GJ’s Burns taken by Rockies in round 37

Casey Burns was traveling on a bus to Denver with his Gene Taylor’s Baseball teammates when, in De Beque, his cell-phone service flashed back on and delivered a message on Twitter.

The Grand Junction High School graduate had been drafted by the Colorado Rockies.

“It was just kind of shocking,” Burns said.

Burns, a senior who said he’ll still play at Division I St. Mary’s College of California for the next two years, did not expect to be drafted.

The Rockies took him in the 37th round Wednesday.

Burns, of course, grew up a Rockies fan.

“It just kind of hit me when I saw it, like, ‘Wow,’ ” he said of the tweet. “I don’t know what to say. It’s crazy.”

And he may have a chance, after at least two years with St. Mary’s, to return home and once again play at Suplizio Field, this time for the Rookie League Grand Junction Rockies.

“That’d be way cool,” he said. “I just have to keep working at it.”

Burns, a shortstop, hit .244 with 16 RBI for the Tigers. But he showed reliability in the field, speed on the bases and an arm that helped him to a 2-0 record with a 0.89 ERA in 15 2/3 innings on the mound.

That versatility is why the Rockies scouts were following him since the fall, Burns said.

“I was kind of a five-tool player, they were saying,” Burns said.

But the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Burns tends to be better known for his basketball skills; in particular, his shooting ability and two-handed dunks.

“That’s what everybody says,” Burns said about being labeled a basketball player. “It’s kind of funny. They say, ‘Oh, so you’re going to St. Mary’s for basketball?’ No ... ”

Also, in the 40th round, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Montrose High School’s 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher Zane Hemond.

Fruita Monument High School shortstop Drew Bridges, who will play for the University of New Mexico and hit .394 with four home runs for the Wildcats as a senior, said he was not disappointed when his name didn’t pop up on the draft board.

“I thought I may have been (selected),” said Bridges, who is 6-4, 215 pounds. “But I’m not bummed. I’m just focused on (college) and getting an education and stuff.”


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