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Tuesday Rockpile: Draft Day 1, and Ian Stewart is now your 3B

It's getting drafty

The Rockies' struggles to begin the 2009 season made us long for Rocktober past. Their present success certainly yields optimism, if only held close to the chest. But today is about the future, as the first day of the MLB amateur draft starts tonight. The Rockies' first pick is 11th, the franchise's second lowest pick of the decade, but we also have 3 of the top 34 picks. Only four othe teams have two first-round picks.

The draft will air on MLB Network starting at 4:00pm MDT today and will go through the 50th round on Thursday. If you are without the Network, follow it using's 2009 DraftCentral or their 2009 DraftTracker. As you might have expected, you can follow the MLB Draft (MLBDraft) on Twitter as well, and we will have a live draft thread here later in the day.

Renck: Rockies need to avoid the safe pick - The Denver Post Troy Renck practically pleads "Just don't play it safe. Open the wallet and take a chance." That's probably a plea in vain, but is shared with many fans. His particular favorite pick at 11 would be HS RHP Matt Hobgood. Rex Brothers, Mike Leake, Alex White and Tim Wheeler have also been listed as possibilities that Renck notes the Rockies have interest in.

Kyle Gibson, a No-brainer at No. 11 - Purple Row David Oh No stopped back in last night for the first time since I ever commented once here on the Row. In case you have missed it, he makes a compelling case as to why injured Mizzou RHP Kyle Gibson is the perfect fit for the Rockies at pick # 11. Russ profiled Gibson in February as well: Draft Profile: Kyle Gibson, RHP, University of Missouri - Purple Row

If you're curious about some of the top round talent with the bats, Beyond the Box Score has an in depth analysis on the 2009 MLB Draft's College Hitters Crop.

Here's a couple recent mock drafts from MLBDraftSite and One site has the Rockies taking Gibson, and another Alex White, who in other mock drafts has gone as high as fourth.

Stewart tops area's prospects - The Denver Post Neil Devlin picks out a few Colorado prospects that could go in the draft. Fort Collins' own Jake Stewart tops the list despite signing a letter of intent with Stanford. C Justin Byrd (Arapahoe) and OF's Micah Green (Cherokee Trail) and Pat Hirschberg (Chaparral). Don't be surprised if the Rockies take a flyer on C Bennett Pickar (Eaton) either. He played with and just graduated with Dick Monfort's son Sterling on the Reds' undefeated 3A state championship team. I actually saw Pickar playing as early as fifth grade. The dude has been a grinder his whole life.

Other News

Stewart named NL Player of the Week : Ian Stewart was rewarded for his breakout week with not only a flurry to the fantasy wire but also the NL Player of the Week. Naturally, he went 0-for-5 with 2 K's in his next start after receiving the distinction.

Three-day draft has plenty of pitchers to pick from - The Denver Post
Troy Renck points out that the Rockies have hardly spent a dime on free agent pitchers in past years, so success from the hill will be built from the draft. Renck looks at some possibilities, but buried in the footnotes of the article was:

[Ian Stewart] is taking over for Garrett Atkins at third base. "But this is not the end for Garrett. I will look for matchups for him," Tracy said

You have to hand it to Tracy for making the decision and sticking with it, instead of jumping around all over the place. Given that Stewart mashes lefties with no mercy, those "matchups" may be hard to come by.

Iannetta due back Tuesday, Torrealba late in the week : The catcher quandry is coming back into focus. Chris Iannetta will return to the big club today, most likely at the expense of Edwin Bellorin. Yorvit Torrealba hopes to return by this weekend at the earliest, which will mean exposing Paul Phillips to waivers.

In case you haven't noticed, the Rockies are hot. I'm sure everyone has a heavy dose of optimism right now, so to temper it, here's two points. The last five games have been played at a ridiculously unsustainable level. Less sustainable than the giant pile of suck that was April and May. Then there's this:

National League Wild Card Standings

New York 30 25 .545 - Won 1
St. Louis 31 27 .534 0.5 Lost 4
Chicago 28 26 .518 1.5 Won 1
Cincinnati 29 27 .517 1.5 Lost 1
San Francisco 29 27 .517 1.5 Lost 1
Atlanta 28 28 .500 2.5 Won 2
Florida 28 31 .474 4 Won 1
San Diego 27 30 .473 4 Won 1
Pittsburgh 26 31 .456 5 Lost 2
Houston 25 30 .454 5 Won 1
Colorado 25 32 .438 6 Won 5
Arizona 25 33 .431 7 Lost 1
Washington 15 40 .272 15 Lost 1

(updated 6.9.2009 at 7:33 AM MDT)

Sure, six games is not a lot. But the ten teams ahead of the Rockies are. For them to lose, someone has to win, and two-thirds of those teams opponents are the very same as the ones we need to lose. Then consider that much of this upward movement would need to happen by the All-Star Break, or we would likely be sellers at the trade deadline, making the completion of a comeback practically impossible. Enjoy the hot streak, just don't set yourself up to get your heart broken.