Rockies load up on arms in Day 2 of Draft
DENVER -- After going with four high school players the first night of the 2015 Draft, the Rockies began Day 2 on Tuesday with yet another high schooler before making their first foray into the collegiate ranks.
The club picked Lake Mary (Fla.) shortstop Brendan Rodgers third overall, Stroudsburg (Pa.) right-hander Mike Nikorak 27th overall and Poway (Calif.) third baseman Tyler Nevin 38th overall on Monday.
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.
Round 3: RHP Javier Medina, Sahuaro High School (Ariz.)
Medina, who turns 19 on Aug. 9, moved to Tucson from Hermosillo, Mexico, with another young baseball player, catcher Cesar Salazar. The two spent two years playing in American Legion programs trying to meet requirements to be eligible for high school ball. Finally, as seniors, they played 18 games, but then were ruled ineligible.
Still, Medina showed a low-90s fastball with good command and a strong enough curve and changeup to attract scouts. Medina excelled at the WWBA World Championships and the Area Code games last summer. The University of Arizona saw enough of Medina and Salazar to sign them to letters of intent before they had played in an official high school game. After they were ruled ineligible, their Sahuaro coach, Mark Chandler, arranged workouts with pro scouts.
Medina was 4-0 with 62 strikeouts in 37 innings at Sahuaro before being ruled ineligible. Perfect Game USA, based on his work for the GBG Marucci squad in a Jupiter, Fla., event wrote that he "might be one of the most polished and fastest rising pitchers in the 2015 Draft."
Round 4: RHP David Hill, University of San Diego
Hill, 21, who also pitched at Long Beach State and Orange Coast College, landed at USD and excelled as a junior -- earning West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year honors in his first year in the league.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Hill went 9-3 with a 2.33 ERA, 115 strikeouts and 33 walks in 100 innings over 14 starts, and he was 7-1 in league play. He won with an attribute the Rockies value -- fastball command, which makes his 92-94 mph pitch difficult to hit. Pre-Draft assessments said his slider was on and off, and the changeup is developing. Hill was ranked as the No. 88 prospect going into the Draft by MLBPipeline.com.
The Yankees selected Hill's teammate, shortstop Kyle Holder, with the 30th pick in the first round.
Round 5: RHP Parker French, University of Texas
French, the first college senior the Rockies selected this year, was a 19th-round pick of the Tigers in the 2014 Draft. The Longhorns struggled during the regular season but ended up winning the Big 12 Tournament. French threw a 127-pitch complete game with six strikeouts and eight hits in a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech, which propelled the tournament run.
French was chosen co-Most Outstanding Pitcher in the tournament.
After the win over Texas Tech, French told 247Sports.com that turning down the Tigers was a good decision, even though his collegiate team struggled during the regular season.
"You can't put a price tag on the experiences and the growth you can have in college," French told 247Sports.com. "That's the biggest thing; it wouldn't have mattered if our season ended a week ago. There wouldn't be any regrets at all."
French, who has solid stuff and controls his fastball, finished 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 21 walks in 91 innings.