Prior to the first game played by each of the new teams, a draft was held the year before for the new teams to attempt to put together a roster of players for the next season. The rules for the availability of players changed slightly from 1962 to 1998, but what was common was the opportunity for the new teams to decide which players they could use from the existing teams in MLB. Over a series of 14 posts, I will review the expansion drafts of each of these newer 14 teams. Included are trades made following the draft and which players were taken first overall. Without further due, here is a recap of the 1992 expansion draft for the Colorado Rockies.
The draft was set up to where the two new NL teams, the Rockies and the Florida Marlins, could select players from both the National and American Leagues. To give the AL a little of a break, there was a limit of 8 AL teams that could have three players chosen. Each round consisted of 24 players taken for a total of 72 players. The Rockies won the coin toss and had a choice to either pick first and receive the last pick in the 1993 amateur draft or to pick 2nd and 3rd and receive the 2nd to last pick in the 1993 amateur draft. Prior to the draft, the Rockies signed their first free agent, 1B Andres Galarraga to a 1 year contract. The Rockies chose to take the first pick, which was Atlanta Braves RHP David Nied, who pitched to a sub 2 ERA and was 3-0 in 6 starts for the Braves in 1992.
They would take New York Yankees 3B Charlie Hayes with the 3rd overall pick. The Rockies followed it up by taking Milwaukee Brewers RHP Darren Holmes with the 5th pick and San Diego Padres OF Jerald Clark with the 7th pick. The 7th pick was Texas Rangers OF Kevin Reimer. The balance of their top ten picks were Los Angeles Dodgers OF Eric Young (9th), Boston Red Sox 2B Jody Reed (11th), Detroit Tigers LHP Scott Aldred (13th), Pittsburgh Pirates OF Alex Cole (15th) and Chicago Cubs C Joe Girardi (17th). The first round was concluded with picks of Houston Astros RHP Willie Blair (19th) and Minnesota Twins C Jayhawk Owens (21st).
The Rockies opened up the 2nd round by taking Philadelphia Phillies RHP Andy Ashby with the 25th overall pick. Their next selection was #28, as they took Cincinnati Reds 2B Freddie Benavides. They would take three consecutive pitchers, who would all have an impact at the MLB level by grabbing Montreal Expos RHP Doug Bochtler (32nd), Padres LHP Lance Painter (34th) and Astros LHP Butch Henry (36th). With the 40th pick, the Rockies selected 3B Vinny Castilla from the Braves and they took RHP Kevin Ritz from the Tigers with the 44th pick. The Rockies concluded the 2nd round by taking Red Sox C-1B and another future big league manager Eric Wedge (48th).
The third round opened up with the Rockies getting RHP Keith Sheppard from the Phillies at pick 50. The third round netted them Yankees catcher Brad Ausmus (54), Braves RHP Armando Reynoso (58), San Francisco Giants RHP Steve Reed (60) and Twins RHP Curtis Leskanic (66). The Rockies final pick of the draft was Cubs LHP Denis Boucher with the 72nd pick.
Here is the entire expansion draft results for the Colorado Rockies:
After the draft, the Rockies traded Reimer to the Brewers for OF Dante Bichette and Jody Reed to the Dodgers for RHP Rudy Seanez. The Rockies added free agent pitchers Bryn Smith and Bruce Ruffin to their opening day staff. Smith started the home opener. The opening day lineup looked like this:
First time manager Don Baylor would lead the team to a 6th place finish out of the 7 NL West teams with 1 67-95 record. They finished 6 games ahead of last place San Diego and 37 games behind 1st place Atlanta. When baseball resumed after the strike for the 1995 season, teams were realigned and each league had three divisions instead of two. So, 1993 was the last season of two leagues, with two divisions and seven teams in each division.