Ten years later, the 2009 draft can be seen as one that changed the face of the franchise for the Colorado Rockies.
Of course, you can quickly look at the second-round selection (59th overall) of Nolan Arenado by the Colorado Rockies as the crown jewel of that draft. But there were other moments of that draft one decade that continue to make a difference for the Rockies today.
Interestingly, none of the first-round picks of the Rockies that season (Tyler Matzek and Tim Wheeler) are still with the franchise and Matzek is attempting to work with his way back to the Majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wheeler, meanwhile, displayed so much promise with the Tulsa Drillers, hitting 33 homers (the most of any player in Double-A in 2011 and a record for Colorado hitters at the Double-A level). I watched Wheeler in person that season, covering the Drillers for the Tulsa World, and thought he would make an impact in Denver. However, he never made it any higher than Triple-A.
The first-round supplemental pick that year, Rex Brothers, was out of the Colorado organization in 2015. However, before he left, he earned 20 saves and pitched in 286 games over five seasons. He signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees this offseason after recording an ERA of infinity in one game last season with the Atlanta Braves.
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After the first round, however, that’s where things get very interesting when it comes to the Rockies. We know about Arenado and the impact he has made on the franchise. Twenty-two picks later, the Chicago Cubs took a guy by the name of David LeMahieu (according to MLB, at least) who would eventually be known as DJ LeMahieu and one of the best second basemen in Colorado history after being acquired from the Cubs.
The Rockies may not have drafted him, but they ended up reaping the benefits of LeMahieu’s All-Star hitting and Gold Glove fielding.
Back to Colorado’s 2009 selections, with the 90th overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Rockies took Ben Paulsen, who played in 186 games over three seasons. That includes 26 games in left field, where he made one of the top plays of the 2015 season.
But draft picks don’t have to make an impact just in the higher rounds. Right-hander Rob Scahill pitched in 41 games over his Colorado career from 2012-2014, posting a 4. 42 ERA.
Dustin Garneau (who caught in 88 games over three seasons with the Rockies) was picked in the 19th round with the 571st overall selection. But an even bigger pick happened in a later round … and was delayed a year from becoming a reality because of the low selection.
Colorado took outfielder Corey Dickerson (listed as McKenzie Dickerson) in the 29th round with the 871st overall pick. The Rockies and Dickerson wouldn’t come to an agreement after the 2009 draft but did get together after the 2010 draft when Colorado took him in the eighth round with the 260th overall pick.
And yes, there are plenty of players who were missed by the Rockies in that draft including Mike Trout (14 picks after Matzek), Dallas Keuchel, Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez and others. However, Arenado and LeMahieu’s impact on the Rockies has been felt with both of them being named among the top 25 players in Colorado history last season. And selecting Dickerson continues to pay dividends for the Rockies to this day.
The 2009 draft provided plenty of talent for the Rockies … talent that has helped Colorado fans enjoy some one of the greatest stretches in franchise history.