As we blogged earlier, the Cubs decided to go the underslot route after the three teams in front of them took the three best pitchers in the draft. With no Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek or Carlos Rodon to snag, the Cubs instead took Kyle Schwarber.
The consensus seems to be that the Cubs got a solid safe pick and saved some money for later on in a relatively deep draft pool. Here's a scouting report on Schwarber:
Schwarber has some swing and miss to his game, but he also does a very good job of working counts into his favor and for a power hitter, he has a very linear swing that should allow him to hit for average as well, though there is some swing and miss in his bat.
Apparently Schwarber models his game after Joey Votto, and there's no shame in emulating a guy who hits for power, average, and gets on base. Schwarber probably won't stay behind the plate but he's got enough projected power to stick in corner outfield.
Here's what Jason Parks had to say:
Interesting move by #Cubs. I like it. Save some money, get a good stick, go heavy on the depth later on. Its smart.
— Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) June 5, 2014
Imagine that, a smart guy saying that the Cubs are doing smart things. It may not work out, but you can't say they didn't have a method to the madness! Stay tuned for round two...
UPDATE 9:58 PM: In the second round, after a rapid fire competitive balance round A, the Cubs selected at #45 (announced by Fergie Jenkins!) Jake Stinnett, a right-handed pitcher (who apparently also plays a bunch of other positions but focused on pitching) from the University of Maryland. He's a senior so he might not cost too much (lower leverage) but the Cubs must really like him. Folks seem to think it's a solid pick:
Jake Stinnett for the Cubs. Solid pick.
— Dan Kirby (@DanMKirby) June 6, 2014
Jake Stinnett is an outstanding pick in the 2nd. Fastball command to both sides, Great breaking ball. Big Fan
— Mike Ferrin (@MikeFerrinSXM) June 6, 2014
My guess, corroborated by some other smart people on the Twitters, is that the Cubs are saving money early to go after some upside high school kids later on tomorrow. This could be interesting! But Stinnett seems like he can help sooner rather than later.