Our series of looking back on the Colorado Rockies and their past draft classes to see how they ended up. Thus far, we have examined the 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 drafts. Overall, the Rockies missed out on some Hall of Famers/future Hall of Famers but in 1995, they did draft Todd Helton, who was arguably the best player in Rockies history, regardless of how the player came to the Rockies.
In 1996, the Colorado Rockies were coming off of a playoff season, despite it only being their third season in franchise history. The 1995 Rockies, led by the Blake Street Bombers, made it to the playoffs as the NL Wild Card team (in the first season of the Wild Card since the 1994 playoffs were canceled).
In 1995, they drafted the aforementioned Todd Helton but in 1996, the Rockies had a lower draft pick due to their successful 1995 season.
So the Rockies did not have access to the top players of the class, quite frankly, it was a class that was, largely, full of duds. The Rockies had the 21st pick of the draft so let’s check out the 20 picks before the Rockies.
- Kris Benson, RHP, Pirates
- Travis Lee, 1B, Twins (didn’t sign)
- Braden Looper, RHP, Cardinals
- Billy Koch, RHP, Blue Jays
- John Patterson, RHP, Expos (didn’t sign)
- Seth Greisinger, RHP, Tigers
- Matt White, RHP, Giants (didn’t sign)
- Chad Green, OF, Brewers
- Mark Kotsay, OF, Marlins
- Eric Chávez, 3B, Oakland
- Adam Eaton, RHP, Phillies
- Bobby Seay, LHP, White Sox (didn’t sign)
- Rob Stratton, OF, Mets
- Dee Brown, OF, Royals
- Matt Halloran, SS, Padres
- Joe Lawrence, SS, Blue Jays (pick from Orioles for the free agent loss of Roberto Alomar)
- Todd Noel, RHP, Cubs
- R.A. Dickey, RHP, Rangers
- Mark Johnson, RHP, Astros
- Eric Milton, LHP, Yankees (pick from the Angels for the free agent loss of Randy Velarde)
Of those 20 picks, only Dickey and Milton were All-Stars and only Kris Benson, Milton, Mark Kotsay, Dickey, and Eric Chávez had a career rWAR above 10.
Dickey had to reinvent himself as a knuckleball pitcher, though, but he ended up being an All-Star (for the only time) and won the NL Cy Young Award in 2012.
But the Colorado Rockies pick was also above that threshold too … but he never played with them in the majors.