Cubs 2013 Draft Review: Our analysis of the first 10 Rounds

Cubs 2013 Draft Review:  Our analysis of the first 10 Rounds

It's been a lot of preparation. We've been gathering info for almost a year. We've provided original, first hand scouting information. We've talked to professional scouts. We've consulted with other bloggers who specialize in the draft.   We've voraciously read the available experts' material around the web.

And it was all for this day.

Now that the first 10 rounds are over, here are the picks...

  1. Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
  2. Rob Zastryzny, LHP, Missouri
  3. Jacob Hanneman, CF, BYU
  4. Tyler Skulina, RHP, Kent State
  5. Trey Masek, RHP,
  6. Scott Frazier, RHP, Pepperdine
  7. David Garner, RHP, Michigan State
  8. Sam Wilson, LHP, Lamar CC
  9. Charcer Burke, CF, H.S. (TX)
  10. Zach Godley, RHP, Tennessee

And here is what I think....

1st Round Pick

When it came to the first pick, Kris Bryant, it was all about taking the best player available. To the Cubs that means the guy with the best combination of floor and ceiling. Bryant was one of the consensus 3 best players in the draft along with RHPs Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, but the feeling was that the Cubs felt more comfortable with the power hitting Bryant, partly because of the track record of college bats in the majors and partly because he is a player with whom they have become very familiar over the years.

Bryant figures to provide power and patience and, as luck would have it, at a position of need, 3B. He'll be a top 3 prospect with the Cubs -- probably the only guy I'll rank in the top 10 from this draft.

2nd Round Pick

From here the Cubs attacked pitching and they did it with a specific profile in mind. They were looking for pitchers with certain characteristics:

  • Plus arm strength
  • Plus mental makeup/work ethic
  • The college experience, players that can move quickly

What it adds up to is a lot of high floors when it comes to pitching but with some projectability and room for development.  When it comes to 2nd round pick LHP Rob Zastryzny, we're talking about refining command and his breaking pitch -- a pitch he only started throwing 6 months ago.  He already has an above average fastball that he throws with good arm speed.

Curiously, the fastball has been clocked anywhere from 86 to 95 mph.  But here's the good thing.  The 95 mark is the most recent.  It's a velocity he flashed in regionals for his Missouri University team.  It's also his 4 seam fastball.  He also throws a 2-seamer that his more often in the high 80s but has more movement.

What I like about the slider, or lack thereof, is that 1) there is room for improvement and 2) there's been less wear on his arm with a pitch that puts a lot of stress on the elbow.  The slider shows promise and has the potential to be yet another average to plus pitch.

Of all the pitchers the Cubs have taken, Zastryzny has the best shot of sticking as a starter because of his change-up, good command, and advanced feel for pitching. If he can have consistent velocity -- and the thought is he'll eventually sit at 92-93 -- while also developing his slider, then the Cubs could have something here.

Rounds 4-8

  • Tyler Skulina
  • Trey Masek
  • Scott Frazier
  • David Garner
  • Sam Wilson (L)

The other pitchers don't have the same command, feel, or ability to change speeds -- but they all have power arms and the thought behind it isn't hard to see.  Jed Hoyer recently said that good teams develop their bullpen organically.  That is not to say that  the Cubs drafted relief pitchers.  All of these pitchers are capable of starting.  All have the potential to have 3 plus pitches.

But all have flaws.  With some of them it's command, with others it's their delivery, and still others have questions about durabilty. That is why they were available in rounds 4-8.

Whether they are correctable flaws remains to be seen, but none lack for ability or mental makeup.  These are the the kinds of pitchers they want to hand over to their secret weapon, minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson, who has a track record of developing consistent velocity and command in his pitchers.

So the idea is let's see if we can develop these power arms into starters.  In that sense, they are lottery tickets. There isn't much to lose in rounds 4-8, which is where these guys were taken.  At the same time, it's not boom or bust.  All of these pitchers have the fastball and potential for one plus secondary pitch -- a starter kit that make them potential fits for the bullpen down the road.

The theme is constant.  These aren't low ceiling, high floor guys.  They do have high floors, but these are also guys with room for growth and upside, with the mental makeup to work hard to reach that ceiling.  And most importantly, there is a staff in place, led by Johnson, to guide them in that direction.

You can see individual profiles of each pitcher in our instant analysis here.

Other picks:

Perhaps the most surprising pick was 3rd rounder Jacob Hanneman.  He's a 22 year old draft eligible freshman because of a Mormon mission.  He came back to BYU and didn't miss a beat.  I think this was a Theo pick, who was enamored with Hanneman's fluid style of play and natural instincts, but I also think this is a guy that Dave McKay will like.   I mentioned him as a Jacoby Ellsbury type but he is also a bit like our own Matt Szczur.  Szczur however relies more on raw athleticism than baseball instincts.  The instincts are something he has developed over time as he has played more baseball.   The reason I bring up McKay is because he has specifically raved about outfielders with instincts over ones with raw speed.  He was a big fan of Jae-Hoon Ha for this reason.  Hanneman may give him the best of both worlds to work with.

I have to admit I don't know much about the last two picks of the round and I imagine that both were taken somewhat for their signability.  Charcer Burke fits the athletic, up the middle player type that the Cubs front office likes.  One reader who saw him described him as a quick twitch athlete with very good bat speed.  Seems like a good place to start.

The last pitcher was Zach Godley from Tennessee and he's a big-bodied college senior (6'3", 245 lbs) who despite having that big size, throws an average 88-92 mph fastball.  He also throws a low to mid 70s curve that can be above average at times, and a change.  Again, he does have the traits to be a starter but has the skills to be a bullpen guy -- especially if his fastball picks up a few ticks in short stints.

Overall Impression/Grade

I think it's difficult to grade drafts this early but I applaud the Cubs for thinking outside the box and shifting gears.  It seemed the Cubs preferred Appel but they had a plan B ready, which was to take the best player available (Kris Bryant), then take the guy they thought was the best available starting pitcher in round 2 (Rob Zastryzny) and then attacked pitching with volume -- specifically power pitching -- in the middle rounds.

The temptation is to say that the Cubs reached in rounds 2 and 3 but for me to say that would be a self-serving analysis.  It would be like saying that I had more (and better) information than the Cubs do.  I obviously don't.  On the other hand, I don't mean to say I blindly trust the front office.  That would be like saying we are completely uninformed and we shouldn't  have our own opinions.  That's not the case at all.

What I'm trying to do is keep an open mind and doing my best to understand what the Cubs were trying to do.  We'll have plenty of time to judge this draft over the next several years.  What I can say for now is that the Cubs had an organized plan and executed it well.  And while this draft lacked marquee names apart from Kris Bryant, the Cubs managed to snag 5 top 100 talents.  I like what they did and if they can come out of his with a middle of the order power hitting 3B, a LH starting pitcher, and a bullpen arm or two, then I will call this draft a huge success.

So now I turn it over to you.  How do you think the Cubs did the past two days?

Filed under: MLB Draft

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  • Thanks for all the hard work you've put in these last few days,John!

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    Thanks and thanks to you guys for adding the great input!

  • BIG time thank you to you and the staff, John. It was a true privilege to have familiar and trustworthy voices break down these picks with such steadfast commitment. Kudos on the great work! And get some rest (and scotch) please!

  • Interested to see if the Cubs have something up their sleeve with signing a big name over slot in round 10.

    I'm not saying that the 2nd and 3rd round picks indicate that, those guys could very well have been the top players on their board, but the start of the 10th round is when guys that slid due to signability are going to start to get picked up. Cubs love up the middle guys, do they go after Boldt?

    As for the last 2 days, who knows. So hard to predict these drafts in advance. I just hope 2 of our injury gambles don't blow up before they could start their first full pro year like McNeil and Conway. Really sucks when you try and assemble waves and waves of pitching and one wave is crippled before it can even start.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Sorry, start of the 11th round.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I think the Cubs may go for one such player but they seem more intent on getting their guys earlier. It'll be interesting to see how much money they'll have to sign. I think they should at least save money at 3,9, and 10, perhaps at 2 as well.

  • I think the cubs did a great job loading up on high floor college pitchers in the later rounds that have some nice upside. The Hanneman pick was a bit of a reach, but we'll see. Love the Bryant pick too

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    We did OK addressing our major need, which was pitching. Time will tell on Bryant, but seems like a good pick. Other than that, we seemed to load up on college arms, most of whom figure to be bullpen material. But you never know.

    They say it takes 5-6 years to really tell how a draft went. By that measure, ask me in 2019.........

    .....which means maybe we can close the books on 2008. It was a very average draft; we got Cashner at 1-19, which worked out, but after that was just a few fringy pitchers

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I had to take a peek at 2007. Josh Vitters over Wieters in the first, followed by C Josh Donaldson and the immortal Anthony Thomas, but then Darwin Barney keeps this draft from being a complete disaster and -- speaking of find quality relievers in the late rounds -- we got James Russell in the 14th. Still, when you whiff in the first three rounds, including a top 5 pick, that's a bad draft.

    If we hit on this year's top 5 pick and find the next Russell in the later rounds, this draft will have been a success.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Josh Donaldson is playing pretty good for Oakland this year. He has 9 homers, and won a game for them today with a grand slam. We traded him a few years back in the Rich Harden trade. He was still in A ball.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I remember Tony Thomas -- some thought he was a steal at that point. Looked like a great hitter in college -- and he was in the first couple of years in the minors, then he flamed out.

    I remember Russell too, he was their overslot guy.

  • Bleacher report on Charcer Burks: Chicago's latest addition is OF Charcer Burks. He could be a bench player/defensive replacement in the big leagues with plus speed, range and an average arm in center field. His offense is virtually non-existent. Grade: C-

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    In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    If a guy that low in the draft makes it as a 4th OFer then it is a win. I would like to actually see the guy play some before I say what he is and isn't.

