The 2024 MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Colorado Rockies Take At No. 3?

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Colorado Rockies Take At No. 3?

The Colorado Rockies have lost 409 games since the start of 2019. But can the No. 3 pick in the MLB Draft and emerging prospects stop the losing?

Jan 19, 2024 by Joe Harrington
MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Colorado Rockies Take At No. 3?

The Colorado Rockies haven’t had a winning record since 2018. 

They won 91 games that season with superstar Nolan Arenado at the peak of his powers and DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon in support. Even the pitching staff was good. 

That was manager Bud Black’s second season. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Black’s tenure since that season is he has somehow remained the manager after losing 409 game since being swept by the Brewers in the 2018 National League Divisional Series. 

It has been rough for the Rockies. 

The organization signed Arenado to a long-term deal before 2019, but an opt-out clause spooked the rebuilding Rockies to make one of the more bizarre trades in baseball history. Not only did they send a future hall-of-fame third baseman to the St. Louis Cardinals for a collection of prospects, they sent about $40 million to St. Louis with him. Only two of the five prospects they got in return have debuted for the Rockies. 

It has been a strange few years. 

Before 2022, the Rockies signed former MVP Kris Bryant to a seven-year, $182 million deal. In the first year, the oft-injured Bryant play just 42 games. The next season saw him play poorly in 80 games. 


The 2023 Rockies won just 59 games, and in the third year of a rebuild, they had just one notable young everyday player on the roster, shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. 

At least Tovar showed promise. He hit 15 home runs and 37 doubles.

You could argue that injuries are why the Rockies were bad again, and not just with Bryant. 

The pitching staff was ravaged. Rotation stalwarts Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss most of the 2024 season. Kyle Freeland, the ace, had a 5.03 ERA and hasn’t had a sub 4.00 era since since 2018. Austin Gomber, Dakota Hudson and Noah Davis all struggled.

Still, even if Rockies pitching had stayed healthy, the might of the National League West would have been challenging with the roster. 

Unlike the teams drafting No. 1 and No. 2 (Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively), the Rockies had a season worthy of a top pick.

The Rockies don’t seem to be in position to do much better in 2024 than 2023.

The Arizona Diamondbacks just won the National League pennant, the Dodgers just spent a billion dollars in free agency and the Rockies' farm system ranked 18th by MLB last August. Again, they have lost 409 games since the end of 2018 and have drafted in the top 10 of the draft every year.

So, it hasn't been great. 

Which means the No. 3 pick is pretty important for one of three teams to fail to win 60 games last season. 

So who will Colorado take at No. 3?

What The Colorado Rockies Roster Has Before The 2024 MLB Draft

The success of the team won’t solely depend on Bryant playing more than half a season, something he hasn’t even done yet for the Rockies. But it’ll help. 

When he’s healthy, he’s the 2016 MVP player. But now, he’s 32 and plays outfield instead of third base. The last time he played more than 140 games was in 2021, the year the Cubs traded him to the Giants at the deadline. He hit .265 with 25 home runs. That gave teams some interest that he could regain his MVP form, but only one team gave him the contract he wanted. 

Aside from the fact that the Bryant deal made little sense given the Arenado trade a year earlier, where the franchise was in the rebuild made it more peculiar. 

But he’s there in Denver. If he can play like a guy making $28 million this season, than the Rockies have something. 

Tovar’s development will be important, but Nolan Jones (pictured below) is the real rising star on the Rockies. The 25-year-old hit .297 and stole 20 bases, while clobbering 20 home runs. 

A former second-round pick by the Cleveland Guardians, he was traded for Juan Brito just before the season and finished fourth in rookie-of-the-year voting. 

The Rockies hope to have another ROY candidate this season. 

Adael Amador finished 2023 as the No. 21-ranked prospect and now is on the 40-man roster. The shortstop-second baseman will be pushing both Tovar and Brendan Rodgers in Spring Training. But if Amador did make the roster for Opening Day, it would be a little surprising. The 20-year-old played just 10 games in Double-A and hit .143. That was after crushing in High-A with a .302 average and nine home runs in 54 games. 

Another top prospect making his debut on the 40-man roster is Yanquiel Fernandez, the No. 49-ranked prospect in baseball. Like Amador, the 21-year-old is on the 40-man list but only played in 56 games in Double-A. 

The Rockies hope their trade with the Guardians this season pays off again. They added Cal Quantrill for a minor leaguer in December. Once a promising pitching prospect for San Diego and Cleveland who had a 2.89 ERA in 22 starts in 2021, Quantrill had a 5.424 ERA in 2022. 

But if he is what he was with San Diego and Cleveland from 2020-2022, then he’s a great add. 

The real story of the Rockies roster before the draft will be who is on the roster by the end of July. 

Freeland should have a market as teams investigate home-road splits. So will closer Daniel Bard, despite being 38. Then there’s 2023 All-Star Game MVP Elias Diaz. The catcher is in a contract year. 

The big decision will be on Ryan McMahon. He’s under contract until 2027 and has $56 million left, which means he could be a good trade chip. Charlie Blackmon signed a one-year deal, and the 37-year-old could yield some type of return. 

Colorado Rockies Prospects And Minor League System

A reason the Rockies would be active is the farm system. Despite all the losing, the Rockies somehow have a farm system that ranks in the bottom half of baseball by most rankings, including No. 18 by MLB in August of last season. That was after trading C.J. Cron and Mike Moustakas and drafting Chase Dollander at No. 9. 

