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MLB Draft 2016: OF Blake Rutherford's all-around game could make him the right pick for the Colorado Rockies

Is Blake Rutherford the right pick for the Rockies?

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the spring amateur baseball season, Blake Rutherford was seen as the top high school bat in the draft. Now, he's not even the top prep bat in his own state. That may be a little deceiving though, as being the second best prep bat in California may still make him the second best prep bat in the entire nation.

Rutherford has already spent two summers with the USA 18U team, though he would be ineligible for that this summer as he turned 19 earlier this month. That exposure has lead to Rutherford being much more known in the scouting community than the average high school prospect.

Blake Rutherford's Strengths

Rutherford has solid tools across the board. Rutherford has an above average hit tool, with potential to develop plus power from the left-handed side of the plate. He also has good speed that helps him in the field as well as on the base paths and above average fielding combined with a solid arm. As is the case with most high school prospects, Rutherford should be able to add more muscle to his 6'3 frame that should contribute to his power production without hindering his athleticism.

Rutherford's Team USA experience has also provided a valuable glimpse into how Rutherford fares against higher-level competition and he's shown great improvement there from his first to second year. Last summer, Rutherford led Team USA in home runs and was second in stolen bases while maintaining a .304/.377/.457 batting line.

Blake Rutherford's Weaknesses

As stated above, from a tool perspective, Rutherford really doesn't have any weaknesses. There are a couple of concerns worth noting, though. First, Rutherford is an older high school prospect. This bothers some observers more than others and on its own probably isn't that important. However, there are some that wished that they would have seen a more dominant performance from him considering his advanced age.

The only other real concern with Rutherford is that he may not be able to stay in center field at the professional level. However, that is less of a concern for a player like Rutherford who has the arm and bat to make right field a palatable move.

Why the Rockies will draft Blake Rutherford

The Rockies have been linked to Mickey Moniak at fourth overall. However, there is a growing chance that either the Phillies or the Braves will draft Moniak, which may open the door for the Rutherford if the Rockies are intent on draft a high school bat. Rutherford fits the mold of the Rockies' recent draft history very nicely as an athletic prep bat with plus tools across the board similar to David Dahl. He would add yet another left-handed hitting prospect to a Rockies organization that already seems full of them, but that shouldn't be a concern.

Why the Rockies won't draft Blake Rutherford

At this point, it's tough to place Rutherford among the top four prospect in the draft. The Rockies have shown a tendency of late to draft the best player available, which wouldn't be Rutherford no matter how the top three picks shakes out. With A.J. Puk, Kyle, Lewis, Moniak, Riley Pint and Jason Groome and possibly others being better prospects than Rutherford at this point, the Rockies would be making a reach to pick Rutherford.

The Rockies may shock me, especially if they like Rutherford more than the media scouts, which is a very real possibility. However, there hasn't been much connection between the Rockies and Rutherford at this point, so I think the chances of Rutherford being drafted fourth overall is low.

Review our other mock draft profiles (from least to most likely) and check back often as we release more:

May 25 - A.J. Puk , LHP, Florida
May 26 - Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
May 27 - Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer