The Rockies are up next in our amateur signing bonus series...
- Tyler Matzek, $3.9MM (2009)
- Greg Reynolds, $3.25MM (2006)
- Jason Young, $2.75MM (2000)
- Troy Tulowitzki, $2.3MM (2005)
- Chin-Hui Tsao. $2.2MM (1999)
Matzek was one of the best prospects available in the 2009 draft, but he fell into the Rockies' lap with the 11th overall pick because of perceived bonus demands. Colorado met those demands, giving him the fourth largest bonus of the entire draft class. Matzek spent 2010 in Single-A, pitching to a 2.92 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 6.2 BB/9 in 89.1 innings as a 19-year-old.
Tulowitzki, the seventh overall pick in 2005, is quite simply the Rockies' franchise cornerstone and one of the five or ten best players in baseball. In four-plus years as Colorado's shortstop, Tulo has hit .290/.362/.495 with top-of-the-line defense. The team has gotten every dollar's worth and then some with this pick and bonus.
Young, the 47th overall pick in 2000, pitched well in the minors before getting his first taste of the big leagues in 2003, and he ultimately put up a 9.71 ERA in 29.2 innings for Colorado before being claimed off waivers by the Indians in August 2005. He was out of baseball by the end of that season. Reynolds was the second overall pick in 2006, and made 13 ugly starts (8.13 ERA, 3.2 K/9, 3.8 BB/9) for Colorado in 2008. He missed basically the entire 2009 season with shoulder surgery and is working his way back.
Tsao's career featured a lot of firsts. He was the first significant international signing in team history, the first player they ever signed out of Asia, and the first Taiwanese-born pitcher in MLB history. His career was riddled with injury, most notably Tommy John surgery in 2001, but he reached the big leagues in 2003. In 63.2 innings for the Rockies from 2003-2005, Tsao pitched to a 5.80 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 before being released in 2006. He pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League after his time in MLB was through, but his career came to end earlier this year when he was banned from the league for his role in a game-fixing scandal.