A year ago, though, the Rockies had a top-10 farm system according to MLB, and the team finished 2023 with five prospects in the top 100.

The Rockies could graduate their two best prospects this season. Amador and Fernandez both were added to the 40-man roster this offseason. 

Chase Dollander (59), Jordan Beck (83) and Zac Veen (92) also are in the top 100. Missing from that list is 2022 first-round pick Gabriel Hughes (No. 10 pick), Benny Montgomery (the No. 8 pick in the 2021 draft) and the list can go on. 

The only former Rockies first-round picks on the current active roster are Rodgers (the No. 3 pick in 2015) and and Kyle Freeland (No. 8 in 2014). The most recent Rockies first-round pick to make an All-Star game is 2012 first-round pick David Dahl in 2019.

There’s a lot riding on 2023 first-round pick Chase Dollander (pictured above). In January 2023, Dollander was seen as the best pitcher in the draft. Paul Skenes and Rhett Lowder passed him, as Dollander was 7-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 17 starts. In 16 appearances the previous season for Tennessee, he was 10-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 14 starts. 

The Rockies need their system to start delivering pitching, since the team hasn’t always faired well in the free-agent market, because who wants to sign up for 81 games in Coors Field? Not someone who isn’t also asking for a lot of money. Dollander is the only pitcher in the Rockies top-10 prospect list. 

Who Are The Colorado Rockies Taking With The No.3 MLB Draft Pick?

Travis Bazzana, the Oregon State second baseman, and Charlie Condon, an outfielder for Georgia, are’s No. 3 and No. 4 prospects. While Bazzana is the No. 3-ranked prospect in Baseball America, Condon is No. 14.

That shows the volatility of the draft after the first two prospects, Nick Kurtz and JJ Wetherholt. But the 6-foot Bazzana is consistently in the top 4 of ranked prospects in this draft. 

From Sydney Australia, he had 11 home runs and 36 steals with a 1.122 OPS as a sophomore. He was the MVP of the Cape Cod League, where he hit .375, and he has plus speed, plus power. 

The problem is that he plays second base, which isn’t always a position that appeals to scouts in college. And the Rockies two best young players in the system, Tovar and Amador likely would be at second base over the next couple years. And McMahon is locked down long-term at third base. 

However, think of the cavernous outfield of Coors Field, the thin air in Denver, and it almost makes Bazzana the perfect Rockies player. 

While Condon clearly has mixed scouting grades, Jac Caglianone is a consensus top-5 prospect in the class. He’s a two-way player who led college baseball in home runs and was part of the weekend rotation for the Florida Gators. 

If any player can rise to No.1, it may be him. The question is whether the 6-foot-6 slugger who led Division I baseball with 33 home runs while hitting 99 MPH on the gun will have to choose hitting or pitching. Or if will a team actually let him be a two-way player. 

You Be The Judge: Watch Travis Bazzana Of Oregon State In The College Baseball Showdown

Bazzana will face Arkansas, Michigan and Oklahoma State from Feb. 23-25. 

There’s a chance Bazzana will get at-bats against No. 15-ranked draft prospect Hagen Smith at the Showdown. 

Oklahoma State also had Carson Benge (No. 26), who is an outfielder and a pitcher, but his future seems to be at the plate.

How Many First-Round Picks Does Colorado Have?

The Rockies have two first-round picks, No. 3 and No. 38. They also have the No. 42 pick and the No. 79 pick. The Rockies had the third-worst record in baseball and got the third pick, which didn’t happen for Oakland (the worst) and Kansas City (second worst). 

Could Colorado Earn A Prospect Promotion Incentive Pick In 2025?

Yes. With five players in the top 100 at MLB, and two of them already on the 40-man roster, the Rockies can win a Prospect Promotion Incentive Pick, if one of them wins the NL Rookie of the Year Award. 

When Is The 2024 MLB Draft?

The 2024 MLB Draft is part of MLB All-Star week and will be in Arlington, Texas, where the World Series champion Texas Rangers are hosting the All-Star Game. 

The All-Star Game is July 16. The official date of the draft has yet to be announced, but the 2023 MLB Draft began the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which was played on Tuesday.  

MLB Draft 2024 Order

The New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres’ first picks dropped 10 spots because the clubs exceeded the second surcharge threshold of the competitive balance tax by more than $40 million. 

Here’s the order: 

  1. Cleveland Guardians
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Oakland A’s
  5. Chicago White Sox
  6. Kansas City Royals
  7. St. Louis Cardinals 
  8. Los Angeles Angels 
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Washington Nationals 
  11. Detroit Tigers
  12. Boston Red Sox
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Chicago Cubs
  15. Seattle Mariners
  16. Miami Marlins 
  17. Milwaukee Brewers
  18. Tampa Bay Rays
  19. New York Mets
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. Minnesota Twins
  22. Baltimore Orioles 
  23. Los Angeles Dodgers 
  24. Atlanta Braves 
  25. San Diego Padres 
  26. New York Yankees
  27. Philadelphia Phillies 
  28. Houston Astros 
  29. Arizona Diamondbacks 
  30. Texas Rangers
  31. Arizona Diamondbacks
  32. Baltimore Orioles 
  33. Minnesota Twins
  34. Baltimore Orioles
  35. Arizona Diamondbacks
  36. Cleveland Guardians
  37. Pittsburgh Pirates
  38. Colorado Rockies
  39. Kansas City Royals

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