Cubs 2014 Draft - Day 2 (Rounds 3-10)

Day 2 of the draft has just started and the Cubs are on the clock and will likely have their pick by the time I stop typing. As for Day 1, we know all about Kyle Schwarber at this point and how he's truly the player the Cubs scouts desired. Second round pick Jake Stinnett sounds like he'll be an easy sign and at some point (probably near or after Round 10), the Cubs will likely go for a few reaches in hope of signing some players that were deemed unsignable. If you're interested, Stinnett will pitch in the super regionals tomorrow versus Virginia and I believe all games will be televised on the ESPN channels.

As for Round 3, here we go... (UPDATE: Done for the day, hope they can sign most of these guys)


3rd Round Pick #78 - Mark Zagunis, C from Viriginia Tech - Junior

A three-year starter at Virginia Tech and a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, Zagunis is an athletic catcher who has performed in one of the better college conferences in the nation. The ACC standout has shown a propensity for putting the ball in play and hitting for average, albeit from a slightly unusual setup. He's shown some extra-base pop in the past, though not as much in 2014. He runs extremely well for a catcher and has shown that his athleticism plays well in the outfield. His arm is average but on target, and his other skills say he could stay behind the plate full-time. The team that believes he can continue to hit might think he has the chance to be an everyday backstop in the future, and it will draft him accordingly. At the very least, Zagunis' versatility provides a team with options if catching doesn't work out.

4th Round Pick #109 - Carson Sands, LHP from North Florida Christian HS (Florida State commitment)

Along with Matthew Railey, his North Florida Christian teammate and fellow Florida State commit, Sands has seen his stock increase this spring. Sands' rise has been partly attributable to the strength gains he has made over the past year. That led to a jump in his fastball velocity, and he now throws the pitch in the low 90s, regularly touching 94 mph. He also throws a solid 12-to-6 curveball and has a good feel for his changeup. He repeats his delivery well, allowing him to throw strikes with all three of his pitches. Sands' strong season, size, stuff and projectability have helped push him up Draft boards as more scouts see him pitch.


5th Round Pick #139 - Justin Steele, LHP from George County HS in Mississippi (Southern Mississippi commitment)
Not since 1999, when the Braves took Matt Butler in the second round, has a Mississippi high school pitcher signed out of the first five rounds of the Draft. A lefty with a loose, quick arm, Steele should end that drought this June. Steele baffled scouts at the East Coast Professional Showcase last summer, when he ran his fastball into the low 90s but later dipped to the mid-80s. He has done a better job of holding his velocity this spring, working at 88-92 mph and reaching back for 94-95 on occasion. He's better when he throws with less effort in his delivery and gets more quality life on his heater. Steele's curveball used to stick out more for its shape than its velocity, but he has boosted it from the upper 60s to the low 70s as a senior. His changeup has some movement, but the Southern Mississippi recruit tips it off by slowing his arm speed and doesn't trust it much. Though he's athletic, his lack of size and true command could have him destined for the bullpen.


6th Round Pick #169 - Dylan Cease, RHP from Milton HS in Georgia (Vanderbilt commitment)

Cease is one of the hardest throwing high school pitchers in the 2014 Draft class, but he was dealt a significant setback this spring. He suffered an elbow injury that has kept him off the mound since March, leaving his future uncertain. When healthy, Cease throws his fastball from 91-95 mph, topping out at 97 mph. He doesn't have a physical frame, instead generating his velocity with athleticism and arm speed. There is some effort to his delivery, and the rest of his game may remain inconsistent until he refines it. His mid-70s curveball will range from a below-average to an above-average pitch, and his changeup shows flashes of becoming an effective offering, but he'll need to throw it more often. Cease, who plays with his twin brother at Milton High, is committed to Vanderbilt.


