Cubs Set to Sign a Trio of Positional Draft Picks: Zak Blair, Kevin Brown and Tyler Sciacca

contractAs I mentioned yesterday on a news of two pitchers signing, a number of collegiate signings from this year’s Draft are going to be rolling in rapidly with short-season ball just around the corner.

Today’s iteration includes 20th rounder Zak Blair, 22nd rounder Kevin Brown, and 27th rounder Tyler Sciacca. All are college position players who just finished their senior seasons, and all fit the current front office’s mold.

Blair, a second baseman from Mercyhurst, led his team in almost every offensive category and struck out just 9 times (while walking 18) this past season. reports that Blair signed with the Cubs yesterday.

Brown, an outfielder from Bryant, sported a huge line this year that featured another ridiculous BB:K ratio (47:20). The News Telegram reports that Brown is headed to Mesa, Arizona today for a six to ten-day minicamp before joining the Boise Hawks.

Sciacca, an infielder from Villanova, dealt with a quad injury for most of his senior season, but still produced fairly well. reports that Sciacca is also headed to Mesa today to sign his contract and to participate in the minicamp.

Because all three are seniors, and none was expected to be a top draft pick, it’s a fair assumption that none received more than $100,000 to sign (and thus their signings will not count against the Cubs’ bonus pool). That’s not to say the Cubs don’t really like these guys. It’s just that college seniors don’t have a whole lot of leverage, and, if they want to get their pro career going – they’re already in their 20s – it’s often in their best interest to sign quickly.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

35 responses to “Cubs Set to Sign a Trio of Positional Draft Picks: Zak Blair, Kevin Brown and Tyler Sciacca”

  1. Austin

    I posted this in the article last night but:

    “I’m good friends with David Gardner’s mom and he has signed his paper work and flying out to Mesa tomorrow for the physical to make it official. I didn’t ask if he took slot, under, or over but I’m guessing he took at slot value which is 200k for him. They are hoping he can get on to a team as soon as possible this year and he is actually a little taller than 6’0″. Not the 5’11″ they announced him at.”

    1. Bilbo161

      Good to hear thanks!

  2. ssckelley

    Big question remains if the Cubs can sign Bryant under slot in order to sign some of the exciting high school prospects they drafted. It would be nice if the Cubs could sign him just above the slot of the 3rd pick.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      This… though it may be a given with Boras, any indication as to whether Bryant is expected to sign anytime soon or ride out the entire process to milk the Cubs for their full slot plus every penny available up to 5% over the allotment?

      1. Cyranojoe

        He’ll 110% be sure to delay and milk. Anybody else think that the players signing early are getting paid more this year? I wonder if the Cubs are rewarding that certainty that early signatures get you… and then they’ll be able to put the screws to any late players, like Boras’ clients… oh darn, we only have the slot amount left! Hope you still want to sign!

        1. cubchymyst

          that is a dangerous game to play with the first 10 picks, if you fail to sign any of them your slot money goes down which reduces your 5% overage. If you fail to sign 1 of those top 10 after spending like they would all sign your going to run the risk losing the 1st round draft pick next year.

          1. ssckelley

            It is a dangerous game for Bryant to play as well gambling 5+ million and refuse to sign.

            1. cubchymyst

              Agree, there is little doubt Bryant is going to sign, the only question is for how much. My guess is the front office already have a good idea of what that number is and are spending accordingly.

              1. ssckelley

                I can’t help but wonder if the Cubs didn’t have a deal in place before the pick. Obviously the Rockies would have taken Bryant at #3 had the Cubs taken Gray, I would think any amount the Cubs give Bryant over #3 slot has to be a bonus.

              2. OCCubFan

                If I were the Cubs FO, when negotiating pre-draft with Bryant, if he declined to agree on a number and to sign quickly, then I would respond that we were only interested in players who were serious professionals that wanted to start playing as soon as possible and not waste any development time. But then I’m only raving on the internet and have no responsibilities.

                1. ssckelley

                  Money talks, if he balked then no problem the Cubs continue making phone calls to Gray and Moran. I am sure one of the 3 would be thrilled at being a millionaire.

                  1. nkniacc13

                    maybe they agreed to a number that could have more added to it if the cubs have some $ that wouldn’t get spent in the pool which is why he wont sign soon.

          2. OCCubFan

            I thought the 5% overage was based on the entire allocation, including the unsigned slots. Am I wrong?

            1. Kyle

              You are wrong.

            2. ssckelley

              No, you are not wrong. It would be disastrous for the Cubs not to sign Bryant, for both sides.

              1. Kyle is correct, ssckelley

                If a player does not sign in the first 10 rounds, his assigned value is removed from the team’s bonus pool total and would not be included in the 5% overage.

          3. Cyranojoe

            Good point about the top 10. And if I’d actually read the article above, I would’ve seen evidence to the contrary of my little crackpot theory. ;) Still an interesting idea, IMHO… establish that early signers get much love from the team, might drive contracts to get signed sooner and give the team more control AND goodwill. Lots of holes there, but…

      2. ssckelley

        But the Cubs have leverage here since Bryant is a college junior. IMO there is little gain going back to college and roll the dice that he would be picked #1 in next years draft. It worked for Appel but there is a huge difference in money between being drafted #9 and #1. I do not think the Cubs need to offer much more than the #3 slot money.

  3. LWeb23

    If anyone is interested, Baseball Prospectus had Kevin Goldstein on today. He used to be a writer for them and had his own podcast, until he was offered a job by the Houston Astros as the Professional Scouting Coordinator. He was in the War Room on draft day, and he discussed how the days of the draft went. Extremely interesting stuff, I would highly recommend taking a half hour to listen.

  4. The Dude Abides

    Hopefully Cubs can steal those three high school catchers away from attending college and let us develop them.

    1. ssckelley

      I think the Cubs will be lucky to get one, Alamo seems to be the most favorable to sign. I think Martinez goes to USC and takes the chance he improves his value in 3 years.

      1. Rich H

        A lot of people think that Martinez has top 3 round talent but a very blah ceiling. So if he goes to USC then he might end up being better than that. He is a if we sign good if he walks good guy to me.

      2. The Dude Abides

        No doubt that all three will be hard to sign with their parents and college coaches advising them the value of education and a much higher draft pick in three years. Can’t say I blame them but hey if we score one or two that would help bring in some much needed depth in our system.

        We also drafted three college catchers who will hopefully all sign but any of these three high schoolers would be a nice get for us

  5. Bilbo161

    Seems to me that an offer for the midpoint between the bonus allotted at 2 and 3 would be in order. Shows respect for Bryant by not pushing for all the savings possible.

  6. jj

    i think most of the prospects will sign with the cubs for no other reason than with the quality of major league and minor league your chances for moving up fast is excellent.

  7. shelby menge

    has kris bryany signed his contract yet?

  8. shelby menge

    Has kris bryant signed his contract yet?

    1. Cubbie Blues

      For which club? Are you talking about 2013?

      For which club? Are you talking about 2013?

  9. shelby menge

    For 2013

    1. Cubbie Blues

      Then the answer is no.

  10. Cheryl

    PSD seems to indicate 10 have signed so far.

  11. Esteban

    Trying to remember the Boise roster, is Jacob Rodgers their third baseman? Gretzky is a lefty, so he’s probably at 1B, right? Lockhart and Penalver up the middle. Dunston in CF, Encarnacion at one corner and a battle for the other? I am guessing that Kris Bryant skips this level and probably the next and starts in High A? Is Jesse Hodges going to be on the Boise team? With Rizzo, Vogelbach & Shoulders all ahead of him at 1B, wouldn’t it be mutually beneficial if Rogers learned to play 3B? I realize that he’s probably not even in the top 30 in the system, but he could be an interesting prospect if he can play the INF and OF corners.

    1. Esteban

      Bour is also probably ahead of Rodgers on the depth chart.

  12. Chicago Cubs Officially Announce Eight Draft Signings, Including Godley, Brockmeyer and Papaccio | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] discussed most of these signings already – you can see Zastryzny here, Blair here, Brown here, Ihrig here, and Hermans here – and there are other players with whom the Cubs [...]

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