The Colorado Rockies had four draft picks among the first 50 overall picks in the 2022 Draft last night. Overall, some questioned their picks at first, most evaluators have determined that they did pretty well, especially when you dig into the players and their backgrounds.
2022 Colorado Rockies Draft overview
RHP Gabriel Hughes (#10 overall)
With their first pick (#10 overall), the Colorado Rockies surprised a lot of people by drafting college right-handed pitcher Gabriel Hughes. Most people thought he’d be a late first-rounder. However, he might be a perfect fit for the Rockies.
Hughes grew up in Idaho (graduated from high school just outside of Meridian, Idaho) and he went to college at Gonzaga, in Spokane, Wash. The altitude is roughly 2,600 feet in Meridian and 1,850 in Spokane so while it’s not 5,280 of Denver, Hughes does have some experience pitching at altitude and succeeding.
Hughes is listed at 6-4 and 220 pounds and his fastball has been clocked in the 94-97 mph area currently but that could go even higher. He also has a high-80s to low-90s slider and he has a good changeup too.
“The size, the athleticism, his age, the four-pitch mix — he’s just a well-rounded young man on and off the field,” Rockies senior director of scouting operations Marc Gustafson to the media, including Rox Pile, late Sunday night. “But most importantly, on the field, he is a strike-thrower with a mindset to attack hitters. And he took the ball every weekend, every Friday night. We know that the durability is there, and that pitch mix is certainly very exciting.”
They scouted him at USA Baseball, where he was managed by longtime Rockies coach/advisor Jerry Weinstein. Rockies GM Bill Schmidt said that they started scouting him there last summer so he’s “someone we’ve known for a while.”
Schmidt also said he thinks that the Rockies took the best player on the board when they were up. “We took the best guy on the board when it was our turn to pick,” Schmidt said.
Hughes also said that he is looking forward to pitching in the Rockies system, particularly in Spokane, whether that is this year or next.
“That would mean the world to me,” Hughes told the media, including Rox Pile. “That was one of the first couple of thoughts that I had was that I could be going back to Spokane this summer or next year.”