In this past decade, the Colorado Rockies have drafted nine pitchers in the first round of the MLB Draft. Seven of those pitchers are righties with Kyle Freeland and last year’s selection Ryan Rolison of Ole Miss being the exceptions. With the team being competitive in the later part of the decade, primarily on the backs of young home-grown pitching, there can never be enough arms in this organization. Don’t be surprised if the Rockies stick with their trend of the last decade, but there are big organizational needs including truly finding a home-grown and long-term solution in replacing Todd Helton at first base.
Let’s get the basics out of the way before we go to the experts with the mock drafts. The Colorado Rockies have the 23rd pick in the 2019 MLB Draft starting June 3. Say the draft were to be picked according to MLB’s 2019 top prospects, the Rockies would select RHP Daniel Espino. From ranks 18-24, five of those players are right-handed pitchers. Even if Espino doesn’t fall to the Rockies, the position where the club is drafting would give them plenty of options to select a righty. The other two players in that range are shortstops and Trevor Story and Brendan Rodgers have that more than covered for now and the foreseeable future. A new right-handed pitcher doesn’t seem like an extraordinary prediction. Even more reason to see what the experts think.
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Jim Callis (@JimCallisMLB) MLB.com
Callis of MLB.com summarizes this draft as a deep reserve of hitters that will lack standout arms. He goes further to predict that this draft would break the record of most position players taken in the first round. The Orioles have the first pick in the draft and the assumption is that they will pick Adley Rutschman, catcher out of Oregon State. He won the College World Series with the Beavers with his switch-hitting and glove behind the plate. Think of him as the best catching prospect since Buster Posey. Just be thankful Rutschman will be out of the NL West this time.
As for the Rockies, Callis predicts they will pick 1B/OF Michael Busch out of North Carolina. This would be a great pick for the Rockies and hopefully can dedicate him full-time to first base as the team consistently has splendid outfield depth. Ryan McMahon arguably has had the most home-grown success as a first baseman since the retirement of Helton but is currently playing more in a utility capacity. Maybe that changes when Daniel Murphy’s contract is up but this club needs to get in a better habit of developing a position more than they have this decade.
The problem here is that Callis is predicting that many bats will go early. Busch would almost certainly have to fall to the Rockies for this to happen. That happens if teams are just looking at his ability at the plate and not versatility in the field. The chances of that seem slim.