Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Andy Cross / THE DENVER POST
One day after seeing former Legacy standout pitcher Lucas Gilbreath drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the seventh round of the 2017 MLB draft, two more players with local ties were taken on Wednesday as this year’s selection period wrapped up.
Niwot shortstop Skyler Messinger was the second 2017 high school graduate from Colorado to be taken, as the Cubs called on him in the 22nd round and with the 675th overall pick.
A short time later, Broomfield’s pitching ace James Notary was picked by the Rockies in the 35th round — the 1,046th overall selection this year.
Notary is the eighth Broomfield product to be selected in the MLB draft, just the fourth since 2000.
“For sure a good day,” Notary said after learning of his selection. “It was kind of a normal day for me, and actually I had just come back from the gym when my mom said, ‘hey, we need to watch the draft, need to watch the draft’ because she had gotten an e-mail from (Rockies Senior Director of Scouting Operations) Marc Gustafson.
“The call came in a little later, and coming in (the 35th round), it was just pretty cool.”
Both players have Division I scholarships lined up, with Messinger headed to Kansas and Notary to Texas Christian in the fall. Both players, as well, are coming off outstanding prep seasons.
Messinger was the Northern League position player of the year after leading the Cougars with a .484 batting average, 16 extra-base hits and a highlight reel of defensive plays that made him a constant draw for local scouts. His junior year was just as remarkable — he hit .493 with 13 extra-base hits and 24 RBI.
Both years, Messinger was a BoCoPreps.com all-region selection.
Notary helped take Broomfield all the way to the Class 5A state championship game this year and was one of the state’s premier workhorses on the mound with a 1.33 earned-run average in 58 innings pitched. His 7-0 record included three shutouts and he struck out 107 batters while walking 23 and allowing a .146 opponents batting average.
“After the first 10 rounds went by, the decision kind of leaned more towards sticking with going to college,” said Notary, who played the past two fall seasons with the Rockies Scout Team. “But it was cool to get drafted. I am thankful for the Rockies looking at me, but I am going to school and hoping to get better there so that there’s a chance to move up.”
The three area draft picks comes off a 2016 season in which just one player with local ties was taken — Broomfield’s Brandon Bailey (who was with Gonzaga at the time) was a sixth-round selection.
Every year since 2010 has seen a local draft pick, and Messinger and Notary’s selections bring to nine the number of players since then that have been picked straight out of high school.