2011 Colorado Rockies Draft Picks
Tyler Anderson- LHP- Oregon (20th Overall)
6’4” and 215 lbs – 21 Years Old
Anderson, a Las Vegas native, finished his junior year with a school career-record 285 strikeouts, and his 114 strikeouts this past season also are a school record. He went 8-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 2011 and is tied for third all-time with 17 career wins. Anderson also pitched impressively for Team USA. Anderson has a fastball between 90 and 92 mph and a solid group of four pitches and has been compared to Jeff Francis, a lefty the Rockies selected ninth overall in 2002. The Twins originally selected Anderson in the 50th round in 2008 and he became the first Oregon player taken in the first round since the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Dave Roberts in 1972. Anderson was rated the 24th best prospect by Baseball America.
Trevor Story – SS – HS(TX) (45th Overall)
6’1” and 177 lbs – 18 Years Old
Rated the 40th best prospect by Baseball America, Story has signed his letter of intent to play at Louisiana State, but is expected to sign with the Rockies. The prep star has experts such as MLBTV’s Jonathan Mayo fawning over his defensive abilities. While high school pitching isn’t quite the same level as professional pitching, Story hit .484 with 10 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 29 RBIs during the high school season. “It’s the best moment of my life so far right now,” Story said
Carl Thomore – OF – HS(NJ) (77th Overall)
6’2” and 212 lbs – 18 Years Old
Rated the 68th best prospect by Baseball America, Thomore has some power and projects as a right fielder at the next level. An advanced approach helps his cause. Thomore is a good athlete with a strong arm, though he’s not good enough for center and profiles best in right. His bat projects to be plenty good for the position though. He withdrew his commitment to Rutgers and plans on signing.
Peter O’Brien – C – Bethune-Cookman (107th Overall)
6’5” and 225 lbs – 20 Years Old
Though of as a first or second round pick, the Rockies may have drafted a solid value pick with their third round selection. He was seen as possibly the first catcher off of the board on draft day and had a solid summer with Team USA last year. Big power guy with a long swing. Has the potential to be an everyday Major League catcher with middle of the order power and solid arm strength. Batted .304 in 61 starts for B-C this season while also hitting 14 homeruns and driving in 69 runs.
Dillon Thomas – OF – HS(TX) (138th Overall)
6’1” and 195 lbs – 18 Years Old
Committed to Texas A&M University, Thomas batted .464 with 8 homeruns and 35 runs batted in in 33 games in his senior season for Westbury Christian High School in Texas.
Taylor Featherston – SS – TCU (168th Overall)
6’1” and 185 lbs – 21 Years Old
Featherston never batted less than .322 in his three seasons with the Horned Frogs and had a tremendous junior year, batting .335 in 62 games. He hit three homeruns and drove in 42 while earning an on base percentage of .410. In 2010 he was named to the 1st-Team All-Mountain West Conference team at shortstop and also made the 2010 College World Series All-Tournament team.
Chris Jensen- RHP – University of San Diego (198th Overall)
6’4” and 200 lbs – 20 Years Old
Jensen, a Gilbert, Arizona native, went 3-7 with a 3.95 earned run average in 12 starts and 18 appearances for the Toreros in 2011.
Harold Riggins – 1B – North Carolina State (228th Overall)
6’3” and 234 lbs – 21 Years Old
Riggins batted .314 with 4 homeruns and 35 runs batted in for the Wolfpack in 2011. He was also named the 2010 ACC Tournament MVP after batting .562 in the team’s four games.
Roberto Padilla – LHP – San Jose State (258th Overall)
6’3” and 200 lbs – 20 Years Old
Padilla, who played just one season at San Jose State after transferring from junior college, had a pitching staff best 3.19 earned run average while going 9-6 on the season in 14 starts and 16 appearances. He also threw a staff high 98.2 innings.
Thomas “Ross” Stripling – RHP – Texas A&M (288th Overall)
6’3” and 190 lbs – 21 Years Old
Thomas, who goes by “Ross”, Stripling was a weekend rotation pitcher for the Aggies, a spot reserved for the best starters on the team’s staff, the last two seasons for Texas A&M. This season Stripling put up some very impressive numbers. He went 13-2 with a 2.30 earned run average in 14 starts and 21 appearances. He pitched a staff high 109.2 innings while allowing just 77 hits and 16 walks.
