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Rockies order up some more good ol’ homegrown drafting

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, June 12, 2020

Rockies select Douglas County pitcher Case Williams in fourth round | The Denver Post ($)

As Patrick Saunders points out, Colorado-grown Case Williams, the Rockies’ fourth-round pick in Thursday’s draft, wasn’t on Baseball America’s radar, at least in its top 500 prospects, or MLB.com’s rankings of its top 200 possible draftees. But the recent Douglas County High School graduate was on the Rockies’ radar.

Williams, the 110th overall pick with a fastball in the mid-90s, seemed pretty surprised to get the Rockies’ call, telling Saunders, “It was pretty unexpected, honestly. “I watched (the draft) last night and went to bed not knowing I would be in the situation I’m in now.”

Williams is a 6-foot-3 righty who posted a 1.81 ERA in tallying an 8-1 record, threw a no-hitter, and struck out 79 hitters in under 51 innings last year. While COVID-19 robbed him of his senior year on the field, he used the time to work out and refine technique, and that was enough to impress the Rockies. Williams is signed up to attend and play baseball for Santa Clara University (a private Jesuit school in Silicon Valley), but said he hasn’t yet decided if he will sign with the Rockies or play collegiately with the Broncos. That has to be a hard decision in the best of times, but just imagine making that call when the MiLB is shrinking, the 2020 season is in jeopardy, and there is a pandemic. According to its website, SCU is set to reopen campus with “modified in-person” classes in the fall, but of course that could change.

The Williams pick automatically conjures comparisons to the altitude-adjusted and Denver homegrown lefty Kyle Freeland, who of course was the Rockies first-round pick in 2014. The Thomas Jefferson graduate was originally signed by the Phillies in 2011, but decided to pitch for the University of Evansville for three years instead before being drafted by the Rockies. Only time will tell what path Williams decides to take, but I love the idea of more Rocky Mountain talent joining the ranks. Plus, Williams is already used to wearing purple, the primary color of the Douglas County Huskies.

Zac Veen’s childhood baseball dreams come true as Spruce Creek High player highest-ever Volusia draft pick | The Daytona Beach News-Journal

This is a nice feature on Rockies first-round draft pick Zac Veen in his local newspaper in Florida. For more on Veen, check out Renee Dechert’s story for Purple Row here.

In a time when we just need feel-good videos, here’s one of when Veen heard the news and celebrated with his friends and family.

Colorado gets solid defense at No. 35 in Romo | MLB.com

Drew Romo told the media on Wednesday night that he’s loved baseball his whole life. Romo said, “I would stand in front of the TV in my diaper as a little baby — my parents have pictures of me.”

On Thursday, Romo backed up his statement by sharing photographic evidence with Thomas Harding. Even better, the picture is of a young Romo watching the Rockies take on the Braves and Larry Walker is on first base.

For more on Romo, check out Purple Row’s feature on him, courtesy again of Renee Dechert.

Boise Hawks season is 1 week away. Will it happen? That’s still a mystery. | Idaho Statesman

The Northwest League has been fielding baseball games every year since 1955. For the first time in 65 years, the upcoming season is in serious doubt. The Rockies’ Class A short season Boise Hawks are one of eight teams in the league and were originally scheduled to start their season in less than a week on June 17.

Right now, they are just waiting and hoping that an MLB season happens and that a MiLB season also happens. The Idaho Statesman heard from the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes about any possible news and an anonymous Salem-Keizer employee said, “We are just certain we will not begin the season as scheduled.” However, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes soon corrected that statement to be “It appears likely, in our opinion, the Northwest League season will not begin as scheduled.” While the second one probably follows the team’s PR standards, that first one sure does seem a whole lot more accurate.

Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version that mistakenly identified the comments being from the Boise Hawks when they were really from the Salem-Keizer organization. Purple Row apologizes for the error.

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