Colten Schmidt may have initially seemed like an afterthought in the Rockies first-year player draft a year ago.
A 23rd round draft choice out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2018, Schmidt's pro debut came at short-season A Boise, where he made nine relief appearances, worked a total of 10 innings, allowing 12 runs on 17 hits and five walks. And when the 2019 season began, he was in extended spring training.
In late April, however, he was placed on the Class A Asheville roster, and after making one relief appearance, Schmidt stepped into the rotation of the Tourists, and emerged as the most successful pitcher on the staff, which was underscored on Wednesday.
The lefthander pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out three batters and throwing only 96 pitches in a 4-0 victory against the Red Sox's Greenville affiliate. It was the first complete game for Asheville this season, and only the third in the Rockies minor league system. Jack Wynkoop has two complete games at AA Hartford.
Schmidt lowered his ERA to 1.96, the best in the South Atlantic League. He has pitched at least five innings in all 15 of his starts, and four times has not allowed a run.
And there was a bonus at the game in Greenville. His parents were in attendance.
"It's hard to explain," said Schmidt. "It's something you've never done before. You want to achieve a goal like this. It's an unreal feeling."
In Wednesday's Games
AAA Albuquerque (43-54) ran its winning streak to four games with a 13-12 victory against Fresno (Nationals). Yonder Alonso (.417) was 2-for-3 with a triple, his first home run and three RBI. Sam Hilliard (.266) was 3-for-5 with his team-high 27th home run, and Josh Fuentes (.270) was 2-for-3 with nine home runs. Jeff Hoffman (6-5, 7.32) started and earned the win, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out four in six innings.
AA Hartford (12-14, 49-44) lost 6-5 against Richmond (Giants). Jack Wynkoop (6-11, 3.29) allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits and a walk, striking out three in six innings. Alan Trejo (.253) hit his 13th home run, driving in three runs.
Advanced A Lancaster (15-12, 49-46) lost 5-1 at Stockton (A's). Ryan Vilade (.282) was 2-for-4 with his fifth home run. Will Gaddis (5-6, 6.28) allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out six in five innings.
A Asheville( 13-14, 42-55) won 4-0 at Greenville (Red Sox) behind the two-hit, complete-game effort of Schmidt. Niko Decolati (.279) was 3-for-3 with an RBI.
Short-season A Boise (15-18) lost 7-2 at Salem-Keizer (Giants). Breiling Eusebio (1-3, 7.25) allowed five runs on six hits and two walks, striking out two in 4 2/3 innings. Bladimir Restityuo (.289) hit his second home run.
Rookie Grand Junction (17-14) won 9-4 against Billings (Reds). Colin Simpson (.382) had a double, triple, two home runs and five RBI. Anderson Amarista (2-2, 4.97) allowed one run on five hits and two walks, striking out one. Cayden Hatcher (5.25) earned his first save, working the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk, striking out four.