The 2011 MLB Draft takes place June 6-8, which gives teams just under a month to get in their final evaluations on college and prep players. Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels is already putting out mocks for the first round and the supplemental first round. Who does he have the Rockies selecting?
20) Rockies: Daniel Norris, LHP, Tennessee HS: Well, if Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek don't pan out, let's try Daniel Norris.
Norris is the third lefty to go in this mock and the first high school lefty to be drafted. Norris is the top-rated high school lefty in the draft. As Sickels points out, the Rockies have two lefties in their system who have questions surrounding them. Friedrich, 24, has battled elbow injuries over the last season or so and has had trouble early in the 2011 season (6.16 ERA, 37 hits allowed in 30.2 innings).
As for Tyler Matzek, it would be an understatement to say that he has struggled this season so far. In six starts, he has a 9.82 ERA and has walked 24 batters in 18.1 innings (19 H, 21/20 R/ER). He walked a season-high eight batters in two innings on April 25. However, he has struck out 21 batters. The Rockies should be worried about him--if they aren't already.
If the Rockies chose Norris, they would be getting a 6-foot-2, 180-pound lefty who can work his fastball in the mid-90s and use three other pitchers. In a write-up of a late-April start, Nathan Rode of Baseball America reported that Norris had his fastball reach 96, mostly sitting at 93-95, and used his curveball, slider and changeup as well. The slider is one pitch he will need to work on, but the fastball-curveball is what gets things done.
The Rockies have a supplemental round pick because they offered arbitration to Type 'B' free agent Octavio Dotel, who then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason. With that extra pick, Sickels could see the Rockies taking a second prep player, shortstop Phillip Evans. He's committed to Tony Gwynn's San Diego State Aztecs, but the money of a supplemental pick could change things.
He's 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. According to one evaluation, he can be a solid player for a team, but not a superstar. And with Troy Tulowitzki playing short for a large part of the next decade, Evans' future would likely need to be at another position, likely second base.
Follow this stream for more as we approach the draft on June 6-8.