Rockies Lose Daniel Winkler In Rule 5 Draft

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The Colorado Rockies lost starting pitching prospect Daniel Winkler to the Atlanta Braves during the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, while adding pitcher Austin House…eventually.

As the Rockies’ pitching stuff crumbled during the 2014 season, we often found ourselves pointing to the pitching staff for the Tulsa Drillers as cause for hope.

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There were the blue chip guys, of course, as we longed for the days of Eddie Butler and Jon Gray. But not far behind them because of his stellar performance was Daniel Winkler. In terms of stuff and projections he was not a prospect on the level of Butler and Gray, but it certainly seemed like he had a future with the organization.

It came as a surprise, then, that the Rockies did not protect Winkler in advance of the Rule 5 draft, even considering the fact that his 2014 campaign was cut short by Tommy John surgery. Sure enough, the Braves, an organization with a far superior track record in terms of recognizing and developing pitching talent, selected Winkler.

The Rockies did also add a player, landing power reliever named Austin House. I could pretend I know something about House, but that would be a lie.

Bryan Kilpatrick of Purple Row provides the full breakdown of the Rule 5 draft as it unfolded for the Rockies:

"Colorado Rockies on Thursday selected Triple-A first baseman Mark Canha from the Miami Marlins in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The Rockies then traded Canha to the Oakland Athletics for right-handed pitcher Austin House and cash considerations.The Rockies also lost starting pitcher Daniel Winkler to the Atlanta Braves and infielder Taylor Featherston to the Chicago Cubs."

Kilpatrick has more details on all those players, so click over and check it out. For our purposes, we will focus on Winkler.

In 12 starts with Tulsa last season, Winkler went 5-2 with a 1.41 ERA. For a franchise that has been whiffing on draft picks and failing to develop young pitchers for some time now, Winkler’s success appeared to be a welcome surprise.

Perhaps the combination of his low ceiling and an elbow injury made it OK to part with him, and certainly Jeff Bridich should have his finger on the pulse of the current player development issues in the organization.

Maybe this is fine, and maybe it is even the right move, but it still came as quite the surprise because there was legit hype around Winkler last season.

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