With Kris Bryant potentially requiring a trip to the IL after hurting himself while taking a swing over the weekend, the Colorado Rockies have sent the struggling Elehuris Montero back down to Triple-A and called up outfielder Brenton Doyle — the team’s No. 16 prospect, per MLB Pipeline — to potentially make his Major League debut.
The Colorado Rockies announced today that they have recalled outfielder Brenton Doyle from Triple-A Albuquerque and have optioned infielder Elehuris Montero to Triple-A. Doyle will wear #9.— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) April 24, 2023
Any time a player will get to play half his games in the launching pad that is Coors Field, fantasy baseball owners sit up and pay attention. That’s doubly true when said player has the kind of eye-popping slash line that Doyle has posted so far in the Minors: .306/.404/.633 with homers and a steal this year, after going 20/20 in Double-A in 2022.
Legit power and speed with a path to regular playing time in a (very) friendly offensive environment — what’s not to like? Well, as it turns out, there are red flags here that should make owners outside of the deepest fantasy leagues wary.
Brenton Doyle fantasy impact
First thing’s first: Doyle’s raw power and speed are very real. But that’s been true of a lot of Rockies prospects over the years; anyone remember Sam Hilliard? Even in Coors, the trick is finding a way to get those tools to show up in MLB games — and that’s where Doyle may fall short.
Doyle has always had strikeout problems, and those have persisted even amid his Triple-A success this season. He’s whiffed 19 times over 57 plate appearances, a 33.3% clip that would’ve ranked among the 10 worst in the Majors last year among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances. This is after striking out 134 times in his first taste of pro ball in 2021 and 171 times in 132 games last year.
Hitters with major contact issues at every level of the Minors rarely figure out those issues at the Major League level. Maybe Doyle is the exception; maybe he finds a way to make enough contact — and gets enough BABIP help from Coors Field — to become a 20/20 player. The physical tools are certainly there. But you can’t hit homers or steal bases if you’re not putting the ball in play, and we’ve seen this movie enough times to know how it usually ends. Doyle isn’t a recommended add save for those in 15-team or NL-only leagues.