Fresno Grizzlies Deliver Promising First Half in California League

Warming Bernabel at Chukchansi Park. Photo credit Aaron Provencio/Fresno Grizzlies, @aaronprophotography on Instagram

This is the first in a series on the Colorado Rockies farm system. With 4 of the first 50 picks in the upcoming MLB Draft only a couple weeks away, this is interesting and pivotal time for the Rockies system. While the major league club finds a way to deal with the stalwart Dodgers, Giants, and Padres, the lower levels must improve upon their most recent Prospects1500 MLB farm system rank of #24.

We begin with Rockies Single-A club, the Fresno Grizzlies*. The Grizzlies are a well-balanced club, that put together a solid first half of the season. The Grizzlies feature a multi-talented infield, led by shortstop 19-year-old Adael Amador. The versatile Amador was Prospects1500’s #9 ranked player in the system in January, and he comes in at #84 overall on our just published Overall Top 189 Prospects.

The Grizzlies captured the first half of California League North with a noteworthy 41-25 record, edging out the San Jose Giants by one game. The Grizzlies currently are second in OPS, while leading the Cal League in home runs and doubles. Interestingly, the Grizzlies have recorded the fewest strikeouts at 529. By comparison, Stockton (A’s) has the most with 787!

Before his promotion to Spokane on May 31, center fielder Braiden Ward possessed a hot bat, slashing a line of .367/.487/.533. The converted infielder and 16th round pick out of Washington also swiped 26 stolen bases, without being thrown out. Catcher/first baseman Hunter Goodman has provided the thump, blasting a league-leading 18 homers to go along with 59 RBI and a hefty .565 slugging percentage. The former 4th-round pick out of Memphis came into the season as Prospect1500’s #23 ranked Rockies prospect. Leadoff man and shortstop Amador, leads the team with 46 runs while sporting a .302 average and a .401 OBP. The #9 prospect has stolen 10 bases on 16 attempts and has flashed power with 9 home runs.

Adael Amador, Fresno Grizzlies. Photo credit Aaron Provencio/Fresno Grizzlies, @aaronprophotography on Instagram

Another table-setter, 2nd baseman Juan Brito, has demonstrated great awareness of the strike zone, walking 43 times, and maintaining a .401 OBP. Currently on the injured list, Brito is another player with speed, successful in 11 of 15 stolen base attempts. Third basemen Warming Bernabel rounds out the Grizzlies’ impressive infield. The #14 ranked 20-year-old leads the team in hits (74), average (.325), and stolen bases (19).

Other notable offensive outputs for the Grizzlies: Trevor Boone, 8 HR, 26 RBI; Yanquiel Fernandez, a team-high 19 2B, 6 HR, and 41 RBI.

On the mound, the Grizzlies ranked 2nd in the league in ERA at 4.15. Lefty Mason Green is among the Cal League’s most effective hurlers, posting a 3.02 ERA to go along with a 5-2 record. Green has limited opposing batters to a .238 average in 61 ⅔ innings. Nineteen-year-old Victor Juarez is holding the opposition to a .224 average in 56 ⅓ innings while sporting a nifty 3.31 ERA. Juarez has shown excellent control walking only 13 batters while striking out 61.

The bullpen is anchored by 25-year-old Joel Condreay. The right hander is 3-0, with a 1.25 ERA. Condreay has appeared in 20 games; has struck out 24 batters in 21 ⅓ innings, and is a perfect 7 for 7 in save opportunities. Hard-throwing Sergio Sanchez has fanned 45 batters in 38 innings while limiting the opposition to a .212 average. Sanchez is 6-1 out of the Grizzlies pen, with one save and one hold.

Other notable pitching outputs for the Grizzlies: promoted to Spokane on May 3, Evan Shawver, 16 IP, 1.13 ERA, 15 K, 5 BB, .207 opposing average; Jarrod Cande, 33 IP, 2.73 ERA, 31 K, 6 BB.

*stats as of June 24

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