Chicago Cubs First Round Pick Hayden Simpson Won't Pitch This Summer

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Chicago Cubs First Round Pick Hayden Simpson Won’t Pitch This Summer

Chicago Cubs

Well here’s a real bummer.

Hayden Simpson, the surprise selection by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of this year’s first-year player draft, will not pitch this summer due to a bout with mono. Those excited to see what the kid can do will have to wait until the Fall.

“He’s probably done for the summer, unfortunately,” Wilken said before the Hawks’ game with Spokane on Monday night in Boise.

The Cubs took Simpson, a right-handed pitcher from Division II Southern Arkansas, with the 16th pick in the first round. It was a surprise selection, given Simpson’s slight build (6-foot, 175 pounds).

Simpson went 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA in 99.1 innings for Southern Arkansas. He signed with the Cubs for a reported $1.06 million.

The Cubs were planning to limit Simpson’s workload during the summer, though he was expected to pitch in Boise.

“Maybe this is a blessing in disguise,” Wilken said. “Not for Boise and not for the selfish Tim Wilken, who wants to see him in a game.”

Wilken said Simpson would “probably” pitch in the fall, “if healthy.”

Given that Simpson had already thrown almost 100 innings this year, he wasn’t going to throw a whole lot this summer anyway. But it’s still a shame that we won’t get a quick look at just what Wilken and the Cubs saw in him. He’ll likely pitch in the Arizona Fall League – a notoriously difficult proving ground for pitchers – before the Cubs decide where he’ll be assigned next year. Given his collegiate career and his age (21), you can bet the Cubs are hoping to quickly promote him next year.

As for the affliction, when it comes to “injuries” that keep a young pitcher out for months at a time, obviously mono is about as good as it gets.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.