One of the topics that gets plenty of play around here is the annual Rule 4 draft, otherwise known as First-Year Player Draft. The Rockies have their own pick at 26 and received a supplemental first-round pick at 45 (first round and supplemental first-round totals 49 selections) after the Nationals signed Jason Marquis.
Baseball America just put out its preseason top 32 overall prospects (subscribers only). If the draft were to play out according to this ranking (and it won't), the Rockies would have their hands on San Diego Torero Kyle Blair. Blair is a 6'3", 200 lbs. junior who was named to Baseball America's Third Team All-American. Blair is the latest Torero pitcher to garner first-round attention. In 2008, the Orioles selected LHP Brian Matusz from the University of San Diego, and he went 5-2 in 8 starts for the O's this past season. Blair isn't on Matusz's level, and this is what Baseball America wrote on Blair:
26. Kyle Blair, rhp, San Diego
He may have the best slider in the draft, though he relies on it too much at times at the expense of his fastball command.
Blair went 3-2 last season with a 3.13 ERA in 10 appearances and eight starts. He had two complete games, and struck out 62 in 54.2 innings. In 2008, he went 8-4 and struck out 99 in 74 2/3 innings.
I'll throw more names out there in depth as times goes by, but here's how we start. Personally, I'm hoping for another Christian Friedrich-type of selection, a highly-touted lefty falls not because of any concern but as a result of teams looking to fill holes in their systems (Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz).