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Rockies pre-draft discussion thread, week 1:

This year thanks to the Nats' signing Vinny Castilla, the Rockies have four of the first sixty picks (7, 32, 54, 57.) The draft isn't expected to be very deep this year, but we should be able to scrounge up some pretty good talent even with those two picks in the fifties. Bill Schmidt, since taking over the Rockies' draft in 2002 has loaded our system with talent found even much deeper and in later rounds. Typical Rockies' drafts under Schmidt follow a pattern that we can probably expect him to adhere to again this year:

First 2-3 rounds (depending on the depth of the draft): Take the best available players with the highest potential, Schmidt tends to look for players who are already close to being the complete package and don't need a lot of projecting to see their future abilities, but that said, he doesn't follow the Moneyball route and just take college players already nearing their peaks, either. Chris Nelson, Seth Smith, Ian Stewart, Scott Beerer, and Jeff Francis were all players who had already highly developed skills for their ages plus projectable maturing of talent in the future.

Rounds 3-6: Schmidt will stock up on available college pitching. These have easily been his weakest choices. Why? I think it's because by this time the last three years most college pitching is pretty much already picked over, and Schmidt doesn't seem to have the same knack for finding lost talent as he does in the next section.

Rounds 4-8: usually around here and sometimes a little earlier Schmidt also picks college players who were projected to go higher before the college season but for whatever circumstances have dropped by (or on) draft day. Jeff Baker (4th rnd, 2002) had signability and injury concerns. Mike Esposito had arm problems. Matt Macri was considered too much of a 'tweener (scouts weren't sure if he could play good enough defense in the middle, weren't sure if he'd hit for enough power at the hot corner, and were apparently wrong on both counts)

Rounds 7-15: Schmidt rounds out the major college section of his drafts by taking players who have limited skill sets, but have a lot of ability in one or two tools or skills. These are the guys he leaves to the system to coach to major league readiness in other phases of their games.

Safety valve: Since the Matt Harrington debacle, somewhere along the way after the first round, the Rockies will take at least one additional "first-round talent" player who they will go after should negotiations with their first rounder hit a snag. Last year they got a couple in Smith and fourteenth rounder Dexter Fowler. That they were able to sign all three players was somewhat of a lucky occurence that we can only hope happens again.

Rounds 15-25: Usually a lot of unheralded JC guys with a few high potential draft and follows thrown in.

Rounds 25-50: More draft and follows (see Rox Fan in NY's diary to the right) and shots in the dark (i.e. very talented high school players with lock tight commitments to universities, just in case something comes up, I guess. 25th rounder Aaron Lovett and 37th round pick Todd Frazier fall into this category.)

So knowing that, how will the Rockies go in this draft? This is why it's an open thread. Feel free to discuss.