The 2012 MLB Draft is just three weeks away, which means mock draft season for this event will start to pick up speed soon enough. ESPN Insider Keith Law has released his first mock draft, and for the Colorado Rockies at No. 10 overall the choice is high school third baseman Courtney Hawkins:
Hawkins might have the quickest bat of anyone in this draft, though he sometimes struggles to make contact. I'm also hearing Ty Hensley and David Dahl here. I would have to think they'd re-evaluate if someone such as Fried fell this far.
The Rockies last took a high school position player in the first round during the 2004 draft when the team selected shortstop Chris Nelson. Nelson is currently with the big league team, but it took him until 2010 to make his debut and he is far from a productive player. And the year before that, the Rockies took third baseman Ian Stewart, who was traded this past offseason.
Still, with the Rockies' poor track record of drafting pitchers in the first round over the last few years, the team does appear to be looking at changing directions this year. Hawkins, 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, would certainly qualify as a change-of-direction pick. While he is an aggressive hitter (causing high strikeout numbers), Hawkins' power will certainly offset that for whichever team drafts him.
For more on the Colorado Rockies, check out the Rockies blog Purple Row. And to learn more about the latest MLB prospect news and ratings, drop by Minor League Ball with John Sickels.