Pick 50 (Round 2): Ryan Cermak, OF, Illinois State
I wanted to find a pitcher for this spot but the hot zone for college pitching will be in the late first and in the compensation round, leaving quality position player talent as the best value.
The Illinois State star is a true 5-tool talent with plus speed to be an excellent center field defender, above-average power, a decent feel for hitting, and an explosive arm that gives Cermak elite defensive ability.
There will be some swing-and-miss in the two-time Missouri Valley defensive player of the year’s game but it didn’t stop him from hitting .340 this year and drawing a walk in 13% of his plate appearances.
While the Rockies are stocked up on bats, you can never have enough center field or shortstop defenders. Benny Montgomery and Brenton Doyle are the only notable center field prospects and both have present risk with their bats translating to Triple-A and MLB.
From this point on, it would be reasonable to expect the Rockies to load up on pitching talent as they usually do. Here are some intriguing, altitude friendly names to keep an eye on:
Jake Bennett, LHP, Oklahoma | 2022 stats: 97.2 IP, 3.69 ERA, 1.085 WHIP, 112 K
Orion Kerkering, RHP, South Florida | 2022 stats: 67.2 IP, 5.72 ERA, 1.389 WHIP, 91 K
Brycen Mautz, LHP, San Diego | 2022 stats: 90.2 IP, 3.87 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, 129 K
Luis Ramirez, RHP, Long Beach State | 2022 stats: 33.2 IP, 2.14 ERA, 1.069 WHIP, 38 K