Josh Vitters Cubs #1 Pick

The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA "First-Year Player Draft") starts in about a half hour (2 PM ET, with the 1st round to be televised on ESPN2), and the latest prediction from Jim Callis at Baseball America is Vanderbilt LHP David Price to TB at #1, Chatsworth (CA) HS 3B Mike Moustakas to KC at #2, and Cypress (CA) HS 3B Josh Vitters to the Cubs at #3. As late as last night, Callis had Price going to TB at #1, Vitters going to KC at #2, and Norwell (IN) RHP Jarrod Parker going to the Cubs at #3. But the Cubs apparently prefer Vitters over Parker, and are poised to select the California third-sacker if the Royals do indeed take Moustakas with their #2 overall selection. AZ PHIL UPDATE #1: And as predicted by Jim Callis at BA, Josh Vitters indeed is the Cubs #1 pick. Vitters bats and throws right-handed, is 17 years old (he'll turn 18 in August), and checks in at 6'3 195. In BA's scouting report on Vitters, they describe him as having outstanding bat-speed and hand-eye coordination, allowing him to make consistent contact. He hits the ball hard to all fields and adjusts well to off-speed pitches. His main shortcoming at this point (so far) is an apparent lack of aptitude at 3B, but he does have a "third-baseman's arm," so it has been suggested that he could be moved to RF at some point if he is unable to improve his play at the hot corner. He also has average speed for a corner IF-OF and middle-of-the-order run producer. Presuming they are able to sign Vitters, he will probably be assigned to AZL Mesa. The Cubs would not have to add Vitters to their 40-man roster until after the 2011 season, and if that were to happen, he would not be out of minor league options until Spring Training 2015, after Ramirez, D-Lee, and Soriano's contracts have expired. So Vitters is probably a "next generation" Cubs prospect. The next Cubs selection will be pick #48, a so-called "sandwich pick" (so-named because these picks are "sandwiched" between the 1st and 2nd rounds), which the Cubs received as compensation for losing Type "B" FA OF Juan Pierre to the Dodgers after last season. After making a selection at the #48 slot, the Cubs will not have another selection until the 3rd pick in the third round (#97). That's because their second round pick (#67) goes to the Washington Nationals as compensation for the Cubs signing FA OF Alfonso Soriano last November. AZ PHIL UPDATE #2: With the #48 pick (compensation for losing FA OF Juan Pierre to the Dodgers), the Cubs selected right-handed hitting (6'1 202) catcher Josh Donaldson out of Auburn University. A multi-sport (baseball/football/basketball) star in HS in Mobile, AL, Donaldson played 3B as a freshman at Auburn, and was moved to catcher in his sophomore season. So he has been catching for only two seasons, and is considered a "work in progress" defensively. He hit .302 with 15 XBH in the wood-bat Cape Cod League last Summer (where he was selected to the Cape Cod League All-Star team), and was a power-hitting run producer for Auburn this past season, hitting 349/444/591, with 11 HR and 54 RBI, and 19 doubles. He also had 17 SB (3 CS) and 38/27 BB/K. He was in the Tigers lineup primarily for his powerful bat, not for his defense. According to BA, Donaldson is an "aggressive hitter" who murders fast balls, but has some trouble with breaking balls (which sounds suspiciously like Jake Fox to me, and the Cubs already have one of those). He has an average arm, but was hampered this past season with a thumb injury. If the Cubs are able to sign him, look for Donaldson to be assigned to Boise. The Cubs don't have a second round pick (that one goes to the Washington Nationals as compensation for the Cubs signing FA OF Alfonso Soriano last off-season), so their next pick will be the #3 pick in the third round (#97 overall). AZ PHIL UPDATE #3: And with their third selection in today's Rule 4 Draft (3rd pick in the 3rd round - #97 overall), the Cubs selected right-handed hitting Florida State second-baseman and 2007 ACC Player of the Year Tony Thomas. Thomas (5'10 180) led all of NCAA Div 1 in hits and doubles, was second in OBP, and 3rd in Avg in 2007, and had as many walks as strikeouts. According to BA, Thomas is a below-average defender with a below-average arm at 2nd base, with just average speed. A right-handed version of Mike Fontenot, perhaps? Thomas also was a member of the National Honor Socieity while in high school. If the Cubs are able to sign Thomas, he will (like Donaldson) probably be assigned to Boise, although as an advanced and highly successful college hitter (obviously one of the best in Division 1 in '07), and with no real 2B prospect presently at Peoria, Daytona, or Tennessee, Thomas could conceivably be assigned to a higher level at the outset, quite possibly Peoria. AZ PHIL UPDATE #4: With their 4th round selection (#127 overall), the Cubs selected Oregon State shortstop Darwin Barney. A 5'10 175 right-handed hitter, Barney was a member of the 2006 CWS champion Beavers, as well as Team USA. He hit 296/370/432 in 2007, with 4 HR and 48 RBI, a team-leading 18 doubles, 30/29 BB/K, and 12 SB (3 CS) in '07. As with Thomas, Barney could start his pro career at Peoria, since Dylan Johnston has struggled there and could be a candidate for demotion to Boise. AZ PHIL UPDATE #5: With their 5th round selection (#157 overall pick), the Cubs selected University of Virginia OF Brandon Guyer. A right-handed hitting and throwing 6'1 210 junior, Guyer hit 370/440/559 this season, and led the Cavaliers in HR (8) and doubles (19). He also had 18 SB (with only 1 CS) with 19/27 BB/K. If the Cubs do in fact sign him, I would think Guyer will likely start his pro career at Boise. To summarize... The Cubs selected five players over the first five rounds of the 2007 Rule 4 Draft: 1. Josh Vitters, 3B - Cypress (CA) HS 2. Josh Donaldson, C (Auburn) 3. Tony Thomas, 2B (Florida State) 4. Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State) 5. Brandon Guyer, OF (Virginia) The draft will continue tomorrow. And for lots more interesting Cubs draft talk and info, check out our buddies at Road to Wrigley.
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Comments

Evidently Buster Olney has reported on the radio that KC will select Vitters and Jarrod Parker will be headed to the Cubs.

The Moustakas thing Callis reported was likely just a bargaining tool.

Ugh... Why is it so obvious to all of us that they should take Wieters, and apparently not to them?
I hope that all this is just a smokescreen, and that they take Wieters...

Jarrod Parker = next Kerry Wood? (not the injuries just the 'stuff')

Chad -- Parker has no secondary stuff. He's a teenager with a fastball, a la Colt Griffin. Anybody wanna go to Parachat?

Chad - From what I have seen on Parker, that would seem to be a resounding "No!". He sounds like one of the most risky picks of what the Cubs could choose from.

Chad, I hope so, coming from Indiana he certainly doesn't have the wear and tear of Wood. From what I've read his secondary stuff isn't nearly as good as Wood's though.

Is the draft being streamed through the web?

Wow, Baseball gets an element of marketing and promotion right: they get their draft televised, finally.

Yes, www.baseballchannel.tv

Parachat!!

I'm there.

Bud Selig gets modest applause as he begins opening remarks.

Alone in parachat, I give him a boo.

I posted this on another thread, but sense it looks like Parker will be the pick. I thought I would repost the SR's and analysis of his secondary pitches:
Baseball America Associate Editor Alan Matthews, who covers HS Baseball, in the Indy Star:

“It may have even been modest in that because of his arm strength and he has shown a feel for two secondary pitches,” “He’s not a grip-it and rip-it type pitcher. He’s got a good breaking ball.”

From the milb.com scouting report about his change up and curve:

“Parker threw his curve around 78-79 mph, but he doesn’t use it a lot in games. It’s an average offering, at best, on occasion, but has the chance to be a good pitch. Parker didn’t throw many changeups, but when he did they were around 81-82 mph. The pitch has a chance to be above average.”

From the espn.com insider scouting report:

“Slider is his primary secondary pitch; has a hard, late break, 10/4 angle, and would get swings and misses in the minors right away with it. Slight tendency to overthrow it. Showed CB and CH in warmups; both have a chance to be average if he works with them.”

From the MVN mock draft analysis of his other pitches by the Rangers farm guy:

“He also has a decent curve and changeup, but he hasn’t had to rely on them too much – yet. However, both pitches have the potential to be above average.”

Alot of people who follow this stuff, think he will be fine in this regard.

well, if the asbove is true, we still won't have an everyday catcher in the minors.

asbove=above

Price #1 to Tampa

Did it begin? Updates please.

ZHL, and others, I'm doing "live bloggin" of sorts over at Road to Wrigley with lots of links. Open up a new tab or window and check us out too.

ESPN's coverage seems pretty good. Good lineup of people, good setup, good draft board

But Bud Selig can barely read off of his cards. It's painful to watch Bud.

I am listening live, and they are still just talking about Price... no #2 yet

Thanks Trans, but I can't stream anything through my firewall. I'm, um, "working."

JP, I'll check ya.

The Chicago Cubs are "on the clock" ...here goes!

well looks like it will be Vitters then...perhaps Parker.

Mike Moustakas to Royals, sounds like Vitters to the Cubs

#2 Mike Moustakos to KC

Moustakas goes to KC at #2.

Moutkakas to KC.

alot of second guessing will go into this pick...they have everyone they could have wanted to pick from. Go Tim Wilkens!

Okay, I would say that we have adequate coverage... I don't think I'll bother. I'd say we're on this...

one minute left...tick, tick, tick

Cubs select Vitters.

And the Cubs pick....Josh Vitters

phew...vitters.

happy with that.

Vitters!

There were a few boos in the audience.

I don't like it. Not at all.

Hard to REALLY screw up #3 (glad it’s just not Parker) but if Weiters falls to the Beermakers at #7 I think this one will fit right in on Real Neal’s Cubs draft history.

Is anyone else concerned that the Cubs, who don't play in a DH league, just picked up a good hitter who doesn't appear to have a particularly good penchant for playing any one defensive position?

From his brief "interview", he sounded dumbed than a box o' rocks.

well some people still think a 6'6" guy can/will be a catcher.

I hope Parker gets drafted by an AL team.

yeah, so we have another 3B?

I'm glad it wasn't Parker, truthfully. I think we got the best bat in the draft.

Josh Vitters interview, "I'm just ecstatic."

Followup Jim Callis interview, " I think the Cubs are ecstatic right now." He's the guy the Cubs wanted.

I'm sure the scouting reports will be floating around ad nauseam, but here's Yahoo!'s take:

3. Chicago Cubs: Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress H.S. (Calif.), 6-3, 195. Considered as top high school position player in draft, a notch ahead of Mike Moustakas, and also in mix for No. 1 overall pick by Tampa Bay. Has great polish at the plate, and has outstanding power with a short, compact swing. Hit .360 with nine HRs and 29 RBIs – despite missing two weeks with pneumonia – while leading team to 20-3 record. Has great arm strength, but sometimes has problems on defense and doesn't have great range. Could end up in OF – teams will want his bat in lineup.

drafted C/3rd (with arm strength) is more than just a C/3rd.

on the "bad" end of things you got yourself a 1st baseman.

on the "normal" end of things you got, well a C/3rd.

on the "bad but good" end of things you can also have a RF'r.

yeah, but he cant play D. Atleast were not dumping a huge contract on a college kid again.

It's a moot point now, but I've seen video of Parker and I've yet to see him throw a slider. I talked about his curve and his not-so-good change a couple of threads ago. Scouts Inc mentions nothing of a slider, yet ESPN does. Puzzling.

agreed...doesn't seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, but in baseball that's often better than a cerebral type that overthinks every aspect of his swing/mechanics.

and the Pirates continue their march to have 5 lefties in their starting rotation.

Somebody take Vitters to a baseball diamond this afternoon, tell him to go out ot RF, and start hitting him fly balls. Repeat, as needed.

So we took a DH...any chance we could trade the pick to the AL for a reliever? Haha...just kidding.

Mostly.

a DH? vitters and his arm says otherwise.

well at least Wieters won't be haunting the Cubs from a few miles north.

Crunch,

Vitters just seems like Murton with an arm. He just doesnt seem like he is going to be an MLB 3b. Hopefully he can play RF.

BillyBucks — June 7, 2007 @ 12:37 pm
Somebody take Vitters to a baseball diamond this afternoon, tell him to go out ot RF, and start hitting him fly balls. Repeat, as needed.

============================

BILLY B: I can do that. Just tell him to stop by Fitch Park Field #4.

The kid is only 18 - defensive footwork is definitely something that can be taught. He is supposed to have a very strong arm, and he can rake.

Offensively most people think that he has the biggest upside in the draft.

And the Cubs won't see him in Wrigley for at least a few years.

By comparing Vitters to Murton I mean a guy who looks lost in the field.

"The kid is only 18 - defensive footwork is definitely something that can be taught. He is supposed to have a very strong arm, and he can rake."

Agreed. See: Ramirez, Aramis for proof.

its way too early to compare vitters to anyone except in a watched-scouted role.

the kid needs to get a wood bat in his hand facing pitchers other than the ones who throw nothing but fastballs 3/4 of the time.

he played cape cod wood bat league last year...anyone know where those #s are?

Brew Crew takes Matt Laporta. Odd pick he is a big 1b who might not be someone who could move to the OF. Maybe there moving back to the AL. Move KC to NL central, I like it.

A veteran scout said he had never seen anyone hit like him before, bloggers have been comparing him to Alex Rodriguez, and MLB.com projects he’ll be among the first five players selected in next month’s draft.

–Jayson Addcox, MLB.com

Careful chifan... TCR-Murton love is at an all-time high. Sorry to get OT, and Murton's ok, but most GMs in baseball would be like "Matt who?"

Brewers are crazy. La Porta, a very polished college bat, might reach the majors in a breath. He's a 1B type, awful defender, wonder what the Brewers are going to do with him.

ok pretty apparent the Brewers would have taken Wieters there..LaPorta is also a Boras client. Either he's moving to the OF or the Brewers will have one nice 1B lefty/righty platoon.

Interesting... the Brew Crew drafted a guy whose scouting report reads: "Unless someone thinks he can play another position -- not a common belief -- LaPorta is limited to first base or DH duties in the future."

Unless MIL knows something we don't (are they transferring back to the AL?), the move seems a bit goofy. Fielder already occupies the role of "1B or bust".

Rockies select Casey Weathers, another reliever, converted OF.

Yet another weird pick, very fast slider at 91mph, good fastball. September callup.

Well, maybe nobody told the Brewers' scouting department that moved from the American to the National League ten years ago.

I think the Cubs, and especially Wilken, consider right field taken. But Vitters doesn't have to play third, either. Derrek Lee is getting on in years.

Gammons and Phillips mentioned the LaPorta could simply be a guy who the Brewers use as a trading chip in the near future seeing that the club should be in contention over the next few years. Then again corner OF and C are really the only positions they have an immediate need for so if he doesn't work out as a corner OFer he'll be dealt.

Looks like Brian Fuentes will be on the trading block this deadline.

Careful dogging Brewers scouting. I'd say their record recently deserves some respect.

Meh, Parker to the D-Backs, big fastball, not much more. 6'7" 240 pounds; big guy, team player.

most GMs in baseball would be like “Matt who?”

You have to be kidding me.

A veteran scout said he had never seen anyone hit like him before, bloggers have been comparing him to Alex Rodriguez, and MLB.com projects he’ll be among the first five players selected in next month’s draft.

–Jayson Addcox, MLB.com

Carlos - is that about Vitters or LaPorta?

vieters is a kid...he's barely worth worrying about besides following him for another 3+ years.

dave, that quote is from an MLB column about Vitters being another AROD

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070...

cwtp... thanks - wasn't sure who it was referring to.

cameras in the draft room?

you gotta be f'n kidding me. no, seriously...hahahaha.

in the team's draft rooms that is...the "war rooms"

San Francisco just drafted Bumgarner. There's a joke there, but I'm just not sure what it is.

French Canadian Philip Aumont, RHP, huge kid at 6'7", possible reliever in the future, some discrepancies regarding his slider (some say it's amazing, some say it's non-existant) but he's very projectable.

Mariners pick BTW.

San Francisco just drafted Bumgarner. There’s a joke there...

He might be the replacement for the Astros manager if they fire scrap iron

I got your joke, vorare:

In tight baseball pants, he bum will garner a lot of attention in San Fran.

I'll be here all week.

Matt Dominquez 3B...gee, I wonder if the Marlins feel Miggy Cabrera isn't long for their franchise.

That's exactly what I thought, Bogey. Dominguez is a very, very good fielder.

I do like what Vitters says in that mlb article. They say he has great plate disciplne, and he says that he always looks forward to playing against the best competition, and he usually does better against them... Sounds good...

miggy isnt much of a 3rd baseman fwiw.

VA Phil -- "I think the Cubs, and especially Wilken, consider right field taken. But Vitters doesn’t have to play third, either. Derrek Lee is getting on in years."

Who do the Cubs consider their RF of the future?

Once again... teams simply do not draft for positional needs at the major league level.

Levine said this morning that the Cubs brass is high on that Michael Maine or Mayne or however you spell his surname. Anyway, if he's still on the board at their 2nd pick that might be it.

Even if they don't, if you have A-Rod signed for 10 years to be your third baseman, it would be silly to draft a slick fielding third sacker.

Here come the Texas Rangers and the first of, what? five? picks in the first two rounds.

Michael Main has a shitload of upside and throws serious heat. I'd pick Cole St. Clair over him, though. He's a closer at Rice with serious stuff.

Okay, I no longer really know anything about anyone else in the draft, except Pat Venditte. He will go in the later rounds, I would guess, but I hope the Cubs pick him. He's a switch pitcher.

Cardinals are batshit crazy. Peter Kozma, an Eckstein/Theriot clone; huuuuge reach!

Sweet Lou — June 7, 2007 @ 1:28 pm
Who do the Cubs consider their RF of the future?

=================================

SWEET LOU: Right now at this point, probably Tyler Colvin, with Cliff Andersen and possibly Drew Rundle about two years behind Colvin. Both Colvin and Andersen can play all three OF spots, while Rundle is more of a corner guy.

Vitters could be added to that mix, too (at 1B, 3B, or RF), but we're probably talking about maybe a 2010-11 MLB ETA for Colvin, 2011-13 for Andersen, and 2013-15 for Vitters, so all of them could eventually have Cubs MLB roster slots, especially if (for instance) Vitters were to move to 1B and be the eventual replacement for D-Lee. .

BTW, I still consider Josh Lansford to be the Cubs #1 3B prospect (post-A-Ram).

Wow. Is Vitters really six years away from playing at Wrigley? I would have guessed four...

I know you're all breathlessly waiting my response....

I'm happy it's not Parker.

Would have been happier if it was Wieters but considering the circumstances with MLB putting the clamps on, I'll take Vitters. Sounds far more polished than Harvey or Montanez at this point.

Let's hope for the best now, see you in 3-5 years.

I agree with Jace. Doesn't Vitters become a 6-year minor-league FA before 2013?

AZ Phil,

I planning on catching a few Chiefs game this summer, will Vitters be sent to Peoria when he signs?

Thanks, Arizona Phil.

maybe Carlos, but the Cubs might be scared off with St.Clair's shoulder issues. Perhaps visions of Bobby Brownlie are swirling around over the draft board.

Man, I would think that the highest we could ever expect to see him this year is at Boise. I am betting that they'll send him to AZL.

BOGEY:

His shoulder injury was diagnosed as a shoulder strain, which is certainly something to keep an eye on, but he shouldn't drop below the supplementals.

I really hope the Cubs pick him over Main.

They do have to sign the guy first, though...

Jace — June 7, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
Wow. Is Vitters really six years away from playing at Wrigley? I would have guessed four…

===========================

JACE: It all depends on where Vitters lands on defense and who is there ahead of him, and how quickly Vitters moves along through the Cubs minor league pipeline.

Vitters will likely spend 2007 at AZL Mesa (age 17), then 2008 (age 18) at either Boise or Peoria, 2009 (age 20) at Peoria or Daytona, 2010 (age 21) at Daytona or AA, and 2011 (age 22) at AA or AAA, and possibly 2012 (age 23) at AAA. So Vitters could make it to Wrigley Field in 2011-12, but he also could be optioned out through the 2014 season if necessary.

Derrek Lee can be a FA after the 2010 season, Aramis Ramirez has a player option for 2011 or else there is a mutual option for 2012, and Soriano is signed through 2014, so depending on where Vitters plays, he could be a candidate to replace any of those three players, possibly as early as (but not before) the 2011 season, or as late as 2015 (when he would be 25 on Opening Day).

Giants pick Alderson -- cleanest, smoothest delivery in the draft. Strike thrower, 1 BB this year in HS.

6'7" kid, too.

Yeah, Phil. I know they guy is only 17. If you are a #3 overall pick, though, you should be on a silghtly faster track than is customary. I would expect him to be up there in four years. Anything longer will be a slight disappointment.

save for J.Parker apparently you have to be at least 6'4 to be drafted as a P in this draft.

Sheffield/Cornelia — June 7, 2007 @ 2:01 pm
I agree with Jace. Doesn’t he become a 6-year minor-league FA before 2013?

===============================

SHEFFIELD/CORNELIA: No. That only applies to players who are not on a 40-man roster.

Any player not on a 40-man roster is eligible to be a "six-year minor league FA" after he has spent parts of at least SEVEN (not six) seasons on a minor league or major league roster (including DL). It also has to be either his original organization or an organization to which he is traded or drafted. If a player gets released prior to completing his first seven years, the chain is broken, and he gets to be a minor league FA after each season. But again, that's ONLY for players who are not on a 40-man roster. And Vitters will have to be a big bust not to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster before his seven years are up!

Assuming the Cubs sign Vitters, he would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after the 2011 season, so the Cubs could wait to add him to their 40-man roster until that time (as late as 11-20-2011). Then they could option him out in 2012, 2013, and 2014, so that he would be out of minor league options in ST 2015.

And Maine goes to the Rangers.

Here's an interesting interview with Vitters, for anyone interested:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/06/...

I guess the Cubs weren't the only club high on Main...you may get your wish now Carlos.

chifan3887 — June 7, 2007 @ 2:02 pm
AZ Phil,

I planning on catching a few Chiefs game this summer, will Vitters be sent to Peoria when he signs?

==========================

CHIFAN3887: I doubt that very much.