7th Round Pick #199 - James Norwood, RHP from St. Louis University - Junior

A year after going winless and battling an elbow strain, Norwood is poised to become the highest June Draft pick out of Saint Louis in history. He figures to go in the first three to five rounds after displaying one of the best fastballs among college starters in this year's class. Norwood's fastball has been clocked up to 98 mph, and he usually operates at 91-95 with some sinking and tailing action. He doesn't miss as many bats as that velocity indicates he should, because he lacks a quality secondary pitch to keep hitters from focusing on his fastball. He probably would be better off working on one breaking ball rather than throwing both a curveball and a hard cutter/slider, and his changeup is still a work in progress. Though he has a strong build, Norwood features enough effort in his delivery to raise questions about his long-term durability as a starter. He'll remain in the rotation for now, but his ability to refine his secondary offerings will determine his ultimate role.


8th Round Pick #229 - Tommy Thorpe, LHP from Oregon University - Junior

No scouting report, but found this one online. Plus this video and his college stats.


9th Round Pick #259 - James Farris, RHP from Arizona University - Senior

Farris has been a member of Arizona’s starting rotation for the last three years. As a sophomore, he started the clinching game of Wildcats’ 2012 College World Series championship. Farris doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but knows how to use it and commands all of his pitches well. His fastball sits in the upper-80s and he can manipulate it to add or subtract velocity or movement depending on the situation. His changeup is his best pitch and he also throws a curveball, though it’s a below-average offering. Farris was selected in the 15th round last year by the Astros, but elected to return to Arizona for his senior year. He could be a solid option this year for a team looking to save money in its Draft budget.


10th Round Pick #299 - Ryan Williams, RHP from East Carolina University - Senior

No immediately available scouting report, but here's a stats page. Another signability pick that will hopefully leave money for them to get Sands and Cease (and to a lesser degree Steele and Norwood).


Zagunis rather meaningless college numbers

925 career OPS, decent SB numbers for a catcher


2013 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars Notes from Don Olsen: Carson is a long, sloped, narrow athletic frame with decent overall development.  There is a bit of projection left and could sit 215 pounds and fits a Barry Zito type mold.  Easy loose arm with solid action, relaxed delivery and repeats it well.  Fastball was 89-91 mph and worked both sides, changed eye levels, should decent command of it.  Change up was showing more depth than in the past, good deceptive arm action, could round out into an above average offering.  Curve was not as crisp as I have seen in the past, flashed just average depth and spin, there is more in the back pocket.  He is a good makeup type, been worked on big stages for a long time, hard to rattle, and always relaxed.

I assume it will take some money to buy out his FSU commitment.

safe assumption, BA had him ranked as #53 prospect heading into draft, guessing he wants a $1M at least

Slot Values for Cubs picks so far

#4 - $4,621,200

#45 - $1,250,400

#78 - $714,900

#109 - $480,600

Catchers drafted in rounds 1 and 3 . . .

I'm glad they appear not to be sold on Castillo.

Not certain that's what is happening when they drafted 2 catchers. MGT has previously said they are weak in this position and need to strengthen throughout the org. By the time these two might be potentially ready for the bigs at catcher (3-4 years), Wellington will be eligible for free agency. I personally think they are very high on Castillo.

very few MLB drafts have anything to do with what's happenig in the majors, by VA Phil's reasoning, Rizzo should be worrying since that's probably Schwarber's best bet as a major league position.

It's not so much a question of what's happening in the majors as what's happening in what they consider their core group. Core lefty hitters would be Rizzo and Alcantara (switch). Righties would be Castro, Baez, Bryant, Olt, Almora, Soler. You'd like to have a lefty hitter somewhere in the 5-8 hole.

Maybe Schwarber takes Castillo's job, maybe he takes left field from one of the core righties but he certainly won't bother Rizzo.

about the only void they may have tried to fill with Schwarber was a left-handed power hitter since they don't have much past Vogelbach and Rizzo. I doubt catching has much to do with anything. And a third round catcher isn't being picked as nothing more than a hope and a prayer. Pretty much everyone after the 10th overall pick is hope and prayer.

So I am reading way too much into it to presume picking a catcher in the third round would have anything to do with the ability (more accurately, the inability) of Schwarber to remain at catcher?

well Schwarber isn't going to stick at catcher (most likely, never say never), but I'm sure Zagunis was a pick to help with the overall issue of catcher depth in the system. Zagunis's draft profile made it sound like he could move around the diamond if necessary as well.

Should never really count on any pick being up sooner than 4 years (6 if out of high school). Anything sooner is just good fortune.

You're supposed to have good fortune with high first-round draft picks. In Schwarber's case, he was the first position player drafted.

In 2012, catcher Mike Zunino was drafted #3 by Seattle. He began his first full season (2013) in AAA and got 193 PA's in the majors that year.

In 2011, Anthony Rendon was drafted #6. He had 394 PAs with the Nats in 2013.

2013, Kris Bryant taken #2. Unless he struggles in AAA starting probably later this month, he should be in the Cub lineup in 2015.

High school players generally take longer, but there are always exceptions like Harper and Machado. But Schwarber is a college junior.

just because it happens doesn't mean you should count on it...your results will vary.

I could see Schwarber up by 2016, being useful by 2017 or 2018. But maybe he'll surprise and pull a Posey, it's always nice when it happens.

2004 - Stephen Drew only college bat in top 15, debut in 2006, regular by 2007, useful by 2008

2005 (commonly referred to as the best draft class in decades) - A. Gordon (debut and regular by 2007, not useful until 2011), J. Clement (debut in 2007, never nothing), R. Zimmermann(debut in 2005, regular and useful by 2006), R. Braun (debut and useful in 2007), T. Tulowitzki (debut in 2006, regular and useful by 2007), T. Crowe (debut in 2007, never nothing)

2006 - Evan Longoria (debut and useful in 2008), D. Stubbs (debut in 2009, regular and useful by 2010), T. Colvin (debut in 2009, okay year in 2010).

2007 - M. Wieters (debut in 2009, regular in 2010, pretty solid since 2011), M. LaPorta (debut in 2009, never nothing)

2008 - P. Alveraz (debut in 2010, regular and useful by 2012), B. Posey (debut in 2009, awesome by 2010), Y. Alonso (debut in 2010, regular by 2012, still not useful), G. Beckham (debut in 2009, downhill since), J. Smoak (debut and a regular by 2010, never useful), J. Weeks (debut in 2011, regular in 2012, never useful), B. Wallace (debut in 2010, regular by 2011, never useful)

well I'm getting bored filling this out, but we get the idea, 2 years later they generally make a debut, 3-4 years later they're regulars and should be useful players by then, a few busts, a few stars.

I'll just list the names from 2009 on that were college bats in top 15

D. Ackley, T. Sanchez, G. Green; C. Colon, M. Choice, Y. Grandal; A. Rendon, G. Springer; M. Zunino, T. Naquin; K. Bryant, C. Moran, H. Dozier, DJ Peterson, H. Renfroe,.


Just because they were catchers in college doesn't mean they'll be catchers in the pros.

Just because they are catchers in the minors doesn't mean they are relievers in the majors.

/Jim Hendry

Justin Steele, another over slot?

$359,900 K is slot, ranked #121 by BA

video on Steele, maybe he can afford a meal with his bonus money

memories of the 2009 draft

Cubs took Austin Kirk, Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley in Rounds 3,4 and 6 with Wes Darvill at Round 5.

cool article on #1 overall picks, something to stash for next year for the Cubs

Round 6 Dylan Cease RHP Milton HS (GA)

video on Cease, that's one odd arm motion

BA had Cease as a top 50 talent before arm injury

Scully waxes poetic on Zimmer only as he can

great Cub related story starts around 3:08

Cubs recent win streak has moved them to 2nd worst record as Rays have lost 10 straight. Phillies on a recent losing tear as well.

