Hopewell High School alumnus and Aliquippa, Pennsylvania native Joe Rock is officially a Colorado Rockie after signing for his full slot value — $953,100 — on Wednesday afternoon. Rock was selected by Colorado in Competitive Balance Round B with the 68th overall pick of last week’s draft.
Rock, who played his college ball at Ohio University, is the highest Bobcat draft pick in school history according to Jim Callis, a senior writer at MLB Pipeline, and he got a rookie deal to match. His initial contract is the largest ever signed by an Ohio draft pick. He is just the second Hopewell graduate to ever be drafted.
Supplemental 2nd-rder Joe Rock signs w/@Rockies for $953,100 (full pick 68 value). Ohio LHP, highest-drafted pitcher in school history, misses bats w/92-96 mph fastball & low-80s slider, effective changeup too. 2.33 ERA this spring, 117 K in 88.2 IP. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 21, 2021
The 6-foot-6 left-hander rocketed up draft boards with strong performances in summer and fall seasons before a dominant junior campaign. After posting a 2-4 record and 5.19 ERA during his freshman season in 2019 and redshirting the 2020 campaign due to academic ineligibility, he tallied a team-high eight wins, four complete games and 117 strikeouts to only 27 walks en route to Second Team Division I All-American and First Team All-MAC honors.
He features a mid-90’s fastball and low-80’s breaking ball. His low arm slot has been attributed to a high rate of walks at times, but he seems to have worked out many of the kinks with his accuracy. He cut down his walk rate from 5.64 per nine innings in 2019 to 2.74 in 2021. His strikeout-to-walk ratio also improved from 1.10 to 4.33 over two seasons at Ohio.
Rock is just the second Hopewell graduate to ever be drafted. George Francis “Doc” Medich, a former two-sport athlete in football and baseball at Pitt, is the only other Viking to be drafted in the MLB.