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    Bleacher Report is about the worst source for informed opinion on the internet. Their links fill search engines, but their content is amateur. Like literally. They don't pay for it. They ask guys who really don't have an cred to write for them...for free. Don't waste your time going there. And if you do, do so for entertainment purposes only.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Haha yeah I know. It was just theonly place i found anything on Burks. He is quite under the radar

  • The fact that they snagged 5 of the top 100, when all the so called experts said they reached for their 2nd and 3rd round picks (were they even in the top 100) tells me how worthless the actual top 100 list is when it comes to drafting. I think we've got the smartest collection of talent in the FO, with every resource at their disposal. I think they know more than the media "experts".

    Other than that, great job John and all the denizens who contributed in the threads.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think when people say that the Cubs reached, they're relating it to their own subjective analysis, so we can respect it, but we also have to understand that they are basing it on their own interpretations and reports -- often second hand. It's for that reason I've stopped grading drafts because we're grading it on the standard of another person's subjective analysis.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's a really nice way of saying "ignorance is bliss". Which is basically what I said with a sharper tongue...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    We'll be watching for regular reports on IF Evan Van HOOSIER, 8th-round pick of the Rangers.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ha! He calls me daddy...

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Haha I brought him up yesterday. I know him personally, as he was a high school teammate of mine. Kid can flat out hit!

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    It was an odd draft. Other than Bryant, who was clearly BPA, they seemed to be drafting with an eye towards guys who can be ready relatively quickly. One high schooler, and no high school pitchers. Guys like Duane Underwood and Ryan McNeil are notably absent.

    It seems like the draft was intentionally designed around getting players who can contribute in the bullpen sooner rather than later.

    Other than Bryant, I don't have the same "wow, this is awesome" feeling that I had after last year's draft. But, as I said a few times, I think this is the draft of a team that expects to compete sooner rather than later. So, in that sense, I think this draft is pretty good news.

  • Great work John (as always)! Thank you!

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Thanks Captain!

  • Another thing this draft did was it allowed the Cubs because of the college arm depth they took not to rush any of their hs pitching they took last year to put them into a level they aren't ready for

  • Watching the LSU Oklahoma game right now and Gray is pitching. He's sitting at 94-96 consistently and showing a good slider. But I noticed LSU pithcer Aaron Nola he would be a great P for the Cubs to target next years Draft. Nola 11-0 record, 111 strikeouts, a 1.82 ERA and a .195 opponent batting average. The Tigers are 14-1 in games he has started this season

  • I really really like this draft so far. Picking number 2 is never a bad situation, especially when there is a consensus #2 in the draft room like it seemed to be with Bryant. He's got an enormous ceiling. Then the college pitching picks have been fantastic. Average stuff guys with polish are scattered all over the farm system (bullpens included) and the lack of power arms really is astonishing. We just picked up a lefty starter with some solid upside and then 5 more college arms who have power arms 92-94mph and up. That right there is awesome because even if just one pans out as a power starter, you have 4 others who could slot in throughout the system as hard throwing late inning guys. And we all know the cubs could use some homegrown bullpen options.

    As for the two CF's, it looks like its all about upside there. Burke seems to be a great raw athlete and thats always worth a flier and anyone who can take 2 years off of baseball and then put up numbers in college baseball like Hanneman did obviously has some talent. Really like the talk of how fluid he is and the bit of Jacoby Ellsbury people see in him.

    Hope for a tough sign or two tomorrow that give us a shot at a really nice draft class.

  • With the caveat that rating drafts is an inexact science, most agreed that this wasn't the strongest draft going in. That said, I believe the Cubs did alright. It was nice to see they had a definite plan, which was probably a contingency plan(gotta believe Appel was their first choice). I too agree that our F.O. and staff is a very talented one whom I have no choice but to trust. I'm not ecstatic about our draft, but I don't think this draft had a lot to offer impact wise. Our greatest need was impact S.P. Once Appel was gone they had to go Bryant and then hope with the subsequent pitching available after that.

  • I see one definite result of this year's Cubs draft so far -- Derek Johnson and his staff are going to be b-u-s-y for a long time !

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Yep,... but a good kind of busy.

  • Excellent work as always John. People can talk all they want about Jim Callis and Keith Law , who I both like, but John your analysis and coverage of the draft can stand next them if you ask me.

  • Great job as usual. First Time really following the draft. How soon can we expect to see a guy like Bryant sign? How quickly after that would he assigned to Arizona or wherever he will go? Thanks.

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    I'm a big fan of Theo and most of his decisions. I loved last year's draft.

    But I'm okay with just saying I hate what they've done so far in this draft.

    I think passing on Gray is a mistake, and I'm not as high on the Bryant pick.
    The lack of ceiling in the pitchers taken is both disappointing and frustrating.

    I fully recognize that these guys know a hell of a lot more than not only me, but the draft "experts".

    Experts have to scout essentially every single player, which is impossible. The actual teams have armies of scouts and can dedicate extra time to specific players once they start zeroing in on their guys.

