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Rockies start Day 2 with SS Vavra in Round 3

Colorado spends all eight Draft picks on college players
MLB.com

DENVER -- Colorado drafted four college pitchers and four college infield position players on Tuesday during Day 2 of the 2018 Draft. Vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that's how the board fell, but the Rockies will be getting more developed players because of it.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

DENVER -- Colorado drafted four college pitchers and four college infield position players on Tuesday during Day 2 of the 2018 Draft. Vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said that's how the board fell, but the Rockies will be getting more developed players because of it.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Rockies pick

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. MT. Here's a look at Colorado's Day 2 selections:

• Rockies take left-hander Rolison 22nd overall

Round 3 (96th overall): SS Terrin Vavra, Minnesota
The son of Joe Vavra, the Tigers' quality control coach and former Twins bench coach, Terrin is the best prospect out of the Vavra family that includes two older brothers who reached Class A Advanced in Minnesota's system. Vavra's baseball IQ helps him in all aspects of the game. Spending time with his dad and players like Joe Mauer when he was young gave him learning opportunities that he pounced on.

"Any time you're around the sport more, you're going to pick up little things that other people might not," Vavra said. "I've been fortunate enough to learn more about the game any chance I can."

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Although he might not have the range and arm desired at shortstop, Brett Baldwin, who scouted Vavra, said he deserves the chance to play the position. Baldwin said Vavra will be relied upon to move around the infield with his versatility.

What piqued Baldwin's interest, though, was Vavra's smooth left-handed swing, even with his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame.

"[Minnesota] plays in the dome where the Vikings play early in the year, and I saw him hit like two ground-rule doubles, and I went from thinking that he's a small frame, playability guy to a guy who has a little pop in his swing," Baldwin said. "He's just a true ballplayer."

Vavra slashed .279/.351/.382 in 24 games last summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League and hit .393 in 56 games this season for the Gophers.

Round 4 (126th overall): RHP Ryan Feltner, Ohio State
Feltner, a junior, is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in college baseball. He's been clocked as high as 98 mph and can carry a 93-95 mph fastball deep into games. Feltner dominated as a reliever in Cape Cod last summer, sharing the league lead with eight saves and no earned runs in 13 appearances. As a Buckeye, Feltner went 5-5 this season with a 4.95 ERA, allowing 99 hits over 91 2/3 innings pitched.

Hitters see the ball well against Feltner and don't miss his fastball as much as would be expected with his velocity. Because his command lacks consistency, it can make him vulnerable, but Rockies scout Ed Santa has Feltner down as a starter. .

"I think he could be an inning-eater type of guy," Santa said. "He has a [third pitch], good pitching mix."

Feltner's breaking ball needs work with its consistency, and he's looking forward improving it.

"I've faced a lot of adversity at Ohio State because my spring numbers haven't been the best in any of my years, but I feel like I've battled through it and developed well," Feltner said. "I've been working on [the breaking ball] a little bit, but I'm excited to get some new input from a different perspective in the Rockies' organization."

Video: Rockies VP of Scouting discusses Vavra, Decolati

Round 5 (156th overall): RHP Jacob Bird, UCLA
Undrafted and disappointed with last year's Draft, Bird went into his final collegiate campaign with something to prove. He ended his senior year as the Friday starter, going 7-4 with a 2.18 ERA. Bird pitched 111 2/3 innings this year, giving up 111 hits and striking out 61.

UCLA coach John Savage said Bird redid his delivery after his junior year and is primarily a ground-ball pitcher without a lot of strikeouts

"One thing I hear about the Rockies all the time is their Major League park is a home run stadium," Bird said. "I'm a ground-ball pitcher, so I think it fits perfectly with what I do.".

"He's kind of an old-school pitcher," Savage said. "He's not a big strikeout pitcher, but we really worked on pitching contact and getting ground balls. That could change, but it's a heavy sink. He's a tough matchup for anybody."

Matt Hattabaugh, who scouted Bird, said there's a chance Bird will end up in the bullpen. His fastball ranges from 89-92 mph, and he has a slider that disappears.

"He also mixes in what I like to call a tear-drop curveball," Hattabugh said. "That usually freezes hitters. They don't even swing. He's also got a quality changeup. He's a guy that's bringing four quality pitches to the Rockies."

Round 6 (186th overall): 3B Niko Decolati, Loyola Marymount
Decolati, a right-handed hitter, has been a three-year starter at Loyola Marymount, primarily as shortstop. The Rockies have drafted him as a third baseman, however, and some have even said he can play a corner-outfield spot.

With impressive bat speed and raw power, Decolati's potential has been slighted by his performance during his junior season, slashing .207/.367/.444 in 207 at-bats. His aggressive approach has led to 60 strikeouts, but when he does make contact, it's loud.

A product of the Las Vegas high school ranks, Decolati was actually born in Boulder, Colo., and his father, Chris, played at Northern Colorado. The Rockies are hoping to tap into Decolati's offensive potential, as well as move him to third base and the outfield.

Round 7 (216th overall): RHP Andrew Quezada, Cal State Fullerton
Quezada transferred to Cal State after two years at Cypress Junior College, where he recorded the school's first no-hitter and a 1.17 ERA during his sophomore season. At Fullerton, he went 4-5 with a 3.90 ERA as a junior this season.

Quezada has a three-pitch mix, with a 90-94 mph fastball, changeup and slider that can develop into a Major League breaking ball quickly. He struck out 58 batters in 14 appearances this season with a comfortable and easy delivery. Scouts see him as a back-end starter, but he pitched in the bullpen last summer in the Cape Cod League, recording 17 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings.

Round 8 (246th overall): LHP Nick Bush, LSU
Bush turned a strong season with the Tigers into a Draft pick by the Rockies. Bush, a Draft-eligible sophomore, appeared in 24 games this season, going 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA while striking out 42 over 47 1/3 innings.

Bush had Tommy John surgery in his senior year at Lee Country High School in Georgia, sparking the redshirt year at LSU. He filled several roles with the Tigers this season, starting in middle relief and finishing the season alternating between a closer and starter.

Round 9 (276th overall): C Willie MacIver, Washington
Playing first and third base for the Huskies, MacIver is a power hitter who brings strength and aggressiveness to the plate. This season, he slashed .246/.336/.331 in 130 at-bats and played third base for Washington after returning from a hamate injury last year.

At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, MacIver throws and bats right. He played in the Cape Cod League last summer and hit .272 in 173 at-bats with 24 runs scored, six doubles and two home runs. After seeing him play in Cape Cod, the Rockies want to develop him to the catcher that he began his college career as.

Round 10 (306th overall): 3B Cade Harris, Oklahoma
Slashing .278/.443/.466, Harris has an eye for the strike zone. His 65 walks rank second in Division I baseball, and he continues to prove a tough out at the plate, often working the deep count while remaining calm.

Harris played outfield for the Sooners this season as a junior, and Schmidt said that's probably where the Rockies will play him.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies