The Colorado Rockies organization promoted right-handed starting pitcher Gabriel Hughes from the High-A Spokane Indians to Double-A Hartford, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Yard Goats tweeted Hughes’ presence in their lineup earlier in the day.
Hughes, the Rockies’ 2022 first-round draft pick (No. 10 overall) out of Gonzaga, went 4-3 in eight starts with a 5.50 ERA and 1.195 WHIP, with 54 strikeouts and 15 walks in 37⅔ innings for Spokane this season.
He is the Rockies’ No. 5-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com.
In his latest outing, May 31 at Tri-City, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound 21-year-old allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two, throwing 52 of his 82 pitches for strikes.
It was his third start of five innings or more this season in which he allowed no runs. He has two more appearances in which he allowed just one run. In all five of those starts he gave up three or fewer hits.
Hughes allowed 23 earned runs in High-A, 21 of which came in four innings – all at the end of otherwise solid starts. Six of those runs scored after he came out of the game.
Hughes has shown the ability to throw his fastball, slider and change-up for strikes at High-A. His change-up has improved drastically since the start of the season, becoming an “out pitch,” especially against left-handed batters.
Hughes allowed three runs on five hits and had five strikeouts in five innings for his first start with Hartford on Wednesday.
Hughes had to settle for a no-decision in the Yard Goats’ 5-4 win against Somerset.
In his third and final season at Gonzaga in 2022, Hughes went 8-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts, with 138 strikeouts over 98 innings.
“People have asked me how it feels to be the highest-drafted player in Gonzaga history, and I’ve always said it just makes me excited for what comes next – because I know I’m not the last,” Hughes said from the Rockies’ spring training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March.
Pegged as a “quick riser” by scouts because of his track record in college and sturdy build, Hughes told The Spokesman-Review after a start at Tri-City on April 18 he wasn’t concerned about his perceived trajectory.
“That’s not on my mind at all,” he said. “I’m out here to do a job every single day. I’m showing up and I’m giving the best that I can as much as I can every single day. So that’s the last thing on my mind.”
In a corresponding move, right-hander Blake Adams was promoted from Low-A Fresno to the Indians. In eight starts with the Grizzlies this season, the 22-year-old 13th-round pick from the 2022 draft went 1-3 with a 2.60 ERA and 0.956 WHIP, with 53 strikeouts and five walks in 45 innings.