Colorado Rockies MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Colorado Rockies:
General Manager: Jeff Bridich
Scouting Director: Marc Gustafson
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $7,633,900 (19th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 22nd
Supplemental 1st Round: 42nd
Supplemental 2nd Round: 76th
3rd Round: 96th
4th-40: 22nd in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2016: Riley Pint (4th)
2014: Kyle Freeland (8th)
2013: Jon Gray (3rd)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
There’s not one obvious best pick for the Rockies during this decade, though OF Corey Dickerson (eighth round, 2010) has accumulated the most WAR (10.4) of Colorado draft selections during that span, beating out first round selections SS Trevor Story (2011) and RHP Jon Gray (2013). The latter two are younger and could eventually surpass Dickerson’s production, but considering Dickerson has made an all-star appearance and has been a well above-average major league hitter throughout his career gives him the nod here. It’s a huge win to get a player of his caliber in the eighth round.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
It’s difficult to get free agent starting pitchers to sign up for throwing half of their games at Coors Field, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the Rockies have been one of the most pitcher-heavy major league teams in this period. Colorado has selected pitchers 63.3 percent of the time in the top five rounds since 2013, which is the 4th-highest percentage behind only the Braves, Cubs and Tigers.
The Rockies have also been more than willing to go to the junior college ranks at the top of the draft in recent years, as their three JC selections are tied for the second most in the majors—along with the Royals and Angels—and trailing only the Dodgers, with four.
Power arms have been a favorite for the team at the top of the draft, as evidenced by selections such as Jon Gray (2013), Mike Nikorak (2015), Riley Pint (2016) and Robert Tyler (2016. There will be plenty of options at No. 22 if they choose to go that route again in 2018 and continue the successful pitching development that the organization has seen in recent years.
The organization does lack outfielders, and while that’s not a huge strength of the class, there are a few interesting options that could make sense at the back half of the first round.
Everything Is Trending Up For Ljay Newsome
The 22-year-old righty put in the time last offseason to boost his velocity. The effort is paying off as he repeats the Cal League.
Potential Draft Targets:
RHP Kumar Rocker — Big, physical and imposing, Rocker has loud pure stuff, including a fastball up to 98 mph and a breaking ball that falls off the table
RHP Ethan Hankins — Previously the top prep player in the class thanks to a potential 80-grade fastball, Hankins has been slowed by injury but is trending in the right direction
LHP Ryan Weathers — The son of David Weathers, Ryan is a polished lefty with solid control of a heavy fastball and an improving curveball
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension and more projection remaining than other college arms
RHP Mason Denaburg — An uber-athletic catcher-turned-pitcher, Denaburg has great arm speed and feel to spin a breaking ball
RHP Grayson Rodriguez — The Texas pop-up overhauled his body in the offseason and has been up to 97-98 mph with ease out of a big, 6-foot-4 frame
RHP Sean Hjelle — A towering, 6-foot-11 righthander, Hjelle has a preternatural ability to throw strikes despite the length of his limbs
RHP Tristan Beck – Beck is a college righthander with four pitches that are above-average or better but a medical that could give teams some pause
RHP Adam Kloffenstein — A big, 6-foot-5 prep righty out of Texas with a low-90s fastball that is tracking in the right direction this spring
RHP Blaine Knight — One of the best pitchers in the SEC this spring, Knight has an electric arm, mid-90s fastball and high spin-rate breaking ball
RHP Cole Wilcox — A projectable, 6-foot-5 Georgia righty with a fastball in the mid-90s and a sharp slider that has gotten sharper this spring
RHP J.T. Ginn — Ginn gets Sonny Gray comps regularly as a short righthander, but his fastball is harder and has more life than Gray's
P Anthony Seigler — An ambidextrous, switch-hitting catcher who can pitch from both sides, Seigler's pro future will be behind the plate where he is solid all-around