The 1997 Draft: The Colorado Rockies draft a good starter but missed a great infielder
We continue our series looking at the Colorado Rockies and their successes and tribulations in the MLB Draft throughout their history.
So far, we have examined each draft from 1992 (the Rockies first draft) through 1996 and thus far, they have drafted, arguably, the best player in their history in Todd Helton. But they have had some significant missteps in their history, some due to a lack of development, some due to trade, and one even involved a very sad event.
But in 1997, the Colorado Rockies were in the middle ground. They didn’t repeat in making the playoffs in 1996 but they were above .500 with a record of 83-79. So they did not get a high draft pick. In fact, they had the 18th pick in the draft.
There were a few future All-Stars and/or a few future Rockies drafted in the first 17 picks before the Rockies selected. They included:
- #2 overall pick: OF J.D. Drew, Philadelphia (didn’t sign)
- #3: 3B/P Troy Glaus, Anaheim
- #4: RHP Jason Grilli, San Francisco (future All-Star and future Rockie)
- #5: OF Vernon Wells, Toronto
- #9: SS (yes, shortstop) Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota (future All-Star and future Rockie)
- #10: RHP Jon Garland, Cubs (future All-Star and future Rockie)
- #16: 1B Lance Berkman, Houston
As you may expect, though, the Colorado Rockies decided to draft a pitcher with their first pick and they picked nine pitchers with their first 15 picks.
However, only two of the nine made it to the major leagues and only one of them pitched in the majors for the Rockies. He ended up panning out but he wasn’t their first round draft pick.