    So I'm hoping the smart guys, the pros, show why they're considered that. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

    But for now, I see a system that was completely devoid of high-ceiling arms with a high probability of developing into FOR guys... And still is.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    College bats have a significantly higher chance of making the major leagues, and an even higher chance of being impact MLB players, than college pitchers do. Bryant's got a reasonable chance of being the starting third baseman on Opening Day 2016. Light-tower power, patient approach, and should play an acceptable third base. Even if the batting average is only in the .260-.270 range, he should have a high OBP and at least 25 homers per year.

    There's a lot of reports Zastryzny could wind up with his fastball sitting in the low 90's, and that he's only started throwing his slider in the last six months. Derek Johnson's got a lot of work to do with this kid, but he could wind up being a 2-3 starter if he hits on all cylinders.

    The ceiling on the starters grabbed obviously isn't Gray's, but short of Appel and Kohl Stewart, nobody's really is. Every pitcher is a gamble. Trey McNutt was the 980th pick of the 2009 draft, and he's still one of the Cubs' top pitching prospects. Brandon Beachy was signed as an undrafted free agent by Atlanta. Sure, he's gone down due to TJ surgery, but that's a great find.

    In baseball more than any other sport, you go best player available. And the Cubs front office had Bryant as better than Gray. It's a point that will be debatable for the next decade. It's just too early to get upset one way or another. Not like the Giants or Royals with their first-round reaches for shortstops.

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    In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I'm really sick of hearing this argument. It makes virtually no sense, at all.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Which argument is that? Are you talking about college bats taken in the first round having a higher success rate versus everyone else? If you are, that's not an argument. It's a stone cold fact. There is nothing to argue about. It's possible that they had Gray ranked higher than Bryant, but in their minds, it had to be demonstrably higher, and it clearly wasn't.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'm aware its a fact. But it means nothing.

    How far can you take that.

    How does it look if you pass on a Verlander or the like because position players are a "safer" pick?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Safer means more potential to be better. Gray could be the next Verlander, or he could turn into Kyle Farnsworth. Bryant could be Mike Schmidt, or pat Burrell. The safe pick is more often then not the right one.

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    In reply to Break The Curse:

    But by that logic, we shouldn't have even considered drafting Appeal.
    Pitchers are far less safe than position players!

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Facts mean nothing? Only someone who wasn't grounded in objective reality could say such a thing. Facts are everything. As for how it looks, it wasn't exactly consensus that Verlander was going to become what he became, and for every first round pitcher who turned into Verlander, I can show you more that didn't. As for how it looks, I doubt they give damn, which is why I'm glad they're in charge and not the old regime. They made their picks using sound logic and reasoning with no concern for how the fans or the media thought about it, which is how it should be.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    The Padres did NOT pass on Verlander because it was safer. In fact everyone at the time said the took a HUGE gamble. The Padres went with the cheapest pick they could find that they thought could be a big leaguer. It back fired horribly, and is a lesson.

    But if money was no issue at all the Padres would not have picked Bush, and that isn't some seceret that was a known thing from day one of that draft.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Once the adderall stuff came out, and the lack of a proven track record, it was quite obvious that Bryant was the better choice for our FO. We all get by now that you disagree.
    There are only a few close to sure thing first round pitchers such as Verlander. Gray's ceiling may be the sky, but his floor is the ground. Plus his make up has been questioned. Forget about the argument that you are sick of and focus on the fact that there is a far better chance that Bryant has a decent MLB career then Gray at this point. A year down the road, maybe that changes. But without a crystal ball the FO chose the BPA, which in this case was Bryant. If Appel was there, we would have taken him. But he wasn't.
    You can't screw up a second pick! You take the BPA, which to our front office is a combination of ceiling and floor (Bryant), not just ceiling (Gray). None of us on here are experts by any means, but we all have well informed opinions and disagree with each other tastefully. Is it a stretch to ask that you do the same?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Just read this. Nicely put ! Thanks.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You don't take a gamble on someone with as small a track record as Gray with the #2 pick. Coming into the season, he wasn't even considered the top prospect out of Oklahoma. The Cubs have a history with Bryant apparently going back to his high school days. If Appel had been there, they'd take Appel, there's no doubt he was the #1 talent in this draft, with the highest combination of floor and ceiling. Barring major shoulder/elbow problems, Appel should be a productive member of an MLB rotation by no later than 2016.

    After Appel, though, it was debatable if Bryant or Gray was the #2 talent. To flip your point around, do you want to pass on the next Miguel Cabrera for another Bobby Brownlie? Every draft pick is a gamble, and the front office feels they have the greatest chance of success with Bryant and a bunch of pitchers throughout the draft. John Smoltz was a 22nd rounder, Roy Oswalt a 23rd. Gray could wind up the next Verlander, or the next Wade Townsend.

    Draft picks are always a gamble. Bryant's less of a risk than Gray. I personally believe all the mock drafts having the Cubs taking Gray was the "experts" wanting the Cubs to draft for need and not BPA, and wanting to see Bryant hit home runs out of Coors Field.

