Doyle wins Pioneer League batting title with .383 average
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The summer of 2019 turned out to be an on-fire success for former Shepherd outfielder Brenton Doyle.
After being selected in June in the fourth round of the amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies, Doyle signed his first professional contract after accepting a $500,000 bonus.
He joined the Grand Junction (Colorado) Rockies of the Rookie Pioneer League to begin his first professional season.
The Pioneer League season began on June 14. Only days later, Doyle was hit in the head in a freak accident, where a teammate’s foul line drive struck him below the eye while he was in the dugout. He missed about two weeks of playing, but then returned to the Rockies’ lineup.
Before the incident, Doyle was hitting .338.
During the rest of the season, which concluded on Saturday, Doyle played without further injury-related problems.
In mid-August, he had a 4-for-4 night at the plate and went 3-for-3 in another game. His batting average had risen to .363 by that time.
Then on Aug. 28, the six-foot-three, 200-pound 21-year-old went 4-for-4 again. A few games later, Doyle had a 5-for-5 night, which included three runs scored, three RBIs and two home runs, giving him eight homers for the season.
When the regular season closed, Doyle had won the Pioneer League batting title, with a splashy .383 average.
Only eight batters in the league completed the season with a .300-or-better batting average. The next-best average behind Doyle was the .357 figure from Idaho Falls’ Clay Dungan.
In his 51 games, Doyle had 180 official at-bats, scored 42 runs, had 69 hits, 110 total bases, 11 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 33 RBIs, 31 walks, was successful on 17 of 20 stolen base attempts, had an on-base percentage of .477 and OPS of 1.088. He struck out 47 times.
Grand Junction reached the league playoffs, which began on Sunday, and Doyle went 2-for-3 with a walk in the first game, where Grand Junction lost to Ogden, 2-1.
Doyle had been a Shepherd starter for three seasons, before becoming eligible to turn professional. He was voted Mountain East Conference Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. Before coming to Shepherd, he played at Kettle Run High School in Warrenton, Va.
He could play in an Arizona or Florida Fall Instructional League in mid-September and October. Many high draft choices are taken by their parent Major League team for competition in the fall leagues.