When the Colorado Rockies announced that former Rockie utility infielder Jordan Pacheco would join his hometown Albuquerque Isotopes as a hitting coach in 2022, I was thrilled at the prospect. Pacheco’s career as a professional ball player was defined by his ability to put the ball in play and display strong plate vision. Despite the Isotopes having a record that replicates their parent club, Pacheco has done a phenomenal job helping develop the offense in Albuquerque.
Pacheco has plenty of experience hitting home runs in Albuquerque, dating back to his college days, and he has done wonders sharing that expertise with the Isotopes. Earlier this month, the Isotopes set a franchise record for most home runs in a single season when D.J. Peterson launched a grand slam for the 213th long ball of the season.
HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE, TWICE ON ONE SWING!
D.J. Peterson connects on Albuquerque’s 213th home run of the season – a new club record for one campaign.
— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) September 10, 2022
As that tweet mentions, that grand slam at the time also tied a minor league record for grand slams in a single season. It was only a matter of time until the Isotopes managed to find a way to break that record as well on September 16.
Perhaps one of the best stories in 2022 has been Wynton Bernard’s journey to the league and his career year in Albuquerque. This season he not only tied a franchise record for leadoff home runs in a single year but has also unlocked his power overall with a career-high 20+ home runs and 86+ RBI.
Told you we’d start the comeback! @SaintBerny36 with his fifth leadoff home run of the season – tying Tony Abreu (2009) for the team record in one year.
B1: Space Cowboys 5, Isotopes 1 pic.twitter.com/hnbSo2zFNc
— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) July 23, 2022
The power numbers have excelled under Pacheco and it has helped unlock the potential for numerous prospects this season. Numerous records have been broken, including a franchise record for home runs in a single game (8), which is an encouraging aspect of the team. The Colorado Rockies need more power and if the players in Albuquerque can find that stroke and approach, it will go a long way to improving that place of weakness.
Better Call Ball
Despite an excess of strikeouts in 2022, an area that needs improvement regardless of the level of play, the Isotopes have vastly improved in the walk department. The Isotopes have drawn 533 walks this season, a mark that is the highest since joining the Rockies organization in 2015. That mark also ranks in the top five since the team moved to Albuquerque in 2003.
Pacheco always had a knack for putting the ball in play and being selective at the plate, and that has translated to the Isotopes this season. In 2021, the Isotopes had 421 walks and had only three batters draw at least 30 walks. In 2022, the Isotopes have nine players with at least 30 walks. Far more interesting is the fact that the Rockies have four players with at least 30 walks this season, a factor that has hurt their ability to get on base this season.
So, drawing walks and getting on base is an advantageous thing that the organization needs more help with. Jordan Pacheco has done a superb job in developing better plate discipline. Yes, strikeouts have ticked up over 1,200 but it is part of the game as the Isotopes have dived into more of a three-true outcomes way of offense. Aside from the home runs, the walks are perhaps the most integral part of development for the squad. These developments are essential for the future of the Colorado Rockies.
Jordan Pacheco has proven quite a bit in his freshman year of coaching. Not only has he risen to the challenge, but he has flourished as a result of it. Back in May, Sam Bradfield had the chance to talk with Pacheco, and he mentioned about his hope was to help certain players improve on things and put up big numbers so that they can then continue to do so in the big leagues. Thus far, he has seen Alan Trejo, Elehuris Montero, Michael Toglia, Sean Bouchard, Brian Serven, and Wynton Bernard among others break through to the big leagues. He has also helped set up players for their next opportunities as they strive to get back to the major leagues.
In 2022, perhaps one of the most pivotal rooms the Rockies made, was adding Pacheco to the coaching in Albuquerque. The local kid excelled as a player and now is getting the chance to excel as a coach. Perhaps one day, Pacheco could get the call-up to Colorado once more with the intention to help improve an offense that needs a change in philosophy. Until then, the Lobo will keep breaking records in his hometown.
★ ★ ★
Bard’s resurgence rooted in mental growth with rival | MLB.com
Daniel Bard’s 2022 season has been one for the ages and a lot of that strength is rooted in the time he spent working for the Diamondbacks as a mental skills coach. Thomas Harding caught up with Bard and discussed what it was that he learned with the D-backs that has translated so well to his return to being a top reliever in the big leagues.
★ ★ ★
On The Farm
Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers 11, Albuquerque Isotopes 8
Despite pounding out 15 hits as a team, ‘Topes pitching wasn’t able to contain Oklahoma in the matinee loss. Jimmy Herron got the scoring started with a solo home run in the first inning, but the Dodgers were able to answer back with three runs in the second inning. Once again the Isotopes would answer back with two runs to tie things up, but the tug of war continued through the third inning. Unfortunately, after the third inning, Albuquerque would see the deficit grow to 10-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. They would add three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth, but couldn’t scrap together enough to make a comeback in the ninth.
Logan Allen started on the mound and allowed six runs through four innings of work, allowing two home runs, and striking out five with three walks. Offensively, Coco Montes led the way with three hits, including a double and two RBI. Jonathan Morales also had three hits on the day while D.J. Peterson had a pair of doubles.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 7, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 0
Late offense hammered the final nail in the coffin that strong pitching built in a 7-0 victory on Saturday. Mitchell Kilkenny turned in one of his better performances of the year tossing 6 1⁄3 shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out three with one walk. Hartford struck early in the first inning thanks to a Daniel Montano RBI single as part of his two-hit, two-RBI day.
They would add another run in the fourth inning, and the pitchers’ duel would continue until the Yard Goats broke through in the seventh inning. With two men on, Brenton Doyle launched his 22nd home run of the season to give the Yard Goats a 5-0 lead. Two more runs would come across in the top of the ninth before Blair Calvo slammed the door to seal the victory.
★ ★ ★
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