Bees Bullets: Previewing The Albuquerque Isotopes

Apr 2, 2023, 4:13 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake Bees head out on the road for the first time this season, beginning a 12-game game road trip against Albuquerque and Las Vegas before returning to Smith’s Ballpark on April 18.

Salt Lake (2-1) faces the Albuquerque Isotopes (2-1) in the first six-game series of the season for both teams. The series is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 – Sunday, April 9.

The Bees won two of three games against Sacramento to open the season.

All prospect rankings are from MLB.com.

RELATED: Bees Bullets: Salt Lake Splits Twin Bill, Win Season-Opening Series

Albuquerque Isotopes Top Prospects

No. 12 Michael Toglia – First Baseman

Scouting grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 60 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 65 | Overall: 45

Toglia was drafted in the first round (23rd) by Colorado out of UCLA in 2019. He hit 19 home runs during his junior season with the Bruins.

After advancing to Double-A in his first full season of pro ball, Toglia made his MLB debut in 2022, hitting .216 in a 31-game cup of coffee with the Rockies. He finished with 12 extra-base hits including two long balls.

In 114 games between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque, Toglia slashed .234/.329/.466 with 30 home runs and 20 doubles.

Defensively, Toglia has good range and profiles as a potential Gold Glover at first base.

No. 16 Brenton Doyle – Outfielder

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45

32 home runs and 52 stolen bases in three seasons at Shepherd University in West Virginia was enough for Colorado to select Doyle with their fourth-round pick in 2019.

One of the Rockies top defensive outfielders, Doyle ended 2022 with 26 home runs and 23 stolen bases to showcase his power and speed capabilities. Despite a 31.2 percent strikeout rate, Doyle finished with a .256 batting average and 77 runs batted in.

No. 17 Nolan Jones – Outfield/Third Base

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

A two-sport star in high school, Jones excelled at hockey before focusing on baseball enough to be selected by Cleveland in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Jones worked his way through the Cleveland system, making his MLB debut in 2022 with the Guardians. He slashed .244/.309/.372 with two homers and five doubles across 28 games. Colorado traded infield prospect Juan Brito to Cleveland for the rights to Jones in November.

With Triple-A Columbus in 2022, Jones hit nine home runs and 11 doubles, finishing with a .276 average.

RELATED: ‘Familiar Feel’ For Keith Johnson As Salt Lake Bees Manager Entering 2023

No. 21 Jeff Criswell – Starting Pitcher

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Colorado acquired Criswell from Oakland after the 2022 season. Oakland selected Criswell out of the University of Michigan with their second-round pick in 2020.

A reliever with the Wolverines, Criswell has started 26 of 29 games in the minor leagues. Last year he went 4-10 with a 4.03 earned run average, advancing from High-A Lansing to Triple-A Las Vegas to finish the year. He threw only 10.2 innings with Las Vegas, finishing with a 4.22 ERA and an 0-1 record in two starts.

Criswell throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball with a changeup, slider, and slow curveball that sits in the upper-70s.

No. 24 Gavin Hollowell – Relief Pitcher

A 2019 sixth-round pick by the Rockies out of St. John’s, Hollowell is appearing in Triple-A for the first time in 2023.

Considered a strong strike thrower, he struck out 64 while walking only 14 with a 3.14 ERA in 42 appearances with Double-A Hartford, saving 16 games.

His strong performance with the Yard Goats earned a call-up to the big leagues. In six appearances with the Rockies, Hollowell racked up a 7.71 ERA after struggling with control at the big league level. He gave up seven hits while seeing his strikeout/walk rate drop to 8:4.

RELATED: Steve Klauke Shares Unique Stories Of His Time With The Salt Lake Bees

Up Next

The Bees travel to New Mexico for a six-game series against the Albuquerque Isotopes. The series begins on Tuesday, April 4, and ends on Sunday, April 9.

Listen to ‘Voice of the Bees’ Steve Klauke on KSL Sports Zone. All Salt Lake Bees games are featured on the KSL Sports app. Purchase tickets to see the Bees play at slbees.com.

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Bees Bullets: Previewing The Albuquerque Isotopes