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Draft Day One Recap

Rockies Picks:
This is kind of redundant with the thread that was going on a little downsite, but I wanted to move it to a more prominent spot and add a little more commentary. Overall I would say there is a lot less refinement and more projectability on day one then we have seen in past Schmidt drafts. A lot of these players are projects or interesting picks that the Rockies seem higher on than many clubs and several of them will take years in the system before we can begin to evaluate. Part of this was probably due to the early run on college players by most teams, and part just because a lot of the best players happened to be raw this year.

#7 Troy Tulowitzki, shortstop, Long Beach State University.

Troy and his team lost to a far superior and better looking USC team in the college playoffs, but he's a very toolsy middle infielder who's compared to Bobby Crosby, albeit apparently with more power and a better bat. Decent pick, but we liked Maybin better here. In my desire to see Cameron be a Rockie I ignored one of my sources who said that he heard the Rockies felt that Tulo might not be going to the Mariners and liked him, at the time they thought the Brewers liked him too, though, so I thought we were safe. Dumb Brewers messing up my prediction, anyway, maybe next year I can be closer. I'll trust that source a lot more now, though. Plus knowing now that the Brewers still like to go cheap helps too.
As far as Tulo's tools go, according to BA, Troy had the best arm strength of college position players entering the draft, he was the third best athlete, the second best five tool talent (to Alex Gordon) and the fourth best defender. Overall he ranked as the fourth best talent in the draft, behind Upton, Gordon and Maybin. And as his cap shows, he's got a lot of desire to win and succeed and that has helped him improve greatly since he's been at LBSU. Expect him to sign quickly and start at Tri-City or possibly Casper, as the Rockies won't rush him. If Chris Nelson continues to struggle, Tulo might be at Asheville before the end of the season. Tulowitzki will always be compared to other players unfortunately until he proves himself successful at the top level. The first comparison is to fellow Dirtbag Crosby (an alum now) and second by Rockies fans to Cameron Maybin who was still available at this pick.
Update [2005-6-8 6:10:14 by Rox Girl]:Bill Schmidt says the Rockies want to start Tulo at Modesto, meaning Matt Macri is either sliding over to second or moving up to Tulsa, I'm hoping for the latter because I really want to see what his bat does against the more advanced competition. Like Dan over at Up in the Rockies I wonder about the message being sent to our other prize players with this move. Still, considering the level of talent Tulo brings to this pick, I have to say that my objective side is more pleased than my intuitive side, which obviously didn't turn out so hot in predicting this draft, so I wouldn't listen to it right now.
Too bad that LBSU had to go up against a juggernaut and Tulo couldn't get his wish

#32 Chaz Roe, rhp, Lafayette High school, from Lexington, KY

Excellent choice, BA had him pegged as talent #32 for this draft (34, actually, but they never updated their list after Weaver and Drew signed, so I assume he moved up) a six foot six right handed hurler who can throw in the mid nineties. It might take a little convincing to get him out of his commitment to the UK Wildcats, though. Roe is signable enough however to have the Twins and Braves consider taking him in the first round with picks #25 and #27, respectively. I think the Twins were hoping he'd still be there at their next pick, #39, but when they, the Braves and Marlins all let the talented high school kid drop, it was a bit of a shock. The Rockies have to be happy, Roe's breaking ball rates #2 in the draft among high school pitchers according to BA to go along with that smoking heater. He has potential to be a number two pitcher or perhaps even more if he can develop a decent changeup. I really like this pick a lot.

Rockies second round pick, Daniel Carte runs the bases

#53 Daniel Carte, of, Winthrop University

Carte provides much of the offense for one of the better college programs in the country, actually brings the defense too, as he has a lot of tools and a very advanced bat. He was named BA's summer player of the year last year after excelling in the Cape Cod league and was a preseason first team All-American. Like Seth Smith last year, this is an excellent toolsy pick for this far down in the draft (he actually ranked 44th for BA, but even there his stock was low because of an oblique strain he's played through this season). This is one more pick to be high on, but from here on out, success should be considered a pleasant surprise.

#55 Zach Simons, rhp, Everett CC, Washington State

Simons was perhaps a bit of a reach with this pick, so apparently Rockies' scouts saw something in him that they really liked, or after three high profile selections, they thought they could save a little money, ala Oakland by picking someone who'd be happy to sign for a little less than the going rate for that slot number. Or maybe it was a combination of the two. Simons could be an intriguing guy to watch, though. He added twenty pounds to his frame to give him a little more umpph to his mid-nineties heat. He only allowed one baserunner per inning (32 hits, eighteen walks) and struck out 52 in 50 IP. BA had him ranked as high as #135, I thought he'd be a little higher than that, but not much, so that's part of why I wonder if the Rockies really stretched to get a player they could have had in the next couple of rounds.

#87 Kyle Hancock, rhp, Rowlett, Texas

Another high school right hander, Hancock has a low nineties fastball, and an okay curve and decent slider. The three pitch ability at eighteen is intriguing and if he can improve the breaking stuff and develop a change he could prove a very effective starter. His stock looked higher last year, and the fact that he's dropped a bit makes me higher on him. You have to like his 116/18 K/BB ratio and he easily overmatched his high school competition. Put him up against more advanced competitors in the rookie leagues and we might see his game elevate quickly again. Another pick I have to give a high score to.

