Quantcast

2014 mlb draft featureHere we go: the long, long conclusion of the 2014 MLB Draft. Day Three features rounds 11 through 40, and a whole lot of guys who won’t sign. That’s just the way it is.

But you don’t have to dig back too far into the past to find an example of why today matters. In 2011, the Texas Rangers picked a scrawny kid out of South Carolina in the 48th round (it doesn’t even go that deep nowadays) and signed him for something like $50,000. It wasn’t an over slot situation, and it wasn’t an arm with an injury that slid. It was just a regular-old, hey-I-kinda-like-this-guy draft pick in the 48th round. And then he became C.J. Edwards.

In the post-2012 CBA era, the third day of the Draft has taken on new meaning, as the rounds starting today are not really subject to the bonus pool. In short, any player picked today can be signed for up to $100,000 without any impact on the pool whatsoever. And, if you fail to sign him, once again, no impact on the pool (if you fail to sign a guy in the first ten rounds, you lose the slot associated with the pick from your pool). If you sign a guy for more than $100,000 in rounds 11 through 40, however, that overage amount does count against a team’s bonus pool. What does that mean? It means that teams like the Cubs, who’ve saved money by taking under slot guys in the early rounds, can take some shots, risk free, in these later rounds. And they frequently do. (That’s all the short version – longer version here.)

But will the Cubs still have some of that under slot money left today? It’s hard to know for sure, because the Cubs did grab some presumably over slot high school arms yesterday. We’ll see.

Speaking of those picks yesterday …

It was fair to be a little nervous going into Day Two after the Cubs took a couple presumably under slot guys on Day One. Going that route is nice in theory, but it’s not always easy to execute, and, when a bunch of top high school arms went off the board later in the second round … folks feared that the best laid plans would awry.

Fortunately, there were some good options still there for the Cubs, and, with money to use, they jumped on some top young arms. Deservedly, the Cubs got some love on their Day Two efforts:

It was the kind of day that underscored the interconnectivity of a team’s draft – Move B depends on Move A, and it’s pretty hard to judge Move A until you see Move B – and made things like this look especially dopey:

And now we’ll see if the Cubs only hammer it home further today. You can expect, in the early rounds today, that the Cubs will take a mix of guys they like and know they can sign – but who may have been underscouted, or who have some flaws – and some guys who are long-shots to sign. You will also see some organizational types taken, though it’s a little hard for us to know, as we sit here today, which guys are which. The long-shots are easy to identify, the rest are tougher.

Most teams take a decent swing in the 11th round, because most teams pulled back on the gas in rounds 7/8/9/10 with college seniors they knew they could sign under slot. The 11th round, then, is the first chance teams have to take guys without any certain bonus pool repercussions. In recent years, the Cubs haven’t actually taken a huge swing in the 11th round, getting Rashad Crawford in 2012 and Jordan Hankins in 2013 for right around slot, if memory serves.

There are a number of top prospects still on the board, as Luke noted this morning. Let’s see if the Cubs expect to have the money available to take some big swings …

* * *

11th Round (319): Jordan Brink, RHP, Fresno State – This is just a fantastic 11th round pick. Brink, a junior, was expected to go somewhere in the 4/5/6 round range, based on his rankings – BA had him at 164, MLB.com had him at 102, and BP had him at 187. Here’s MLB.com’s description: “There have been some interesting pitching prospects in recent Drafts who came late to full-time pitching, including first-rounders Braden Shipley in 2013 and Kyle Zimmer in 2012. While Brink isn’t quite that high-profile, he has the chance to do well now that he’s focused only on the mound. An outfielder for his first two years at Fresno State, Brink split time between playing that position and pitching as a sophomore then turned to pitching full-time in 2014. He’s athletic, if a bit undersized, with the makings of two plus pitches in his fastball and spike curveball, which looks like a hard slider at times. He’s working on developing his changeup. The jury is still out on whether Brink can start long-term – sometimes a bias against undersized right-handers – or he’ll end up in the bullpen. Either way, his arm looks like it has a shot to pitch at the highest level.”

See that again: 2014 was his first year fully focusing on pitching. That’s a really nice upside play on a young man who obviously has a quality arm. Given his ranking and his situation, he might require more than $100K to sign, because he’s the kind of guy you could see wanting to return to the draft next year, and show what he can really do.

