Things are clicking for Brendan Rodgers.MLB.com's No. 9 overall prospect posted his first four-hit game at the Triple-A level, continuing a torrid stretch at the plate and leading Albuquerque to a 7-1 victory over Tacoma on Saturday night at Cheney Stadium.
Things are clicking for Brendan Rodgers.
MLB.com's No. 9 overall prospect posted his first four-hit game at the Triple-A level, continuing a torrid stretch at the plate and leading Albuquerque to a 7-1 victory over Tacoma on Saturday night at Cheney Stadium.
"Today was just another day in which he's gotten back to the Brendan Rodgers that people believed he would be," Isotopes hitting coach Tim Doherty said. "He's basically relaxed and went back to being Brendan Rodgers, playing the game and becoming the hitter that we all expect him to be, but more importantly, the hitter that he expects to be."
The top Rockies prospect singled to right field in each of his first two at-bats Saturday, driving in 14th-ranked Yonathan Daza with his second hit. Rodgers singled to left in the seventh inning before finishing his night with a base hit through the hole at second base in the ninth. He also scored in the first and seventh.
Gameday box score
"It's kind of the same that you've been seeing for the last couple of weeks," Doherty said. "He's really staying on the fastball well and adjusting to the off-speed, especially the slider, being really controlled and controlling his at-bats. Most important for Brendan Rodgers is commanding the strike zone, and that's been the biggest difference probably the last two weeks."
Rodgers' last two weeks have been a revelation. In his first 14 games of the season, the 2015 first-round pick batted .245/.339/.396 with four extra-base hits and three multi-hit games. In 14 games since, he's hitting .439/.484/.807 with four homers, a triple, seven doubles, 11 RBIs and nine multi-hit contests.
"He's getting back to what he is comfortable doing and making the proper adjustments to the type of pitching that he's seeing, the same thing we did in Double-A," Doherty said. "It's understanding more of the game and what the pitchers are trying to do to him and what he needs to try to do to the pitchers. That's really kind of what's taking place. His approach has become much more disciplined. He's staying in the strike zone a whole lot better. Is there a lot of work that goes on in the cage behind the scenes? Absolutely. But at the same time, it's all the application that takes place during the game."
The four-hit night was Rodgers' first in the Pacific Coast League, where he's drawn strong reviews, and first of any kind since he went 5-for-5 last April 22 for Double-A Hartford. The 22-year-old is batting .345/.411/.609 for the 'Topes and ranks second on the circuit with 38 hits.
"For any player, especially of his caliber, and the expectations from everybody including himself but the organization, outside the organization, people in the media, it's a tough burden to carry day in and day out," the hitting coach said. "For him to be able to accomplish what he believes he can do, it's fun to watch. When you have a hitter that hits for the period of time that he's been going -- I think there was a point in time where he went eight for his last 10 games with two hits -- today he had a four-hit game, that's enjoyable to watch. His teammates enjoy watching it. He enjoys his teammates having success as well. You sit back, you watch, you know the work that's been put in, but then to see the application take place, there's no better feeling as a coaching staff."
Rockies No. 26 prospect Roberto Ramos went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two RBIs, while Dom Nuñez homered and drove in three runs. Isotopes starter Jeff Hoffman (2-2) struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings for the win, allowing one run on two hits and two walks.
Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.