Grand Junction's Montes raps out five hits

Rockies prospect plates two, scores twice, hikes average to .444

Coco Montes was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Tournament team this year. (gousfbulls.com)

By Chris Bumbaca / MiLB.com | June 23, 2018 1:35 AM

In three seasons of college baseball, Coco Montes never recorded five hits in a game. He accrued two four-hit games as a sophomore at the University of South Florida and had a 20-game hitting streak this season but never got to five. 

The Rockies prospect required only seven games as a professional to reach the milestone. Montes went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored in Rookie-level Grand Junction's 9-8 loss to Idaho Falls on Friday at Sam Suplizio Field.


Gameday box score


"It was a great night," he said. "Things were just going my way." 

With two outs in the second inning, Montes grounded a double to right field on the first pitch he saw from starter C.J. Eldred. John Cresto followed with a line drive single to left to put the Rockies on the board. 

Again striking on the first pitch, the 21-year-old led off the fourth with a single to right and took second when right fielder Jose Caraballo couldn't handle the ball. Four hitters later, Montes scored on a base hit by Cristopher Navarro.

In the fifth, Florida native reached on an infield single on an 0-1 pitch from Eldred. Two innings later, Montes drove an RBI double to right to get Grand Junction within 7-6. With the Rockies down two runs in the ninth, he chased in his second run of the game with a knock through the left side. 

"It [stinks] that we lost," the 6-foot-1 infielder said. "It's always better to have a good day and win. It's still, overall, personally a good day for me. But all in all, the goal is to win every day as much as I can." 

Video: Montes picks up fifth hit for Rockies

Montes' full name is Robert Patrick, but he picked up the nickname Coco from his grandfather, who thought his head looked like a coconut as a baby. He said that if he ever had a five-hit game before Friday, it had to have been in middle school. 

"It felt good," he said. "It's always good to come through for your team when there's runners on base and get a couple of big hits." 

Selected by the Rockies in the 15th round of this month's Draft, hit .331 with a .887 OPS for USF this season. Montes added four homers and 40 RBIs for a squad that reached the NCAA Regionals, culminating the campaign with a pair of losses to Oklahoma State. He's 12-for-27 to begin his professional career.

In the whirlwind from the Draft to moving to Grand Junction to beginning his pro career, Montes hasn't taken a moment for granted.

"It's been amazing," he said. "This is the dream, since I was a little kid. I get to come out here and play baseball every day. I can't thank the Rockies enough for giving me this opportunity." 

MiLB include

Having left home for college, Montes said that aspect of the last couple of weeks hasn't been much of an adjustment, even though heading to Colorado from Florida is considerably farther than Miami to Tampa. He has a good idea of how he wants to attack his first season of pro ball. 

"Just keep doing the same thing that got me here," he said. "Keep working and just play baseball. I love baseball. It's a great game. I'm happy every day I'm out on the field." 

Montes will definitely carry some of the lessons he learned at USF to the next level. 

"The biggest thing is mindset, being positive all the time," he said. "Baseball is a game of failure and you can't let it beat you up. You're going to struggle at times, but as long as you keep working and stay positive, things will hopefully come through and start going your way." 

Nick Hutchins went 2-for-5 with three RBIs for the Chukars, while Royals third-round pick Kyle Isbel singled twice, drew a pair of walks, scored twice and raised his average to .500. 

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for MiLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More