Four Rockies Draftees Coming to Tri-CityPosted: Updated:
Four of the 51 Colorado Rockies draft picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft will be joining the Dust Devils for the opening of the 2010 season. Second round pick, 76th overall, Chad Bettis heads the class of young drafted talent coming to Tri-City. Bettis, a right handed pitcher who did work in the starting rotation and bullpen for Texas Tech last season, was also the closer for Team USA last summer. As the closer for Team USA Bettis compiled three saves and helped the squad to a 19-5 record over last summer. Bettis was projected to go anywhere from middle to late first round, but fell to the Rockies at pick 76.
With only three outfielders on the opening roster, the Dust Devils were expecting to receive an outfield draft pick and did just that with sixth round pick Jared Simon. Simon, a University of Tampa product, put up big numbers at the plate last season and started all 54 of the university's games last season. He batted .361 in 208 at-bats and hammered twelve home runs. Simon gained notoriety last summer doing well in the Virginia Wood Bat League where he finished first in doubles, second in hits, third in home runs and second in total bases.
The Rockies also drafted some talent from the same place that provided former first round pick Christian Friedrich, who started eight games for Tri-City in 2008. With pick number 500 Colorado grabbed third baseman Jayson Langfels of Eastern Kentucky. Langfels batted a quality .353 in 204 at-bats and is the Ohio Valley Conference record holder with 18 career triples. Langfels is an all-around offensive weapon; he ranked in the top ten in the OVC in the eight major offensive categories during the regular season, including batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
A more notable late round draft pick was Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy's youngest son, Mark, who was taken in the 22nd round. Tracy, a 6'5" 220 pound catcher, was drafted in the 49th round last season by the Rockies but opted to return to school to boost his draft stock. He batted .290 last season while starting 56 games for Duquesne University. Tracy played both first base and catcher for Duquesne, but was drafted to play behind the plate.
"I caught a lot of my junior year [of college] and I caught all through high school," Mark Tracy said. "I'm not going to hop back there tomorrow and feel great, but I'm athletic enough to hop back there tomorrow, catch the ball and be able to make a throw. It's just a matter of time before you really feel comfortable with it."
Rockies skipper Jim Tracy was proud of his son, but acknowledged the reservations some could have. "He's very cognizant of not wanting to be a charity case. He earned this. He can hit and has versatility in the field," Jim Tracy said.
Opening Day of the 2010 season at Gesa Stadium is June 21st versus Eugene. Tickets are on sale now and ticket packages start at just $49, with full-season tickets available for as low as $259. Special ticket rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Dust Devils front office at (509) 544-8789 or at the Gesa Stadium box office.