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Cubs Draft- What the Experts are Saying

Matt Swain

Illinois engineering student, way too emotionally invested in the Cubs.

I was stunned when I heard the Chicago Cubs' selection, Hayden Simpson, a diminutive pitcher from Division II who has two average pitches and good command and control, in Round 1. For one thing, it's not scouting director Tim Wilken's style; he loves athletes and hard throwers, guys with upside who have the chance to become stars. For another, I can't imagine Simpson wouldn't have been there for the Cubs' second pick; other teams told me they had him in the fourth or fifth round, or not in their top 200, or that he was "not a priority guy."

ESPN's Keith Law in his Winners/Losers of Day 1 column

I like Matt Szczur to the #Cubs in the fifth-round. Absolute burner who could be nice bench OF.

- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein via Tweet

The Cubs saw Hayden Simpson throw 92-97 twice in four days at the D-II World Series, and they think he'll have four average or better pitches, love the makeup, believe he could move quickly. I don't think that was the consensus on him, but the Cubs saw him very well and were afraid another team with multiple picks might draft him before they could pick again. Stunned me, though.

Golden was one of the better athletes in the draft. I didn't mind Micah Gibbs in the third round, VG receiver and leader, should hit decently. They got a fine pair of in-state sleepers in Eric Jokisch (11th) and Ryan Hartman (16th). Matt Stites (33rd) is one of my favorite third-day picks so far.

- Jim Callis in his Baseball America Draft Chat

The Cubs took raw Alabama outfielder Reggie Golden -- who has first-round tools but fifth-round baseball skills right now -- in the second round. Then they grabbed a steal in the third round with LSU's Micah Gibbs, a good receiver who hit very well in the SEC this year... One possibly tough sign is Bryce Harper's brother, Bryan Harper, a left-handed pitcher who's committed to South Carolina and could re-enter the draft next year.

- ESPN's Keith Law in his review of NL drafts

They essentially draft based on limiting themselves to a very particular pool of players that fit their own "mold," then draft based on who might get drafted before they pick again, which is essentially defensive drafting to me. I honestly don't like their draft, and it's in the bottom third for me, but they did get good value for Golden and Gibbs and Kurcz, so I don't want to say that they don't know what they're doing, because they had a plan and executed it.

- Andy Seiler of MLB Bonus Baby on the Cubs draft in his Day 3 chat

Bryce Harper's teammate Aaron Kurcz, an undersized right-hander with a loose arm and above-average stuff, reminds me of Brewers right-hander Ruben Flores, who developed a plus change after draft day and might be in the big leagues today if it weren't for injuries.

- ESPN's Jason Churchill at his MLB Draft Blog



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