DENVER -- Stillwater (Okla.) High School's Ryan Vilade, the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in his state, went to the Rockies on Monday in the second round, 48th overall, in the MLB Draft. But he may be second to none, at least when it came to power, in this
DENVER -- Stillwater (Okla.) High School's Ryan Vilade, the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in his state, went to the Rockies on Monday in the second round, 48th overall, in the MLB Draft. But he may be second to none, at least when it came to power, in this class of high school hitters.
Last summer, Vilade, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder who was announced as a third baseman but played shortstop in high school and prefers that position, went to the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field. The home run contest involved Royce Lewis, a shortstop who went to the Twins first overall, and Hunter Greene, a pitcher-infielder who went second overall to the Reds, among others. But the right-handed-hitting Vilade prevailed.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
"Out onto Waveland Avenue ... I think I hit from four to six," Vilade said. "I really don't know. I was locked in on the competition of the derby, just trying to get them out of that yard. It was an honor to be selected, of course. It was pretty special, my first time at Wrigley, to win a home run derby."
• Rockies' 70th overall pick: Tommy Doyle
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 10:30 a.m. MT, with exclusive coverage beginning at 11 a.m. MT.
The Rockies also selected University of Virginia right-handed relief pitcher Tommy Doyle in Competitive Balance Round B, 70th overall on Monday.
The Rockies didn't have a first-round pick. Signing outfielder-first baseman Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million during the offseason cost them the 11th overall pick under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Vilade began increasing his Draft profile last summer, when he hit third for the U.S. 18-and-under national team that won the Pan American Games. This spring, Vilade won the Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year Award after batting .410 with a .778 slugging percentage, seven home runs and 28 RBIs while leading his school to a 27-10 record and a trip to the Class 6A regional title game.
It's a solid hitting base that can sustain him once his body matures.
"My family is big-boned, so a couple more inches on my height, and maybe I'll get bigger and stronger throughout the course of my career," Vilade said.
Being selected by the Rockies caps off an eventful final high school year. He was living in Frisco, Texas -- and he had met Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, an Irving native, during offseasons. But James Vilade, Ryan's father, left the Rangers' organization to become an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, so the family moved.
Vilade, who had committed to play collegiate baseball at Oklahoma State but expects to sign with the Rockies, missed the early weeks of school in Stillwater because he was playing in the Pan American tournament.
But when he arrived he fit right into a Stillwater High baseball tradition that includes two former Rockies -- Yankees designated hitter Matthew Holliday, who helped the Rockies make a 2007 World Series appearance and is a beloved figure, and lefty pitcher Brett Anderson, now with the Cubs.
Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said there are multiple positional possibilities for Vilade because of his projected growth and natural ability.
"He improved his running speed over the wintertime to give him a chance to play in the middle of the diamond," said Schmidt, who said the Rockies targeted Vilade last year when he was still in Frisco. "We'll see where the body goes."
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**.