Rounds 2 through 30 of the First Year Player Draft go off today, starting at noon EST (11am CST). Plenty of big names still on the board, even after the first 60 picks. In the first round, the Chicago Cubs took high school shortstop Javier Baez, which was (thankfully) a “by the book” pick. Today, the organization can get a little more creative.
In addition to find diamonds in the rough (Robert Whitenack, whose loss to Tommy John surgery we’re all currently mourning, was an 8th round pick in 2009), the Cubs will have a number of opportunities to take kids who are widely considered hot prospects, but who weren’t taken earlier because of their expected demands. The Cubs, of course, will do so only if they plan to pony up some serious cash. It will be very interesting to see.
Feel free to use this post for Draft comments, and I’ll keep it relatively updated with the Cubs’ picks (eventually, they’ll all be here), so check back in at your leisure.
Chicago Cubs, Rounds 2 through 30:
2. Daniel Vogelbach, 1B (HS) – Vogelbach is a shorter (5’11”), stout (250 lbs) kid who will likely stick at first base. Not a ton of athleticism, but he’s a lPefty hitter with a ton of power. There was some chatter that he might go at the back end of the first or in the compensatory round, so it’s a good pick. Surprised that the Cubs didn’t tab a pitcher in either of their top two picks. Vogelbach is signed on to play at Florida in the Fall, and, according to Kevin Goldstein, pre-draft he was asking for $1.65 million, which would be high for a second rounder.
3. Ezekiel (Zeke) DeVoss, OF (Miami) – Another positional player for the Cubs, this time a small (5’10”, 171 lbs) outfielder from Miami. Zeke DeVoss is a draft-eligible sophomore, who hit .340 with a .491 OBP this year for the Hurricanes. He was 32 for 42 in steal attempts. He plays solid defense all over the diamond, and actually looked pretty good at 2B in the ACC Tournament this year.
4. Tony Zych, RHP (Louisville) – Finally, a pitcher. Zych is a junior reliever at Louisville, and he was named the 2010 “Outstanding Pro Prospect” for the Cape Cod League. He’s got a fastball that is just short of triple digits, and put up a 3.00 ERA with 13 saves in 30 innings of work this year. He struck out 30, walked 14, and allowed 29 hits. The numbers are obviously meh, so this is a “projection” type of pick.
5. Taylor Scott, RHP (HS) – An Arizona commitment who only recently turned to baseball on a mor full-time basis, Scott may be a tougher sign. He’s raw, and hails from South Africa originally.
6. Neftali Rosario, C (HS) – From Puerto Rico.
7. Trevor Gretzky, 1B (HS) – Yes, that’s Wayne’s son. He’s been working out for the Cubs a couple times over the past few weeks, so his selection isn’t a shock. He’s signed on to play at San Diego State, and is considered a tough sign. He’s a legit prospect who’s battled some injury issues over the past or so (a labrum problem in his non-throwing arm limited him to DH duties his senior year).
8. Taylor Dugas, CF (Alabama) – Another small, athletic type.
9. Garrett Schlecht, OF (HS) – I’m sensing a trend on high school position players.
10. Daniel Lockhart, SS (HS) – As I said. A trend.
11. Shawon Dunston, Jr., CF (HS) – Perhaps drafting famous athlete’s sons is another trend. Dunston is a legit prospect, whom the Cubs will have to try and sign away from a future at Vanderbilt.
12. Jacob Lindgren, LHP (HS) – Only the third pitcher of the draft for the Cubs.
13. Trey Martin, CF (HS) – Cubs have had good luck with later picks named Trey.
14. Dillon Maples, RHP (HS) – Finally, the Cubs take one of the big-time high school pitching prospects. Maples is a much better prospect than his 14th round selection would indicate, but, he’s a UNC signee, and teams felt like he’d be a very difficult sign. His fastball touches the high 90s, and he’s got a great, hard-breaking curve. He was the player of the year in North Carolina this year. The Cubs might well be willing to throw a pretty big check his way. He was Baseball America’s 46th prospect heading into the draft.
15. Justin Marra, C (HS) – Another high school position player – indeed, the 12th high school player in the Cubs’ first 15 picks.
16. Rafael Lopez, C (FSU) – This draft was supposed to be pretty thin at catcher, and yet the Cubs have taken three already.
17. John Andreoli, RF (UConn) – The Cubs heavily scouted UConn before the draft, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking a Huskie. As an aside, can I just say that MLB clearly hates emerging technology (as if you needed me to tell you that)? Their Draft Tracker requires Flash, and does not display properly in Chrome or at all in Safari. Catch up, MLB.
18. James Pugliese, RHP (Mercer Co. CC) – I’m expecting a rash of pitchers and college positional prospects (already got a couple with the last two picks) selected by the Cubs here in the back half of Day Two.
19. Danny Hoilman, 1B (East Tenn. St.) – For an organization that has been criticized for lacking real first base prospects, the Cubs sure are taking a bunch of them in this draft.
20. Ben Klafczynski, OF (Kent St.) – The Cubs are leading the draft in guys whose names are going to be the bane of my writing existence.
21. Andrew McKirahan, LHP (Texas) – Another college reliever. Wonder if the Cubs are trying to fast-track some help to the big league pen?
22. Ethan Elias, RHP (HS) – A good high school pitching prospect.
23. Bradley Zimmer, OF (HS) – He’s from La Jolla, which is pretty much the most beautiful city in the world.
24. George Asmus, RHP (Ohlone Col.) – If you know what that school is, you get my respect.
25. Roderick (Rock) Shoulders, 1B (Manatee CC) – Best. Name. Ever.
26. Michael Jensen, RHP (Hartnell JC) – Plainest. Name. Ever.
27. Taiwan Easterling, OF (FSU) – Another Seminole.
28. Christopher Garrison, RHP (West. Nev. CC) – He’s signed on to transfer to Kentucky next year.
29. Drew Weeks, 3B (HS) – The first third baseman taken by the Cubs (though Baez probably ends up there). It’s been a crap-ton of outfielders, catchers, and first baseman so far.
30. Arturo Maltos-Garcia, RHP (Lamar CC) – And so ends Day Two of the Draft for the Cubs. Instant reaction? Pleased, assuming the Cubs can sign some of their tougher-to-sign picks.