ed: We had a bit of a scheduling snafu earlier, so I had to republish this article, but thanks to user mkorpal for contributing additional in-depth draft coverage to supplement the already excellent work by David Ohno.
It's that time of the year again. A time were we look to the high school and college ranks to find the next Todd Helton, the next Troy Tulowitzki, or the next Greg Reynolds (ok, I apologize for that joke, it will not happen again). Of course, it's draft time. This year, we feature a bumper crop of arms and bats, emphases on the arms. This draft has garnered favorable comparisons to the legendary draft of 2005, featuring such stars as the already mentioned Tulowitzki as well as Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, Andrew McCutchen, and Jay Bruce. With the 20th pick in the first round this year, the Rockies sit in an interesting spot. Will top draft talent fall to their laps, or will they reach down and snag a guy who they feel is under rated? To be sure, there are a lot of possibilities. David OhNo posted a very comprehensive list of potential picks in the 1st round and beyond. He most likely has covered our eventual pick, but there is still uncertainty. At 20th overall, the situation will most likely remain fluid until we announce the pick.
Click past the jump for some names that may yet end up on the Rockies' draft board.
Bats L, Throws L
When evaluating a pitcher, at either a pre-draft or a prospect level, we tend to buy too much into velocity. A guy who pitches in the low 90's can sometimes be written off as low quality. Tyler Anderson is a pitcher who bucks that trend. Anderson's fastball sits in the low 90's, usually around 91-92. He can reach back and get another mph or two, but what you see is what you get. A deceptive delivery adds some perceived velocity to the pitch, but it will never have the velocity to overpower batters. He is a legitimate first round pick because of his polished control and four above average pitches. He features a standard slider, curve, changeup mix to keep batters consistently off balance. He locates each pitch well, and features life to his fastball. His upside is that of a reliable #2 or #3 in the rotation. He is considered slot-signable and should move through a system very quickly. You can compare him a bit to Phillies co-co-co-co-ace Cliff lee. There is not guarantee he will ever be that good, but the upside exists.
Bats R, Throws R
Alex is a beast of a pitcher. I mean downright massive. Even without a mound, he would still stare down the most feared hitters in the world. He has the pitches to go along with his stature on the mound. Alex possesses two plus pitches, a mid to upper 90's fastball, and a wipeout slider. He also has a changeup, but his two plus pitches have been all he needs at the collegian level. As you might expect, control has short circuited his plus offerings. He simply has a lot of body to get though the pitching motions. He has improved to the point you can consider his control fringe-average, but he still has a long way to go in that regard. His ultimate fate will be determined by control. If it develops, along with a changeup, he has true ace potential. His fastball could sit at a devastating downward plane, and his slider can mop up the rest. However, you have to consider the possibility he never becomes more than a power arm in the bullpen. Alex may not be cheap to sign, and is a risk. Will the Rockies be willing to take that risk?
Bats L Throws L
LHP Science Hill HS
Daniel is probably the best left handed prep pitcher in the draft, although there is not a great deal of competition there. He possesses three quality pitches right now, a typical low to mid 90's fastball, along with a plus curve and a developing changeup. As with most high school pitchers, his mechanics will need to be refined at the next level for him to succeed. But, he does have #2 or #3 potential. The question is: after such a rough start from Matzek, will the Rockies go after another high risk/reward lefty? I would say most likely not, but stranger picks have occurred.
There is a plethora of other talent who could potentially garner interest from the Rockies. Vanderbilt RHP Sonny Gray has garnered mixed opinions on his future role, but he has the upside of an opening day starter if all goes right. Spring Valley HS RHP Taylor Guerrieri has electric stuff, but is an arm who could drop with a little luck. Jose Fernandez is another prep arm who is advanced with a signable power arm.
I ended up discussing arms only, mostly because David has already covered the likely bats we will choose. Keep an eye on these arms. They could very well have the upside to garner attention.