For weeks, rumors have swirled about the Chicago Cubs’ draft. The organization’s commitment to the amateur side was clear on the day of the draft – the Cubs repeatedly picked “hard to sign” players, and Scouting Director Tim Wilken said he was given a near blank check by Tom Ricketts to go after whomever he wanted. And, the rumors said, the Cubs were going to make good on that commitment by signing nearly every overslot pick they made.

It seemed too good to be true, but then everyone started signing. By now, if you believe the rumors (most overslot deals will not be officially announced until close to or after tomorrow’s midnight deadline), the only big names remaining on the Cubs’ to-do list are 11th rounder Shawon Dunston, Jr., 37th rounder Ricky Jacquez, and 14th rounder Dillon Maples.

Of the three, most would argue that Maples, a UNC commit (to play both baseball and football), would be the biggest get.

Have I built it up enough?

According to a poster on UNC’s Scout message board (read that carefully and recognize all appropriate rumor caveats), today, Maples left the football practice field, telling teammates that he had signed with the Chicago Cubs.

Is this legit? I have no reason to believe or doubt it anymore than I would a rumor on another Scout site – that is to say, I take it with a big grain of salt.

But, it is a message board for UNC fans, so you would think biased predictions would go the other way. And this poster does not appear to be a fly-by-night, one-time poster. On the other hand, as with most message boards, it’s anonymous. So, you take it as a sure thing at the risk of being wildly disappointed. But, I happened across it, and thought you should know.

For me, I take it,¬†together¬†with the earlier rumors, as a good sign. I won’t, however, be satisfied until these signings are actually official. I’ve reached out to Jim Callis (Baseball America) to see if he’s heard anything, as well as a couple of beat writers.

  • Fishin Phil

    Fingers crossed!

  • KB

    Damn, Ace, you’re really getting into this. Very cool.

    BTW, I bitch enough about the Cub’s front office, that I owe it to them to give them props when they do make a smart decision. Well, the idea to overdraft tough-sign guys, and then make damn sure you pay them is a freaking GREAT idea, especially since it’s the last year it’s possible (assuming the slotting system is fully implemented next year).

    Go Cubs! Looking to the Future!

  • http://Bleachernation Bric

    The last nail in Hendry’s coffin five years from now is the disant memory of when him and Wilkin blew millions on signing bonuses for a bunch of arrogant, self centered, over hyped players that never progressed past high A ball.

    NEWS FLASH: these kids were labeled “Hard to sign” for a reason. Once again, we Cub fans will scratch our heads and wonder where all the money and effort went while the farm system continues to produce at a level inferior to all of our hopes and what the P.R. Department leads us to believe.

    • Waveland Ave

      They r hard to sign bc of supposed commitment to a college education and want more money to not to go to college and get a college education. Some of the kids want more money bc they r the only kids in there family that will b able to go to college and want the money so they can send their bros ans sisters to college or pay off their house or get family out of debt
      yes some of these kids may never make it but they might solve some of their families probs if they get a high bonus

      • http://Bleachernation Bric

        Agreed. I don’t know anything about Dylan Maples other than a few isolated comments from his twitter account posted here a few days ago which made him look much more interested in buying a new Porche than helping the Cubs win the pennant.

        But I have a big problem with the whole “more money means a better prospect” attitude that Hendry and Wilkin have suddenly taken. If this were the case then explain how teams with much smaller budgets like the Brewers, Rays, Marlins, Rockies, and other have produced more quality, lower salaried players than the Cubs in recent years? Also, if this attitude were true, then why were these kids passed on by teams like the Yankees, who have more money than God? I just don’t see why everyone’s getting all hot and bothered about what, to me, looks like just another poor decision by Hendry, similar to the Bradley signing.

        Dylan Maples may very well be the next Jeff Samardjia. Not worth the money or the headaches.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          No team has spent more on the draft in the last five years than the Pirates. Don’t confuse big league payroll with amateur budget. Teams like the Rays, Marlins and Rockies spend handsomely on the draft. So do the Yankees and Red Sox.

          • http://Bleachernation Bric

            Because I felt that I should read up before judging any of these kids, I just read a little about him. As it turns out his father progressed as far as AAA with the Orioles and seems to have been doing the most pushing in regard to signing money. Also interestingly, the article said both the Red Sox and Yankees conducted psychological and personal interviews with him in making their decisions. Just sayin’.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              That other teams didn’t take him *before* the Cubs says nothing about when they would have taken him. Your animus for the Cubs’ front office (and I’m no fan) seems to be clouding your judgment on this stuff. If Maples weren’t so strongly committed to going to school, he would have been drafted in the first or supplemental first round. Every single team would love to have him. It was just a matter of how high a pick teams were willing to risk on a kid they were sure they couldn’t sign; and how much money a team is willing to pay a kid not to go to school.

