Baseball America’s Jim Callis recently held a chat to wrap up the regular season and head into the Fall and Winter Ball seasons. He didn’t speak a whole lot about the Cubs’ system, but he did field one interesting question.
Suman Manhattan: I know you just released the Draft Report Cards, but I would grade the Cubs 2010 Draft as a C. No stand out performances so far…Hayden Simpson has not pitched so the jury is still out on whether Tim Wilken was correct on selecting him that high. Tough to be a Cubs fan these days as usual.
Jim Callis: The jury is still out on Simpson, and I wouldnt have taken him as high as the Cubs did. That said, I did like a lot of their later picks. Outfielder Matt Szczur fifth round and righthander Ben Wells seventh could be flat-out steals. I also thought they really cleans up in round 10-16 with guys like righties Aaron Kurcz, Austin Reed and Ryan Hartman, lefty Eric Jokisch and second baseman Pierre LePage. Dont be surprised if this draft turns out to be a B in the long run. BaseballAmerica.com.
If Callis’ read is right, the 2010 draft will fall in line with most of the drafts in the Tim Wilken era – deep in talent in the mid rounds, surprising success in the early rounds. Hayden Simpson got all the headlines when the Cubs shocked the baseball world by picking him a full two rounds earlier than he was expected to go, but most of the Cubs’ top home-grown prospects – guys like Chris Carpenter or Jay Jackson – weren’t first or second round picks. I agree with Callis that there could be a lot of surprise talent in the Cubs’ selections, and the team’s system is quickly becoming one of the best in baseball.
Simpson, you’ll recall, has not yet pitched since being drafted 16th overall due to an extended bout with mono. It’s been a bit of a surprise that he’s not participating in the Arizona Fall League, but it’s possible that it would have made for a difficult debut, and the Cubs elected to hold him back.