Rox take versatile lefty Bowden with 45th pick

Rox take versatile lefty Bowden with 45th pick

DENVER -- The Rockies selected versatile left-hander Ben Bowden from Vanderbilt University in the second round of the 2016 Draft, with the 45th overall pick, on Thursday night.

Bowden was a reliever his first two seasons at Vandy, and he turned heads while dominating the collegiate wood-bat Cape Cod League last summer. The 21-year-old held opponents to one run and struck out 43 in 30 innings, and he was co-Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. Bowden posted a 4.68 ERA as a starter this season before returning to a closer role at Vanderbilt.

4th overall: Riley Pint
38th overall: Robert Tyler

Bowden finished the year with a 3.51 ERA and 10 saves, and it appears Bowden will slot immediately into the bullpen in professional ball.

"We will keep him in the bullpen because that's what he did for the majority of the season, and then we'll watch him from there as we get into next year," Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt said.

Scouts like Bowden's 90-95 mph fastball that has late, downward movement and is a swing-and-miss pitch. He also displayed good feel for a changeup, and displayed a breaking ball that ranged between a low 80s slider and an upper 70s curveball.

Bowden was ranked the No. 67 prospect by MLB.com. Two Vanderbilt teammates were selected Thursday -- right-handed pitcher Jordan Sheffield, 36th overall by the Dodgers, and outfielder Bryan Reynolds, 59th overall to the Giants.

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 10:30 a.m. MT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 11 a.m.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.