CSU forward Jason Smith called by Chad Ford of ESPN.com potentially one of the sleepers of the soon-to-come NBA draft. Smith won't hit the ground running in the Association but with good health and the right fit (no logjam at his position, running team) the Kersey and Fort Collins big man can play at that level for years.
Brad Hawpe wasn't getting it done at the plate. Of course, he's been trying to make up for it in May and June, capped by him just being named National League Player of the Week after crushing to the tune of .455 with three home runs and eight RBI. Hawpe is notoriously streaky. When he's hot, he is an all-around player, dangerous and an impact talent. When he goes cold, he should be a fourth outfielder, which happens way too often.
Steve Finley's game has expired and Rockies finally see it, designating the outfielder for assignment. That move gives Sean Barker a chance to hit the big leagues. Here's wishing him the best on his big break.
Rockies going own way
The Major League Baseball amateur draft is approaching and get ready for the unorthodox way the Rockies like to do business -- signability. Yes, that's important, getting a guy inked, uniformed and playing quickly but passing on potential star talent proves costly on the field.
Last year was but the latest example for this franchise. The top two choices here for Colorado would have been North Carolina fastball-slider ace Andrew Miller and Texas high school lefthander Clayton Kershaw. Miller has already had a taste of the big leagues and Kershaw is off to an outstanding start. Yes, Greg Reynolds, the Rockies pick, has looked fantastic this season at Tulsa (currently injured) but he is a no. 3 or no. 4 starter one day in Denver while Miller and Kershaw are potential all stars.
This year, the rumor mill is all over the map who the organization will take in round 1 but you can bet it will pass on highly-regarded potential. This year's picks for Colorado, it says here, should be from a list that includes, if available, high school hitters Mike Moustakas, Jason Heyward or Matt Dominguez, college pitcher Ross Detwiler or high school arm Jarrod Parker (see order of preference below).
A letter shipped this way by Paul, who agrees with a comment the Nugg Doctor made yesterday about Ron Artest in Denver.
"Truth, Nugg Doctor is right that Artest would ruin the team, but the trade itself would be amazing. This is because, believe it or not, Artest is a more tradeable player than (Kenyon) Martin. We could get a good draft pick out of this if we play our cards right."
WSN: Agreed. As written before, that would be the only reason to accept Artest in Denver. Martin has his, um, "issues" but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he has worked things out to some degree with coach George Karl.
Artest, meanwhile, wants to rap, be a locker room menace and score 25 points a game when his strength is defense. Just too much wild horse to handle.
But if you give me a healthy Artest for a broken-down Martin, I'd do the deal in a heartbeat and then quietly start accepting offers for Artest. If nothing materialized, I'd make Artest a back-room deal to market him in any way I could out of Denver, even back East to his roots, while highlighting his game if he promises to toe the company line with his actions and his mouth. The goal -- a top 15 draft pick or quality veteran or two in return in trade at current team weak points.