There’s a full roundup of the draft coming tomorrow, but there are a number of ancillary draft issues worth discussing…
Chicago Cubs’ Scouting Director Tim Wilken is tickled pink by the results of the draft. He said it was the best draft in his six years with the Cubs, and he attributes it almost exclusively to ownership’s willingness to financially back his drafting strategy. “This had a little bit of a euphoric feeling to it in the sense that I think we were taking quality with almost every pick, or the most quality you could get out of that pick. And that felt like you could compete,” Wilken said. “As you know, we were minus four or five picks in the six years that I’ve been here, and also now you can see where we’re in the top third of expenditures in the draft, compared to the bottom third, or the last two-thirds [in 2010]. It was quite different.”
How significant was the Cubs’ financial commitment to the draft this year? The team spent $12 million on the draft, which put it in the top three to five teams in baseball. Last year, the Cubs spent $4.7 million. Boom. Amateur’d.
Wilken believes the Cubs got three to four first-round talents (Baez, Vogelbach, Dunston, Maples), and then five or six top three round talents thereafter. I know you tend to like your own guys (hence why picked them), but wow. That’s just awesome.
Dan Vogelbach, the hulking high school slugger the Cubs took in the second round and then paid first round money to sign, sounds like he’s got a great attitude. “Florida was my dream school,” Vogelbach said. “I would have been just as happy winning a national championship there. My dream wasn’t to get drafted. My dream wasn’t to get paid a lot of money. My dream was to be a big leaguer for 15 years and to be an All-Star. This is the stepping stone to where I want to be in the next three to five years.” Vogelbach is listed in the article as 6′, 240 lbs, which is probably generous on both counts. But, those would be great numbers for those concerned about his size. Prince Fielder, for the record, is 5’11″, 275 lbs.
Dillon Maples says he’s excited to be a Cub, and notes that his negotiating window was a $3 million ask and a $2 million floor. Given that he got $2.5 million, I guess nobody won that negotiation. Just kind of interesting.
Shawon Dunston, Jr., an 11th round high school outfielder whom the Cubs gave first round money, says he’s came to his decision on his own about signing with the Cubs. But, if you listen carefully, you sense that maybe his dad was working him just a bit. “It was my decision,” he said. “My dad and I talked every day, but he said ‘Do what’s best for you. I played 18 years, and the Cubs opened the door for me, and now it’s your turn.’”
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