Colorado Rockies

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 25 Christian Friedrich LHP Eastern Kentucky Ky. $1,350,000
Part of a prospect-studded Falmouth rotation that also included Aaron Crow and Shooter Hunt last summer, Friedrich struck out Buster Posey, Jason Castro and Gordon Beckham in his final inning in the Cape Cod League playoffs. Like Crow, Friedrich operated in the mid-80s as an undrafted high school senior in the Chicago area before blossoming in college. He now maintains solid-average 89-91 mph velocity throughout a game and can touch 94, but his money pitch is an over-the-top curveball with huge 12-to-6 break. Blisters have periodically bothered Friedrich this spring, so he has been using his slider more than he has in the past, and it has become a weapon at 80-82 mph. He also has a decent changeup that he'll need to incorporate more often in pro ball. While Friedrich throws strikes and can command his fastball to both sides of the plate, he sometimes leaves it up in the zone. He gets away with a lot of those mistakes because his deceptive delivery and the fear of his curveball allow his fastball to get on hitters quickly. He doesn't have the ceiling of San Diego's Brian Matusz, but Friedrich is clearly the second-best lefty available in the draft.
2 72 Charlie Blackmon OF Georgia Tech Ga. $563,000
Blackmon has been drafted twice before, by the Marlins out of high school in 2004 (28th round) and then by the Red Sox in 2005 after his freshman year at Young Harris (Ga.) JC (20th round). In both cases he was taken as a lefthander, but after transferring to Georgia Tech he didn't see any time on the mound, and he redshirted in 2007. Blackmon played in the Texas Collegiate League last summer and batted .316 as an outfielder, so when he returned to Georgia Tech he got a chance as a position player and took full advantage. In his first year as a hitter, Blackmon has led the Yellow Jackets in batting and was among the team leaders in nearly every offensive category. A natural athlete, Blackmon has five tools that are quickly gaining refinement. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, he has the prototypical pro body. He runs well and could play any of the three outfield positions but probably fits best in left. At the plate, Blackmon has a natural lefthanded swing and makes consistent contact. While his approach is still raw, he projects to hit for power and average. He's a college senior but a young hitter, so he has plenty of room for improvement. He is one of the biggest sleepers in this year's draft.
3 103 Aaron Weatherford RHP Mississippi State Miss. $350,000
Undrafted out of high school, Weatherford's role upon arriving at Mississippi State was unclear. As a freshman he pitched mainly out of the bullpen, totaling two saves, but did make two starts late in the season. He then began his sophomore year as the Bulldog's Friday night starter but moved back to the bullpen after six starts and helped lead the Bulldogs to the College World Series. This season Weatherford has taken on the closer role, and has seemed comfortable there, striking out close to two hitters per inning. He ranks as one of the top closers in an SEC loaded with talented relievers. Even at 6-foot-1, Weatherford has an imposing presence on the mound. His fastball reads between 92-94 mph and comes from a high, over-the-top, arm slot. He throws downhill and commands it to both sides of the plate. He also throws a hard curveball and split-finger with late break. While his split-finger is an out pitch, he rarely throws it for a strike. Weatherford does have durability concerns as he has been plagued with various injuries while a Mississippi State. He has a live arm but has a max-effort delivery, likely limiting him to a relief role as a pro.
4 137 Ethan Hollingsworth RHP Western Michigan Mich. $215,000
Hollingsworth has a chance to go as high as the second round, which would make him the highest pick in Western Michigan's history. The Broncos have produced five third-rounders, including big leaguer John Vander Wal. Hollingsworth doesn't intimidate anyone with his size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) or his stuff, but he really knows how to pitch. His fastball sits at 89-92 mph, and while he's unlikely to add more velocity in the future, he maintains what he has and commands his heater to both sides of the plate. His swing-and-miss slider is his best pitch, and he also mixes in an average 12-to-6 curveball and a decent changeup. Hollingsworth throws strikes, works down in the zone and keeps hitters off balance by mixing his pitches and locations. He's likely as good as he's going to get, but he knows how to pitch and should move quickly in pro ball.
5 167 Chris Dominguez 3B Louisville Ky.