Benjamin Hughes – RHP – St. Olaf College (318th Overall)
6’5” and 215 lbs – 21 Years Old
Hughes was named the MIAC’s Pitcher of the Year, becoming the ninth player to earn league MVP honors since 1999. Was 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA and struck out 83 against 19 walks in 57.2 innings. Went 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA in MIAC play and had three complete games, two shutouts and at least 10 strikeouts in five of his 10 appearances. Hughes also led the team in wins (7), innings (57.2), and strikeouts (83) while holding left-hand hitters to a .185 average (10-for-54).
Alex Gillingham – RHP – Loyola Marymount University (348th Overall)
6’3” and 200 lbs – 21 Years Old
Gillingham was the ace of the LMU staff, leading the team in most major pitching categories. The righty had a 2.49 earned run average while going 8-4 on the season. He started 14 games and had four complete games and tallied 112 total innings pitched. He also had a superb strikeout-to-walk ratio at 78-24.
13. David Schuknecht – Catcher – HS(CA) (378th Overall)
6’2” and 195 lbs – 17 Years Old
Schuknecht led his team in hitting, batting an impressive .411 in 31 games for Palm Desert High School. He also hit three homeruns and drove home 25 runs while earning an on base percentage of .504.
Kyle Roliard – LHP/OF – Louisiana Tech (408th Overall)
6’5” and 190 lbs – 21 Years Old
The multi-tooled Roliard did it all for Louisiana Tech last season. As an outfielder and starting pitcher, Roliard offers the Rockies options with his pick. As the leadoff hitter and outfielder, Roliard batted .330 in 58 games and had an on base percentage of .394. On the mound he started four games while appearing in 13. Roliard had an earned run average of 5.35 with a record of 1-3.
Brian Humphries – OF – Pepperdine University (438th Overall)
6’3” and 195 lbs – 21 Years Old
Humphries started 51 games for Pepperdine, batting .288 and driving home 28 runs. He stole 11 bases in 12 attempts and hit three homeruns. He’s had an eleven game hitting streak and has had four hits in a game three times in his collegiate career.
Timothy Smalling – SS – Virginia Tech (468th Overall)
6’3” and 207 lbs – 23 Years Old
Smalling, who was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player draft, has done well for the Hokies the last two seasons after transferring from Arkansas. His average over those two seasons is .331 with 16 homeruns and 79 runs batted in.
Preston Tucker – 1B- Florida University (498th Overall)
6’0” and 217 lbs – 20 Years Old
Playing for one of the top teams in the nation, Tucker was one of eight Gators who had started a game that had a batting average over .300, with a .319 average. His major contribution to the team was with his power, where he hammered 13 homeruns, 20 doubles and drove in 65 runs batted in during the team’s 64 games he started. Also, playing both first base and outfield, Tucker committed just one error and had a .994 fielding percentage.
William Rankin – RHP- Southern Polytechnic State (528th Overall)
6’0” and 192 lbs – 22 Years Old
Rankin, playing for a smaller NAIA school, dominated for SPSU in Marietta, Georgia. In 14 games Rankin had a 1.94 earned run average with a 9-2 record over 83.2 innings.
Benjamin Alsup – RHP – Louisiana State University (558th Overall)
6’3” and ___ lbs – 22 Years Old
Alsup was a regular member of the LSU starting rotation and was 6-5 on the year. In 12 starts and 65.2 innings pitched he had a 4.66 earned run average and had a .278 batting average against him during the 2011 season.
Jesse Meaux – RHP – UC-Santa Barbara (588th Overall)
6’4” and 210 lbs – 21 Years Old
Meaux was third on the Gauchos staff in starts with 10 in 2011, going 3-5 with a 3.70 earned run average. In his 65.2 innings pitched Meaux allowed 72 hits, walked 14 and struck out 34.
