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Rox take Oregon lefty Anderson at No. 20

Rox take Oregon lefty Anderson at No. 20

Rox take Oregon lefty Anderson at No. 20 play video for Rox take Oregon lefty Anderson at No. 20
SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies selected University of Oregon left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft on Monday.

The Rockies also picked Irving (Texas) High School shortstop Trevor Story with the 45th overall choice, a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds.

Anderson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Las Vegas, finished his junior year with a school career-record 285 strikeouts, and his 114 strikeouts this past season also are a school record. He went 8-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 2011 and is tied for third all-time with 17 career wins. Anderson also had some impressive outings with the Team USA program.

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Anderson, 21, who has a fastball between 90 and 92 mph and impressive feel of four pitches, has been compared to Jeff Francis, a collegiate lefty the Rockies selected ninth overall in 2002.

"We liked his athleticism, his competitiveness and his character -- they all fit what we were looking for," said Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt, who said several members of the team's scouting staff commented that there are striking similarities to Francis, who was the team's ace during its 2007 World Series run and now pitches for the Royals.

The Twins originally selected Anderson in the 50th round in 2008. Anderson became the first Oregon player taken in the first round since the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Dave Roberts in 1972.

Anderson has made dramatic strides at Oregon, according to Mike Gomez, his coach at Spring Valley High in Las Vegas.

"He's an extreme competitor and an incredible hard worker," Gomez said. "He's a warrior. For us in high school, he was a bit inconsistent -- he showed flashes of his brilliance. The coaching staff at Oregon did a great job of getting him to be consistent.

"He turned out to be an overachiever. He was a very late Draft pick out of high school. He was a surprise sign at Oregon.

"They were a first-year program and he wasn't very highly recruited. He wasn't even an all-conference-type pitcher. He had very respectable numbers, but he wasn't a lights-out every game type of guy. But when he got to Oregon he became a different person. He far exceeded expectations we had of him. We thought maybe something like this could happen, but to see it take place is quite amazing."

Anderson became the third left-handed pitcher the Rockies have taken with their top pick in the last four years. They took Christian Friedrich 25th overall in 2008 and Tyler Matzek (11th overall) in 2009. Two other lefties the Rockies have grabbed with their top pick are Francis and Doug Million, seventh overall in 1994.

Story, 18, who has committed to Louisiana State, hit .484 with 10 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 29 RBIs during the high school season.

The Rockies made Story the first high school position player they have selected in the first round or the supplemental first round since they nabbed Chris Nelson ninth overall in 2004. The last time the Rockies took a shortstop in the first round or with a compensatory pick was 2005, when they grabbed Troy Tulowitzki seventh overall out of Long Beach State.

"He is very athletic and has the potential to play shortstop, and if not there he could play second or third -- stay on the [infield] dirt," Schmidt said. "He has the potential to develop some offensive skills."

Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at 10 a.m. MT on Tuesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Associate reporter Nick Kosmider contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }