The Coors Effect

June 7, 2010 11:51 PM

Supplemental round pick: RHP Peter Tago, Dana Hills (CA) HS

The Rockies, picking with the 47th overall pick in the supplemental round, selected right-handed pitcher Peter Tago of Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California.

All reports say that Tago is a kid who can really bring it.  His fastball already sits around 93, and most scouts expect that he can get that up around 95 with a little refinement.  As a high school senior (recognizing that these stats may not be complete), Tago went 10-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 86 innings of work, striking out 97 and walking 21.  He gave up three homers, hit 15 batters, and uncorked six wild pitches.

Those numbers suggest that my gut instinct about Tago is correct: he's a guy with a big fastball but also quite a touch of wildness.  His secondary pitches, at this point, are unrefined.  There's a chance that Tago could develop into a big-league starter, but his current profile suggests that he's more likely to wind up as a reliever.  That's not a bad thing, as there are worse outcomes for a pitcher.  But like the Parker selection, this comes with quite a bit of risk.  Tago seems to me the classic example of a high-risk, high-reward high school pitcher.  The arm is there for him to become a top-flight starting pitcher, but Tago needs a lot of work to reach that ceiling.

And, as is the case with many high school players, signability is an issue with Tago.  Tago is committed to Cal State Fullerton, and he's probably going to command above-slot money to buy him away from his commitment.  All in all, though, I like this pick and I like the general philosophy the Rockies have shown with their first two selections.  We've seen in recent years that the draft tends to punish teams that pick conservatively (worrying about signability and bonus money, selecting less-talented players who are willing to sign for slot money) and reward teams that pick aggressively.  Now, picking conservatively can be a solid philosophy in the first half of the first round.  The trouble is that most of the players who are willing to sign for slot money and have legitimate major league talent are gone after that, so picking conservatively means you're probably not going to get the talent into your farm system.  The Rockies are showing (as they did last year with Tyler Matzek) that they are willing to pick talented players, signability be damned.  And I like that.  It's a refreshing departure from the previous philosophy that saw the Rockies go with signable, supposedly safe picks that wound up blowing up in their face.

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