With the start Brendan Rodgers has had, it's not surprising the Class A Advanced Lancaster coaching staff has not asked him to make too many adjustments. But if he could use the whole field a little bit more ...
"That's one thing we've talked to him about. Before, even though he was hitting well, he was pulling the ball a lot more," JetHawks manager Fred Ocasio said. "We talked to him and said, 'Hey, listen, you've got to think a little about the other way, too.' Today, he hit a triple to right field that was to the wall, almost out, and he hit a home run to center field. It was good to see him hit the other way, but not just that -- he hit the ball hard the other way."
The Rockies' top prospect wowed with much more than his coachability on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with the solo homer and triple and stealing home among three runs scored in Lancaster's fifth straight win, a 11-4 romp over visiting Stockton.
Rodgers missed the start of the season with a hand injury, but after 19 games in the California League, the 20-year-old shortstop is hitting .418/.435/.684 with three homers and 10 doubles. He's had two 4-for-4 days this month and is 25-for-25 with 11 extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored during a 12-game hitting streak.
"The one thing with Brendan Rodgers is that he has the ability to hit the ball and the ability to put the barrel to the ball," Ocasio said. "He's really good at that and, obviously, he stays through the ball. He's got power. He's going to hit some home runs and he's going to hit a high number of doubles. He's got the ability."
MLB.com's No. 12 overall prospect opened Mother's Day with an opposite-field triple off eighth-ranked A's prospect Logan Shore with one out in the first inning. The right-hander surrendered a single up the middle to Rodgers in the third and another through the left side in the fifth.
Rodgers moved to third on a knock by Rockies No. 30 prospect Sam Hilliard. With No. 23 prospect Brian Mundell at bat, Hilliard tried to steal second, but a foul ball sent him back. Rodgers noticed that second baseman Josh Vidales was the defender who broke to cover the bag and that third baseman Mikey White remained back and off the line.
"He told me [what he'd noticed]," said Ocasio, who was coaching third. "What made it easy was the third baseman playing back, so he knew they weren't going to throw over. They had no chance [of catching him at home] because he had a big, big lead. Once the catcher threw, he'd pretty much made it. There wasn't even a throw home, so we ended up with two stolen bases on the play."
Facing Will Gilbert with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, the Florida native whacked another ball deep to the opposite field, this time for a sacrifice fly.
Up against No. 26 A's prospect Nolan Blackwood in the eighth, Rodgers went yard for his 18th RBI of the season.
"Not only did he hit a home run, it was pretty much right over the 410 marker out there," Ocasio said. "He crushed it. He's got that ability to put the barrel of the bat to the ball. He makes contact and, most of the time, he's making hard contact."
Roberto Ramos was a triple short of the cycle while going 3-for-4, while Hilliard and Mundell each had two hits and two RBIs.
Colin Welmon improved to 3-0, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out six over seven innings.
Seth Brown homered twice for the Ports.