Draft Report Cards: Colorado Rockies





QUICK TAKE
Even with power arms such as Bettis and Tago, much of this draft class is riding on its pair of quarterbacks. Parker's upside is significant, so the Rockies hope he and Wilson get enough protection this fall to show up healthy next spring.
Bonus Spending: $4.8 million
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: OF Corey Dickerson (8) is a bat-first player with a left-field profile. He's strong and got off to a tremendous start at Casper, hitting .348/.412/.634. » BEST POWER HITTER: OF Kyle Parker (1) has pole to pole power and projects to hit 30 homers annually. The quarterback at Clemson, the Rockies believe he'll be even better once he focuses 100 percent on baseball. » FASTEST RUNNER: Another Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback, N.C. State's Russell Wilson (4), is a well above-average runner who impressed the Rockies this summer by running better than he did as an amateur, consistently getting to first in 4.1 seconds or better. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: SS Josh Rutledge (3) has an average arm and strong infield actions. If his arm isn't enough for short, he'll be a plus defender at second.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Chad Bettis (2) has the best present velocity, running his fastball up to 98 mph at times and pitching comfortably at 93-94 as a starter. Prep RHP Peter Tago (1s) also touched 98 in a predraft workout and has a projectable, athletic build and loose arm, which should allow him to grow into more consistent elite velocity. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Bettis and fellow college RHP Josh Slaats (5) both flashed plus sliders after signing.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Bettis and Slaats used their breaking stuff to post gaudy numbers for short-season Tri-City. Bettis, who finished with three starts at low Class A Asheville, learned to be pitch-efficient, going 6-1, 1.07 in 67 innings with 56 strikeouts and just 13 walks. He had a seven-inning start in Asheville despite a pitch limit of 75. Slaats went 1-3, 1.95 with 42 strikeouts and just 20 hits allowed. Offensively, Dickerson led the way. » BEST ATHLETE: Wilson stands out for both his athleticism and aptitude. No one really knows how good he can be at baseball, as he got just 241 at-bats in three seasons for the Wolfpack. He hopes to try to play both baseball and football professionally, a la Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Scouting director Bill Schmidt loves quarterbacks, and he's watching lots of ACC football this fall, with Parker and Wilson under center and under contract to Colorado. Parker became the first player in Division I history to hit 20 home runs and throw 20 touchdowns in one school year. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Bettis could fly to the big league bullpen. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: C Will Swanner (15), an over-slot signee with a $490,000 bonus, has good raw power and catch-and-throw tools. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The Rockies wanted to follow RHP Ryan Eades (19) over the summer, but he didn't pitch because he was coming off labrum surgery. He wound up at Louisiana State and is regarded as one of the school's top recruits.