  • Most of the pitching talent we have is at Boise or AA, so going after college arms was a good move this year. If Bryant is the hitter we believe he'll be and we get some good bullpen pitchers out of this draft it will have been worth it. Sign these guys up and start working on trading some of our excess OF for some decent prospects

  • Just to show the wonky nature of player rankings, there's the Nats' 2nd round pick, Dallas Baptist pitcher Jake Johansen.
    (per MLBTR:)
    "Keith Law ranked Johansen the No. 63 prospect in the draft, while Baseball America ranked him No. 182."
    63 or 182. That's quite a difference. Guess that's why clubs have scouts.

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    Also, with so many low-ceiling guys, I can't help but wonder where the hell they're spending their money.

    Paying Bryant significantly over-slot is upsetting but I don't see how he can cost THAT much. Picks 2-10 all sound like under-slot guys to me.

    If it takes so much to sign Bryant that we sacrifice money for the rest of the draft, that alone makes it a failure to me.

    I'd have preferred to use the Astros strategy from last year over that, IF it is the case.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Picks 2-10 are not all underslot guys.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    They're certainly not over-slot.

    I'm not saying they're bad players or even picks, necessarily... But none have a high ceiling from 2-10.

    The dollars don't seem to add up.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Don't forget nothing can be judged on over/under slot until we see picks in rounds 11 and forward. You may or may not be correct in that all 2-10 are under slot guys, time will tell. But if in the 11th and 12th they take hard to sign, high upside prospects we don't know for sure the strategy.

    With this CBA round 11 is arguably a bigger round that 3-10. Because a team doesn't lose bonus money if the player goes unsigned a team can gamble on tough signs. Let's see what they do tomorrow and we will have a better idea of the overall strategy.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Depends what you mean by "high ceiling." I've seen Zastrynzy referred to as a potential 2-3. That's pretty much Pierce Johnson's ceiling. Masek was considered to have first round stuff. He's probably a reliever, but his ceiling is staff ace.

    I know you're upset that we didn't get one of the top pitchers, but that's no reason to understate what we did get.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Exactly! Maybe Giffmo would prefer Jim Hendry running the drafts and developing the prospects.

  • Chris Okey is still available and was projected to be taken in the 3rd round. Do you think he would sign for 3rd money if taken in the 11th?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I dunno, but I would like that move if it happened. I'm good with the draft. Neither feeling like it's totally franchise changing, not thinking that it won't produce useful MLB players (if Bryant turns into a middle of the order thumper, that's a A for the draft right there IMO). But the one thing I keep waiting for/hoping for is getting some depth in the catching position. It's such a vital position...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Any thoughts on why Okey's dropped so far? Was he considered a "difficult sign" like Stewart?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I don't really have an answer for that. He's definitely a highly thought of prep catcher and is committed to Clemson. Interestingly, he signed with Clemson as a sophomore so it is not a casual commitment. His grandfather is a prominent athletic booster for and graduate of Clemson. His mother was a Clemson cheerleader, and his uncle is an alum as well. Okey did acknowledge that those family ties might scare off some teams from drafting him saying, "[Scouts] know I have strong family ties. It could have an effect on where I am taken."

    If the Cubs save enough money in the first ten rounds, they should be able to make him a persuasive offer. I'd at least like to see them try. The Cubs sure could use a catcher of his quality in their system.

  • Bryants number is the key if its around 6 million they could have a mill or 2 to go after some of those harder to sign kids. Okey and brentz are 2 player the cubs were thought to like that are still there but who knows if they would take 3 or 4 rd money

  • Good work John I personally though they could have gone with a few more higher upside pitchers mixed in up as of right now I would give it a b- but I'll hold off until I see how they do in a mouth or 2

  • John I trust Theo and i think this could be a good draft. People complain about having bullpen guys and not guys with number 1-2 ceiling but you have to build a team step by step and it looks like they are addressing the bullpen. I am just curious if you were the cubs would you draft okey or boldt?

  • i watched Johnathon Gray pitch today, his game was on T.V., he was good, but I wasn't overly impressed, I'm def happy they took Bryant for sure...

    Who would you rather have, Matt Garza or Ryan Braun?

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    In reply to Nik0522:

    Gray's ceiling is WAY higher than Garza.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    or he could never be as good as Garza or a Samardzija, I don't think he will ever be a ace, maybe a 2 or 3 or 4, who knows, I am willing to bet a lot Bryant has a way better career is my point tho

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You may want to reconsider that take. Garza already has cumulative WAR value of 16 and the average third rd. pick will have 6.9 during their career according to BA. Also consider that Garza was the BA 2006 player of the year and some are projecting Gray as a possible reliever and it's difficult to see how Gray's ceiling could be way above Garza. Matt could very well be a 30 WAR pitcher by the time he's finished.

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    In reply to Paulson:

    I didn't say definitely better. His ceiling is far above the pitcher Garza is. That's all.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    In what way is Gray's ceiling far above Garza if it isn't by performance? Are you saying Gray's ceiling is Roger Clemens- it's confusing just what you mean.

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    In reply to Paulson:

    Gray's has ace ceiling.

    As in, he would be #1 in most MLB rotations at his peak.

    Garza is very good, sure. He's a really good player, but outside of the worst few rotations in the league (which really is beside the point) Garza is not a #1 anywhere.

    I'm not insulting Garza but he's not the best pitcher on our team, even. He is not an ace. But, Gray's ceiling definitely is.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Gray would be lucky to ever accomplish what Garza has already, don't forget what Garza did with Tampa and what he did in the playoffs for them, Cubs thought Garza would be an Ace, that's why they gave up so much for him... Gray doesn't have any better pitch or stuff than Garza, Garza is actually at this point WAY better than Gray, if Garza was healthy and per say pitching in College he would have unreal number and most likely go number 1with his stuff and command... just IMO, Gray won't ever even accomplish what Garza has, and i'm willing to bet Bryant can be like Braun, Troy Glaus, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman type player

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    In reply to Nik0522:

    You're comparing where Garza, a seasoned veteran, is NOW against a college pitcher to determine a theoretical draft point?

    Really. I don't even know where to start.

    Other than, He dry thought he'd be an Ace.
    He's not.

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    Grays FB and slider are better than Garzas . Garza tops mid 90's and his slider isn't the wipeout slider Grays is. Whether they correlate to the same results Garza has had remains to be seen .

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    They didn't take Gray and they can't go back and change that. To be honesty I don't see them wanting too. They added some serious pitching talent yesterday be happy. They also have a good chance of adding some more impact today from what I have been told. Relax and wait to see what they do during international signing and the trade deadline.

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    In reply to Nik0522:

    @Kevin, is Clifton the guy you were referring to?

  • One strange thing is we are low on catchers in the system and we didn't draft a catcher yet when this draft was supposed to be strong in that area. Maybe tomorrow.

    Other than that I like the first 10 rounds. Bryant looks like he will fix our 3B problem quite nicely. And everything I read about Hanneman makes me think he just might give Almora a run for his money in CF.

  • In reply to John57:

    Im not so sure it was a deep draft on catchers. There may have been depth but there were major ? on almost all of them. That said it could be that they didn't see value in the sense that it was an under slot signing for sure. Plus they took a couple c in the last draft and they may want to see what they have a bit they took the Cal catcher last year as a under slot safe catcher and hes been likely better than they could have hoped

  • First, I want to say thanks to John and everyone else for all their hard work leading up to the draft. I love this site and I think it's the best site for all things Cubs.

    Now as far as the draft goes it appears Theo and Co. did indeed go after and obtain exactly what the org. needs. We need a 3B and we got a big one. We need bullpen help and we got many. Sure Derek Johnson will try and make them into "late round magic" starters but if it doesn't work out then we will have drafted quality bullpen relief. All in all high floor college pitchers who could start but more than likely end up in the pen.

    Seems our defense/offense behind the pitcher is just about set (at least in the minors) with Soler, Baez, Almora, and Bryant combined with Castro, Rizzo and Beef. Combine that with the Bullpen/Potential Starters we just drafted and all that remains would be a few high quality FA starting pitchers that have already made it to the Big Show. (no need to risk draft picks on flameouts.) And the Cubs can certainly afford to purchase those FA pitchers when the time is right.

    As of right now I'll continue to look at the macro of the plan instead of the details and applaude this draft. However if these picks flameout and the plan fizzles then I hereby deserve, and acknowledge receipt of, tomato to the face by all Cubs Den contributors.

  • I'd say the only thing that I "hate" about the draft today is where Zastryzny chose to go to school. I grew up in Lawrence, KS, so if you know much about Civil War-era history involving the border war and Bleeding Kansas, it helps explain a fierce rivalry between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri.

    There is one thing about him that I've read today that I really liked. He changes speeds with his fastball. It sounds like he understands his limitations and mixes things up in order to gain an advantage. Gotta love a crafty lefty that keeps hitters on their feet. I was reminded of my favorite Cub of the last ten years, Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. He wasn't a #1 by any means, didn't have the greatest stuff in the world, but changed speeds and hit locations well enough to keep the Cubs in games most every time out.

    Now it's way too early to think about that kind of comparison, but that is the type of pitcher I thought of today when reading about Zastryzny.

    I found myself playing the "what are they doing drafting another CF" game in the third round, asking questions like, "Is this going to mean a move for Almora to a corner spot in the future? What is Theo thinking, here?" Then I just made myself calm down and realize that it is just way too early to think about any of that kind of stuff. Time will tell if the Hanneman pick was a dud or whether he'll challenge for a starting spot in the OF. Provided he signs with the club, I'll look forward to reading about his development on Cubs Den with the rest of you.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    As a Mizzou alum, I applaud the pick !
    (I would like him even if he were a Jayhawk [gulp]. Kid's got a great attitude, backed up by an idea of what pitching should be -- keeping hitters off balance.)

