Best Cubs Drafts
I was intrigued by the recent ESPN article that proclaimed the 1968 Los Angeles Dodgers draft to be the best ever. The Dodgers picks that year were exceptional. All told across the various January and June drafts, the Dodgers drafted and signed EIGHT players that would go on to have successful major league careers. They are listed below with their career WAR according to Baseball Reference:
- Ron Cey 53.5
- Davey Lopes 42.2
- Steve Garvey 37.7
- Doyle Alexander 35.5
- Joe Ferguson 21.0
- Geoff Zahn 20.7
- Bill Buckner 14.8
- Tom Paciorek 7.6
Though knowing the Cubs would never come close to that, I decided to see what their best drafts would be. I examined every draft for the Cubs and noted all players with a career WAR (according to Baseball Reference) of 3.0 or higher. For active players, that was 3.0 as of June 4, 2014. The full list by year is below.
I thought 3.0 would be a very low bar and I would see a lot of players, but sadly the Cubs have had eight years through 2005 in which they did not draft and sign even a single player that accumulated that much WAR over their careers. Overall, in most years, the Cubs were lucky to draft one or perhaps two future Major League regulars. The “Best Draft” in Cubs history would probably have to be 1984 with Maddux and Moyer, followed by 1985 with Palmeiro and Grace. The only draft with much depth was 2001 with Prior, Nolasco, Soto, and Theriot.
- 2009: DJ LeMahieu 3.6
- 2008: Andrew Cashner 4.3
- 2007: Josh Donaldson 13.7, Darwin Barney 6.0
- 2006: Jeff Samardzija 5.2
- 2005: NA
- 2004: Jerry Blevins 3.6
- 2003: Sean Marshall 9.7
- 2002: Randy Wells 7.9, Rich Hill 3.2
- 2001: Mark Prior 16.5 , Ricky Nolasco 11.0, Geovony Soto 10.0, Ryan Theriot 6.4
- 2000: Dontrelle Willis 20.3
- 1999: NA
- 1998: Corey Patterson 9.6, Eric Hinske 8.2, Will Ohman 3.5
- 1997: Jon Garland 22.5, Scott Downs 11.1, Michael Wuertz 5.3
- 1996: Kyle Lohse 20.6
- 1995: Kerry Wood 27.7, Justin Speier 7.8
- 1994: Kyle Farnsworth 6.6
- 1993: Jose Molina 3.9, Kevin Orie 3.1
- 1992: NA
- 1991: Steve Trachsel 29.4, Doug Glanville 10.9, Terry Adams 4.4
- 1990: NA
- 1989: NA
- 1988: NA
- 1987: Frank Castillo 7.8, Mike Harkey 6.3
- 1986: Rick Wilkins 13.9, Joe Girardi 5.7, Jerome Walton 3.7
- 1985: Rafael Palmeiro 71.6, Mark Grace 46.1
- 1984: Greg Maddux 106.9, Jamie Moyer 50.4
- 1983: Dave Martinez 19.1, Rich Amaral 5.2
- 1982: Shawon Dunston 11.5
- 1981: Joe Carter 19.3, Darrin Jackson 11.4, Billy Hatcher 3.9
- 1980: Craig Lefferts 9.3
- 1979: Scott Fletcher 32.0
- 1978: Mel Hall 8.7
- 1977: Randy Martz 3.8
- 1976: Ron Davis 5.1
- 1975: Lee Smith 29.6
- 1974: NA
- 1973: Mike Krukow 24.1, Donnie Moore 7.0
- 1972: Ray Burris 16.4
- 1971: Burt Hooton 35.9, Dennis Lamp 15.4
- 1970: Rick Reuschel 70.0
- 1969: Bill North 26.7, Larry Gura 21.7, Roger Metzger 3.9
- 1968: Oscar Gamble 23.0
- 1967: NA
- 1966: Joe Niekro 29.9, Bill Stoneman 4.6
- 1965: Ken Holtzman 27.6, Joe Decker 6.9
That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.
...and it's a 3 run homer.
hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!
montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.
"Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.
I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.
...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?
2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.
nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.
Wow in deed.
FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game
he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.
He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.
At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.
sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.
he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.
Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?
"The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."
Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.
seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.