Rockies shift Northwest League affiliation to Boise

Rockies shift Northwest League affiliation to Boise

SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies shifted their Northwest League (Short-Season Class A) affiliation to Boise, Idaho, and on Tuesday officially announced a four-year player development contract with the Boise Hawks.

The Rockies had been affiliated with Tri-City (Pasco, Wash.) for 14 seasons, after placing squads in Bend, Ore. (1992-94) and Portland (1995-2000). Tuesday's announcement completes a series of affiliation shifts within the last week. Triple-A shifted from Colorado Springs, which had been the Rockies' only affiliate in 22 years of fielding teams at that level, to Albuquerque. The Double-A affiliation also changed, from Tulsa to New Britain, Conn.

Rockies chief baseball officer Dan O'Dowd, player development director Jeff Bridich and vice president of communications Jay Alves were in Boise for Tuesday's press conference at the Boise Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Purple Row blog, which covers the club and its Minor League affiliates and analyzes statistics, Boise's ballpark is 2,730 feet above sea level, which makes it 2,400 feet higher than Gesa Stadium, where the Tri-City team played. Humidity in Boise also is lower. The elevation and drier climate, and the fact left-handed hitters don't face the in-blowing winds they did at the former affiliate's stadium, are thought to help hitters, the blog analyzed.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.