SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during 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)
While the Rockies added one potential impact player and one intriguing arm on day one of the MLB Rule 4 Draft, day two comes with an opportunity to further bolster the system.
With the tenth pick of the first round, Colorado took HS outfielder David Dahl, a player with supreme tools that will likely rate very highly in my next Purps ranking (hint, it's third).
Andrew Fisher asked me about a Grady Sizemore comparison, and that's fairly apt for Dahl's ceiling. Like Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, I buy into Dahl's swing and his ability to add power to his game, and he already possesses the hit tool and speed to hit for a high average in the minors early on. Without insider knowledge into his signability, I don't foresee any issues in getting Dahl under contract and hopefully he will be playing center for Grand Junction as early as game one.
With their second first round pick, the Rockies surprised me with Eddie Butler of Radford.
Admittedly, I had not studied much on Butler, seeing him more as a relief prospect in an oversaturated pool of college relief arms. My assumption is that Colorado plans to keep Butler in the rotation to start his pro career, which helps explain this pick. Once Boston took Brian Johnson and Pat Light, and Cubs selected favorite Pierce Johnson, the college starting pitcher pool became shockingly thin. Butler was one of the few arms left with some power in his game.
The gamble with Butler is on his sinking fastball. He has a ¾ delivery, and hitters get a long look at the ball in his delivery, but his arm speed and angle help produce a sinker with plus life and velocity. Video from his time on the Cape also shows an average slider, and from his arm slot, he should develop an average change with fade. Scouting reports suggest he had improved his command down the stretch this season, and with that came an increase in strikeouts.
He's considered to be highly competitive and has an aggressive mound demeanor. While this profile may sound similar to Chad Bettis, I have more doubts about Butler staying in the rotation. For one, he's got a very thin frame and pitches with some effort, but he has held his stuff late into starts. Should he maintain his stuff consistently every five days rather than once a week, his size will be less of a concern. Butler also has more concerns over his secondary pitches than Bettis. Some reports suggest Butler's slider has been more fringy this Spring, and he may over-rely on his sinker.
Butler should be a quick sign and should love the pitching friendly Northwest League parks. There is upside of a number three pitcher that keeps the ball on the ground, but my guess at this point is that he becomes a reliever, albeit one with a big fastball.