The Coors Effect

August 9, 2010 10:28 PM

Early returns on the 2010 draft

Well, the signing deadline is in less than a week, and the Rockies' first two picks -- Kyle Parker and Peter Tago -- still haven't signed.  I second-guessed the Parker pick back in June, and if he doesn't sign that really hurts the Rockies' draft class.  Signing both Parker and Tago would make the 2010 draft much better.

On to the players who have signed...

Chad Bettis: 4-0, 1.19 ERA, 27/8 K/BB in 37.2 IP.  I'd like to see more strikeouts from the 2nd-round pick, but it's hard to complain about this debut.  Bettis is assumed to be a reliever in the long-term, but I like how the Rockies are handling him as opposed to how they've handled Brothers, seeing if Bettis can succeed as a starter before deciding that he's a reliever.

Josh Rutledge: .128/.227/.128, 4 BB, 10 K in 39 AB.  It's a small sample size, of course, but the early returns on Rutledge aren't promising.  Rutledge's glove is what will carry him if he's going to make the majors, but he's going to have to hit a lot better than this.

Russell Wilson: .230/.336/.377, 16 BB, 36 K in 122 AB; 2 HR, 4/10 SB.  Needs a LOT of work.  Now back at NC State, where he'll be the Wolfpack quarterback this season.  I thought this pick was pretty questionable at the time, and while Wilson has the tools, there's no reason to think Wilson wouldn't have been available in a later round.

Josh Slaats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 11/1 K/BB in 7.1 IP.  So far, so good, albeit in a small sample.  Slaats hasn't even allowed a hit since signing.

Jared Simon: .236/.310/.312, 10 BB, 44 K in 157 AB; 1 HR, 5/6 SB.  Tri-City mutes offensive numbers, but striking out a quarter of the time is not a good sign any way you look at it.  It's still early, of course, but Simon will need to do better than this.

Kraig Sitton: 0-0, 3.29 ERA, 13/5 K/BB in 13.2 IP.  Lefties are hitting .294 against this lefty reliever, which isn't a really good sign, but then it's very early to jump to any conclusions, and otherwise the early returns are good.

Corey Dickerson: .325/.388/.571, 16 BB, 28 K in 154 AB; 7 HR, 5/7 SB.  Hard to complain about this, though to be fair a 21-year-old should be tearing up the Pioneer League if he's any good.  Waiting to see what Dickerson can do at higher levels.

Brett Tanos: .295/.371/.409, 16 BB, 35 K in 149 AB; 1 HR, 1/5 SB.  The strikeouts are a problem, and his raw numbers probably wouldn't look so great in Tri-City as they do in Casper.

Matt Crocker: 2-0, 3.55 ERA, 8/5 K/BB in 12.2 IP.  Crocker was injured for part of the college season, and it's probably better to hold off judgment until we know he's fully healthy.

Josh Mueller: 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 18/3 K/BB in 28 IP.  Mueller could turn out to be a decent sleeper.  Notably, he's pitched a bit better as a reliever than as a starter (1.69 ERA vs. 2.60 ERA.)

Taylor Reid: 0-1, 3.24 ERA, 8/5 K/BB in 8.1 IP.  A small sample size at Casper; Reid has been very hittable, but then everybody's hittable in the Pioneer League.

Jayson Langfels: .177/.226/.367, 5 BB, 32 K in 79 AB.  Disappointing; the strikeouts are eating him up.

Ryan Casteel: .294/.326/.318, 4 BB, 20 K in 85 AB.  Not showing any power thus far, and his plate discipline doesn't look good, but he's still only 19.

Juan Perez: 0-0, 1.72 ERA, 6 SV, 13/5 K/BB in 15.2 IP.  A solid debut; could be a sleeper, but we'll wait and see what he does at higher levels.

Blake McDade: .305/.359/.374, 11 BB, 16 K in 131 AB.  Solid plate discipline, but not showing any power, and a 23-year-old should be doing better than this in rookie ball.

Mark Tracy: .237/.296/.321, 7 BB, 38 K in 131 AB; 2 HR, 2/3 SB.  Home/road splits are enormous (.511 OPS at home vs. .711 on the road.)

Bruce Kern: 0-3, 5.55 ERA, 21/5 K/BB in 24.1 IP.  Solid peripherals; too hittable, though that could have something to do with the Pioneer League or poor defense.  Will wait and see with him.

Christian Bergman: 1-4, 5.24 ERA, 19/8 K/BB in 34.1 IP.  Nothing really special here.

Kenny Roberts: 2-1, 2.79 ERA, 11/4 K/BB in 19.1 IP.  Has a nice groundball rate, but a 22-year-old should be getting more strikeouts than this in the Pioneer League.

Blake Keitzman: 2-1, 2.53 ERA, 20/8 K/BB in 21.1 IP.  Solid debut, but want to see more.

Jordan Ballard: .242/.271/.303, 3 BB, 14 K in 66 AB; 1 HR.  About what you'd expect from a 33rd-round pick.

Out of the current signees, I really like Bettis, Slaats, and Dickerson.  Mueller and Perez look so far like they could be late-round sleepers, though it's still way too early to draw any conclusions.  Rutledge, Wilson, and Simon (and, to a lesser extent, Tanos) have all been a bit disappointing, but all four have the tools to make it.

Now, the Rockies' draft, again, will be improved a lot if Parker and/or Tago signs.  Parker could be the impact hitter the Rockies' system is currently missing, while Tago is a young fireballer who could develop into something good.  It's also worth noting that the Rockies could pick up a late-round flyer or two; most high school players drafted in the late rounds don't sign, but generally the Rockies have picked up a couple in the last few drafts (such as Dexter Fowler in '04.)

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