              • Caleb

                “your animus towards the front office seems to be clouding your judgment…”.

                Can I use that as a standard reply here on BN?

              • http://Bleachernation Bric

                Most definitely my views toward the front office cloud my judgement on just about everything related to the Cubs. It’s bizaar how a 5th place team continually makes the headlines on every national newspaper on a weekly basis. Bradley’s gone so we can’t blame him anymore. So is Silva. So is Lee, and Theriot, and Fontenot, and Fuk. So is Z (one way or another). Who’s left to blame? Hendry- who still finds a way to spend butt loads of cash and will probably have nothing to show for it other then clock that’s sitting at 102 right now and still ticking.

                If I’ve learned anything over the last four years it’s to not trust Hendry as having any good ideas on how to turn this ship around.

  • KB

    Bric, I’m usually the first guy to question any move this current JH administration makes, but for a Cub fan, I don’t see how one can complain about this strategy. It’s exactly what a rich team SHOULD be doing…using its huge financial advantage to try to help the team.

    And remember, the actual money dished out is comparatively low. For the total 50 rounds of the draft, it’s likely that the Cubs will spend less that Zambrano’s salary (or maybe Z plus a couple middle relievers combined). To me, it’s a smart investment, even though the majority of these kids will never pan out.

  • TC

    This post and the one about Baez, Vogelbach, and Urban have had me crying (very manly) tears of joy. Seriously, this is unbelievably good news if its true.

    Ace (I still prefer this moniker to “Brett”, sorry), I recall you saying that Baez will be a top 5 prospect on this team immediately after he signs. Would you care to venture a guess where guys like Gretzky, Vogelbach, and Maples fit into this organization, in terms of rankings and/or what level they’d start playing at?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, TC. Given the fall of some of the Cubs’ top prospects, I could see Vogelbach and Maples being in the top 10 right away. Dunston and Jacquez would be in that range, too. Gretzky is more a top 30 type, for now. Ditto Urban, Jensen, Shoulders and Scott. DeVoss and Zych would probably be top 20. There are almost too many to remember…

  • NyN

    I do not think I would have signed any of these guys because ” Now s not the time for bold changes”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Nice.

  • Larry


    Do you see any of the prospects from this draft being fast tracked? Who do you think will be the first to make it to Wrigley?

    • toonsterwu

      My take – no. If fast-track is meant to imply getting to the bigs within a year of being drafted, then I don’t see anyone. JZ mentioned Zych, but leaving aside the average stuff right now is the fact that there’s a numbers game of righty pen guys on a similar level. He has the best chance to be the first to make it to Wrigley, particularly if he improves the slider, but I view that as more a 2-3 year down the road type possibility.

      • Larry

        Thanks. I don’t know these guys very well, but it is easy to get excited about the fact the Cubs are starting to invest some money in the draft and are trying to improve the whole organization.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Cubs went super young in this draft, so there aren’t too many “quick help” types. The closest would probably be Tony Zych – a hard-throwing college reliever, who is expected to remain a reliever. He could conceivably make his debut at some point in 2012.

  • JulioZuleta

    Baez is a top 5, Vogelbach and Maples are in the 8-12 range. But none of them reach the bigs before Zych, who will be in the Cubs pen at some point next season.

  • toonsterwu

    That’s awfully optimistic JulioZuleta. At present, Zych has an average, maybe slightly above average fastball overall (good velo, but movement is iffy) and a below average slider. I mean, for a college closer, his K rate was fairly run of the mill. He has a chance to be a late inning arm, but right now, I’d take Kevin Rhoderick, Rafael Dolis, Aaron Kurcz, Alberto Cabrera, Blake Parker, and a few others as safer bets to reach the big league pen before him. Now, a numbers game doesn’t mean he won’t be up next year, but it’s a lot of guys that he needs to climb over. Kurcz, especially, should be far ahead of him, as he has the stuff to be a closer.

  • Cheryl

    These guys seem much more talented than ones drafted in the past. Would a few be up for a September look-see next year? I’m thinking Maples, if he signs, Vogelbach and Baez. The other question would be if any of them get an invite to the minor league sectio of spring training, again to just see what it’s like? Most likely they’ll be two years away.

    • MichiganGoat

      The risk in September call up is once you do that the option-clock starts, I doubt any will see the majors until September 2013 and that’s even pushing it.

    • toonsterwu

      I’d be awful stunned if prepsters Baez/Vogelbach were remotely close to deserving a look-see next September. September of 2013? Maybe … but even then, I tend to think that’s far too early, and that September 2014 might still be a bit early.

