A one-run game with the victor scoring 20, an eight-RBI night from Ronny Brito and a whole lot of pitching changes. Just another night in the Pioneer League, according to Rookie-level Raptors hitting coach Dustin Kelly.The Dodgers No. 23 prospect drove in a career-high eight -- including the go-ahead RBI in
A one-run game with the victor scoring 20, an eight-RBI night from Ronny Brito and a whole lot of pitching changes.
Just another night in the Pioneer League, according to Rookie-level Raptors hitting coach Dustin Kelly.
The Dodgers No. 23 prospect drove in a career-high eight -- including the go-ahead RBI in the eighth inning -- in Ogden's 20-19 slugfest win over Idaho Falls on Sunday at Lindquist Field. Brito doubled his career high in RBIs.
Gameday box score
"Ronny has been in this league before and has a mature approach," Kelly said. "So when he comes on with runners on base, his approach doesn't change a lot, he can kind of keep the same mind-set and he can keep the same approach.
"When you come up with runners on base, more often than not, especially with a team struggling to throw strikes, you're going to see a lot of fastballs. And we saw a lot of fastballs tonight and we did some damage on them. And Ronny was a big part of that."
Brito plated his first run with a sacrifice fly to center field in the first inning, then worked a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to plate another. The 6-foot infielder drilled a three-run homer to right-center in the fifth on an 0-2 pitch off Domingo Pena, then drove in two runs by poking a single to center in the sixth. After Miguel Vargas singled to left and took second on a fielding error by left fielder Jose Caraballo to lead off the eighth, Brito drove him in with a single up the middle to give the Raptors a 19-18 lead.
The Chukars knotted the score at 19 on a solo homer by Nick Hutchins off Hunter Speer in the top of the ninth, then Daniel Robinson walked it off by knocking a single to center to drive in Jefrey Souffront.
Regarded as a stellar defender by MLB Pipeline, Brito has dazzled while seeing time at shortstop and sometimes at second or third base.
"What Ronny does is he plays the game and makes it look so easy," Kelly said of his defense. "It may not be as intense as what some people think it should be, but he plays the game extremely smooth. He's got a good internal clock so he knows when he needs to speed up and when he needs to slow down. Balls in the hole and balls to his left, he makes them look pretty easy."
Brito has shown encouraging signs at the plate too. With the career night, he raised his batting average to .322 and OPS to .952 in 27 games in the Pioneer League.
The Dominican Republic native made his United States debut last season, hitting .239/.268/.393 between the Rookie-level Arizona League and Ogden last season, but landed on the disabled list after his left leg was broken while attempting to turn a double play on Aug. 8.
The injury delayed Brito's development and he's just starting to get back to speed.
"He was a little bit slower on the progression in Spring Training, so he wasn't on the same program as everybody else," Kelly said. "Getting back into the lights and playing in front of people, it took him a couple of weeks to get used to game speed. He's hit in the middle of our lineup all year and he's come up with some really, really big hits."
Brito showed that Sunday.
"He's a guy that when he comes up with runners on base, the other team knows they better be careful. And a lot of times when you're trying to be careful, you end up making mistakes. He's old enough and mature enough to where he's taking advantage of that situation," Kelly said.
Vargas went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBIs. Robinson and Dillon Paulson also crossed home four times and Matt Cogen and Niko Hulsizer collected three RBIs apiece for the Raptors, who totaled 19 hits and were 9-for-23 with runners in scoring position.
Kelly said after the second, Ogden manager Jeremy Rodriguez proclaimed in the dugout the Raptors would likely need 10 runs to come out on top on. After the fourth inning, with the Raptors leading, 13-12, the skipper reassessed his target number.
"OK, maybe let's move that number up to 20, and if we hit that number, we'll win," Kelly said, recalling Rodriguez's words.
Caraballo was 3-for-6 with six RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Idaho Falls offense, which collected 13 hits and was 7-for-20 with runners in scoring position.
Josh Horton is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @joshhorton22