This is also posted these on Minor League Ball as my draft preview for the Rockies. But, i think Purple Row deserves them as well. First section is a preview into the Rockies draft tendencies and organizational needs. 2nd is a list of potential targets for the Rockies with their first (20th overall) pick.
Recent draft choices: 1st and supplemental,
2005: Troy Tulowitzki (7th) SS, Long Beach State, $2.3 million
2006: Greg Reynolds (2nd) RHP, Stanford, $3.25 million
2007: Casey Weathers (8th) RPH, Vanderbilt, $1.8 million
2008: Christian Friedrich (25th) LHP, Eastern Kentucky, $1.35 million
2009: Tyler Matzek (11th) LHP, Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif. $3.9 million
Tim Wheeler (32nd) OF, Sacramento State, $0.9 million
Rex Brothers (34th) LHP, Lipscomb, $0.969 million
2010: Kyle Parker (26th) OF, Clemson, $1.4 million
Peter Tago (47th) RHP, Dana Hills HS, Dana Point, Calif. 0.9825 million
The Rockies tend to go with college level players at the top end of the draft, but have recently picked high upside prep pitcher. The last prep position player, Chris Nelson, choosen in the 1st round, has been a bust. The Rockies are not, however, opposed to selecting difficult to sign players, as both Matzak and Parker fit that bill.
The Rockies currently have a fairly well balanced organization. the organizations top 10 prospects (as voted on by Purple Row), include 2 LHP, 2 RHP, 1 C, 3OF, 1 3B, 1 2B/SS. The Rockies, as is with every team, can always use pitching depth. And this is especially true with the struggles of top prospect Tyler Matzek. They could also stands to add more depth throughout the infield. The two strongest positions the Rockies do have are catcher and outfield. However, considering position scarcity, catcher could and should still be considered.
The Rockies posses the 20th, 45th, 77th, and 107th picks in the draft. At these positions in the draft, I expect a wide range of options to be available. I also expect the Rockies to have a fluid approch to this draft until they are on the clock.
Players who could be in the conversation at 20th overall:
Daniel Norris, LHP, Science Hill HS, Johnson City, Tenn. Arguably the best lefty prep pitcher in the draft. Fairly advanced off speed stuff for a high schooler. He would help to replace some of the disappointment that Matzek has brought so far. But, the Matzek's mess could scare them away from prep pitchers for a while. Regardless, very good value at #20.
Josh Bell, OF, Dallas Jesuit HS: Goes against clubs tendency against prep bats, as the last two taken in the first round (Chris Nelson and Ian Stewart) have disappointed to no ends. Outfield is also a point of strength within the organization. However, I am a firm believer of best player available, and his bat could very well put him in that category. A few issues here, his bat will have to carry him, he profiles fairly close to 2010 1st round pick Kyle Parker (although I believe in Bell's bat more than Parker's), and he may be a tough sign. He is a good value here, but there is some risk as well.
John Stilson, RHP, Texas A&M Somewhat similar to 2010 2nd rounder Chad Bettis in that there are differing opinions to his future role in a pitching staff. He probably has better stuff than Bettis does, featuring higher velocity and potentially better off speed stuff. But, Bettis has much better mechanics. His violent delivery looks like it will hold him back. At 20, Stilson is a bit too much of a risk to me.
Tyler Anderson, LHP, Oregon: Solid fastball, good pitcher now. Nice 5 pitch mix and solid stuff now make this a lower risk pick. He should move quick and falls in line with the Rockies draft tendencies. Decent pick, and has a high probability of coming true.
Jose Fernandez, RHP, Alonso HS, Tampa: With a fastball in the 90-95 range, and developing secondary stuff. Pretty much already filled out, so all that remains is consistency. Projects as a #2 starter workhorse. I like this pick a lot.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii: 2nd base prospect with decent tools. Hit tool is the only true plus here. Should hit for average. Power is ok. Speed is a near plus tool. Defense is an average tool. Fairly high floor, but fairly low ceiling. Projects as a 300 hitter, 10 HR. 20 SB 2nd baseman. Value is there, but I'd wait to see if I can get him lower than 20.
Javier Baez, 3B, Arlington County Day HS, Jacksonville FL: Hit tools are there, for sure. Fast bat and great raw power. Defensivly, he probably moves from SS. Rockies could move him to 3B, 2B, OF, who knows. Problem is, there are significant questions about his makeup, and he is known to be showy and unengaged. The Rockies are very well known for their stock in personality, so Baez here doesn't make sense. Add to that their history with prep bats, this pick seem very unlikely.
Mikie Mahtook, OF, LSU: Tools in the outfield, you cant have enough, much like pitching. I like his tools, although none of them are eye popping. Should hit for good average and power. Decent runner, and a very good chance to stick in center. Similar to Tim Wheeler in 09, albeit with better tools.
Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina: Yes, SS seems set in Colorado for some time. But, the truth is that beyond Tulowitzki, there is no depth there at all. If something ever happens to him, there is little in the way of talent behind him. Solid hit tools, combined with reliable defense, and solid above average speed make Michael a safe pick. Rockies could allow him to stay at SS until he comes close to the majors, and move him to 2B. resonable pick at 20.
Others who could be in the conversation, Archie Bradley (could drop), Blake Swihart, Alex Meyer, Dillon Howard, and Brandon Nimmo.
It's still early. So, take these with a grain of salt. Nothing will be clear until after we draft.