Done Deal: Rockies Sign RHP Kauffman from Michigan, Turn Focus to Latin America

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The Rockies finalized the details of signing right-handed pitcher Karl Kauffman of the University of Michigan, the 71st player selected in the first-year player draft, completing their efforts to sign players in the first-year player draft on Tuesday and turned their attention to Latin America.

The signing period for foreign players opened Tuesday with the Rockies reportedly agreeing to terms with infielder Adael Amador, ranked the 12th-best prospect in the Latin market, on a $1.5 million deal.

Kauffman was one of the key members of a rotation that pitched Michigan into the best-of-three showdown with eventual national champion Vanderbilt at the College World Series. He is believed to have signed a deal worth the allotted $805,600 bonus for the 71st selection in the draft.

Now his focus is turning to the Rockies, a franchise he admitted during his visit to Coors Field on Tuesday he had followed closely because of friendship with Michigan first baseman Matthew Schmidt, whose father Bill Schmidt, is the Rockies Vice-President of Scouting.

It was only fitting that Kauffman and his Michigan teammates were on a bus, heading to the airport after knocking off Creighton in the NCAA Regional at Oregon State, when he received word that the Rockies had used their competitive balance pick between the second and third rounds on Kauffman.

“Pure joy,” Kauffman said of his reaction to being selected by the Rockies. “One of my buddy’s dad (Schmidt) is with the Rockies. When we found out, we kept yelling, `Rocktober.’”

Kauffman said he will head to rookie-level Grand Junction to begin his professional career.

The Rockies international scouting department, meanwhile, made an impact on the first day they could sign players, not only agreeing to terms with Amador, but also signing Dominican outfielder Oscar Aude and left-handed pitcher Alberto Pacheco to $400,000 deal.