Few position players can match Dominguez's size, power and arm strength. He's 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, and when he connects, he can drive baseballs as far as anyone in college baseball. The Big East Conference co-offensive player of the year, he led the league with 18 homers entering the postseason. However, his propensity to swing and miss and his lackluster performance with wood bats create questions about how consistent he'll be in pro ball. He tends to destroy mediocre pitchers but struggle against quality opponents, chasing pitches out of the zone and falling behind in the count. Dominguez hit just .216 with three homers in 29 games in the Cape Cod League last summer, striking out 38 times in 97 at-bats. He also led NCAA Division I with 88 strikeouts in 2007, though he has made better contact this spring. Dominguez flashed a mid-90s fastball as a reliever a year ago, though he has a strong desire to remain an everyday player and hasn't pitched this spring. His arm is an asset at third base and he also has decent hands, but he doesn't cover a lot of ground. He has improved defensively this year after making 18 errors in 2007. He played some outfield on the Cape but didn't look good there, leaving first base as his only alternative if he can't stick at the hot corner. Dominguez broke his forearm in a collision with a baserunner in 2006, so he's only a redshirt sophomore. Because teams fear their extra leverage, draft-eligible sophomores often get drafted lower than their ability would warrant, so Dominguez could slide. On talent, he's a second- to fourth-rounder.
6 197 Kiel Roling C Arizona State Ariz. $140,000
Another Sun Devil who was much better in 2007, junior catcher Kiel Roling shares duties behind the plate with Petey Paramore and suffers by comparison. He's big and physical at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, and lacks athleticism behind the plate, grading out as below-average defensively in all areas. He's an offensive player who had less than half as many homers (seven vs. 15) as he hit as a sophomore.
7 227 Dan Houston RHP Boston College Mass. $110,000
Righthander Dan Houston leads a group of five Boston College players who could be drafted. Houston is the closest thing to a late pop-up guy in New England this year, pitching well in a win against Clemson in March, then shutting out Duke for seven innings in April and striking out nine in a win against Maryland on May 2. By that point in the season, scouts in the Northeast were buzzing about Houston's ability to hold his 91-93 mph velocity deep into games and touch 94. He complements his solid-average fastball with an average overhand curveball with good depth, an average changeup that he gained confidence in down the stretch, and a hard slider that can be above-average at times. He has a durable 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and a sound delivery. Houston was hit hard in his last start against Wake Forest, and he finished 3-4, 5.03 with 72 strikeouts and 32 walks in 73 innings. Despite the poor finish, some scouts believe he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues, and he could sneak into the fourth or fifth round.
8 257 Kurt Yacko RHP Chapman (Calif.) Calif. $100,000
9 287 Craig Bennigson LHP California Calif. $70,000
Cal also features lefthander Craig Bennigson, who had an up-and-down spring after showing average fastball velocity and an occasional power breaking ball in the Cape Cod League.
10 317 Stephen Dodson RHP Georgia Ga. $100,000
Righthander Stephen Dodson had a breakout sophomore season in 2007 and has been the Bulldogs' Saturday starter this season. He's a projectable 6-foot-5, 210 pounds and typically pitches between 90-92 mph. A control pitcher, Dodson typically finds success by locating his upper-80s sinker down in the zone, inducing groundballs. His secondary pitches are fringe-average at best, as he throws a slider and changeup, rarely missing bats. When he elevates his pitches, Dodson is hittable, especially by lefthanded hitters.
11 347 Kyle Walker LHP Texas Texas
Most of the veterans on the Texas staff didn't pitch up to expectations this spring. Lefthander Kyle Walker's control never has been his strong suit, and he had such problems throwing strikes this season that he got buried deep in the Longhorns bullpen. He has a low-90s fastball and a devastating curveball but he can't get them over the plate. Nevertheless, his raw stuff could get him drafted between the sixth and 10th rounds.
12 377 Ryan Peisel 3B Georgia Ga.
Ryan Peisel is a solid college third baseman with an all-around game. However, none of his tools stands out and he doesn't fit a positional profile. He can hit but shows below-average power and average speed at best. He is a solid defender now but likely won't stick at the hot corner, making him an offensive second baseman at the next level. Peisel will get a shot this year as a senior sign.
13 407 Erik Wetzel 2B Fresno State Calif. $100,000
14 437 Tyler Massey OF Baylor School, Chattanooga Tenn. $525,000
Great makeup is always the first thing people attirbute to outfielder Tyler Massey. Coaches and scouts love the way he plays the game and handles himself on and off the field. He's also athletic and was a multi-sport standout in high school. At the plate, he has raw power and a feel for hitting, with natural strength. He has a short lefthanded stroke with leverage and uses the whole field. Massey is an average runner and could play either corner outfield position or first base. He is committed to Virginia.
