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MLB Draft Roundtable 2007 Preview

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As Rox Girl referenced in the Morning Rockpile, we will soon be kicking off a new draft series, as we are less than two months away from adding some exciting new talent to the organization.  To give readers an idea of the type and names of players Colorado could consider, we are starting this draft roundtable to debate the qualities and concerns of the 2007 draft candidates.  These stories, to be updated every Monday and Thursday, will focus on players that likely are to be available to the Rockies in the first round.

For the format, one of the Purple Row "staffers" will bring a name to the table they'd like considered for the first pick.  After the merits of the player have been presented, the rest will get to pick at every plus and minus before the original presenter gets the final word.  After each player has thoroughly been analyze, we'll place them on the big board, which at its completion should rank every likely draft candidate in order of preference by the Row community.

To better illustrate this new series, here's a dressed down mock up of a player Rockies' fans shouldn't be expecting:  

"DAVID PRICE, LHP, VANDERBILT

Poster A:  The first guy I want to bring to the table is David Price of Vanderbilt.  Many of Price's exploits have been well covered in the draft diaries, so we don't need much detail, but enough can't be said about his ability.  For starters, Price's frame fits the mold of your durable, power pitcher, capable of throwing 200+ innings a season.  He's got arguably the best stuff of this year's draft class, including a fastball he runs into the mid-90's, and a hard biting slider that breaks on two planes late.  As a power left-hander, he can run that slider up on the hands of lefties to back them off the plate, but can also backdoor the pitch for strikes on right-handers.

Price is also a good fit for Coors Field.  He's a high strikeout guy, and the altitude could add a few ticks to the fastball.  Because his stuff is overpowering and late moving, he's also been successful in getting lots of ground outs.  The Rockies currently don't have a player of Price's caliber on the roster, with arguably only Morales comparing in stuff, but few Rockies prospects compare in both physical and in-game maturity.  Although the Rockies system is stuffed with power arms, Price has more upside and less of a bust factor thanks to his success against top competition in college and a relatively healthy career to date.

David Price would be able to start in High A this year, when signed, and could reach Coors by 2008.  If everything breaks right, he could be that missing power ace on the staff in 2009.

Poster B:  That sounds great, but the first problem is that Price won't make it to pick nine.  One of the major issues I have with Price is that despite his stuff, his numbers aren't as dominant as they could be.  His ERA as a sophomore was higher than what you'd expect from the top talent in the draft.  Is he really dominating, or just piling up strikeouts?

Another concern I have is with the development of the change up.  Scouts claim it is making progress, but with just two plus or MLB pitches, he may not develop into that top notch starter, and may have to move to late inning relief, and for the money and pick, it might not be worth taking a late reliever.

Other than that, Price would be a solid choice.  He does have the frame to throw a heavy workload in the pros, and has as high a ceiling of any draft pick.  I don't think many would be disappointed, but I think he has more flaws than your standard top pick.

Poster A:  You bring up some fair points, but if you look at Price's numbers this season, they are more in line with the type of staff ace I envision.  I think the change up has improved this year, and even if it's just average, his fastball and slider are both plus pitches that will make it difficult on both lefties and righties.  He may ranked higher than our current pick in round one, but if he somehow falls, he'd be the best choice for our draft pick."

So be on the look out Monday when Russ opens with a player flying up the draft board and breaking records along the way...