As a 17-year old, Vitters will most-likely start his pro career at AZL Mesa, and then attend the Arizona Instructional League in September-October. Where he will be on Opening Day 2008 is TBD, but it will most-likely be either Peoria (best-case) or EXST (and then Boise in June '08). Worst-case scenario is that he remains at EXST next April and then has to repeat AZL Mesa.

Jesus, the White Sox just robbed the Athletics. Pareda had been linked to the A's since early May.

Wow... Porcello, Brackman and Harvey are all still available.

a patented OAK pick. I'm curious if the Tigers will ante up for Porcello like they did for A.Miller...otherwise it looks like he might fall to the Yanks.

Thanks, vorare. I am coming around on this guy. He really does look and sound like he could be great. I think what position he plays is going to determine whether he gets to the bigs with the Cubs, though...

A's pick James Simmons. Crappyfastball, good character, intelligent. Control and (alleged) charisma.

Jace — June 7, 2007 @ 2:13 pm
Yeah, Phil. I know they guy is only 17. If you are a #3 overall pick, though, you should be on a silghtly faster track than is customary. I would expect him to be up there in four years. Anything longer will be a slight disappointment.

===========================

JACE: Of course I hope you're right. I tend to be more conservative in my projections with young players because I have seen so many stall along the way, even players that eventually make it to the big leagues.

I guess I would say the earliest I would expect Vitters to land in Wrigley Field would be September 2011 (late-season call-up) or Opening Day 2012 (he'd be age 22 on Opening Day 2012). I would be VERY surprised if he emerges anytime before that, and even then, I would call 2011-12 a "best-case" scenario. 2013 sounds more like it to me, with 2014-15 only if he gets hurt or struggles somewhere along the way.

Porcello to the Tigers. As Parachatter 'Cubs' said, Verlander, Bonderman, Miller, Porcello and X are going to be friggin' amazing to watch.

Yeah, Phil. That's why I would rather have seen them take Wieters. He's so much further along in development, there's just a lot less risk... I do like what I see with Vitters though, and after being pretty unhappy initially, I am still happier than I would have been if they had picked one of these HS pitchers....

gee what shocker...Brackman goes to the Yanks.

Wow, Yankees passed on Smoker and Harvey to select Crunch-favorite Andrew Brackman.

This nugget comes from the link Voare posted:

"Rich: Most mock drafts have you going third to the Cubs or fourth to the Pirates. Do you have any preference as to which team drafts you?

Josh: No, it's not a big deal because the Cubs and Pirates are both great clubs. It doesn't make any difference to me."

C'mon. I know I'm a homer and all but lets face it, no one would want to get drafted by the Pirates. I know...

Chad... what do you want him to say?

"I want to be drafted by the Cubs, because the Pirates suck!"

Yeah, the only thing that response told me is that this guy understands when in it not appropriate to comment on his preferences...

Heh... I enjoyed reading that article, especially the part about how he kicked ass against the other "top" HS pitchers. Thanks, vorare.

I know he has to play politics but to tell the truth, if I was top 5 pick, I would straight up tell GMs not to pick me if you are on a shit team with a shit owner.

I would call the GMs of the Royals and the Rays and say, if you draft me, I'm going to college. I will never sign with you. Sure getting dropped down a few slots will hurt you in the short run but you'll make out in the long run. You sign with the Cubs and there is a future. You sign with the Pirates and you start your clock til you can leave there.

And before you go all Jason Bay on me, call me when the Pirates finish a season above .500.

Oh, why the Cubs? Because as bad as the Cubs can be, you know they will pay you top dollar. You will get a contract that you want, (forget the whole slot thing) then if you are good, they will give you lots of money to stay. The same goes for other teams as well. I would love to get picked by the Cardinals, The Yanks, the Mets, the Dodgers, the Angeles or others too. Just not the dregs of the 'small market teams'.

OKay, Phil, I buy that. I would be interested in seeing a comparison between Wright's HS Senior Numbers, and Vitters' numbers. Is that available somewhere? I think Vitters finished hitting .401 with 9 HRs, and 36 RBI... Is that right?

brack wasnt my favorite by a longshot...he's just a guy i had access to for a while.

price/vitters/wieters...any of those would/did make me happy

Vitters is your typical Hendry addition. He's big, slow, a poor fielder, who even in high school didn't hit for the high average most top prospects do (most top high school players hit in the .500+ range. Vitters was in the .300's)

Hendry loves these guys. The only problem is when you build an entire team with swing for the fences hitters who refuse to walk and have shitty obp, and poor d to boot, you lose.