Cubs vs. Marlins now, Stanton should be hitting a HR any minute now


Been following the draft at John Sickels' website: commenters there, many of whom are knowledgeable, all of whom are opinionated, basically like the Cubs' second-day approach.  I am not close to well enough informed to have an opinion.

once they allegedly went "cheap" in the first 2 rounds, seemed obvious that they would try to throw some money at tough sign HS pitchers in later rounds.

Hope they sign them, hope they are better than Dillon Maples.

Norwood #77 on BA's top 500 prospect list

his, pictures

out for a bit, will finish up the last few picks when I return.

some stuff from BA

The Cubs grabbed the first senior of the draft in Stinnett, who offers a great body and power arm that throws strikes with plus fastball life.

• Two of the top college catchers went off the board, with the Cubs taking Virginia Tech’s Mark Zagunis at pick No. 78, while the Tigers took South Carolina’s Grayson Greiner at No. 99. Zagunis is more athletic and runs better than most college catchers, and while his defense needs some polish, he’s shown toughness.

i kinda wonder how many of their 4/5/6/7 picks they think they'll be able to sign.

i'd honestly be surprised to see more than 2 of them'll be kinda interesting.

interesting note, Cubs waited until after 3rd round to start selecing the tough signs. If they don't sign, Cubs do NOT get any draft compensation next year. Surprised they didn't at least grab one earlier, but I presume they have a plan and hopefully the plan isn't cheap ownership.

My guess is that they did it that way because you lose the slot money if you don't sign the pick. Taking a high demand guy too early could cause the whole draft strategy to backfire if he doesn't sign.

Ramirez strikes out Stanton on 4 pitches...


Rondon making a mess of the 9th so far, although allegedly all bloopers.

and Justin Bour coming up to try and be the hero (bases loaded, 1 out, Marlins down 3).

...and it's a tie game with 2 outs in the 9th. cubbery.

Reed Johnson ties the game. Nice inning from Hector.

messed up italics tag somewhere...apologies.

in unfortunate, but potentially fortunate news for Cubs, Johan Santana tears ACL in EXST for O's.

their starters have 3rd worst ERA in league (2nd worst in AL).

Gausman, Bundy, E. Rodriguez, Hunter Harvey are the names you'd want for Samardzija and/or Hammel

BA take on Cease

The Cubs’ Day Two approach came into sharp focus early, and they continued going after tough signs with righthander Dylan Cease out of Milton (Ga.) High. He was a preseason first-team prep All-American who had not pitched since March due to an elbow injury. He had touched as high as 98 coming out of the gates this spring before getting hurt. Cease has a quick arm and athletic frame with an inconsistent breaking ball and modest 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. He’s a Vanderbilt signee who was considered a tough sign.

rizzo walkoff! jeah!

4 wins in a row. neat.

Found this about Tommy Thorpe. Ranked #305

"Thorpe will always have to fight the stigma of being an under-sized lefthander with below-average raw stuff, but there is no overlooking Thorpe’s ability to throw three pitches for strikes, even if his fastball ranges from 85-89 mph."

1st round draft grades the way they should be done

M. Stroman so far vs Cardinals tonight

6 IP, 7 K, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 ER on 88 pitches

that would look nice in a Cubs uniform, although if he keeps pitching well, Blue Jays won't move him.

Not to toot my own horn, but this is exactly how I envisioned the draft. Unlike a lot of folks, I saw no reason to go pitching in the first round. All but one of those guys is a pitcher, so they're stocking up, hoping one catches fire. To me, that's how you run a draft in the age of 20 year old TMJ To Bes.

Check the twitter box

3rd round pick Zagunis already signs for $615K, nearly a $100K saving

Stinnett is on my TV right now, ESPN 2 I believe

16 balls, 14 strikes so far

saved by an incredible defensive play/bad base running in 1st

seems to be in high 80's mostly

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 57 min 59 sec ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 3 hours 55 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 4 hours 8 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 4 hours 22 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 6 hours 57 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 8 hours 29 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 9 hours 8 min ago view