15 467 Juan Rodriguez RHP Turabo (P.R.) JC P.R.
Catcher Jean Carlos Rodriguez could sneak into the top 10 rounds. Rodriguez has raw power and a plus arm behind the plate, but he's unrefined as a hitter. He has a tall approach that doesn't incorporate his legs well. He is a promising receiver but has plenty of work to do defensively.
16 497 Chad Rose RHP Broward (Fla.) CC Fla.
17 527 Alan DeRatt RHP UNC Asheville N.C.
18 557 Chad Jacobsen 1B South Carolina-Aiken S.C.
19 587 Ben Orloff 2B UC Irvine Calif.
20 617 Nate Lape OF Marshall W.Va.
At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Lape is a big, strong outfielder who came to Marshall from North Carolina. He led the team with a .388 average and 17 home runs this season.
21 647 Tyler Trice RHP North Carolina N.C.
22 677 Nick Schnaitmann RHP Cosumnes River (Calif.) JC Calif.
23 707 Sam Elam LHP Notre Dame Ind.
Elam's control is even more iffy than Graffy's, and it went away in 2008. In his lone inning of work, Elam walked four and threw four wild pitches. His only other appearance came in an exhibition against low Class A South Bend, during which he beaned a batter. He has good raw stuff for a lefthander, with a low-90s fastball and a hard breaking ball, and he can find the zone when he's working out in the bullpen. A team could get a bargain if it could straighten Elam out.
24 737 Tommy Field SS Texas State Texas
Thomas Field also blew out his knee playing high school football. A shortstop in the mold of Adam Everett, he's a terrific defender with plus range, solid arm strength and passion for the game. He's also an above-average runner. He hit 10 homers this spring but scouts question his bat and he's going to be more of a line-drive hitter as a pro.
25 767 Andy Burns SS Rocky Mountain HS, Fort Collins, Colo. Colo.
Andy Burns has top 200 talent and had a chance to play his way into the second round range earlier this season. He didn't make Baseball America's Top 200, but if signability were not an issue, he'd certainly go in the third- to fifth-round range. He's a Kentucky signee, and when his spring didn't turn out as planned, Burns put out word that he'd need first-round money to be lured away from the Wildcats. Burns has the tools and baseball skills to become a premium pick after three college seasons. One scout said he's the best high school hitter Colorado has produced since Darnell McDonald, a 1997 first-rounder and eventual big leaguer. Burns has a feel for hitting and good bat speed, and he showed he can handle velocity last fall, turning around a 93 mph fastball from Tyler Sample. He's a solid infielder who fits better at second or third base than shortstop. The difference between last year's Burns and this spring's is his athleticism and strength. Scouts said he had lost some of his fast-twitch ability and lost a bit of the spark that made him a difference-maker in the past. He may have muscled up too much; scouts liked him better a bit leaner and faster.
26 797 Adam Jorgenson RHP Cal State Fullerton Calif.
27 827 Tim Matthews RHP Baylor Texas
28 857 Mike Zuanich OF UC Santa Barbara Calif.
This year's top draft pick from UC Santa Barbar could be slugging Mike Zuanich, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior. He started his college career at El Camino JC before moving to UCSB, and he enjoyed a breakout season, leading the Big West in home runs heading into regionals. He puts on the most impressive batting practice displays in the area. One such exhibition at UCLA saw him sail a dozen drives over the fence and into the trees beyond the protective netting. One scout said of Zuanich's BP exploits: "He takes the air out of the place." A righthanded hitter who throws left, he has difficulty with offspeed and breaking stuff. He plays left field at UCSB and has enough range, as he's an average runner (7.1 seconds in the 60), but his natural position is at first, where he is an above-average defender. He has a high upside if he can better identify breaking pitches and lay off them.
29 887 Matt Baugh LHP San Francisco Calif.
30 917 Carlos Luna RHP Oral Roberts Okla.
31 947 Rod Scurry RHP Nevada Nev.
Righty Rod Scurry Jr., son of the former big leaguer, didn't capitalize on a prime opportunity when he pitched in front of crosscheckers while facing Fresno State's Tanner Scheppers. Scurry is 6-foot-7 but lacks a present pitch.
32 977 Will Scott OF Kell HS, Marietta, Ga. Ga.
33 1007 Aaron Gates LHP Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS Calif.
34 1037 Ryan Radcliff C Fairview HS, Fairview Park, Ohio Ohio
35 1067 Maikol Gonzalez 2B Tusculum (Tenn.) Tenn.
36 1097 Patrick Rose OF UC Santa Barbara Calif.
37 1127 Delta Cleary OF Louisiana State-Eunice JC La. $250,000
Outfielder Delta Cleary was the best athlete in Arkansas when he came out of high school in 2007, starring as a quarterback for Jonesboro High's football team and an explosive dunker on the Hurricane's 6-A state championship basketball team in addition to his baseball exploits. Cleary was so raw, however, that no team bothered to draft him. A cousin of Miami Heat star Shawn Marion, he helped Louisiana State-Eunice win its second Division II Junior College World Series in the last three years. A 6-foot-3, 175-pound switch-hitter, he has plus speed that he puts to good use on the bases and in center field. His bat and his power are still developing. Some scouts wonder how much he'll hit with wood bats, while others praise him for improving his stroke this spring.
38 1157 Tyler Pill RHP Covina (Calif.) HS Calif.
Pill's older brother Brett is a first baseman in the Giants organization after a strong career at Cal State Fullerton. Brett got the size, standing in at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds. Younger brother Tyler is listed at 6 feet, 165 pounds, and he's committed to Cal State Fullerton and also can hit. He was recruited as a two-way player and has a short lefthanded swing, but if a pro team takes him and tries to buy him away from the Titans, it would be as a pitcher. He's athletic and repeats his delivery, and he has shown excellent now stuff, touching as high as 94 mph and sitting in the 89-91 mph range. Pill also throws a tight curveball that shows potential when thrown with some power. He is expected to be a tough sign away from Fullerton, however.
39 1187 Kyle Ottoson LHP Eaton (Colo.) HS Colo.
40 1217 Kemer Quirk OF Rockhurst HS, Kansas City Mo.
41 1247 Dean Espy SS Red Mountain HS, Mesa, Ariz. Ariz.
42 1277 Taylor Hightower C Cartersville (Ga.) HS Ga.
With catching always at a premium, Hightower's fundamentally sound catch and release skills have made him a premium prospect since his sophomore year in high school. He was the No. 46 prep prospect in the nation coming into the season but hasn't stepped forward because of questions about his bat. Behind the plate he has good hands and feet, and the actions to be an average receiver. While he has a fringe-average arm, Hightower's catch and release mechanics are quick and he consistently posts pop times under two seconds. While he has shown the ability to make contact at the plate, his approach needs refinement. He has gap-to-gap power and will pull an occasional home run but has only fringe-average power potential. At 6-feet-1, 195 pounds, Hightower's body is developed and lacks projection. If he slips in the draft, signing Hightower could be an issue because he has the skills to be the starting catcher for Ole Miss next season as a freshman.
43 1307 Alex Feinberg 2B Vanderbilt Tenn.
44 1336 Jordan Swagerty RHP Prestonwood Christian Academy, Plano, Texas Texas
Swagerty was the starting catcher--ahead of projected early first-rounder Kyle Skipworth--on the US. junior national team that won a bronze medal at the Pan American Junior Championships last summer. But since his velocity increased during his junior season, pro teams have regarded him more highly as a pitcher. He's still more of a thrower than a pitcher on the mound, but he eventually could have two plus pitches with his 90-92 mph fastball and his curveball. He's not big at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, so he may profile better as a reliever. As a catcher, Swagerty is more advanced defensively than he is with his bat. He has obvious arm strength, though his throwing mechanics are long. He's a switch-hitter, but his bat speed is ordinary and he needs more strength. Swagerty's signability is uncertain. Some clubs believe he'd turn pro if he goes in the first four rounds, while others think luring him away from Arizona State will be all but impossible.
45 1364 Brad McAtee RHP UC Davis Calif.
McAtee has good velocity, sitting 88-91 and pushing 92 mph. He has good armside run on the pitch, and has a solid-average changeup as his best secondary offering. He's physical and durable. His biggest weakness is his lack of a breaking ball, and he throws a decent cutter to compensate.
46 1391 Jimmy Cesario 2B Houston Texas
47 1418 Mark Lincoln RHP American River (Calif.) JC Calif.
48 1445 Austin Nola SS Catholic HS, Baton Rouge La.
49 1472 Carl Uhl OF UC Riverside Calif.
50 1499 Josh Hungerman LHP Cleveland State Ohio