With their final Day 2 pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the Rockies found a proven offensive talent in the 10th round by selecting outfielder Michael Tauchman from Bradley.
Through four years with the Braves, Tauchman set a school record by reaching base 367 times and finished with 239 hits, third most in program history. Forty-two of those hits were doubles and 10 were triples. A second-team Louisville Slugger All-American as a senior, he also hit a career-high .425 this year.
Those numbers were enough for the outfielder to be named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.
"I think you have to go to the track record," said Marc Gustafson, the Rockies' senior director of scouting operations. "I think he was the leading hitter in the nation. ... This guy can swing the bat. He can produce.
"With any player at this point in time, from round 10 through the end of the draft, there's potential big leaguers."
Never one to hit tape-measure blasts into the bleachers -- he hit only eight home runs in his career -- Tauchman's speed could make center field his home in the pros. He was successful on 28 of his 30 steal attempts this year.
Tauchman will likely need a few years before he's ready for the big leagues, but his combination of speed and hitting will give him a chance to develop into a valuable role player. As a four-year starter, he has the experience and intangibles to climb through the Minor League system.
"We look at statistics, we analyze video and we take a very close look at the makeup and character of these guys," Gustafson said. "And Michael Tauchman fits all of those criteria>"
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.