No position player from New Hampshire has ever made the Majors. Grant Lavigne hopes to change that.A first baseman out of Bedford High School in Bedford, N.H., Lavigne was the Rockies' second pick -- No. 42 overall -- on Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft. He was Colorado's top
No position player from New Hampshire has ever made the Majors. Grant Lavigne hopes to change that.
A first baseman out of Bedford High School in Bedford, N.H., Lavigne was the Rockies' second pick -- No. 42 overall -- on Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft. He was Colorado's top high school selection, with the next high school player coming in Round 33. With raw power at the plate, Lavigne has potential to make an impact for the Rockies once he goes through the developmental system.
"He's got strength, he's got balance, he's got bat speed, all the things we were looking for in a quality hitter," Rockies scout Mike Garlatti said, "and he knows the strike zone."
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Lavigne is hitting .639 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in his senior season for Bedford -- and the defending champion Bulldogs are headed back to the Division I state baseball championship after Lavigne's walk-off single in Wednesday's semifinal round.
"It's been a really crazy week, with the Draft, school and the game," Lavigne said. "I've really enjoyed it, though, and I'm looking forward to my future."
Lavigne, 18, doesn't graduate until June 16. After a late Monday night filled with congratulatory phone calls and texts, Lavigne woke up early -- he had to get an architectural design project done before school started.
"He was at school [Tuesday] morning, getting his work done," Garlatti said. "We love the work ethic. He's from a solid family. The total package is what we're looking at."
Two other players from New Hampshire have been drafted in the third and fourth rounds. In 1992, Jamie Keef, a third-rounder for the Pirates, played six seasons of affiliated Minor League ball. The Orioles took Ryan McKenna in the fourth round of the 2015 Draft; the center fielder is playing in the Carolina League now.
Lavigne caught Colorado's attention last summer, and the club has followed him ever since. He's been the New Hampshire Division I high school player of the year for the past two seasons and leads the state in average and home runs.
New Hampshire is not a hotbed for hitters, but Lavigne played in Area Code Games and the East Coast Pro Showcase, which was beneficial to put him on scouts' radars.
"It was great for me, just to prove to the scouts that I belong there and I can compete with anyone around the country," Lavigne said.
Developed as a defenseman in hockey, Lavigne brings toughness to his game as well. Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that Lavigne had a natural feel to hit and the ability to use the whole field, which is what Lavigne listed as one of his strengths, too. He says he models his game after Reds' first baseman Joey Votto.
"He just happened to grow up in New Hampshire," Schmidt said on a Monday night conference call with reporters. "We think he has a very good future."
** Anne Rogers ** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.