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At 70, Rockies tab Virginia righty Doyle

'Big-bodied kid with arm strength' will begin working as reliever
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- The Rockies chose University of Virginia right-hander Tommy Doyle -- a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder with a fastball-slider combination -- with the 70th overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round B on Monday night.

"He's a big-bodied kid with arm strength," Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said. "He'd started in the past. They used him as closer. We'll see where it goes

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DENVER -- The Rockies chose University of Virginia right-hander Tommy Doyle -- a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder with a fastball-slider combination -- with the 70th overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round B on Monday night.

"He's a big-bodied kid with arm strength," Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt said. "He'd started in the past. They used him as closer. We'll see where it goes

View Full Game Coverage

Doyle, who went 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings for the Cavaliers, was the second player taken by the Rockies, who tabbed Stillwater (Okla.) third baseman Ryan Vilade in the second round (48th overall). The club lost its first-round pick by signing free-agent outfielder-first baseman Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million deal in the offseason.

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.

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

Rockies' 48th overall pick: Ryan Vilade

Doyle, 21, was formerly a 35th-round choice by the Nationals out of Viernna (Va.) Flint Hill High School who opted for college and earned 17 saves in 61 career appearances, which included seven starts last season as a sophomore.

This season at Virginia, Doyle's fastball was clocked at 97 mph, but it was consistently 93. His calling card, though is an 82-83 mph slider that he uses frequently. He has used a curveball, and has worked on pitch development.

The Rockies haven't typecast Doyle as a reliever necessarily, but he will begin in the bullpen this summer.

Video: 2017 Draft: Schmidt on Rockies' day one draft picks

"You get in trouble when you change roles when a guy has been doing something," Schmidt said. "That's something when you get to instructional league or in the offseason, if [director of pitching operations] Mark Wiley and his group want to pursue this as a starter, then you do it."

One key to drawing attention was improved command. Doyle issued just 10 walks and held opponents to a .228 batting average this past season.

Doyle comes from an athletic family. His mother, Laura, played field hockey and lacrosse at Lafayette. His brother, Matt, played baseball at Harvard, while his sisters, Claire and Katherine, are lacrosse players at Bucknell.

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