It lasted all of three games and just eight at-bats.
But that was long enough for Brendan Rodgers, the 2015 No. 1 draft pick of the Colorado Rockies, who selected the Florida high school sensation with the No. 3 overall pick – one spot behind Albuquerque’s Alex Bregman.
Rodgers’ hitless stretch in a three-game series against Reno last week led to the Albuquerque Isotope infielder to get to the park very early on Friday to put in extra work with hitting coach Tim Doherty, spend some additional time on film and just do whatever it took to fix whatever wasn’t right.
It seems to have worked.
After a monster home run and a double on Friday, Rodgers added another hit in Saturday night’s 12-4 Isotopes win over visiting Tacoma in front of a fireworks night announced crowd of 10,100 in Isotopes Park.
“I went through a little funk there – a couple games is all. Was nothing to stress about, but I was just getting out of my (normal) approach,” said Rodgers. “I came in early and just got back to doing the simple things. Got back to my approach. I felt really good with the early work and took it into the game.”
It’s not as though the organization’s top prospect has been in a slump, exactly. But he hasn’t been tearing it up, either. And when you started as an 18-year-old and you’re now in your fifth professional season, you don’t want to waste any time – even a three-game hitless streak – trying to get to the majors.
Patience, he says, remains as big a challenge as anything at this point in his career.
“(The goal is) to just progress and be ready when the time comes,” Rodgers said. “You don’t want to be in a funk whenever they do call. Obviously I want to be up in the big leagues, but I want to be comfortable and be doing well when they do call and have some confidence when I do go up.”
Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill is happy with the prospect’s progression.
“He can hit,” Hill said. “Every day, we come and try to figure out how to be better than the last day, and he’s been working really hard and getting in the cage with TD and they’re working one some things. He came in early (Friday) and hit off the machine at 1 o’clock and made some adjustments and was able to take that into the game. Hopefully he can get on track.”
Rodgers is at .258 this season with three home runs and six RBIs in 16 games this season, hitting either No. 3 or No. 5 in the lineup.
He said he’s been watching a lot of film lately, especially old film of himself when he was at High-A Lancaster, where he batted .387 in 51 games.
The result? Rodgers says he feels his leg kick has been too high of late, leading him to come forward too much in his swing and come around on the ball instead of a quick, short up-and-down step that is now allowing him to stay inside the ball.
The 22-year-old has played 12 games at second base this season, two at shortstop and two at third base. He’s been seen regularly working on fielding techniques for second base throughout 2019.
“I think the most room for improvement I can do right now is at second base,” said Rodgers. “I feel playing a lot there is for a reason and I just really need to get the little things down.”
(Click here for the Pacific Coast League standings.)
SUNDAY: Vs. Tacoma, 1:35 p.m.
610 AM/95.9 FM
Probables: Rainiers RHP Tyler Danish (0-3, 15.09) vs. Isotopes RHP Peter Lambert (0-1, 5.93)
Promotion: Pregame Easter candy hunt around Isotopes Park beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday: The Isotopes (10-7) had 17 hits and beat Tacoma 12-4. Albuquerque, which can clinch the series with a win today, had 17 hits and got three RBIs from leadoff hitter Yonathan Daza. RF Sam Hilliard hit his fifth homer for the ‘Topes and 3B Josh Fuentes hit his second, but also committed three errors. Tacoma 2B Tim Lopes was 4-for-4 with four doubles. Albuquerque’s bullpen pitched 3⅓ scoreless innings, extending its shutout streak to 16⅓ innings.
Albuquerque Isotopes (10-7) 12, Tacoma Rainiers (6-11) 4
April 20, 2019
|Crawford, J, SS||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.328|
|Miller, I, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.240|
2B: Negrón (1, Gonzalez, C); Lopes 4 (4, Gonzalez, C, Gonzalez, C, Gonzalez, C, Pierpont); Calixte (1, Gonzalez, C).
TB: Bishop; Calixte 4; Crawford, J 2; Curletta; Lopes 8; Miller, I; Negrón 3.
RBI: Lopes 2 (6).
2-out RBI: Lopes.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bishop; Long; Crawford, J.
GIDP: Calixte; Miller, I.
Team RISP: 3-for-13.
Team LOB: 7.
CS: Long (1, 2nd base by Gonzalez, C/Rabago).
E: Long (4, throw); Crawford, J (2, throw); Lobatón (2, throw).
Outfield assists: Negrón (Daza at 3rd base).
|Murphy, D, 1B||5||1||1||0||0||1||3||.200|
|Gonzalez, C, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Murphy, D (1, Milone); Daza (2, Festa); Mundell (5, Milone); Rabago 2 (2, Milone, Festa).
3B: Daza (1, Northcraft).
HR: Hilliard (5, 3rd inning off Milone, 0 on, 1 out); Fuentes (2, 1st inning off Milone, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Daza 6; Fuentes 5; Hilliard 4; Mundell 4; Rabago 6; Rodgers; Soto; Weeks; Murphy, D 2.
RBI: Daza 3 (5); Fuentes 2 (5); Hilliard (17); Mundell (10); Rabago 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Daza 2; Mundell; Rabago 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Soto; Murphy, D 2; Weeks; Mundell.
Team RISP: 7-for-14.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Daza (2, 2nd base off Milone/Lobatón); Weeks (1, 2nd base off Tenuta/Lobatón).
CS: Rabago (1, 2nd base by Milone/Lobatón).
E: Fuentes 3 (3, fielding, throw, throw).
Outfield assists: Weeks (Lopes at 2nd base).
DP: 4 (Gonzalez, C-Rodgers-Murphy, D; Pierpont-Soto-Ramos; Fuentes-Rodgers; Weeks-Rodgers).
|Milone (L, 1-1)||4.0||10||6||4||0||3||2||4.95|
|Gonzalez, C (W, 2-0)||5.2||10||4||4||1||3||0||3.78|
WP: Tenuta; Markel.
Pitches-strikes: Milone 81-55; Tenuta 28-13; Northcraft 21-13; Festa 21-14; Markel 14-10; Gonzalez, C 102-64; Horacek 19-13; Pierpont 20-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Milone 4-3; Tenuta 2-0; Northcraft 3-0; Festa 1-0; Markel 0-1; Gonzalez, C 8-5; Horacek 0-0; Pierpont 1-2.
Batters faced: Milone 20; Tenuta 7; Northcraft 6; Festa 5; Markel 4; Gonzalez, C 27; Horacek 5; Pierpont 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Northcraft 1-1; Horacek 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Clint Vondrak. 1B: Sean Allen. 3B: Bryan Fields.
Weather: 80 degrees, Partly Cloudy.
Wind: 20 mph, L To R.
First pitch: 6:38 PM.
Venue: Isotopes Park.
April 20, 2019: