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Doyle advances batting average after torrid heat subsides in northwest

By Bob Madison - For the Chronicle | Jul 16, 2021

Outfielder Brenton Doyle played with Minor League Baseball teams in summer 2019. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For some reason, once the 100-plus degree temperature finally moderated in the interior of the northwest, professional minor league outfielder Brenton Doyle began to consistently get his hits and hiked his 2021 season’s batting average to .268.

Doyle, who began his professional baseball days in 2019 after signing a bonus contract with the Colorado Rockies, had a three-year career with Shepherd before being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 amateur draft,

His first year in the play-for-pay ranks saw him hit .383 in the Northwest League. There was no Minor League Baseball in 2020 because everything was literally erased by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This season, Doyle is with the Spokane Indians of the High A West. His team is currently in a duel with Vancouver for third place. As of games played through July 10, Vancouver had a 29-30 record and Spokane was 28-31. Everett (Washington) led the league with a sizzling 38-19 record and Eugene (Oregon) was in second with a 30-24 record.

Doyle has been playing center field, right field and has been employed as the designated hitter on occasion as well.

In a recent series against Vancouver, Doyle had hits in all five games, including a 3-for-4 night where he also had a walk. He also scored a run in Spokane’s 3-2 win. There was a 2-for-4 game where he drilled a three-run homer as Spokane eased to 5-4 win.

Through July 10, he was 60-for-224 at the plate, had scored 34 runs, had 11 doubles, eight home runs, 26 RBIs, had walked 22 times and had stolen 16 bases in 19 attempts.

Doyle’s .775 OPS placed him 14th in the league and second on his team to the league leader.

Now 23-years-old after his birthday in May, he seems to be on track to advance through Colorado’s farm system in the next several years and then challenge for a roster spot on the big league team by the close of the 2023 season or in Spring Training in 2024.

Doyle’s significant signing bonus will only help in his efforts to reach the Major Leagues.

The Rockies also have minor league teams at the Class AA and Class AAA levels.

So far this season, he has remained injury-free and has shown versatility in playing two different outfield positions as well as thriving at times as the team’s designated hitter.

When playing in 2019 at Grand Junction, Colo., Doyle suffered a freak injury when hit in the face by a teammate’s line drive while he was in his dugout. After missing two weeks, he came back and hit over .400 for the remainder of the regular season and over .600 in the playoffs.

The scorching northwest temperatures have subsided, at the same time Doyle has raised his batting average almost 30 points and has begun to hit with power.