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    obviously you have Yankee revisionist history in your views on the Missouri/ Kansas border wars. Lawrence Kansas was raided in retailiation for the Redlegs burning and raping of Missouri farms . My Great Great Grandfather rode with Quantrill and was neighbors of the James's , was good friends of Frank James till they both died . Kansas initiated the Border war. Lawrence got what it deserved. Now back to baseball .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    First off, I didn't mention who started what, because it's all very complicated...just mentioned that there exists today a fierce rivalry begun by pre-Civil War bad blood between the two territories/states. This is obvious by your response. I don't know that I would take too much pride in the murder of over 185 men (and boys - "kill any male old enough to fire a gun"). I'll just say that any support for Missouri is support for slavery, which makes your argument invalid :P

    As KennyHubbs says above, he's a Cub now, and I'll cheer for him. He was born in Canada and grew up in Texas, so I doubt very seriously that he considered any of that history when choosing his education. Here's to hopefully a solid career as a Cub, and to hopefully more comparisons to the likes of Ted Lilly or John Tudor in the future.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Ted Lilly had the 3rd most wins by a lefty in MLB during his time with the Cubs. If Z can become Lillly, Id be thrilled. What was Lilly during his tenure with the Cubs, something like 60-40?

  • Hey John,

    Super job covering the draft. At this point I think we have to trust Theo, et. al, to make decisions that will prove to be valuable in the future. They have a great track record, and hope it continues. Back in O.P. now, so hopefully we can have a cold one and discuss the draft at Avenue Ale. Captain Morgan and I are going to discuss the draft tonight, and I'll report our findings sometime soon. Thanks again for your draft coverage.

  • Off topic, don't look but Szczur is putting together a nice little season(OPS creeping toward .800). I think a lot of us have written him off as a 4th OFer, at best. Is it possible that , like Shark, he has a slightly different looking developmental curve than most prospects. Both guys are/were stud athletes who were relatively late to playing baseball full-time. Could Szczur still develop into a lead off hitting CFer? Just throwing it out there. He appears to possess quite a bit of #want.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I second that. That's why they love make up. We have a few bull dog guys in our system that seemed determined to prove everyone wrong.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Two main reasons that Shark has been able to evolve are outstanding athletic ability & serious competitiveness. Check both those boxes with Szczur . He has improved his approach , dating back to last yr & the Slugging Pct is slowly improving. Not all of the starters in our next competitor are gonna be of the Baez & Bryant mold. Jedstein are in the talent accumulation phase and ,at some point, they're gonna craft a winning roster/team. I see Szczur fitting in that mold.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I have been saying for a while that Szczur could be a very good CF and leadoff batter, but he seems to need to go one level at a time so he could be at Wrigley field in 2015. By that time Almora and our new Hannemann will be on his heels. Competition is a good thing and we do need someone on the bench to give the starter a rest every once in a while.

  • In reply to John57:

    I hear you John but the temporary struggles with each promotion also coincided with a crappy approach . He has really increased his walk rate and , more consistently put himself in a position to utilize his speed. The next competitive lineup is gonna need some speed and he might be a surprise option to provide it.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Yep I agree with you 100% the competitive lineup will need speed at the top. I have been saying for a while I like Szczur and Watkins at the top because of their OBP skills and speed. Those two guys are not set in stone though. Hanneman and Alcantara might pass them up. WHo knows? This team projects to have tons of power especially now because we have Bryant.

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    It really doesn't matter at this point, but I'm not convinced the FO would've taken Appel even if he had been available. I think they always had their eye on Bryant. Had the Astros taken Bryant, I think the Cubs would've taken Appel over Gray, but it's a mute point. As for Zastryzny, it's becoming more apparent that they had him targeted from the go as well.

    Now that we can see the sum of the first ten rounds, it's pretty obvious what the strategy was, and that strategy also says things about how they feel about the rebuilding effort and how close they think the team is to contention. Last year, they didn't think they were close at all, and they concentrated on high risk/high reward types. This year, they realize that they were a decent bullpen away from being .500, and with that and a few more good bats, they could've contended. So they drafted with that in mind, and by leaning college heavy, they have players who will help them sooner.

  • Seemed like the FO came in with the thought that they needed quick impact talent and considering the selections I think they did a decent job.

    From what I've heard Gray will need more time in the minors because his change-up right now is average, whereas with Bryant the thought is that he'll move fairly quick in that he just needs to adjust to wood bats (said McLeod).

    Zastryzny looks like he literally flew under the radar. I mean his scouting report looks pretty similar to Cody Reed who like Zastryzny was at the back end of some lists but had some helium since he started reaching the mid 90s. I think the FO had enough information that they thought there was no way he'd make it to there pick. If Derek Johnson can work some magic we've got ourselves a #2-3 SP here and the thought is he'll move fairly quick.

    With Hanneman though, I think some of you are overstating his age. I think he's going to take a lot longer to develop, he's got baseball instincts but he's still a raw player and just because he's 22 doesn't mean he's going to fly through the minors.

