David OhNo's MLB Rule 4 Draft 2012 Preview Part 4: Other Names Linked To The Rockies

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: The draft board is seen prior to the start of the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Other Players Linked to Colorado, in No Particular Order:

Gavin Cecchini, SS, HS:

With Colorado rumored to be favoring a HS bat, Cecchini is typically the third name associated with the pick. As a rule, I have no problem taking shortstops early despite a surplus. Good shortstop prospects are high currency in the trade market, and good hitting ones can move to almost any position. If you are taking Cecchini high, though, it's likely because you value his ability to stay at the position.

Cecchini as a hitter alone may not quite be top twenty material, but he does feature a consistent level swing that should hit for average, and he has the baseball aptitude to exceed modest power projections. He is a far superior athlete on the diamond than his test numbers suggest, with baserunning instincts to be a weapon on the basepaths despite 55 grade speed, and an arm that flashes plus in game situations.

I have yet to read any reports that believe Cecchini will have to move off the position, let alone not be an above average defender at short. That said, he may be no more than average offensively based on his present tools. His aptitude is well thought of and could be what leads him to outperform his tools.

Ty Hensley, RHP, HS:

Because he's an Oklahoma HS prospect, I'm more familiar with Hensley than most prospects on this list. From various information I've heard personally, the Rockies have legit interest in a player that doesn't seem to rank nearly this high prospect-wise, but flashes star potential nonetheless.

Recent information suggests that Rockies are more likely to pass on Hensley, who was likely a candidate for the spot had he been more willing to take a below slot deal. This shouldn't sell Hensley short as a player, though. Ty has a physical frame and present velocity not found in many other HS prospects outside the top college arms. He's been up to 97 mph consistently this spring, and has one of the best curveballs in this year's draft. In fact, I would argue that at comparable stages, his curve may be better than both Bundy and Bradley's from last season. Where Hensley falls short of those two is in command and control. While Hensley can run the fastball into the upper 90's, he lacks movement on the pitch and can't always control it down in the zone.

Overall, Hensley wouldn't be a bad selection at pick ten, with the upside of a power number two starter. He just may be further away from his ceiling than other players being considered with this pick.

Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M:

In past years, Wacha would appear to be a slam dunk Rockies pick. He's tall, has a power sinker-change combo, and should move relatively quickly through the minors, albeit with less upside than comparable picks. Wacha carries the extra baggage of pitching for a program notorious for heavy workloads, and has not always flashed consistent mid 90's velocity from start to start.

Those concerns don't seem to be shared by most analysts, who instead downgrade Wacha for lacking a reliable breaking pitch, or one that flashes even average. I don't see as big a concern here, as I've been moderately pleased with the downer curve he's flashed this season, and he can get outs with the draft's best change up. When right, Wacha's sinker is also plus at 92-96 mph, with decent life but harder to lift because of the plane of his pitches. At pick ten, I don't see this pick to be a safe cop-out pick like others the Rockies have made (see Greg Reynolds, Casey Weathers), but do worry if his college workload may catch up to him in the minors. If the velocity holds, Wacha has number two upside.

Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson:

One of my early favorites for several reasons, Shaffer is a relatively safe college bat that should be able to provide right handed power at a position that has become increasingly hard to fill at the major league level. Shaffer's bat has cooled somewhat down the stretch, but he may still have the best usable power of any college bat. Shaffer has a narrow frame but isn't considered a great athlete. Some analysts doubt his ability to stay at the hot corner, but Shaffer has a plus arm and doesn't have the build to suggest any significant loss of quickness as he adds some bulk. I see an average defender but an offensive player with upside to hit .280 with 25+ HR's. In a year without standout college bats, that makes Shaffer fairly rare and a worthy pick at ten.

Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State:

His name has become more infrequently linked with Colorado, as he's continued to slide at the plate (though he may still go eight to Pittsburgh). Marrero can play short and play it well. The concerns are about the bat, and it's been a very poor tool this year. Marrero just needs to hit the reset at the plate and the team that takes him will do just that. If you fix him, you get a plus defensive player but one with still average offensive tools. However, there was a time when he was considered for the first overall pick, so upside is still here with a better plate approach and renewed confidence.

Max Fried, LHP, HS:

I go back and forth on how much I actually like this guy. On one hand, you have a plus curveball and a projectable frame, on the other is a middling present fastball and an already oversaturation of high pick lefthanders in the Rockies' system. That shouldn't be held against Fried, who's upside rivals Matzek's and comes in a more traditional package. The question mark I have with Fried is price tag, as he's got a solid commitment to UCLA and could possibly have his sights set on pick five or six type money. He may very well go that high, as he's probably the top rated player just outside the top tier, if not on it altogether. I see little fault in drafting Fried from a talent standpoint, but given the neglect to high upside position players in lew of taking LHP's, I'd still lean towards Dahl or Hawkins.

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