12-9 loss to Oklahoma City. Tovar singled on the second pitch he saw and came around to score in the bottom of the first before lifting off in the third. MLB’s No. 28 prospect got a changeup to hit and didn’t miss, blasting it 443 feet with an exit velocity of 100.3 mph.
It was the 21-year-old’s 14th homer of the year, and he’s now one dinger shy of tying his career-high mark of 15 he set last season. Through 68 games this season, the shortstop has posted a slash line of .319/.385/.549 with 32 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 25 walks and 17 steals. -- Stephanie Sheehan
Tovar collects first hit at Triple-A (Sept. 15)
Welcome Ezequiel Tovar to Triple-A with his first hit with Albuquerque.
MLB Pipeline's No. 28 overall prospect played in his first game with the Isotopes on Sept. 15 after he went on the injured list on July 1 with a hip/groin injury. The 21-year-old had been sidelined since he was originally placed on the seven-day injured list and made his first game appearance in over two months in Albuquerque's 6-2 loss to Oklahoma City. It only took him until his second at-bat for Tovar to secure his first Triple-A hit with a single to right field in the fourth inning.
Before his injury, the shortstop was slashing .318/.386/.545 with Double-A Hartford. -- Ethan Sands
Amador and Montgomery make history for Fresno (Sept. 11)
A one-two punch doesn't get much better than Adael Amador and Benny Montgomery.
In Single-A Fresno's 12-10 win over San Jose, the top of the lineup was dangerous and handled business.
Amador, Colorado's No. 3 prospect, got the offense rolling with a leadoff homer to right-center in the first inning. Montgomery, the Rockies' No. 6 prospect, directly followed with a double to left. The Grizzlies batted around, and Amador knocked an RBI single, and Montgomery brought him home with an RBI double as a part of an eight-run inning. Amador was hit by a pitch to lead off the third, and then Montgomery hit Amador home with his third double of the day. The three runs scored by Amador helped him reach 100 for the season, which is second all-time for Fresno. Montgomery's third double tied a Grizzlies single-game record. The last Grizzlies player to record three doubles in a game: Yadiel Hernandez on July 12, 2019.
History was still to be made as Amador walked in the fourth inning, marking his 87th walk of the season, tying him for the most walks in a Grizzlies single season. -- Ethan Sands
Tale of the tape: Dixon, Hilliard go VERY long (Sept. 8)
It was a night that Babe Ruth would have been proud of.
The duo of Sam Hilliard and Brandon Dixon gave the fans at Isotopes Park plenty to cheer about, slugging a pair of homers that traveled a combined 958 feet.
However, it was visiting Triple-A El Paso, buoyed by Dixon's eighth-inning grand slam, which laughed last after finishing off a 9-4 win at Albuquerque.
Hilliard, who has 111 Minor League home runs and 29 more in the Majors on his résumé, provided the first "oohs" of the evening. With the Isotopes trailing by a run in the seventh inning, the 28-year-old launched a 2-0 pitch 114 mph and 478 feet to right-center field. Full story »
Montgomery produces career high in RBIs (Sept. 6)
When Benny Montgomery was up, runs were scored.
The No. 6 Rockies prospect was a run-producing machine when his team needed it the most as he went 2-for-5 with one homer and a career-high five RBIs in Single-A Fresno’s 12-6 win over San Jose.
The 19-year-old’s productive day started with power as he hit a two-run shot to center field in the second inning. Montgomery's production continued late as he had an RBI single that scored two in the fifth inning and an RBI groundout in the ninth inning.
Montgomery's big day helped them sweep the second-half title after they had already won the first-half. The outfielder brought his homer tally to six and improved his slash line to .298/.375/.475 on the season. -- Edwin Perez
Fernandez tallies 108th RBI, tying Fresno record (Sept. 1)
Not many 19-year-olds playing in their first year of full-season ball make club history, but that’s exactly what Yanquiel Fernandez has done for Single-A Fresno in 2022.
Fernandez, Colorado’s No. 12 prospect per MLB Pipeline, tied the Grizzlies’ single-season RBI record in the first inning with a two-run double, giving him 108 RBIs this year. His early knock gave Fresno a lead it would never relinquish, cruising to an 11-0 victory over Modesto.
After tying a knot around August with a pair of three-hit outings, Fernandez picked up right where he left off to begin September. In his last 10 games, the Rockies’ youngster has amassed 17 hits and 16 RBIs.
A native of Havana, Cuba, Fernandez is getting his first taste of stateside action this season. The slugging left-handed batter crushed in the Dominican Summer League last year, amassing a .333/.406/.531 slash line. Across his first 161 professional games between the DSL and Single-A, the outfielder has racked up 50 doubles, 26 home runs and 142 RBIs. -- Jesse Borek
Montgomery collects 4 hits, 4 RBIs for Fresno (Aug. 31)
Benny Montgomery showcased his ability to produce at the plate.
The No. 6 Rockies prospect fell a triple shy of the cycle as he went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in Single-A Fresno’s 15-8 win over Modesto.
The 19-year-old displayed his power as he hit a three-run homer to left-center field in the seventh inning. Montgomery continued to be productive at the plate, collecting two singles and a double over the remainder of the contest.
The outfielder brought his homer tally to five and improved his slash line to .288/.368/.451 on the season. -- Edwin Perez
Veen cranks homer with Hartford (Aug. 30)
It's finally time to don the goat head, Zac Veen.
After a season of pure dominance for High-A Spokane, Veen has been slowed upon his promotion to Double-A Hartford. But that may be starting to turn after he socked a go-ahead home run for the Yard Goats in the seventh inning, keying a 7-3 victory.
