Brenton Doyle is making the most of his opportunity to play an integral role with the Colorado Rockies in 2023.
With early-season injuries to veterans Charlie Blackmon, Kris Bryant and Randal Grichuk, Doyle was summoned to plug glaring vacancies in Colorado’s outfield.
And once the native of Warrenton, Va., was inserted into the Colorado Rockies starting lineup, Doyle wasted little time in serving notice that he belonged there.
Brenton Doyle is displaying the tools that continue to keep him in the Colorado Rockies lineup.
In 53 games played this season, the rookie leads the Rox with 12 stolen bases, which is tied for the sixth-most number of steals among Major League rookies.
Defensively, the fourth round selection from the 2019 draft (129th overall pick) has notched a club-leading four outfield assists, a total that stands tied for 11th among National League outfielders.
“To start off, I think the reason I’m up here (with Colorado) is because I have a lot of the tools it takes to be a big leaguer,” Doyle said. “I have been showing as much of it as I can which means speed, the defense. Right now, I’m kind of focusing on trying to pick up the offense a little bit more. Just a little bit more consistency up there (at the plate).”
Entering action July 1, he was slashing .213/.270/.633 but had reached base safely in 14 of his last 16 starts. He had a career-best 10-game on-base streak snapped on June 23.
“Honestly, in the endgame, the performances aren’t too worrisome,” he said. “But the results aren’t really showing. I’ve had a lot of good games where I’m hitting balls right at people and, of course, the average takes a little beating. But I’m trusting in the work I am putting in in the cage with our hitting coaches. Just (need to) continue to stay strong mentally and do my best.”
Doyle made an immediate impact after the Rockies recalled him April 24 from Triple-A Albuquerque.
In just his second career game April 25, he went 3-for-4 with a double, one run batted in and two stolen bases in a game at Cleveland. He became the first player in franchise history to have three hits and two stolen bases in a game that involved his first career hit.
In addition, he became just the fifth Major Leaguer since 1900 (the first since Charlie Bates in 1927) to have a game with at least three hits and two stolen bases in his first two career contests.
Doyle also had a 3-for-4 day with a pair of home runs May 15 in Cincinnati, finishing with 10 total bases to tie for the fourth-most by a Colorado rookie. Both homers came from the ninth spot in the batting order — just the fourth Rockie to accomplish the feat.
Getting a chance to start and be an everyday player in the lineup has been beneficial for Doyle.
“I think consistently getting in the lineup is definitely benefiting me. The beauty of this game is even after a bad game, or something like that, you get to go right back at it the next day. It’s been really nice to feel the confidence the coaching staff has in me to put me back in typically every night.”
Speed certainly is a key tool that Doyle offers the Rockies. In fact, according to Baseball Savant, he has been clocked at a 29.9 mile per hour average sprint speed — the ninth-fastest in the Majors.
“I take a lot of pride in my speed,” he said. “It helps put pressure on defenses. It helps me turn walks or singles into doubles, basically. Speed is a big aspect of my game. I work very hard on trying to stay conditioned and I keep the speed up.”
Likewise, Doyle feels his play in the outfield, which has featured an arm strength of more than 98 miles per hour on multiple outfield assists this season, has helped keep him in the lineup.
“I take a lot of pride in my defense,” said Doyle, who holds the top three fastest outfield assists and three of the six fastest among outfielders overall in the Majors in 2023. “It’s a big part of a game, a big reason why I’m up here. I’m just going to continue to work on it and try to improve on it as much as I can … I take a lot of pride in my defense and I like to show it.”
Even though both Bryant and Grichuk have returned to Colorado’s active roster after recovering from their injuries, Doyle remains a mainstay in the starting lineup.
How can he remain there?
“Just trying to stay strong mentally and trying to find that routine that even makes you the best version of yourself when it comes to game time,” he said.