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The Rockies 2017 draft class in retrospect

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, January 16, 2022

In previous weeks, we’ve summarized the Rockies 2015 and 2016 drafts by highlighting a few players taken each year and organizing them by their success or lack thereof. For the 2017 draft, we’ll take a look at the class on aggregate. This draft was fewer than five years ago, and the last two seasons of development have been at least partially canceled plus wholly affected by the pandemic, causing players’ development to move slower than it potentially has in the past.

This draft, the third under the tenure of Jeff Bridich, was similarly pitching focused. The Rockies took 20 pitchers with their picks. The Rockies forfeited their first round pick (which would have been #11 overall) in 2017 due to the Ian Desmond signing. Including the Competitive Balance Round B pick, the Rockies drafted 40 players in 2017. Of those 40, 35 signed. And of those 35, 14 are still with the organization (seven position players, eight pitchers). Here’s the full list:

Colorado Rockies 2017 Draft

Rd Pick Player Pos. School Age Last MLB Org 2021 Highest Level Notes
Rd Pick Player Pos. School Age Last MLB Org 2021 Highest Level Notes
2 48 Ryan Vilade 3B Stillwater (OK) HS 22 COL MLB
2b 70 Tommy Doyle RHP U. of Virginia 25 COL AA
3 86 Will Gaddis RHP Furman University 25 COL AA
4 116 Pearson McMahan RHP St. Johns River State College 25 WSN AAA Current FA
5 146 Nick Kennedy LHP Texas 25 COL AA
6 176 Chad Spanberger 1B Arkansas 26 MIL AAA Retired
7 206 Lucas Gilbreath LHP Minnesota 25 COL MLB
8 236 Bret Boswell 2B Texas 27 COL (2019) AA (2019) DFA'd 2021
9 266 Sean Bouchard 1B UCLA 25 COL AA
10 296 Austin Bernard C Pepperdine 25 COL A+
11 326 Hunter Williams LHP (No School) 25 COL (2019) A+ (2019) Released 2019
12 356 Matt McLaughlin SS Kansas 25 COL AA
13 386 Shameko Smith RHP Polk State College 24 COL (2018) Rk (2018) Released 2018
14 416 Nic Motley C McLennan CC 25 COL (2019) A- (2019) Retired in 2019
15 446 Colton Hathcock RHP Memphis 26 COL (2019) A- (2019) Retired in 2019
16 476 Alan Trejo SS San Diego State 25 COL MLB
17 506 Jeff Bohling 3B Gonzaga 27 COL (2018) A- (2018) Released 2019
18 536 Garrett Schilling RHP Xavier 26 COL AA
19 566 Joey Bartosic CF George Washington U 27 COL (2018) Rk (2018) Retired 2019
20 596 Casey Golden RF UNC Wilmington 27 COL AA
21 626 Nate Harris RHP Louisiana Tech 27 COL AA
22 656 Daneil Jipping OF Central Michigan 25 COL (2019) A- (2019) Released 2019
23 686 Danny Edgeworth 3B Mercer U 26 COL AAA
24 716 Jesse Lepore RHP Miami 25 - IND (2019)
25 746 Derrik Watson RHP Murray State 27 COL A+ Retired 2021
26 776 Aubrey Mccarty RF Florida A&M 26 COL (2018) A- (2018) Released 2018
27 806 Brandon Lambright RHP Abilene Christian U 27 COL (2017) Rk (2017) Released 2020
28 836 Brett Stephens LF UCLA 26 COL (2018) Rk (2018) Retired 2018
29 866 Todd Czinege 2B Villanova U 27 COL AA Released 2019
30 896 Jeff Moberg 2B U Tennessee 27 COL (2018) A+ Relased 2019
31 926 Reagan Biechler LHP Wichita St 27 COL (2018) Rk (2018) Released 2019
32 956 Moises Ceja RHP UCLA 26 COL A+
33 986 Alec Byrd LHP FSU 26 - IND (2019) Released 2019
34 1016 Hayden Roberts RHP U Southern Mississippi 26 COL (2019) A+ (2019) Released 2019
35 1046 James Notary RHP Broomfield HS Unsigned
36 1076 Michael Agis RHP FIU 27 - IND (2021) Released 2019
37 1106 Tyler Hardman 3B Temescal Canyon HS Unsigned
38 1136 Drake Davis RHP Ralston Valley HS Unsigned
39 1166 Colin Hall CF Wesleyan HS Unsigned
40 1196 J.T. Stanley C Centennial HS Unsigned

Three players from this class have played in the Rockies uniform thus far: Vilade, Gilbreath, and Trejo.

Ryan Vilade (Round 2, 48th overall)

No. 10 in the most recent PuRPs list, Vilade was a high school shortstop with a solid arm, but projected more as a power-hitting corner infielder. He had never played above Single-A going into 2021, but didn’t let that stop him from proving his prospect pedigree. In 2021, the Rockies finished their conversion of Vilade to an outfielder, he played in the Futures Game, and spent most of his time at AAA before making his major league debut in September. He wrapped up his season by spending time in the AFL. Currently just 22 years old, he’ll look to become a big league mainstay in 2022.

Lucas Gilbreath (Round 7, 206th overall)

Similar to Vilade, Gilbreath entered Spring Training 2021 having never pitched above the Single-A level. His strong spring was a welcome sign for the thin Rockies pitching corps, and he made his major league debut in May. After an up and down May, he found his groove - his ERA from June 8th until the end of the season was just 2.10, making him one of the more consistent and reliable pieces in the Rockies bullpen. The Legacy High School (Broomfield) and University of Minnesota product looks poised to build on his success in 2022, and will hopefully continue to be a bright spot for the Rockies on the defensive side of the ball.

Alan Trejo (Round 16, 476th overall)

Like Vilade and Gilbreath, Trejo has excelled through the minors since being drafted. The 25-year old started 2021 with AAA Albuquerque, and later made his major league debut with the Rockies. He was up and down all year, mostly due to injuries to the Rockies infield, but hit well when he was able to spend extended time at AAA - he finished the year with 17 home runs and an .893 OPS. It’s unclear how the organization views Trejo going forward. As a 16th round pick, any big league value that’s provided is a surplus, but opinions are surely mixed on whether Trejo is the one to inherit the six hole from Trevor Story.

Again, drawing conclusions from any draft this recent remains difficult. The pandemic not only hindered players’ development, but also caused many players to leave the game altogether. Gilbreath has already established himself as a contributor for the Rockies. If either Vilade, Trejo, or both can also establish themselves this coming year, the 2017 draft will be well on it’s way to being considered a success.

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Grading the Week: Colorado Rockies have the answer to their recent woes - more Monfort | The Denver Post ($)

In the grade book of the Post’s Matt Schubert, the Rockies last week earned them a passing grade. Barely. This is the most recent take on the Monfort hire, with the same quotes from Bill Schmidt on Sterling’s work ethic and qualifications. Along with the eight years Sterling has already put in with the organization, he was also drafted by the Rockies in 2009 MLB draft. Many times we’ve seen the Rockies circle back to players or coaches who’ve been with the organization before - Clint Hurdle being a recent example. Seems like Sterling Monfort is also on that list.

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