The roundtripper was Veen’s first since his promotion on Aug. 9. In addition to the homer -- which comes complete with parading through the dugout while showing off a goat mask -- Colorado’s top-ranked prospect drew a pair of walks, as he has reached base in 14 of his 19 games with Hartford.
While Veen’s power potential can be seen as tantalizing after combining to hit 26 home runs across 198 games at Single-A and High-A, it’s actually his lowest-rated tool, per MLB Pipeline. Selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2020 Draft, the 20-year-old has been a speed demon on the basepaths, swiping 54 bags across two levels this year. -- Jesse Borek
Toglia homers three times for Albuquerque (Aug. 27)
Triple-A Albuquerque has been hitting a lot of home runs lately. Michael Toglia was the latest player to join the long ball party with a milestone performance that not only secured a pair of personal records, but a team mark as well.
Colorado’s No. 14 prospect clubbed the first three-homer game of his career and reached the 30-homer plateau for the first time in Albuquerque's 18-7 loss to visiting Round Rock. His first home run marked the 17th consecutive game an Isotope has gone deep, establishing a franchise record.
And perhaps best of all? Toglia was able to keep the ball from his third jack, courtesy of right-hander Joel Peguero.
"It was really special to me," Toglia said of completing the feat. "And the ball I hit for the third one went right into the bullpen and my roommate [Peguero] caught it, so he gave it to me after the game. That was pretty cool." Full story »
Montgomery sparking center-field dreams (Aug. 26)
DENVER -- If a preview is supposed to leave everyone wanting more, what Rockies 2021 No. 1 Draft pick and current No. 6 prospect Benny Montgomery is offering fits the definition.
Montgomery, who turns 20 on Sept. 9, added another highlight to dream with two doubles and an RBI in Single-A Fresno’s 9-2 victory over Stockton.
Because of a quadriceps injury that hampered him in April and May before forcing him into a month and a half of rest and rehab at the Arizona Complex League, Montgomery has played in just 43 games for Fresno. But with a .271/.352/.424 slash line, with four home runs, 11 doubles, two triples and 26 RBIs on his first full-season team, plus with standout defensive play, Montgomery is making expressive first steps toward the future in center field at Coors that the Rockies are banking upon.
“I definitely feel like there's more in the tank than what I've been able to show,” Montgomery said. “I haven't been back for a very long time -- about two months -- and I’m trying to make sure to keep my body healthy. But I’m looking to finish the season strong, be strong going into the offseason after a full season of learning what I need to work on -- especially from an offensive standpoint.
“I feel I can do a ton of damage. I feel like I’m close but not there yet.”
The Rockies have not had complete impact -- defense, speed and power at All-Star levels -- in center since early in Charlie Blackmon’s career, before his permanent move to right field and designated hitter in 2019. With the spacious area to cover and the team’s need for impact offense, ideally a player like Blackmon or early Rockies stars Larry Walker and Ellis Burks, is necessary. Will Montgomery grow into that sort of player?
This much we know: He’s still growing.
He’s listed at 6-foot-4 but is likely actually an inch taller -- “I would not be surprised if I’m not done, but I kind of hope I’m done,” he said -- and about 200 pounds, but with a frame he believes can muscle up by 20-25 pounds over the next five years.
When he plays defense, though, he’s fully grown.
“Defensively, the team is a lot better when he’s out there, and that’s good,” Rockies player development director Chris Forbes said.
There’s no rush, Forbes said. The Rockies will have Montgomery add to his experience in instructional ball after the Minor League season and work with him to better prepare for the lengthy season. This year’s lesson came when he felt a slight quad injury early but tried to play through it.
Montgomery is an aggressive hitter, which helps create more impact. He would like to trim strikeouts. He has 62 in 177 plate appearances with Fresno.
However, Montgomery is every bit as aggressive in seeking advice. On Thursday he spoke with Kyle Wagner, a onetime Angels system Minor Leaguer who was his hitting coach during youth baseball and through Red Land High School in Lewisberry, Pa. Fresno hitting coach Nic Wilson has been a sounding board all season. Rockies hitting coordinator Darin Everson arrived Thursday, with Montgomery ready with questions.
“I understand what’s going on, but I would be lying to you if I didn’t say it’s frustrating sometimes,” Montgomery said. “I’m trying figure out how to get out of slumps and how to keep myself at bay when I’m doing well.
“There’s a learning curve. There are some pitches that I’m really trying to figure out. But I think that’s going to come with time, because I’m seeing them better. And I’m doing everything I can to get better.” -- Thomas Harding
Tovar about to take the next step in comeback (Aug. 20)
Shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, ranked No. 28 in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 and No. 2 in the Rockies' system, is nearing a return from a right groin injury that has kept him out of action at Double-A Hartford since June 29. Tovar has spent recent days rehabbing at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in the Denver area and will leave Sunday to continue work and hopefully begin baseball activity at the team's complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Tovar, 21, was on a beeline to make his Major League debut this season -- and drawing comparisons to former Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki -- while compiling a .318/.386/.545 slash line at Hartford. He was selected for the SiriusXM Futures Game during All-Star weekend before the injury pushed him out of action.
The Rockies took extra time to reduce the risk of reinjury before clearing him for the next step. With the Rockies seeing Tovar as the shortstop of the future, is it possible he could land in Denver before season's end?
"We'll see where it goes from here," said player development director Chris Forbes, who, like club officials, is not eliminating the idea of Tovar making his Major League debut. -- Thomas Harding