Luke provides some video:

12th Round (349): Tanner Griggs, RHP, Angelina College – Although he’s a college guy, Griggs is not yet 20, as he’s currently in a junior college. He made BA’s top 500, at 425. I don’t have much on him in the way of meaningful stats, but he’s 6’2 175lbs, which is ideal pitching size.

Dan Kirby has a little something:

13th Round (379): Kevonte Mitchell, 3B, Missouri (HS) – The Cubs aren’t usually much for high school position players in this area of the draft, but you do see some less-circulated high schoolers sometimes in this area that maybe two teams are in on, and one pulls the trigger before the other can get there (Albert Pujols was a 13th rounder). Mitchell is not on any of the top lists, for what little that’s worth. He’s 6’4″ 185lbs, and turns 19 in August. Big kid.

Luke with the video:

And a scouting take:

14th Round (409): Chesny Young, 2B, Mercer University – If you see a college second baseman drafted in this area, you can bet what he’s bringing to the table is crazy college stats: .348/.430/.456 with 28 BB and just 14 strikeouts. That was in over 230 plate appearances – you could not strike this dude out.

15th Round (439): Jeremy Null, RHP, Western Carolina U. – A huge, huge dude, listed at 6’8″ 230lbs. Null is a junior who posted a 2.94 ERA over 101IP this year, striking out 93 and walking 29. Null is number 441 to BA, which means the Cubs reached.

Luke with the video:

16th Round (469): Jason Vosler, SS, Northeastern University – Another college middle infielder, and he fits the mold: Vosler hit .322/.419/.417 with 32 BB and 20 Ks this year. He’s just 20-years-old, but was a draft-eligible sophomore.

17th Round (499): John Michael Knighton, RHP, Central Alabama CC – Another juco pitcher for the Cubs. Knighton has struck out 80 over 84.2 innings this year, while walking just 16 and posting a 2.02 ERA.

18th Round (529): Austyn Willis, RHP, California (HS) – A 6’6″ high school righty, Willis is a UC-Santa Barbara commit. When he committed, he was said to get up to 89mph on the gun, but with “good tilt” and a sharp slider.

19th Round (559): Brad Markey, RHP, Virginia Tech – A senior, Markey has been pitching to Cubs third round pick Mark Zagunis for the last few years. He was drafted in the 35th round a couple years ago by the Mets, but obviously, he did not sign. This year for the Hokies, the undersized righty (5’11″) threw 82.1 innings with a 3.61 ERA, 57 Ks and 19 BBs.

20th Round (589): John Tomasovich, SS, Charleston Southern U. – He was called, and listed in the draft, as John, but his school lists him as “Alex.” In any case, he’s a multiyear starter and now a senior. This year, Tomasovich hit .361/.418/.537 with 23 BB and 16 K.

21st Round (619): Charles White, OF, U. of Maryland – Another teammate connection (some of you may have just seen him on TV), White is the teammate of Cubs second round pick Jake Stinnett. He’s junior who bats lefty, and he hit .284/.396/.366 this year (but that OBP is inflated by 19(!) HBP). He walked 24 times and struck out 17 times, and he stole 24 bases in 29 attempts. He’s 5’9″, and he’s a local Chicago area guy. He was drafted in the 29th round last year by the Yankees.

Luke with some video:

22nd Round (649): Joey Martarano, 3B, Boise State – He’s a football player who was drafted last year by the Phillies in the 13th round, but declined a $100,000 offer so that he could play some football. At 6’4″ 235lbs, yes, he’s a linebacker, and yes, he’s being drafted because he’s got big power. BSU doesn’t have a varsity baseball team, so this pick is all about his raw ability. Given that he redshirted this year at Boise (and was the defensive player of the year on the scout team (not a joke)), and he obviously really wants to play at Boise, he’s going to be very difficult to sign.

Luke with the video:

23rd Round (679): Isiah Gilliam, 1B/OF, Georgia (HS) – Back-to-back tough sign positional guys. Gilliam is the 132nd ranked prospect to BA, 114th to MLB.com, and 173 to BP. Here’s MLB.com’s take: “Just a few months ago, Gilliam was classified as a junior and a member of the 2015 Draft class. But because he began high school in 2010 and his eligibility is set to expire, he was able to move up his graduation to 2014 and become eligible for this year’s Draft. The change left scouts scrambling to see him late this spring. Gilliam is a switch-hitter and uses his quick, compact swing to generate good bat speed. He produces solid power and drives balls well from both sides of the plate. Gilliam plays mostly first base now, but he is athletic enough to play in an outfield corner, despite his below-average speed.”

Gilliam is 6’2″ 215lbs, and he doesn’t even turn 18 until next month. He’s a big kid, with big upside. This is a clear over slot candidate.

Thoughts on Gilliam:

24th Round (709): Daniel Spingola, CF, Georgia Tech – Cubs are going a little positional-heavy here in the early going. Spingola, a junior, bats lefty and comes in at 6’1″ 182lbs. He hit .319/.384/.451 this year, with 21 BBs and 42 Ks. Stole 15 bases in 16 attempts.

25th Round (739): Tyler Pearson, C, Texas State – Another positional player, and it’s a catcher. You’ve pretty much got to take a few catchers every year, and the Cubs are especially thin in their system. If you exclude Kyle Schwarber as a catcher (and you probably should), they’ve taken just two catchers so far in the entire draft. Pearson is a senior who hit .222/.317/.371 on the year with 5 homers, 18 BB, and 49 K. I’m guessing he’s good behind the plate.

26th Round (769): Zach Hedges, RHP, Azuza Pacific U. – A 6’4″ 195lbs junior righty. Hedges put up a 2.74 ERA over 85.1 innings this year as Azuza’s top starter, striking out 73 and walking 26. A lot of the Cubs’ pitcher picks this year are either taller than average, or shorter than average.

27th Round (799): Calvin Graves, CF, Franklin Pierce U. – A 5’9″ senior, Graves hit .267/.370/.323 with 25 BB and 34 Ks. He stole 27 bases in 34 tries, so he appears to be a speedy, small, center fielder type.

28th Round (829): Jacob Niggemeyer, RHP, Ohio (HS) – Hey, this young man pitches about 10 minutes from me. He’s a 6’5″ 205lbs big, big kid. He is an Ohio State commit, at least as of a couple years ago (yes, he did commit that early).

The Padres took Johnny Manziel, yes, that Johnny Manziel, later in the 28th round. Can’t wait to read all about that. Also, given that he didn’t play baseball in college, isn’t exactly an inspirational speaker type, and isn’t going to sign, the pick is pretty much a slap in the face to all players selected after him. Don’t ever do this kind of thing, Cubs.

29th Round (859): Gianni Zayas, RHP, Seminole State – A juco pitcher, Zayas is a 6’2″ 200lbs who just turned 20. He appeared in 10 games this year, notching 53.1 innings, a 4.22 ERA, 49 K and 27 BB.

30th Round (889): Michael Cantu, C, Texas (HS) – A legit catching prospect, Cantu is number 161 to BA, 139 to MLB.com, and 106 to BP. Here’s MLB.com’s take: “The best candidate is Cantu, who offers intriguing power potential and raw arm strength. Cantu can put on a batting-practice show that rivals anyone’s in this year’s high school class, though his long all-or-nothing swing leads to swings and misses in game action. He has a strong arm, but he often records fringy pop times because his footwork and transfer are slow. Scouts love Cantu’s makeup and leadership skills, which were also on display when he quarterbacked the Moody football team, coached by his father Mike. While he has two captivating tools, there are enough questions about his bat and his agility that he may not get drafted high enough to lure him away from a commitment to Texas.”

He’s one of the best high school catching prospects in a draft full of ‘em, but, being picked at this stage suggests he’s going to be a very tough sign. If teams thought they had a chance to pry him away from Texas, he’d have gone a lot higher. Still, why not pick him and take a swing, right?

31st Round (919): Brad Deppermann, RHP, Florida (HS) – Many high school arms at this stage of the draft are tough to sign, and Deppermann is probably going to be very tough to sign. He’s ranked 192 to BA, but is not ranked by the other services. He’s a 6’0″ 175 guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s got room to grow (doesn’t turn 18 for another couple weeks).