They should have taken the catcher Wieters. Now watch, this means Hendry will resign egghead Barrett. The Cubs would be better off today if they released Barrett and Jones.

One last thing. All of this talk that MLB has been harping on teams, specifically the Cubs, not to draft top players and give them big bonuses is called collusion, and they will be sued over it.

I was kidding. As per usual.

Nationals take Josh Smoker in the sandwich round.

Carlos, AZ Phil,

Great work today, gentlemen. Heck of a job.

I would have preferred Moustakas over Vitters (slightly), but KC made that moot. I knew they'd pick one or the other, they want bats bats bats. Overall, I still wish the Cubs would have taken Wieters because of the position he plays, the closer he is to the bigs, and the lower risk--he's a proven performer at a much higher level of competition.

Vitters is such a baby (17!) it's hard to get too excited here, he's a LONG way from the major leagues. At least the Cubs took a bat, I guess that's something.

Chad - Maybe you have the Cubs confused with a franchise that has a record of actually producing position players from its system? I think it matters less in baseball than anywhere else who drafts you. If drafted by a crappy team, I would think all that means is that you might actually get to the majors more quickly. All you would be telling GMs is that you are one of those guys who puts your needs ahead of those of a team that would want to give you an opportunity to play pro ball. That would not be starting off on the right foot. I don't care if a lot of players do this. I don't feel that it is right.

I liked how Vitters was real vague in his interview about what pitches he can handle. Sure the scouts will know soon enough, but at least he knows what not to say.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT...

There would be an upside to being a Royal or Devil Ray, you will make it to the big club fast. If you show you real good, you could get traded to a better team.

FWIW

Josh Smoker to the Nationals, as Sweet Lou reported. Just imagine the headline puns he will inspire if he makes it to the big leagues.

Seriously now, a fantastic pick by the Nationals at 31st. My wish-list gets reduced by a name, and now stands as follows:

a) Matt Harvey
b) Cole St. Clair
c) Kyle Blair

Jace... you have to remember that Vitters missed a few weeks with pneumonia, and then played about three weeks at significantly less than full strength.

so comparing his senior year numbers to anyone probably isn't very worthwhile.

Somewhere in Boras's list of "Things you should never say after drafed":

Vitters: "Just being able to play Minor League ball and pro ball is more important than the money to me."

I guess there's a reason he's not a Boras client.

I know, dave. I still would like to see the comparison. I am curious what that would show.

He’s big, slow, a poor fielder, who even in high school didn’t hit for the high average most top prospects do (most top high school players hit in the .500+ range. Vitters was in the .300’s)

Umm... not quite. Big? yes. Slow? More like average speed. Poor Fielder? Again, not quite. More like an average field with a good arm.

As for his high school numbers, see my above comment about him having pneumonia.

Hmm, Sean Doolittle (Cubs "favorite") to the A's at 41. Cubs pick coming up.

Another big-ass pitcher gets drafted early in the compensation round. Eddie Kunz to the Mets at 42. RHP, reliever, good fastball. Nice start of the day (!) for the Mets.

Schilling is perf*** through 8 in Oakland.

Kunz BTW is the closer for Oregon State. Pretty nice fastball, no secondary stuff, might need a lot of time in the minors.

The Giants have already made FIVE picks!

and our 2nd pick is Josh Donaldson C from Auburn #48 overall

Justin Jackson and Drew Cumberland, two high school infielders, go back-to-back to the Blue Jays and Padres; they're both significantly better than Cardinals first round pick Peter Kozma.

Cubs pick still ahead.

At least (per mlb.com) he "plays the game the right way". Perhaps this signals a turn for the better in the Cubs' organization?

Mayo's MLB scouting report on Donaldson...

He has shown some ability to hit, but front-foot hitting causes loop in swing.

Power: Donaldson has shown some extra-base pop, but it was not on display over the weekend.

Running Speed: Donaldson is a below-average runner.

Arm Strength: Donaldson's arm was below average, with less-than-stellar times to second base.

Fielding: Donaldson is new to full-time catching, but has good hands and caught fairly well. Some think he's athletic enough to handle a Biggio-like move to second.

Baseball Instinct: Donaldson has excellent instincts and plays the game the right way.
Aggressiveness: He's an aggressive player behind the plate.

Physical Description: Donaldson is a strong, square-bodied catcher with athletic actions.

Strengths: Decent catching skills and outstanding baseball instincts.

Weaknesses: Below-average arm and questions about hitting mechanics.