Daniel Winkler – RHP – Central Florida (618th Overall)
6’1” and 190 lbs – 21 Years Old
In 2011 Winkler tied for the team-high with 14 starts and made 18 appearances overall, going 3-4 with a 4.70 earned run average. He struck out 92 batters in 82.1 innings on the mound to average 10.06 strikeouts per nine innings and only walked 24 to have a 3.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Jordan Ribera – 1B – Fresno State(648th Overall)
5’11” and 230 lbs – 22 Years Old
Ribera is a powerful bat at first base and in 2010 lead the nation in homeruns with 27. He also hit .343 with team-high 20 doubles and 69 runs batted in and was named WAC Player of the Year, first-team All-WAC and earned All-American honors from four publications. But, in 2011 with the new bat rule in college baseball, Ribera struggled. In his 56 games Ribera batted just .240 with eight homeruns and 45 runs batted in.
Logan Mohan – LHP – SE Missouri State(678th Overall)
6’2” and 195 lbs – 22 Years Old
Mohan, in 21 appearances, had a 2.54 earned run average and 5-4 record while recording eight saves. Opponents batted .208 against the lefty and he struck out 53 batters in his 46 innings pitched.
Brook Hart – LHP – Yale University (708th Overall)
6’5” and 220 lbs – 22 Years Old
The two sport star for the Yale Bulldogs (he’s also the team quarterback) started nine games and appeared in 11 in 2011. In those games he went 4-5 with four complete games and had an impressive 2.23 earned run average. He also struck out 47 players in his 64.2 innings pitched while walking just 13.
Connor McKay – OF – Regis Jesuit HS(CO)(738th Overall)
6’4” and 195 lbs – 18 Years Old
Selected as preseason All-American
Patrick Johnson – RHP – University of North Carolina (768th Overall)
6’1” and 180 lbs – 22 Years Old
Johnson, as the ace of the Tar Heels staff, started 15 games and going 12-1 with a 2.36 earned run average. He lead the team in starts (15), wins (12), innings pitched (99.1) and strikeouts (113). He also allowed just 29 walks, giving him an astounding 3.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Michael Wolford – RHP – UC-Riverside (798th Overall)
6’3” and 200 lbs – 22 Years Old
Wolford led the Highlanders in appearances as the main reliever on the staff. In his 22 appearances Wolford was 2-0 with a 2.35 earned run average and two saves in 30.2 innings of work. He also struck out 26 while walking just five batters all season.
Matt Argyropoulos – 3B – Washington State University (828th Overall)
6’2” and 193 lbs – 22 Years Old
The Cougar’s third baseman batted .283 in 48 starts in 2011 while hitting 5 homeruns and driving in 28. He played at Gesa Stadium for the Cougs as a part of the Cougar Diamond Classic against the University of Washington in late May of 2011.
Joshua Correa – OF – Eliosa Pascal HS (858th Overall)
6’2” and 180 lbs – 18 Years Old
Matthew Dermody – LHP – Iowa University (888th Overall)
6’5” and 190 lbs – 20 Years Old
Dermody started all 14 games he appeared and finished with a record of 4-6 while registering a 4.15 earned run average and allowing 39 earned runs in 84.2 innings pitched. He also recorded 75 strikeouts, which ties for tenth-most in a season in Iowa history and the led the conference.
John Curtiss – RHP – Carroll HS (TX) (918th Overall)
6’4” and 200 lbs – 18 Years Old
Unlike the NFL, NHL, NBA and even MLS drafts, the MLB draft is one of those things that do not get much coverage and few people understand. To help those of you without much knowledge of how the MLB First-Year Player draft works, here’s three things to help clarify how it works.
1. There are 50 rounds that span three days.
No other professional league in the United States has as many rounds in their draft, or as many roster spots to fill. Having 50 rounds may seem ridiculous, especially when the active roster of the Major League team only has 25 spots, but filling up a farm system takes a lot of players. For example, the Colorado Rockies organization has seven different teams to fill with their young players, from the Rookie League Casper Ghosts to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Another reason to have so many picks is the fact that so few prospects actually make it to the Major Leagues. While every league has busts, it is hard to find a draft that is harder to predict, in terms of “can’t miss” guys, than the MLB draft.
2. Nobody really knows what is going to happen
With other drafts such as the NFL and NBA, knowing approximately where the top 10-15 guys will go is a fairly solid science. Thousands of players are available to MLB teams, from college players and junior-college players to high-school seniors who have just graduated; therefore who exactly teams like and are looking at is often a guessing game. At any point in time, even up to the week before the draft, you can search for five different mock drafts and get five completely different rounds. Each team has their own wants and needs as well as their own philosophies on how to develop players. These factors, which can change quickly, all make predicting how the draft will turn out pretty difficult.
