Rockies' Rodgers hit in head by pitch

No. 9 overall prospect leaves Isotopes' game in third inning

Brendan Rodgers is tied for third in the PCL with 31 runs scored and tied for fifth with 42 hits. (Stephen Smith/Four Seam Images)

By Daren Smith / MiLB.com | May 12, 2019 7:29 PM

Brendan Rodgers, the Colorado Rockies' top prospect, was hit in the head by a pitch in the third inning of Triple-A Albuquerque's 5-3 victory over Fresno on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park.

After Austin Voth struck him out in the first inning, Rodgers worked the count full in the third. The right-hander's next pitch was up and in, and MLB.com's No. 9 overall prospect tried to turn out of the way. But the ball glanced off the back of his batting helmet and Rodgers crumbled to the ground.

Video: Isotopes' Rodgers gets hit by pitch

He remained prone while being tended to by Isotopes trainer Heath Townsend, then sat up and walked off under his own power. Rodgers was replaced by pinch-runner Peter Mooney, who played the rest of the game at second base.

Rockies manager Bud Black told the Denver Post on Sunday that he understood that Rodgers was not seriously injured. 

The 22-year-old has been one of baseball's top prospects since the Rockies drafted him third overall in 2015. He battled for a spot on the Opening Day roster in Spring Training and was off to a strong start in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .333 with a .993 OPS, seven homers and 18 RBIs in 33 games.

Rodgers is tied for third in the PCL with 31 runs scored and tied for fifth with 42 hits. Last week, he recorded his first four-hit game at the Triple-A level, capping a two-week stretch in which the Florida native batted .439/.484/.807 with four homers, a triple, seven doubles and 11 RBIs. 

2019 MiLB include

"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," Isotopes hitting coach Tim 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."

Rodgers was impressive in his first full Minor League season in 2017, hitting .281 with 19 homers and 73 RBIs in 110 games with Class A Asheville. But he broke out the following year with Class A Advanced Lancaster, putting up a .387/.407/.671 slash line with 36 extra-base hits, 47 RBIs and 44 runs scored in 51 games to earn a promotion to Double-A Hartford.

Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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