Good sign?

32nd Round (949): Andrew Ely, 2B, U. of Washington – Let’s see if our rule about college second basemen holds up for this junior: .300/.393/.411 with 28 BB and 32 K. Yeah, pretty strong numbers for a good conference.

33rd Round (979): Brad Bass, RHP, Illinois (HS) – Another tough-to-sign high school arm for the Cubs. Here’s MLB.com’s take on their 165th ranked prospect: “Scouts were excited about Bass’ projectability and gave him a chance to pitch his way into the top three rounds this spring. He hasn’t lived up to those hopes, however, as he played basketball during the winter and wasn’t in peak baseball shape when the spring began. It’s still easy to dream on Bass, but whether he’ll go high enough in the Draft to be lured away from a Notre Dame scholarship remains to be seen. He’s lean and athletic, with plenty of room to add strength in the future. He’ll show a 91-mph fastball early in games, though his velocity tapers off to the mid-80s in later innings. Bass’ slider has the potential to become an out pitch. It has some bite and reaches the low 80s at times, and he commands it well. His changeup needs a lot of work, and some scouts aren’t enamored of his delivery.” That’s just one take, but that very much reads to me like a young man who is going to take more to sign than the Cubs are likely to want to risk. Maybe that wouldn’t be bad for Bass, obviously, as he could go to Notre Dame, continue to develop, and be drafted higher in three years. At 6’6″ 215lbs, he’s a huge kid who might just take a little more time, as big pitchers sometimes do.

34th Round (1009): Steven Kane, RHP, Cypress College – Another juco righty, and, you guessed it, he’s a big guy: 6’4″, 205lbs. Can’t teach size. Kane was the California Community College pitcher of the year in 2013.

35th Round (1039): Jordan Minch, LHP, Purdue – Minch is a draft-eligible sophomore, and he’s got the right size at 6’3″ 190lbs. He was on the All-Big Ten Freshman Team last year, and then posted a 5.71 ERA over 86.2 innings this year. That’s probably why his stock took a hit. He struck out 52 and walked 36. His favorite stadium is Wrigley Field, so maybe that’ll help. Although maybe no one’s told him yet that it will never, ever be renovated.

36th Round (1069): D.J. Peters, OF, California (HS) – Peters is number 196 to BA and 237 to BP, so he’s on the prospect radar. At this stage of the draft, you figure he’s a “ah, what the hell” kind of pick, but one that might be tough to sign. He’s currently committed to Cal St.-Fullerton. Peters is another monster of a young man at 6’5″ 210lbs.

37th Round (1099): Riley Adams, C, California (HS) – Another quality high school catching prospect, Adams is ranked 154 to BA and 199 to BP. The Cubs are clearly taking a scorched earth approach here in the later rounds. Quality prospect still on the board? Tough to sign? Who cares. Take him. Not a bad approach, even if you can sign only one or two. Adams is committed to San Diego right now (which is where he’s from).

38th Round (1129): Daniel Wasinger, C, Texas (HS) – Another high school catcher, though Wasinger doesn’t show up on the prospect lists. When he was called out, the Cubs mentioned some kind of connection to the Red Sox (son of a scout or something like that).

39th Round (1159): David Petrino, C, Central Arizona College – It’s all catchers all the time for the Cubs now. Petrino is a juco player who just turned 20 this year, and hit .426/.470/.585, with 6 BB and 23 K. And 12 HBP!

40th Round (1189): Diamond Johnson, CF, Florida (HS) – Well, it’s not Handsome Monica (actual draft prospect name), but the Cubs did pretty well with their final pick, taking a guy named “Diamond.” I really hope he signs, and becomes a star.

Whew. And that does it. The 2014 Draft is in the books. I’ll have many thoughts later on the Cubs’ efforts not only today, but on the draft as a whole. Early take? You can disagree with the under slot strategy from the get-go, but, if you accept that that’s what the Cubs were going to do, given the top of the draft, you can’t disagree that the Cubs followed through on it well. They’ve given themselves an opportunity to sign a great many top five round talents, and they still got an elite guy in the first round.

Thanks for having some fun the last few days. I’m going to go have a beer or 30. Goodbye.

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.

Google+