Colorado Rockies (MLB)
The Rockies do not have many players leading the league in categories, but they do have two of the top five hitters in the National League in their lineup. Outfielder Matt Holliday currently leads the N.L. with a .393 batting average, stroking a league-best 35 hits through his first 22 games of the season. First Baseman Todd Helton is fifth in the N.L. in batting, and is currently hitting at a .365 clip. He is also second in the league with a .478 on-base percentage, and appears healthy this season.
As a team, the Rockies are hitting .259 collectively, good for ninth in the league in hitting. Their pitching staff is one of the main reasons why they are only 9-13 this season, as they have the fourth-worst earned run average in the N.L. The team has yet to throw a complete game, and three of their five starters have earned run averages over 5.00.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA Affiliate)
Over in the Pacific Coast League, the Sky Sox are off to a very slow start to the 2007 season, as they have dropped 11 of their first 16 games. Alberto Arias is currently fifth in the league in earned run average, as he has been very effective from both the rotation, and the bullpen. Arias has a 1.84 earned run average in 14.2 innings of work, and has made two starts.
Arias has been a pretty much lone bright spot on the pitching staff, as the team in last in the PCL with a 5.88 team earned run average. Josh Newman is having a decent year out of the pen, but the starting rotation has been shoddy to say the least. They have done well with the sticks on the other hand, as they are currently fourth in the league with a .280 team batting average.
Tulsa Drillers (AA Affiliate)
The Drillers have one of the best young bats in the Texas League in shortstop Jonathan Herrera, who is currently second in the league in batting with a .377 average. Herrera has shown to be the ultimate player early on, as he is third in stolen bases (4), first in hits (29), and he has scored 11 times in his first 19 games. Outfielder Joe Gaetti currently leads the league with eight doubles. As a team, Tulsa is batting .256, which is the fifth-best mark in a eight team league.
Greg Reynolds has become the ace of the Drillers pitching staff, and has been nearly unhittable during the first month of the season. He has the fourth-best ERA in the league (1.89), and has only walked three in 19 innings of work. Franklin Morales’ 19 strikeouts are the third best mark in the Texas League, and Steven Register is tied for the league lead with seven saves. He has also appeared in a league-high ten games. As a team, Tulsa is currently 10-9, and has the fifth-best ERA in the league.
Modesto Nuts (High-A Affiliate)
To say the Modesto Nuts lineup has been struggling this season would be an understatement. The only name even near the leader board in any category is Eric Young Jr., who is third in the league in stolen bases (11). The team is batting a league-worst .233 as a squad, and has only nine home runs in 644 at-bats. They do not have a single batter hitting over .300 on the young season, as Lino Garcia leads the team with a .286 batting average. No batter has more than two home runs, though they are averaging five runs per game.
It would be hard to find a hotter pitcher right now than Brandon Hynick, who has yet to allow an earned run in 23.0 innings of work this season. He is 2-0 on the year, has struck out 15, and has walked only three. Against him, batters are hitting only .198. Hynick is not the only Nuts pitcher who dots the leader boards, as closer Andrew Johnston is currently third in the league in saves (4). The team has a collective 3.86 earned run average, which is the third best in the league, and has only allowed six home runs this season. David Patton leads the league in games (10), and Pedro Stroop is tied for third (9). Alan Johnson’s 25.2 innings are the second highest most in the league, and he has a respectable 2.81 earned run average.
Asheville Tourists (Low-A Affiliate)
If Hynick is the hottest pitcher on the farm right now, then Michael Paulk is definitely the hottest stick in all of the Rockies farm system. Paulk is currently second in the South Atlantic League in batting (.394), an average which leads the organization, and he also dots the leader board in other categories. His 26 hits are currently the third highest among Sally League players, and his .481 on base percentage is also third in the league. The team is batting .252 as a whole, which is ninth in the 16-team league. Two other Tourists are batting over .300 as well, as Daniel Mayora (.300), and Logan Wiens (.314) are both over the coveted .300 mark.
This is a very good pitching staff, which is the main reason why the Tourists have won 13 of their first 20 games to open the 2007 season. Reliever Ethan Katz is one of the best in the league, and has yet to allow an earned run in a league-high nine appearances. Katz has struck out 11 in 14.2 innings of work, and opponents are batting only .104 against him. The team’s 3.45 earned run average is the fifth best mark in the Sally, and starter Keith Weiser is off to a great start. He has won three of his four starts, and his 23.2 innings of work are the fifth most in the league.