Colorado Rockies: A look back on Dan O’Dowd’s 1st round draft picks
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Obviously, with a tenure as long as O’Dowd’s was with the Colorado Rockies, you’re going to make some mistakes. Also, hindsight is always 20/20. Some of the most successful picks that O’Dowd had (and the Rockies, in general) had were not in the first round at all.
If you look at the top players in Rockies history (by WAR in a Rockies uniform), many of them were not drafted in the first round and/or not drafted by the Rockies.
- Todd Helton, 61.2 WAR, 8th overall pick in the 1995 draft by the Rockies
- Larry Walker, 48.3 WAR, international free agent signing in 1985 (because Canadians were not eligible for the MLB draft at the time)
- Troy Tulowitzki, 39.4 WAR, 7th overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Rockies (as we discussed earlier)
- Nolan Arenado, 29.1 WAR, 59th overall pick (2nd round) in the 2009 draft by the Rockies
- Carlos Gonzalez, 22.7 WAR, international free agent signing in 2002 by the Arizona Diamondbacks
- Matt Holliday, 18.5 WAR, 210th pick overall (7th round) in the 1998 draft by the Rockies
- Ubaldo Jimenez, 18.4 WAR, international free agent signing in 2002 by the Rockies
- Vinny Castilla, 17.5 WAR, contract purchased by the Atlanta Braves from the Mexican League in 1990
- Aaron Cook, 17.1 WAR, 70th overall pick (2nd round) in the 1997 draft by the Rockies
- DJ LeMahieu, 15.9 WAR, 79th overall pick (2nd round) in the 2009 draft by the Chicago Cubs
- Charlie Blackmon, 15.3 WAR, 72nd overall pick (2nd round) in the 2008 draft by the Rockies
- Jhoulys Chacin, 14.9 WAR, international free agent signing in 2004 by the Rockies
Next: A look back at some of the trades from the Dan O'Dowd era
As you can see, the first round is not the be all, end all of drafting. However, if you (or Dan O’Dowd himself) could go back in time to change some of those picks, the Rockies would look like a lot different team.