#117 Brandon Durden, lhp, Georgia College

Another raw pitcher, the Rockies have picked three here in the early rounds, Durden's an interesting selection. He was probably scouted along with teammate Matt Goyen, but don't confuse the two, opponents batted .301 off Durden and he only had 72 K's in 88 IP. I think this is the sketchiest pick of the day so far, and I wonder if the Rockies just took him because he was lefthanded. BA was fairly high on him too, ranking him ahead of Goyen and the 78th best talent in the draft, which would have made him a steal even a round earlier if all Scouting Directors went by BA. I just don't know about pitching projects though and I have to get over that hump. But look at what Schmidt said about him:

He's an athletic kid from a small college. He still needs some refinement. He's not your typical college picture. He's kind of a projection, but he's a strong-bodied kid.
That says nothing to me. He's an athletic kid? What does that mean? Is he a number one? a two? Does he have moxie? I still don't know enough to say I like this one.

#147 Joshua Sullivan, QB, rhp, Auburn University

It wouldn't be a Rockies draft without taking a quarterback. Hey, it worked with Helton and Holliday, so why not? Sullivan just converted to baseball full time two years ago and pitching only last year, so he needs some refinement, particularly with his control, but his mound presence is good and he has a good looking upper eighties (usually he's worked around 89-90mph this year) fastball with natural sinking movement. He has a good change already and can throw a pretty nice curve (although this is the pitch that tends to get him in the most trouble as he leaves it hanging too much, or misses the plate altogether). As Rox Fan in NY pointed out in the comments, BA thinks he can become a number three.

#177 Corey Wimberly, 2b, Alcorn State

only the third position player and the second middle infielder selected by the Rox. I don't know much about him yet, but he's kept an online journal this season so we can all learn. Alright, he's short at 5'8" but he has the best batting average in the country and I'm really digging his confidence. His compact strikezone and tight swing might actually help him be a legit top of the order guy, and he has enough defense to stay in the middle. His bat doesn't project to have much power with wood, but he's got great make-up it looks like. I'm starting to like him a lot already. Oh and did I mention he's a burner? 42 steals in 34 games is impressive. Follow the Up in the Rockies link in the Tulowitzki section above to read a competitor call Wimberly overrated- but follow Wimberly's own link to see that he doesn't think Corey's overrated. Hey, it would be great if he talked in the third person too.

#207 Geoff Strickland, ss, Florida Southern

Not a great selection, a scrappy glove man and with the other two middle infielders already taken, I wonder about this choice.

#237 James Burok, rhp, Old Dominion

Burok was far more highly touted coming out of high school but has struggled in college and has seen his stock drop a little, although his draft position has risen from the 50th round selection he was then by Cleveland (his commitment to ODU scared most teams away). He's another big guy at 6'3" and 215 lbs. He was converted to closer this year and struck out 54 in 51 innings of work.

#267 Andrew D. Johnston, rhp, Missouri

Another right handed pitcher, that makes seven in the first nine rounds and first eleven picks. Johnston is another former Indians pick, 26th round in 2003, and transferred to Missouri from Jefferson College. He was the Tigers' top reliever this year.

#297 Garner Wetzel, ss, Milsaps College

Don't know him, but the bio that RFNY points out has some interesting statements regarding him. He's the second quarterback chosen by the Rockies so we know he's another athlete.

#327 Chris Frey, cf, Arizona University

If we can convince him to sign this will be an excellent late round pick as Frey is very talented and has quite a bit of upside. He's a good defender and could prove to be a decent bat as well. He's got speed to cover the vast Coors prairie in the outfield.

#357 Dominick Foster, of, Fresno City CC

The Rockies re-draft Foster after failing to sign him as a draft and follow last year, this time he moves up five rounds to the twelfth where we will try this again.

#387 Michael Paulk, of, CSUN

I'm really not sure why Paulk dropped this far, he's a legit power threat and though his junior year was a little off, he still projects to have a decent major league bat (20-25 HR, and .300 AVG). I think there's some concern with his defense and that he won't be able to stay in the outfield and might not be powerful enough for first, but he walks more than he strikes out and looks good to me. Traditionally, the Rockies select once highly sought after talent that has fallen out of favor and Paulk fits that mould.

#417 Kyle Blumenthal, c, Cal Poly SLO

Just converted to behind the plate last year from being a middle infielder throughout high school and juco at Riverside CC.

#447 Travis Becktel, of San Jose State

.317/.397/.420, 19 BB's and 40K's in 224AB, 10/13 SB/ATT. His strikeouts aren't too high, but he doesn't walk very much. He appears to be a project selection that needs some work.

#477 Brett Berglund, of, Cal Poly SLO

Berglund was a tranfer from Arizona State and like Paulk played a lot of first base this year, so I really wonder if he's cut out for the outfield at Coors. Brad Hawpe's made it though, so maybe. Berglund started off strong but kind of cooled as the season progressed or maybe he would have been drafted higher.

#507 James Freeman, LHP, Washington State

The last time I read about Freeman he was getting pounded by USC in a game where he didn't record an out until he had given up five runs already. I hope he does a bit better for the Rockies.

#537 Brett Strickland, RHP, Georgia State

Strickland wasn't worked as hard as you would expect, being GSU's nominal staff ace, but he has had injury concerns in the past, medical redshirting in 2003 with shoulder pain. An interesting choice who once proven healthy could turn out to be another steal. Two guys named Strickland, two qb's and two CSPSLO picks in the early rounds, apparently we like things in pairs or groups this year.