A long offseason followed by a stint on the disabled stint left Brendan Rodgers itching to get back on the field. The Lancaster JetHawks are sure happy to see him there, too.
In his fifth game back from a hand injury, the Rockies' top prospect went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs on Friday to lead Class A Advanced Lancaster to a 16-10 triumph over Rancho Cucamonga at The Hangar.
"Once I came back from extended spring training, I was ready to go," Rodgers said. "Everybody here has been so positive and being around the guys was a big part of helping me keep off the rust."
After going down on strikes in his first at-bat, Rodgers singled to right field and scored on a double by No. 23 prospect Brian Mundell in the JetHawks' seven-run outburst in the third inning.
"I swung at ball four in the first at-bat on a cutter away and missed an opportunity to get the job done," MLB.com's No. 13 overall prospect said. "I was a little upset at myself, but I flushed it and got ready for the next at-bat."
After doubling to right in the fourth, Rodgers keyed another big inning in the fifth with a two-run double to center as Lancaster tallied six times.
"He smoked that ball," Lancaster manager Fred Ocasio said of his shortstop's two-run double. "You can tell that Brendan is going to be a good hitter just by watching him. Every time he's up, he'll give you a good at-bat and when he swings he gets through the ball."
In 110 games for Class A Asheville last year, Rodgers posted a .281/.342/.480 slash line with 19 homers and 73 RBIs as a 19-year-old. He'll again be one of the youngest players in his respective league, and he doesn't appear fazed. The 2015 first-round pick is hitting .348 with three doubles and three RBIs in five games with Lancaster.
"I absolutely feel like I have a lot more confidence in myself this year," the Florida native said. "Last year, I dealt with a nagging, minor injury before the season, but I didn't let it get to me then and I was happy with the way my season went. So I'm ready to go this year, too."
Yonathan Daza collected four hits and drove in two runs for the JetHawks. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .378 in 18 games. Mundell chipped in two hits and four RBIs.
Rockies No. 19 prospect Garrett Hampson, who joined Lancaster straight from Class A Short Season Boise, reached base three times. The 2016 third-round pick is hitting .297 with a homer and 11 RBIs in 21 games.
On the other side of the diamond, Ibandel Isabel hit his California League-leading seventh homer, fell a triple short of the cycle and collected five RBIs for the Quakes.
Dodgers No. 14 prospect Will Smith and No. 19 prospect DJ Peters hit back-to-back homers in the first inning as Rancho Cucamonga jumped out to a 6-1 lead.
The teams combined for 32 hits.