Wednesday Rockpile: Rockies Win Sixth Straight, Draft Day Aftermath

Yesterday the Rockies won their season high sixth game in a row and had arguably the best draft in MLB, getting three top 20 talents. It was a heck of a day to be a Rockies fan. First, let's look at the big league club.

Dogged pursuit earns 6th win for Rox - The Denver Post: The Rockies came from behind last night for their sixth straight victory, getting three runs in the seventh and holding the Brewers without a baserunner after the fourth inning. It was the second come from behind victory during the streak and just the sixth such victory overall for the Rockies. The Rockies improved to 4-10 in one-run games this season, while Brad Hawpe extended his hitting streak to 11 games. As Renck says:

During the streak, the offense has outscored opponents 46-14, the rotation's ERA is 2.53 and the bullpen has finally constructed a bridge to closer Huston Street.

In other MLB news (as was reported early yesterday), reliever Jason Grilli was traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. In addition, Chris Iannetta was back behind the plate for the Rockies, going 0-4 with two strikeouts. In the article notes, Renck has some trade info:

The Phillies and Tigers have joined the Red Sox as teams that have expressed interest in Rockies reserve outfielder Ryan Spilborghs. The Rockies have several players attractive to contenders — Jason Marquis, Brad Hawpe, Street and Spilborghs — but aren't going to move anyone until they get a better read on this team under Tracy's leadership.

Tracy has praised Brad Hawpe, singling him out along with Todd Helton as players that teammates should emulate. Hawpe said that, as his contract allows, he would void his 2011 option if traded and become a free agent.

MLB Draft

The big news for the Rockies yesterday was their stunning pick of Tyler Matzek, a LHP from Capistrano Valley (Ca.) High School. Matzek wants "precedent-setting money" and has committed to Oregon, so it will hardly be an easy sign for the Rockies. The fact that the front office had the...er, gumption to make the pick of a high-upside, expensive high school arm is really the big news here. Get him signed, O'Dowd!

With their 32nd and 34th picks, the Rockies selected two more top-20 talents, OF Tim Wheeler from Sacramento State and LHP Rex Brothers of Lipscomb--both players who will probably look to go above slot as well. Rox Girl already wrote an article about Matzek and our other two first rounders.

In the second round, the Rockies went with 3B/C prospect Nolan Arenado out of El Toro (Ca.) High School and they took Clemson 1B Ben Paulsen in the third round. Here's Thomas Harding's Rockies draft overview and here are links to each of our early round draft picks:

Tyler Matzek: MLB.comBA Scouting Report, ESPN Rating (Insider), RingolsbyRingolsby Links

Tim Wheeler: MLB.comESPN Rating, Ringolsby

Rex Brothers: MLB.comESPN Rating, Ringolsby

Nolan Arenado: MLB.comRingolsby

Ben Paulsen: ESPN Rating, Ringolsby

Finally, here are two first day draft reviews and what they had to say about the Rockies:

Keith Law of Scouts, Inc.

I can't say enough about the Rockies nabbing Tyler Matzek at 11. Sure, it's just luck that had him available at their pick, but he slid because teams were concerned about his price tag, and the Rockies deserve credit for taking the plunge on the top prep arm in the draft. (You shouldn't really draft for need, but I would forgive the Rockies if they overweighted pitching.) Matzek is a polished lefty with above-average velocity and should end up with four legitimate big-league pitches and plus command. I think every system could use one of those guys, but the Rockies had the guts to take him despite his bonus demands.

...

The Rockies got a first-round arm in Rex Brothers at 34, who was in consideration from about 18 on; at worst, he's a power closer with two plus-plus pitches, and he has a chance to start. That plus Matzek plus Sacramento State center fielder Tim Wheeler is a good haul, and Nolan Arenado is very interesting if the Rockies put him behind the plate.

Jim Callis and John Manuel, Baseball America

 John: Interesting, because at 11, we kept hearing the Rockies would go for a "signable" prep pitcher. Instead, they pop Tyler Matzek, and I have to say, I'm excited about Colorado's other picks as well in Rex Brothers and Tim Wheeler (end of first round).

Jim: Yes, that was the first pick that really surprised me. We'll have to wait and see. Is Colorado going to give him "precedent setting money," or did they take him and bank he won't turn down something like $3 million. Regardless, I love the pick. You got a guy you could argue as the No. 2 talent in the draft at No. 11.

Then you get Tim Wheeler at 32 and Rex Brothers at 34, that's three tremendous values. That's like a top five pick and two mid first-rounders.

All in all, Rowbots, it was quite a day!

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