Coming in at number seven, Freddy Peralta was the first player to make the list. Peralta spent nearly half the season with the Major League roster, but earned that opportunity with a 3.10 ERA over 61 innings at Colorado Springs. While the environment is hard for most pitchers to handle, the righty managed to keep opposing hitters at bay with his deceptive fastball. Fresno Grizzlies manager Rodney Linares offered this praise for the diminutive youngster:
“He was really polished, he looked like he was in control...He moved the ball wherever he wanted to throw it. He never panicked. It was like you were swinging at the pitches he wanted you to swing at.”
At number nine, Baseball America added Corbin Burnes. Unlike Peralta, Burnes struggled during his time with the Sky Sox. His 5.15 ERA in 79 innings surely wasn’t anything to write home about, but his talent is undeniable. The youngster proved that with his time in the Brewers’ bullpen, which provides an excellent fallback option if his planned return to the rotation next season doesn’t work out as hoped.
Next year, the Crew should see even more players grace the top 20 lists at the end of the season for AAA. This was the final year for the Sky Sox in Colorado Springs as the team is moving to San Antonio in 2019 and rebranding as the Missions. Leaving the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains should make the organization less apprehensive about sending their best pitching prospects to AAA.