The MLB draft begins on Monday. The Rockies have the third overall pick and, thanks to the Qualifying Offer they slapped on the departing Michael Cuddyer, four picks within the top 50. Even though this year's draft is considered a weak one, the Rockies have a good chance of bolstering their farm system if they pick wisely. Purple Row will have tons of coverage of the event, so stick around prospect hounds (or anyone else interested in Rockies of the future).
For more general info on the draft, check out Ben Lindbergh's piece at Grantland.
New mental approach benefiting Gray - Rockies.com
Speaking of first round picks, Jon Gray is heating up in Triple-A Albuquerque. He has a 2.78 ERA in his last six games in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League. Gray said his recent success is due to a visualization process he goes through before each pitch, a process he picked up after talking with manager Glenallen Hill, pitching coach Darryl Scott, and peak performance coordinator Andy McKay.
Peak performance coordinator? I've never heard of that position before. Is that like a roving minor league psychologist? I like to imagine a post-retirement Crash Davis joining the clubhouse and whipping talented young kids into shape and then moving on.
Anyway: Gray seems to be close, but there's no real buzz concerning an imminent call-up. Despite the loss of Jordan Lyles and Tyler Matzek, the rotation seems to be white-knuckling its way through the early summer. The Rockies have said before that when they call Gray up they want it to be permanent. Imagine if Gray had gone through those April struggles in the big leagues instead of in Albuquerque (and the clamor for Gray breaking camp with the Rockies was deafening in late March). He would have been demoted and possibly irreparably damaged, even if we hired 1,000 peak performance coordinators. Gray is setting his own time table, and the Rockies shouldn't manipulate it. To their credit, they haven't yet.
Oh, I get it, the headline is a baseball pun. Swing.
Patrick Saunders talks with Paulsen about the big shoes he has to fill now that he (and Wilin Rosario) are getting the lion's share of the playing time at first base. The Rockies have always been strong at first, with Andres Gallaraga, Todd Helton, and Justin Morneau turning in numerous quality years.
Paulsen's minor league numbers are unspectacular, but in 122 career plate appearances in the majors he has a .325/.369/.605 batting line. Of course, 122 plate appearances is just 1/6 of a season, far too small a sample size to determine his true talent level. But stats aren't everything, and Paulsen looks very comfortable at the plate. He turns in quality at bats. Morneau will be back ("when" is anyone's guess), but until then Paulsen has acquitted himself well.
Mariners trade for Mark Trumbo, finally - Fangraphs
Trumbo is out of the NL West. Thank God.