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Thursday Rockpile: Rockies dissing draft picks by not giving them gobs of money to hit in Casper.

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There's an interesting story on Peter O'Brien, the catcher selected in the third round of the June draft who the Rockies failed to sign, who says the Rockies disrespected him by offering what's apparently something pretty close to the recommended MLB slot bonus for the pick. The article then goes on to draw a parallel with that offer and what a local 16th round high school pick got, which is going to be extremely misleading to most readers, as the way the MLB draft works gives high school seniors the most leverage when it comes to signing with a team, and college seniors the least. College juniors, like O'Brien, have a moderate amount of leverage, but take pretty large gambles when they actually decide to use it as next year he will have to take whatever an MLB club puts on the table, and the chances are a lot more likely it's going to be considerably less than the approximately $350,000 he could have gotten from the Rockies this year.

All that said, the Rockies in terms of 2011 draft signing bonuses were well behind the curve, as other teams pushed the total bonus money spent on the draft to record levels. Since 2009, according to Baseball America, the Rockies have spent 18% less on draft signing bonuses than the average MLB team. In 2009 and 2010, the quality of the Rockies drafts went up considerably from the disasters of 2006-2008 (it's too early to say for 2011,) so saving 18% isn't necessarily a terrible thing if that extra money (just under $4 million/year) gets spent more wisely somewhere else. If it gets spent on Ty Wigginton or Jose Lopez, well, we've seen what comes of that.