Catching Up, Aug, 24, 2013
Editor’s note: Each week this summer, The Daily Sentinel will catch up with some of the Grand Junction Rockies who have moved up the organizational ladder. To check on your favorite former GJ Rockies player, go to coloradorockies.com and click on the “Roster” link, then go to “Affiliates/Pipeline.”
JON GRAY, P, CLASS A MODESTO
Four players have been promoted from Grand Junction so far this season, most notably first-round draft pick Jon Gray.
In Grand Junction, Gray was tasked with refining his change-up and had a strict pitch count. When he was boosted to Class A Advanced Modesto, skipping two levels, Gray’s pitch count was stretched, with a five-inning limit. He’s thrived in the California League, with his most impressive outing coming Tuesday against Visalia, an 11-5 victory, his third in four starts.
Gray struck out a season-high 10 batters, allowing two runs on three hits. The victory came off his only no-decision for the Nuts so far, Aug. 14 against San Jose, when he pitched four innings, giving up two hits and striking out four. He also walked four, the most he has allowed in his four starts for Modesto.
Gray’s ERA in Class A has dropped to 0.95, and he had 28 strikeouts and six walks. Teams are hitting .127 against him.
Zach Osborne, 2B, Class A Asheville: Osborne, a steady defensive presence for the Rockies, is hitting .240 in eight games with the Tourists with one double and two RBI. In his first game, Aug. 11, he went 2 for 3 with one RBI and a stolen base.
Jacob Newberry, P, Class A Asheville: The middle reliever notched his first pro victory on Aug. 14, a 4-3 win over Hickory. Newberry pitched two innings, allowing only one base runner on a one-out walk in his first inning. He retired the next five batters. Two former GJ players, Rayan Gonzalez and Raul Fernandez, each pitched an inning of relief, with Fernandez earning his 12th save. Newberry has a 3.97 ERA in nine games in Asheville, with 15 strikeouts and six walks.
Jose Briceno, C, Class A Asheville: Briceno is hitting .274 in 21 games for the Tourists in two stints with the club. He played 10 games in Asheville before being assigned to Grand Junction, returning to the South Atlantic League earlier this month. He has six doubles and six RBI, including a 2-for-4 game Friday night against Charleston, an 8-1 victory. Eight of the Tourists’ 11 hits Friday night were by former GJ Rockies; first baseman Ben Waldrip went 3 for 4 with a double, home run and drove in three runs.