The Colorado Rockies bolstered their collection of young arms on Thursday, drafting powerful high school pitcher Riley Pint and college hurlers Robert Tyler and Ben Bowden on Day 1 of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich has talked until he's blue in the face about the team's strategy to load up on power pitchers, with Pint and Tyler certainly fitting the bill. Pint's fastball has been clocked at upwards of 102 mph, while Tyler is no stranger to triple digits himself.
It might seem like the Rockies entered the draft with the strategy in mind of landing these particular arms, but the club insists it took the best players available at the time.
"That's just how the board fell," scouting director Bill Schmidt told reporters on a call following the Day 1 selections. "We picked the best players that were on our board when we went to make the selection."
Bridich echoed the sentiment.
"We are only in control of the picks we make," the GM said. "That's why we spend so much time setting up the board and we trust so deeply in the scouts that we have and the cross checkers that we have -- to make sure that our board is set up exactly how we like it."
Pint, while a hard thrower and clearly one of the top talents in the draft, could be a bit of a project not only because of his age, but because of his delivery.
"It will be refinement, it will be adjustments," Schmidt said. "Major changes? No. But there will be adjustments."
"We aren't talking about some remake or overhaul situation here," Bridich added. "I think as well as we feel like we know him, we still haven't lived with him, and we still have to live with him first before we can talk about making adjustments like that."
Tyler and Bowden, though maybe with lower ceilings, won't require the same level of adjustments. In fact, analysts on MLB Network's broadcast of the draft -- as well as elsewhere -- believe both could be on the fast track to the majors if the Rockies elect to start their careers in the bullpen. That might be the case with one, but not necessarily with both.
"I think with Tyler's situation you look at his innings and where he's at, with being a starter," Schmidt said. "We probably won't change his role this summer, just want to keep him healthy and get him through the summer and get to instructional league."
"Ben, right now we will keep him in the bullpen because that is what he did for a majority of the season," Schmidt added. "We will watch that as we get into next year, but for now they will stay in their roles."
Assuming each player signs early enough to report to short-season teams, Pint will likely start at Grand Junction while Tyler and Bowden could begin their pro careers at Boise.