Colorado Rockies 2002 Draft: They miss out on Cole Hamels and Joey Votto

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on September 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on September 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Zack Greinke, Colorado Rockies, 2002 MLB Draft
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 22: Pitcher Zack Greinke #23 of the Kansas City Royals delivers against the Oakland Athletics during the game at Network Associates Coliseum on May 22, 2004 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Royals 4-3 in 11 innings. (Photo by Don Smith/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

We continue our series recalling the Colorado Rockies and the history of their draft picks and today, we discuss the 2002 Draft.

The Colorado Rockies were coming off a 73-89 season in which most of the team was mediocre. Other than Todd Helton and Larry Walker, the Rockies offense was not very good. Helton hit .336 with an OPS of 1.116 and Walker hit .350 with a 1.111 OPS, which was good enough for each of them to have an OPS+ of 160. But nobody else had an OPS above .846 or an OPS+ above league average (with at least 130 plate appearances).

The pitching staff wasn’t much better as they only had one pitcher with an rWAR that was above 2.0 and that was starter John Thomson … at 2.1. As we discussed in our 2001 Draft article, the Rockies had recently signed both Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton but in 2001, both of them had ERA’s around 5.40.

And that’s part of the reason why the Colorado Rockies continued to draft a lot of pitchers

As a result, per usual, the Colorado Rockies drafted a fair amount of pitchers. They drafted pitchers with 11 of their first 22 picks in 2002 and each of the first three on pitchers.

Ahead of their ninth overall pick in the 2002 Draft, there was a wide variety of great picks and awful picks.

  1. RHP Bryan Bullington, Pirates, -0.2 rWAR
  2. SS B.J. Upton, Devil Rays, 16.8 rWAR
  3. RHP Chris Gruler, Reds, never made it above Single-A
  4. LHP Adam Loewen, Orioles, -0.3 rWAR
  5. RHP Clint Everts, Expos, never got above Triple-A but spent 11 seasons in the minors
  6. RHP Zack Greinke, Royals, 73.1 rWAR
  7. 1B Prince Fielder, Brewers, 23.8 rWAR
  8. SS Scott Moore, Tigers, -0.8 rWAR

The Colorado Rockies were up next.

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