  • JulioZuleta

    I can’t see any of these guys (except Zych) getting called up next year, most likely not even 2013. Keep in mind most of the big names we picked (Baez, Vogelbach, Scott, Dunston, Maples, and Jacquez) are all high school kids, 18 years old. You have to be an absolute cant miss stud to get called up before your 20th birthday. In general, unless you are both a first round pick, and a college draftee, youre going to be riding busses for AT LEAST 2-3 years minimum. The high school kids will start in Arizona or Boise, meaning they will need to advance 5 or 6 levels in one year to get to Chicago, not realistic.

  • Andy

    To say all these kids are top 10 before playing an inning in the minors is interesting. Either it’s an indication that you think they’re all awesome or that the current prospects suck. Maybe both? I realize it’s fun to sell the draft, but since it’s unlikely even 1 of these kids is a star player and more than likely less than half actually make the majors.

    Statistically it’s a huge crap shoot. So to get overly excited about it seems weird.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s definitely both (mostly the latter, which is sad – it’s been a really, really disappointing year in the Cubs’ system). Ranking kids before they’ve played their first professional game is definitely a dicey proposition (case-in-point, Hayden Simpson), but it’s just part of the game. Look at someone like Trevor Bauer – everyone knew he was a stud before he’d thrown his first minor league pitch, and they were right. He’s easily a top five prospect in their system, and it would have been fair to call him that before his debut. If you accept that as truth, you have to also accept that, somewhere along the continuum, you can try and rank the young kids, too. Great point, though.

      And yeah, the draft – the whole prospecting business – is unpredictable. But, there are two reasons to get excited, even if you recognize (correctly) that most of these kids will never play a game in the bigs. First, they’re all lottery tickets – some with better odds than others. So, it’s good to accumulate as many tickets as you can (especially the “good odds” ones), because eventually, one of them will hit. Second, prospects are trade chips. Even if they aren’t going to play for your team, it’s better to have as many “good” prospects as you can.

      • MichiganGoat

        It’s the trade chip part that is huge. If the Cubs want to trade for some starting pitching , they will need these prospects. It’s all about how deep and desirable your farm system looks to trade partners.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Keep in mind, none of these kids can be traded until a year after they sign. You can do the PTBNL thing, but no team is going to trade a starting pitcher this Winter for a PTBNL they can’t get until August.

    • toonsterwu

      Really, the only one that would be a solid top 10 for me is Baez, as his bat upside is huge. Maples is close, but I’d have him in the 9-12 spot, roughly, competing with guys like Ben Wells, who I love. Maples offers legitimate front of the rotation potential (though the mechanics need to be ironed out – I mean, Mark Pawelek offered high end pitching potential so that only means so much), and his fastball was rumored to have gone up a tick or two this offseason, while Baez offers legitimate middle of the order potential.

      Most rankings offer some combination of upside and production in it’s analysis, and in the case of these two, their immense upsides are deserving of it. I think Baez would be a solid top 10 in most systems, with Maples in many.

      That said, the system is down right now compared to the last two years. I’m actually more intrigued by it, since there’s legitimate impact upside in the lower levels, moreso than recent past, but the lack of quality developed talent will likely drop our org system rankings to the bottom third. One year of being low doesn’t mean much – bouncing back and showcasing a strong system in 2012 will show an organization that is getting better in the developmental aspects of the game.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Wells needs to show some production, no?

  • Cheryl

    Suppose Vogelbach tears up minor league pitching next year. If the cubs use an interim first baseman for a year, given that Vogelbach will only be 19 and Castro was pretty youg when he came to the cubs, is it feasible that he might be ready by 2013?

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s possible but Castro is a rare exception, and he could have used more time in the minors to improves his defense.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Feasible? No. Theoretically possible? Yes. Players who break into the league at 19/20/21 are the extreme exception. It’s possible that Vogelbach could be that kind, but it’s highly unlikely. High school pitchers are far, far different than professional pitchers at AA, High A, or even A ball. It can take a long time to adjust. Josh Vitters was the best hitter in high school back in 2007 – as “sure thing” as high school kids can get. He’s still adjusting.

    • hardtop

      if the cubs decide to settle for an interim first baseman next year, just bring up lehair for a year. he’ll definitely hit over .220 which is where carlos is hanging out. he’s too old to be a prospect, but he’s not as old as pena.

  • Jason

    Baez and Vogelbach signings aren’t official yet until it becomes Official along with Maples I won’t count Chickens before they are hatched !!!

  • Pingback: Report: Dillon Maples Has Indeed Signed With Cubs | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Jason

    jimcallisBA Jim Callis
    #Cubs get 1st-rder Javier Baez for $2.625 mil, 14th-rder Dillon Maples for $2.5 mil spread over five years. #mlbdraft

  • Matt Murton

    Keith Law hold mah dickkkkkkk

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need more baseball goodness? Check out BN Baseball - Videos, Plays, and Other Baseball Fun.