1996 Draft: What if Jimmy Rollins was drafted by the Colorado Rockies?
With the 21st overall pick of the 1996 Draft, the Colorado Rockies drafted right-handed pitcher Jake Westbrook.
Westbrook was drafted out of high school in Georgia and he signed with the Rockies. He ended up having a successful MLB career as he pitched in parts of 13 seasons from 2000 through 2013.
He accumulated a 13.1 rWAR career and he was even an All-Star in 2004 when he went 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA in 33 games (30 starts) with a league-leading five complete games.
The only problem was that Westbrook never got above Single-A with the Rockies. After the 1997 season, Westbrook was traded along with two career minor leaguers to the Montreal Expos for Mike Lansing.
Lansing was, essentially, the replacement for Eric Young, Sr. at second base for the Rockies and he was a (somewhat) local product as Lansing is from Casper, Wyoming. Later, Casper got a minor league team in 2001 and they became the Rockies Short-Season A affiliate until they relocated to Grand Junction, Colorado after the 2011 season. The stadium that they played at was Mike Lansing Field.
Westbrook was later traded from Montreal to the Yankees for Hideki Irabu and the Yankees traded him to Cleveland less than six months later for David Justice. 10 years later, Cleveland traded him to St. Louis in a three-team deal that got them Corey Kluber. Kluber won two Cy Young Awards with Cleveland so they definitely like the series of events that started with the Rockies drafting Westbrook.
After Westbrook in the first round, the only other player with a career rWAR of 10.0 or higher was Gil Meche, who had a career rWAR of 16.8 and made one All-Star team in 10 MLB seasons.
However, if the Rockies would have gone for someone who eventually went for a high second round pick, perhaps, the Rockies would have kept him.