ROCKIES

Rockies nearly hit the lottery, will settle for premium draft pick

Dec 5, 2023, 3:52 PM | Updated: 3:56 pm

The Colorado Rockies stayed where they should’ve been in MLB’s second-ever lottery for the league’s 2024 Draft, and will pick at number three as determined during the sport’s winter meetings in Nashville on Tuesday.

Despite having the third-worst record in 2023, the Rockies tied for the highest odds to win the first pick in 2024 with an 18.3% chance. The Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics, who had worse records, also had the same shot at landing the top pick. The top six picks are determined by the lottery then starting at seven it gets determined in reverse order of regular season record and postseason finish.

The Royals and A’s fell behind the Rockies. Cleveland moved up to No. 1 followed by Cincinnati. This year’s draft will take place in July.

Last season the Pirates won the first-ever lottery from the third spot. They went on to take former Air Force and LSU righty Paul Skenes. The Orioles took Matt Holiday’s son Jackson Holliday at the top spot in 2022.

No first-overall pick had been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame until 2016, when Ken Griffey Jr. got his nod with a record at the time of 99.3 percent of votes cast. Since then, The Kid has since been joined by two other top picks: Chipper Jones and Harold Baines.

MLB.com’s mock draft from Tuesday has this top five in order: JJ Wetherholt an infielder from West Virginia, Nick Kurtz a first baseman from Wake Forest, Travis Bazzana a second baseman from Oregon State, Chase Burns a right-handed pitcher from Wake Forest and Jac Caglianone a two-way player from Florida.

The Rockies highest pick in franchise history was Greg Reynolds at No. 2 in 2006 out of Stanford. The righty threw 94 innings for the Rockies with a 7.47 ERA. All-Star Evan Longoria went a pick later and Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer went in the next several selections. Colorado has twice picked third, taking Jon Gray and Brendan Rodgers. And the Rockies have one other time had a top-five selection, drafting Riley Pint.

Before the 2023 MLB Draft, the order was done in reverse order of the previous year’s standings. Now with the new machinations, the Rockies could’ve selected anywhere between number one and nine.

The Rockies not only had the third-worst record in baseball last year but were No. 18 in MLB.com’s midseason farm system rankings. The top pick should very much help the Rockies into the future, though no prospect in baseball is a guarantee.

Only the first round of the draft is set by lottery, with rounds 2-20 in the reverse order of this past year’s standings. That means the Rockies picks in those rounds will all be at number three. Due to free agent compensation, and competitive balance selections, it’s unknown right now exactly how many and where the Colorado will pick later in the draft. We do know however that they got the third pick in the first round.

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