DENVER -- The Rockies selected right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler from Radford (Va.) University with the 46th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Monday night.Butler, 6-foot-5 and 165 pounds, went 7-4 with a 2.20 ERA and struck out 85 in 98 innings, covering 14 starts this season. Butler was named co-pitcher of the year in the Big South Conference. Some analysts have said Butler could be developed as a reliever, but Rockies scouting vice president Bill Schmidt said there is no reason to change Butler -- whose fastball has been clocked at 97 mph. "He had the ability to pitch deep into games in college, and we think he'll be able to do it here at the professional level," Schmidt said. The Rockies also took outfielder David Dahl from Birmingham (Ala.) Oak Mountain High School with the 10th overall pick.
Butler's season included three complete games and two shutouts, and he held opponents to a .213 batting average, second-lowest among Big South starters. Burke shared Big South pitching honors with Coastal Carolina reliever Aaron Burk. Butler, 22, has a slider that has been a good secondary pitch and a developing changeup. He'll develop some physically but his body type will not change much. "I think he's going to be a Jered Weaver-type guy. He'll be lean and wiry," Schmidt said. "It's a loose arm." Butler has the highest Draft slot of any Radford player since Phil Leftwich, 64th overall in 1990. Radford is the school that produced former Rockies reliever Ryan Speier, a undrafted player who helped the club during its late-season run to the World Series in 2007.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.