Rockies Draft: A Higher Education Experience; Brief Scouting Reports Included

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The Rockies have never been shy about reaching out to a high school player early in the draft. They have used their first pick on a high school player three of the last four years -- Brendan Rodgers in 2015, Riley Pint in 2016 and Ryan Vilade in 2017. And a year ago, they selected high school first baseman Grant Lavigne with their second selection and the 42nd pick overall.

This year, the Rockies changed gears. Ten rounds -- and 11 selections with a supplemental pick between the second and third rounds -- into the selection process, and the Rockies have taken all college players. Scouting director Bill Schmidt usually does select a high school player or two, but it is in the first two rounds, where the slot money can lure a player away from a college scholarship.

Drafting 23rd, the option for a high school player wasn't there so Schmidt turned to college juniors, not taking a senior until the the 10th and final round on Tuesday.

"We knew going in with the structure of the draft, if we didn't take a high school player high we'd be heavy on college guys," said Schmidt. "It worked out that way. ... When you have high school kids, a lot of time they are interested in the college opportunity."

The draft will wrap up on Wednesday with the final 30 rounds.

The Rockies opened the draft on Monday by selecting UCLA first baseman Michael Toglia, a late-round draft of the Rockies when he came out of high school, who admits he became a fan of the team after that even though he opted to go to UCLA for three years. Toglia left little doubt on Tuesday that he plans to sign with the Rockies this time.

"As soon as we are done in Omaha (at the College World Series) I am ready to go," said Toglia, whose UCLA team has been the No. 1 ranked Division I team most of the season. "I am glad they took another chance on me. I played for the Rockies on my Little League team, too."

A natural right-handed hitter, Toglia began switch-hitting in high school, and scouts say he looks equally as comfortable from both sides of the plate. But he brings more than phsyical ability.

"My competitive edge," he said when asked about his strength. "My winning mentality. Ever since I was a little kid I've wanted to be competitive at everything I did. I always want to win."

Toglia played the outfield in high school and was solid, but given the elements of Coors Field -- where the focus is on having three centerfielders in the starting outfield -- the focus is on him as a first baseman.

With the first 11 selections, the Rockies selected four projected starting pitchers, two projected relievers, two outfielders, a first baseman, third baseman and second baseman.

‚ÄčThere were no high school nor college players from Colorado or Wyoming selected in the first two days of the draft.

There were high expectations on right-handed pitcher Ruiley Cornelio of Pine Creek High School, but he is committed to TCU, a factor teams have to weigh in assessing the signability of a high school prospect after the first two rounds.

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