3. It takes time, sometimes a long time, to go from draft day to the Major Leagues.
The players drafted, despite many being college players, don’t go straight to their Major League team and often take years to get there. Even first-round picks are almost always put into the lower ranks of the team’s farm system and work their way up from there. Developing the fine-tuned skills to become a Major League baseball player takes a lot of work and the right coaching to get the most out of any particular player.
There are the basics of the MLB First-Year Player draft. Although it is one of the more confusing and less-followed professional sports drafts, its uniqueness and level of uncertainty make it one of sports more fascinating events. You can catch coverage of the first round 2011 MLB First Player Draft today (June 6th) at 4 p.m. PT on MLB.com and MLB Network. Rounds 2-30 will be on Tuesday June 7th at 9 a.m. PT and rounds 31-50 will be on Wednesday June 8th at 9 a.m. PT. You can also follow all the Rockies’ draft picks and see who could be coming to play in the Tri-Cities by following the team Facebook and twitter accounts.
With less than a week until the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the mock draft blogs are hot with their predictions on who they think will go where and when. With much of the Dust Devils’ roster filled with draftees taken during the three day, 50-round adventure, who the Rockies decide to take will largely decide what type of team the 2011 Dust Devils end up being. Here’s a brief look at a few of the projected first-round (20th overall) picks of the Colorado Rockies.
Levi Michael – SS: Michael, a shortstop playing at the University of North Carolina, jumped into the first-round pick debate after a very impressive sophomore season in 2010. He has then followed it up in 2011 well by batting .313 in 57 starts. He also drew 46 walks compared to striking out just 37 times while leading the team in on-base percentage at .459. Reports are saying that if the Rockies’ take Michael, it will be to groom him as a second baseman and potential future partner for franchise shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Matt Barnes – RHP: A righty from the University of Connecticut, Barnes has put together a spectacular 2011 campaign. Going 11-3 in 15 starts, Barnes threw three complete games and recorded a microscopic 1.12 earned run average. The 6-foot-4-inch starter threw for over 100 innings last season, striking out 105 while walking 28. You can never have enough good pitching and grabbing a guy like Barnes could give the team a solid future Major League starter.
Kolten Wong – 2B: Not related to former Dust Devil second baseman Joey Wong, Kolten hails from the University of Hawaii where he has torn apart the rest of the Western Athletic Conference pitching staffs. Wong batted .378, fourth highest in the WAC, in 57 starts this season. While only striking out 20 times on the year, Wong earned a .492 on-base percentage and stole 23 bases in 30 attempts. Similar to UNC shortstop Levi Michael, picking Wong in the first-round would likely signal the Rockies looking for a middle-infield partner to Tulowitzki for the future.
Alex Meyer – RHP: Standing tall at 6-foot-9-inches, Meyer is a big right hander with great velocity and an above-average breaking ball, according to various scouts. He was drafted with the 20th overall pick, the same pick the Rockies own this season, in the 2008 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox, but decided to go to Kentucky instead. Last season with the Wildcats Meyer went 7-5 with a 2.94 earned run average in 14 starts.
Since the Dust Devils have been the single-season short “A” affiliate of the Rockies, a handful of first-round picks have made their way to the Columbia Basin.
MLB veteran lefty starting pitcher Jeff Francis made an impressive stop in Tri-City in 2002, not allowing a run in his four appearances. Other, more recent, first-round picks to feature for the Dust Devils’ include pitchers Rex Brothers (2009) and Christian Friedrich (2008). Both have gone on to more success and are the seventh and third rated prospects in the Rockies’ organization, respectively, according to MLB.com. Lastly, former Dust Devil outfielder Tim Wheeler (2009), who was the 32nd pick of the ’09 draft, played his first professional season in the Tri-Cities. He is now playing for the Rockies’ “AA” affiliate in Tulsa, where he is second on the team in batting with a .337 batting average.
You can catch the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday June 6th at 4 p.m. PT on MLB.com, with rounds 2-30 on June 7th and rounds 31-50 on June 8th. You can also follow the Dust Devils’ website, facebook and twitter accounts for all the latest team related MLB Draft information.