Tuesday Rockpile: All Star Game and the 2013 Draft

Aaron Cook, former All-Star and winningest pitcher in franchise history, lives off a sinker, the very pitch CJ Wilson thinks pitchers should avoid at Coors Field. If true, the Rockies have a different strategy to developing pitchers through the draft to look at. Also, 2011 Cook = 2012 Guthrie. It all ties together.

With the All-Star game upon us, now would be an especially good time to reminisce over the most memorable performances by Rockies in All-Star Game history, especially because reflecting on the first half of 2012 Rockies baseball is no way to start a morning. I don't have to do any work to compile the best All-Star game moments in franchise history though, as we ran a series on exactly that last season. For your morning perusal:

#10 | #9 | #8 | #7 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1

None of those ten moments were unseated by the 2011 All-Star game, as Troy Tulowitzki was decent-yet-forgettable as the Rockies' lone representative, singling in two plate appearances and threw out Alex Avila on a ground ball for his only defensive chance. This season, Carlos Gonzalez is the lone Rockies representative, though he will be the first ever all-star game designated hitter to bat leadoff.

Okay, fine. Reflection on the first half is unavoidable. A lot of other people have done a great deal on this as well, so here is a truckload of links for you.

NL West: a race at last (and for last) - Steve Treder of the Hardball Times does a summary of the NL West's first half, complete with a very nice, depressing graph. Two races have emerged, with the Rockies and Padres duking it out for the cellar. The Rockies are now one half game out of last place in the entire MLB, which would grant them a the top draft choice in the 2013 draft, which is considered already weaker than the 2012 draft class in depth, and it lacks a headlining consensus top pick.

One way of guaranteeing a better pool of picks next year is if some of the remaining top 2012 draftees don't sign and return next year.

Kevin Gausman considering return for another season at LSU | NOLA.com The original headline for this story was "Kevin Gausman will return for another season at LSU," and it caused quite a stir. The 2012 fourth overall pick is likely posturing, but if he's not, he could be in the mix for the Rockies next year, or just lengthen the quality of prospects in the top five picks. The Orioles have more than enough draft pool money left to fulfill the slot demand.

Report: Star pitcher Mark Appel may return to Stanford - San Jose Mercury News - Appel was a possible first overall pick this year's draft, but concerns over signability dropped him. If he could return to Stanford, pitch well and stay healthy, he could make more in 2013 than the slot Pittsburgh has available, but he would also be a senior in next year's class with no leverage.

It is likely both sign by Friday's deadline, but if either or both don't, next year's draft could get more interesting at the top.

Lots of links after the jump.

Off Topic

Baseball Prospectus | Western Front: Trying One's Patience There are a lot of words worth skimming past here, but there are two takeaways from Geoff Young. 1) Aaron Cook is one the most efficient pitchers in MLB against bad teams over the past decade. 2) As bad as Guthrie has been, Guthrie has been a cheaper identical copy to Aaron Cook in 2011.

Was C.J. Wilson onto something with approach to Coors Field? - The Denver Post The Rockies haven't figured out pitching at Coors Field in the 18 years of baseball there. CJ Wilson showed up, dominated, then bragged he knew the key: "It was elementary physics." He ditched his sinker. Huh.

Carlos Gonzalez hits just four home runs in first round of HR Derby - Well, it wasn't good for a second round trip, but at least it was competitive. We didn't want a Brandon Inge situation. Here'svideo of him talking about the situation

Rockies Mailbag: Todd Helton's playing time trimming, but how much? - The Denver Post Good stuff from Patrick Saunders on Helton's playing time, concerns over the medical staff, Jayson Aquino, and why the Rockies should trade Guthrie.

Prospects as Trade Bait: Ramon Hernandez | MetsMinorLeagueBlog.com Toby Hyde, who writes for MetsMinorLeagueBlog, condenses all rumors surrounding Ramon Hernandez to the Mets. Several propsects have been named as possibilities for the Rockies to receive in exchange, varying from a future top prospect to standard depth. Hyde gives reports on each of these names, so bookmark this if a trade is indeed consummated later this month.

Home | SB Nation Pick 6 The Pick 6 game actually IS live for today's game. Make your picks before you forget.

Richard Justice: Players get taste of Majors at Futures Game | MLB.com: News George Brett watched Nolan Arenado taking batting practice, catching the third baseman trying too hard to impress and overswinging.

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