Amateur Signing Bonuses: Rockies

The Rockies are up next in our amateur signing bonus series…

  1. Tyler Matzek, $3.9MM (2009)
  2. Greg Reynolds, $3.25MM (2006)
  3. Jason Young, $2.75MM (2000)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki, $2.3MM (2005)
  5. 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. 


8 Responses to Amateur Signing Bonuses: Rockies Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I’m trying to decide who I would have taken in ’06 if I was the Rockies…Longoria or Reynolds…This may sound crazy, but I’m pretty sure I’d go with Longoria. Yes? No? I say yes.

    • bigpat 5 years ago

      Any idea what the future holds for Reynolds? Was he a great prospect with ace potential coming into the draft, or a signability guy? Figure I’d ask the resident prospect expert.

      All I know about him is that he had a brief cameo in the majors a few years back and had a rough time, then he injured his arm. As far as I know he was healthy this year. What is his ceiling and do the Rox still think highly of him?

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        The Rockies thought highly of him before his injury and I’m sure they still thought highly of him after ’08 but they drafted him expecting him to be like what the Tigers got with Verlander, but aside from a short minors stint in 07, he never brought to the table what they thought he had, he never dominated at any level, and he never put up strikeout numbers or threw hard. He probably wasn’t any easier to sign than Longoria because Longoria signed for 250K less than Reynolds.

        He’s still young and is currently pitching for the Scorpions and I suppose he can maybe be a starting pitcher version of Jon Rauch at best. Rauch doesn’t throw hard and has pretty simple stuff like Reynolds, but Reynolds has more upside given his age and the fact that he IS healthy.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        and thanks for the compliment Pat.

        • bigpat 5 years ago

          No problem, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but your passion for baseball is just unrivaled. I’ve become a much bigger baseball fan myself the past few years despite the performance of the Pirates, but prospect watching can make things so much fun. It’s hard for me to keep up with everyone on my team, let alone the rest of the league, but it’s worth it.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Thanks Pat I really appreciate it.

            You need to stick with your buccos. Their AA pitching plus Taillon is really impressive. Hopefully they can make you and the rest of Pirates nation happy sooner rather than later right?

          • bigpat 5 years ago

            Yes, better days are certainly ahead for this team, and I’ve been through the worst so I think I can take another bad season or two. I just want them to start to get a little more competitive, and while the lineup looks like it’s falling into place, some of these guys will need to emerge into star quality players instead of just solid starters. Hopefully Pedro and Tabata can reach a high level, along with Cutch, and a combination of pitchers will emerge similar to the Rays group and they can make a run soon.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Absolutley. And if McDonald can lead a rotation along with Wilson, Morris, Owens, and Locke, we’ll be good. Expect those good days to come soon!

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