    Maybe we need to change the mantra from in Theoyer we trust to "In Derek Johnson we trust." If he can work some magic then picks 4-8 are huge.

  • how come I can't reply to Gifmo? there is no reply box lol, anyways, my whole point was I Think Bryant will have a better career than Gray, also just thought it was funny you said Gray has WAY more potential than Garza who is a very good player, and has a great career already before getting injured...

    I watched Gray today and think he will be lucky to accomplish as much as Garza has, which is just my opinion of course...

    again who would you rather have someone like Garza, Samardzija, even a Matt Cain, or a Tim Lincecum(100mph) fast ball at one point... or a Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimerman, Eva Longoria, Troy Glaus, Cabrera ;) type player? it was just a question...

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    "Eva Longoria" cuz she's hot and the others you named are dudes....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    haha good catch, that's pretty funny

  • Two words: Excellent coverage!

  • I have complete faith in our FO, but what I worry is that ownership is getting in their ear pressuring them to focus on players who will be here quicker. That's bound to be to the detriment of our team when you don't let our incredibly smart FO just do their thing. The type of players we drafted and Ricketts' comment in the Budweiser Bleachers about Bryant being here quickly is what got me worrying.

    And I'll be curious to see how many of these sign underslot, especially Zastryzny, who if the mlb.com coverage is to be believed was ranked closer to 80 than 40. We could have some overslot signings today which will cast the first ten rounds in a whole different light.

  • If Zastryzny (trying saying that 5 times rapidly) is the type of pitcher that doesn't beat himself and, as someone mentioned, keeps the team in the game, then he is more than just a decent pick. With the lineup we all envision, that's exactly the type of pitcher that will put Ws on the board consistently.

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    I wonder if Hanneman is a lock to sign. You'd think, at his age, he would be, but you never know. I'd hate to lose the slot money, but on the other hand, two third round picks in 2014 would mean it wasn't all bad either.

    Mizzou Coach Jamieson has already said that Zastryzny needs to take the money and secure his future while it's there, and it sounds like Zastryzny is ready to turn pro, based on his own statements. It's possible he could move into the first round in 2014, but it's a lot to risk.

    Tyler Skulina is a kid who could conceivably benefit from going back to school, but money aside, he would probably get more benefit from receiving professional coaching. I love this pick. His raw stuff suggest his ceiling is high, but his floor seems pretty good too.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It sounds like Zastryzny is ready to go pro. That statement he made about being mad at the teams that passed on him sounds like he's ready to prove what "Show-Me" means.
    I really hope Skulina signs. Nothing against MAC baseball, but he's got to be getting better coaching and support from the Cubs' setup than he would at Kent State.
    As far as Skulina's ceiling, it should be high -- the dude may be 6'7" tall !

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Kent State's website has Skulina listed at 6'6"/235. It's easy to see what they saw in him, given how they drafted in Boston and San Diego. If Johnson can help him figure it out, he has as much potential as Pierce Johnson and Zastryzny.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The thing about Little Z. With his command, if he really can throw 95 consistently, 2-3 seems a bit low as a ceiling.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think the hope is he eventually sits at 92-93, peaks 95, that would kind of make him a lefty version of Pierce Johnson.

  • This draft has gone different than I expected. Maybe there is an over slot surprise and maybe not, but it is exciting to watch. The front office appears to be ready to try to compete. The rebuild is ongoing, but no longer the focus. I was one of the fans who was nervous about both stud pitchers especially Gray. 2&3 were unexpected by all of us, so we will see. More fun today.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    This is part of the rebuild, but it's a different tactic. Last year, they knew they were much further away, and they drafted with a much longer term view. This year, they see how close they really are and exactly what they need to get there. This draft focused on prospects who have higher floors, though their ceilings are still pretty good too, and will help the major league team sooner. Zastryzny and Skulina have as much ceiling as Pierce Johnson. Zasrtyzny probably has about the same floor as Johnson. Skulina's floor is lower.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That makes sense. I wonder what the Cubs will look like after the trading deadline and the off season.

  • John, thank you for the excellent reporting and analysis. Cubs Den has enabled me to become a much more knowledgable follower of the Cubs. My gratitude far exceeds my ability to contribute any original opinion, so I simply extend my thanks to you and the other Den contributors. Keep up the great work. Next... The trading deadline!

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    You are welcome! And thank you for the kind words.

    Trade stuff is going to pick up steam in the next week or so.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    --And then there's the International Signing Period beginning July 2
    --and the showcase for the Cuban defector RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez around June 20 and the money war that may follow.
    --Not to mention the anticipated roster fallouts from the Bosch probe and its effect on the trade market.
    --And the signings of this year's draft.
    --Oh yeah, and our minor leaguers' progress to monitor.
    --Um and the Wrigley improvements.
    --And then there's the improving Major League Cubs, remember?

    Other than that, not much to cover here, John.

  • It crazy tho think how far are farm system has come since Epstein came in. We are building up a lot of talent with so many high ceiling pitchers. I am also really intrigued with this Hannemann kid.

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