Rodgers, Fuentes Headline Rockies Assignments for Arizona Fall League
Middle infielder Brendan Rodgers, the top rated prospect in the Rockies organization by Baseball America, and one of the top 10 ranked players in all of baseball, will extend his learning experience this off-season as one of six Rockies prospsects assigned to the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. The Rockies are looking for Rodgers to focus on learning to hit the breaking ball and expanding his infield versatility.
Recently promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque, it is possible after the AFL, Rodgers could spend some time with a winter league team, facing a most polished level of competition.
After hitting .275 with 17 home runs and making the Eastern League All-Star team at Double-A Hartford, Rodgers hit .206 in his first 17 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, and recently returned from being sidelined 10 days with a hamstring problem.
He has primarily played second base and shortstop in the minor leagues, but likely will get some time at third base in the fall.
Third baseman Josh Fuentes, the cousin of Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, is capping off an award-winning season at Triple-A Albuquerque by joining Rodgers in the AFL. The other Rockies prospects going to the AFL are right-handed pitchers Ryan Castellani and Jesus Tinoco, left-handed pitcher Mitch Horacek, and outfielder Sam Hilliard.
The Rafters are based out of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Rockies spring training headquarters.
Former big-league pitcher Dave Burba, the pitching coach with the Rockies High-A Lancaster affiliate, will be the pitching coach for the Rafters. Tommy Watkins of the Minnesota organization will manage the team.
Horacek, Salt River teammate Jax Griffin, from the Twins' organization, and Pirates pitching prospect Blake Weiman, who is on the Surprise Saguaros, are Colorado natives.
Weiman was an eighth-round draft choice of the Pirates in 2017, who was All-State at Columbine High School.
Horaceck who attended Thunder Ridge High School, was a ninth-round draft choice of the Orioles out of Dartmouth in 2013. The Rockies acquired him in the Rule 5 Draft at the winter meetings last December.
Jax, who attended Cherry Creek High School before enrolling at the Air Force Academy, is the son of former NFL linebacker Garth Jax. He was a third-round draft choice of the Twins in 2016, and remains involved with the Air Force as a representative of the Air Force World Class Athlete Program