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Rockies hope to find star in second round

With its first pick at No. 48, Colorado intends to follow previous 1st-round strategies
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- The Rockies will spend the first day of the 2017 MLB Draft waiting. The signing of first baseman Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million cost them their first-round pick, 11th overall. Their first choice will be 48th overall -- 11 picks into the second round.

The club's first choice won't have the hoopla of the first round, but production can be found at 48.

DENVER -- The Rockies will spend the first day of the 2017 MLB Draft waiting. The signing of first baseman Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million cost them their first-round pick, 11th overall. Their first choice will be 48th overall -- 11 picks into the second round.

The club's first choice won't have the hoopla of the first round, but production can be found at 48.

Try Orioles Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. (1978). Is that production enough?

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

In the history of the Draft, only one player selected at No. 48 has worn purple pinstripes -- catcher Scott Servais, the Mariners' current manager, was selected by the Mets in 1985 (and didn't sign), and he played for the Rockies in 2000.

And it's not as if Colorado hasn't found stars in the second round. The club boasts third baseman Nolan Arenado (59th, 2009) and center fielder Charlie Blackmon (72nd, '08), both of whom are likely headed to the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard next month, and righty pitcher Chad Bettis (76th, '10).

The 2017 Draft will take place from Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 4 p.m MT on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 11 p.m. MT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on June 14, beginning at 10 a.m. MT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Rockies, whose first selection is the 48th overall pick.

In about 50 words
The Rockies most likely will go with the same philosophy as when they select in the upper first round -- take the best player on the board. Just a cursory look at the MLB.com Top 200 reveals players of all types in the general area where the Colorado will pick. There's Cullman (Ala.) High School lefty Jacom Heatherly (45th), Southmoore (Okla.) High outfielder Conner Uselton (46), DeKalb County (Tenn.) High righty Steven Jennings (47), Texas Christian University catcher Evan Skoug (48), University of South Carolina righty Clark Schmidt (49), Mississippi State first baseman Brent Rooker (50) and University of South Florida shortstop Kevin Merrill (51).

The scoop
Behind the scenes, expect the Rockies -- under longtime vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt -- to be just as active scouting top prospects as they were the past five years, when they had top 10 picks. One only has to look at the current rotation to see why. In 2014, they passed on right-hander Jeff Hoffman of East Carolina because he was coming off right elbow surgery, and they took lefty Kyle Freeland of Evansville. A year later, the Rockies insisted upon receiving Hoffman -- and were well-schooled about him on and off the field -- when they dealt shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, who picked Hoffman one selection after the Colorado nabbed Freeland.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

With no first-round pick, the Rockies have the third-lowest allotment for the top 10 rounds -- $4,615,700. The No. 48 pick is slotted at $1,425,400.

Trend watch
Not much in the way of patterns to second-round picks, but the Rockies have found significant contributors under Schmidt in the second round. In addition to Bettis, Arenado and Blackmon, there was outfielder Seth Smith (2004), who delivered significant at-bats as a starter and a pinch-hitter early in his career.

Rising fast
Left-handed-hitting infielder Ryan McMahon, a 2013 second-round pick (42nd overall) out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., is 22 and already at Triple-A Albuquerque. McMahon hit .326 with six home runs, 32 RBIs, 16 doubles and two triples at Double-A Hartford to earn the promotion. The 2015 top pick, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, is rated the organization's top prospect and is having a torrid offensive season at Class A Advanced Lancaster.

Video: Top Prospects: Ryan McMahon, 3B/1B, Rockies

Cinderella story
The current roster has a couple. Righty reliever Scott Oberg was a 15th-round choice in 2012. Infielder Pat Valaika, a ninth-rounder in '13, debuted late last season and ended up establishing himself as a key infield reserve this season.

In the show
From the Draft, Arenado, Blackmon and Story have emerged as regulars, lefty Tyler Anderson (first round, 2011), righty Jon Gray (first round, '13), Freeland and Hoffman highlight the rotation (Gray is currently on the disabled list), Oberg is in the bullpen, and Valaika is a utility infielder. Two expected rookie contributors are on the disabled list - outfielder David Dahl (first round, '14) with a stress reaction in a rib and catcher Tom Murphy (third round, '12) with hairline fractures in his right arm.

The Rockies' recent top picks
2016: Riley Pint, RHP, Class A Asheville
2015: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Class A Lancaster
2014: Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies 
2013: Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies
2012: David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies (disabled list)

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies