Ian Desmond's decision to sign with the Texas Rangers brought a sigh of relief to those Colorado Rockies fans that were hoping the club wasn't going to sign him and lose a competitive balance pick. For others, it was a sigh of disappointment that the Rockies weren't going to gamble on either competing this season, or being able to flip Desmond for some prospects in a deadline deal.
For some of us though, it was a moment we had been awaiting for a completely different reason: Desmond was the last of the free agents still on the market that had a qualifying offer attached, which of course meant that whoever signed him would be forfeiting their top eligible pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, while the Washington Nationals would receive a compensation pick immediately after the first round in return.
With Desmond now officially signed by the Rangers, we finally know the official order of the entire 2016 draft.
The Rockies will receive the following picks: 4th, 38th, 45th, 81st, 110th, and then every 30th pick after that until the end.
The Rockies have never drafted fourth overall, so there is no franchise history with that slot. The top players drafted fourth overall (as ranked by rWAR) have been Barry Larkin, Kevin Brown and Dave Winfield. Recent fourth overall picks have been Dillon Tate by the Rangers last year, the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber in 2014, the Twins' Kohl Stewart in 2013 and Colorado native Kevin Gausman, who was taken by the Orioles with the fourth overall pick in 2012.
The 38th pick does hold more significance for the Rockies, as they have held this draft slot twice before. The first time was in 1995 when they drafted Ben Petrick, who had his promising young career unfortunately derailed by Parkinson's disease. The second time was last year, when the Rockies draft third base prospect Tyler Nevin, who had a successful professional debut for Grand Junction over the summer.
For what it's worth, a current member of the Rockies — Jordan Lyles — was also drafted 38th overall, by the Houston Astros back in 2008.
David Wright headlines the list of the best players ever drafted 38th overall, with Butch Wynegar and Larry Hisle rounding out the top three based on rWAR. Recent 38th overall picks include Nevin, the Indians' Mike Papi, and the Reds' Michael Lorenzen. Another 38th overall pick of note was the Blue Jays' selection in 2010, Noah Syndergaard, who was then shipped to the Mets where he made his big league debut last summer.
Trevor Story is the Rockies' lone selection at 45th overall, back in 2011. Historically the pick hasn't yielded much value as Jed Lowrie is the top player ever drafted in the slot, with a whopping 9.1 career rWAR. Recent selections at pick 45 include the Rangers' Eric Jenkins, the Cubs' Jake Stinnett and the Red Sox choosing Teddy Stankiewicz.
The Rockies have drafted once before in both the 81st and 110th slots. In 2002, the club drafted Ben Crockett, a right-handed pitcher, 81st overall. In 2004, the Rockies selected the second most succesful player to have ever been drafted 110th overall, catcher Chris Iannetta. Iannetta only needs another 65 career rWAR to catch up with the leader for that draft slot... Jeff Bagwell.
The other benefit of the draft order finally being set, of course, is that we also know the bonus pool allotments for each team to sign their picks. The Rockies have the fifth largest bonus pool with a cap of $11,153,400. Obviously, with both draft picks and allotted money, the Rockies will be in a great position this summer to add talent to their already deep, strong farm system.