Sometimes all it takes to turn things around is the turn of a calendar page. Casey Golden ended April in a 1-for-29 funk. After a day off on Wednesday, he's notched six hits in his last 10 at-bats. Four of those came on Friday as the Rockies' No. 30 prospect tied his career
Sometimes all it takes to turn things around is the turn of a calendar page.
Casey Golden ended April in a 1-for-29 funk. After a day off on Wednesday, he's notched six hits in his last 10 at-bats. Four of those came on Friday as the Rockies' No. 30 prospect tied his career high with three doubles, plated two runs and scored twice in Class A Advanced Lancaster's 10-5 victory over Lake Elsinore at The Hangar.
Selected by the Rockies in the 20th round of the 2017 Draft, Golden has a 60-grade power rating from MLB Pipeline. He led the South Atlantic League with 34 homers last year, batting .278/.359/.562 in 124 games. His debut in the California League got off to a solid start, with Golden collecting hits in 13 of his first 15 games. He had just one hit -- a solo homer -- over his last 10 games in April, however.
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"I started off the season pretty hot," the 24-year-old said. "Things were going my way and then I just started struggling. The last couple of weeks, I was hitting balls hard, but it's baseball. Balls get caught."
The slump was frustrating for Golden, who said his biggest regret was being unable to produce when the team needed it.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself already but not necessarily because I was disappointed I wasn't getting hits. I was more disappointed that I wasn't getting the job done at the plate that was being asked of me," he explained. "When there were runners in scoring position, I wasn't really doing my job. That was more of the frustrating part."
That's certainly changed since the start of the month. After picking up two hits in Thursday's extra-inning loss to Modesto, Golden followed with an almost historic night.
After Carlos Herrera doubled and Matt McLaughlin walked to open the bottom of the first inning, Golden wasted no time giving the JetHawks an early lead. Storm starter Aaron Leasher got ahead of him, 0-2, but the cleanup hitter lined a double to right field to score both runners.
Golden tagged Leasher for his second two-bagger in as many innings, lofting a fly ball to left that sent Herrera to third. Both scored on Ramon Marcelino's single, extending the lead to 8-0. His third hit -- and double -- came off Leasher in the fourth as he sent the first pitch to right.
After striking out to end the sixth inning, the North Carolina-Wilmington product tagged Jordan Guerrero for a ground-ball single to right in the eighth. He fell one short of becoming the 15th player in California League history to collect four doubles in a game but matched the career high he set last Aug. 18 with Class A Asheville, which also was his last four-hit game.
"I'm just looking at this as a new month and to go game to game. Hopefully, that'll allow me to have a solid month," Golden said. "So far, so good."
Lancaster starter and fifth-ranked Rockies prospect Ryan Rolison (1-0) cruised to his first Cal League win after the JetHawks staked him to a comfortable lead. The left-hander fanned a career-high eight batters and walked one over 5 2/3 innings. He surrendered seven hits but only one -- a solo homer by Padres No. 18 prospectLuis Campusano -- proved to be damaging.
Todd Czinege backed up Golden by belting a two-run homer and falling a triple shy of the cycle.
Leasher fell to 0-4 after allowing eight runs on 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Taylor Kohlwey collected three hits for the Storm, while Eguy Rosario doubled, singled and scored a run.
Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.