Summary: Donaldson really helped himself with a strong Cape Cod season last summer, but there are concerns about whether he'll be able to catch up to better velocities with the loop in his swing. He may improve with more experience as a full-time catcher, but his arm is below average and he does not profile as a premium catch-and-throw guy. Some see a switch to the infield -- he's played third in college -- but he may make for a good backup catcher who plays the game the right way.

No Cole St. Clair.

Cubs pick Auburn catcher Joshua Donaldson, 6'0", 195 pounds.

Via MLB.com:

Donaldson really helped himself with a strong Cape Cod season last summer, but there are concerns about whether he'll be able to catch up to better velocities with the loop in his swing. He may improve with more experience as a full-time catcher, but his arm is below average and he does not profile as a premium catch-and-throw guy. Some see a switch to the infield -- he's played third in college -- but he may make for a good backup catcher who plays the game the right way.

Schilling has a no-no through 8 & 1/3. Game is now being shown on ESPN 2

"Schilling is perf*** through 8 in Oakland."

Not perfect - Lugo committed an E.

Donaldson projects as no more than a backup catcher if he doesn't outgrow the position, and a fringe third baseman if he moves down the spectrum.

A wasted pick, basically.

D'oh!

aww...the baseball gods are a bitch Schill.

Damn, I was pulling for him.

Shannon Stewart broke it up with a clean single to right.

Meh, Shannon Stewart swings at the first pitch and gets a 1B to right field. Intelligent hitting by Stewart, terrible selection by Varitek and Schilling -- first pitch fastball to a dead first pitch fastball hitter?

Can you have a perfect game if there is an error? Lugo made an error earlier in the game.

Bryan Smith, formerly of TCR, certainly disagrees with me about Donaldson.

He's what he says about Joshua:

"BSmith (2:56:04 PM PST): I mentioned early in this thing that Cubs fans were surprised they didn't go with Matt Wieters, the catcher, ahead of Josh Vitters. Perhaps it's because Tim Wilken had his eyes on a different catcher, Josh Donaldson, in the second. Donaldson hit very well in the Cape Cod League, and while new to the position, he has the lateral movement of a good third baseman and the arm strength of a good high school pitcher. Good pick by the Cubs."

I guess Wilken got what he wanted.

At 49, the Rangers picked a swing-and-a-miss hitter with outrageous power (best in the draft) in Michael Burgess. Either he'll be the next Ryan Howard, or he'll fade badly like Ryan Harvey.

I don't know. From what I read on Donaldson, he looks like he fits well with all the other catchers we have. Can hit, but can't throw people out.

I thought Josh Kroeger was going to make you guys forget Josh Hamilton. But now we got Josh Vitters and Josh Donaldson.

I'm not sure how any player can be dismissed as a wasted pick unless he's missing an arm or a leg. The draft is hit and miss. There are very few sure things. I trust Tim Wilken a little more than I trust Carlos Rubi.

And after pick #50 (Wesley Roamer to the Diamondbacks, command guy from Cal State Fullerton -- really, he doesn't issue BBs at all), I depart for lunch.

It's been a good draft, hopefully I was of some help to fellow draft-o-philes.

Maybe the Donaldson pick is where we see Wilken flash his "uber-genius" mode on us. If he worked out, then passing on Wieters (and saving the $$) was a smart move after all.

Still, based on the scouting report, it's hard for me to see anything in Donaldson but Jake Fox, Part II. And I like Jake, but neither can be a big league catcher, and that's what we need.

Trade for Salty!!

Dave in 146:

Gammons said Vitters is slow. MLB.com's draftsite full scouting report says he can't field 3b. He has a nice arm, that's it.

He's a dumb pick when a better talent is on the board at a position you have a major need at, AND when that player (C Wieters) could possibly be up and take over at some point next season. As with any high school pick, if he doesn't go back to college and skip the team completely he is still going to take 5-6 years to arrive. The Cubs, as usual, suck despite having a monster payroll. The window of opportunity to win with Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, and a few of our halfway decent pitchers is soon. It's not 5-6 years down the road. If you can pick a college player here or there that can contribute in 1-2 years you are ahead of the curve. Spending all this cash on our current team is a complete waste of money if you aren't going to provide the proper players at key positions, (catcher, closer, shortstop, etc.). Why spend all this cash and then draft guys who won't contribute, best case scenario, for 5-6 years?

Hendry is a dumb fuck. He keeps building the same team every year. We've seen this before, and it gets the same results every year, but he keeps plugging away. Being a Cubs fan is a perpetual groundhog day.

I like the interview posted with Vitters where he talks about the at bats he had in that all-star game last summer. Seems his memory is pretty good, which should serve him well.

I like the pick. Weiters didn't progress much as a hitter this year and had high strike out numbers for someone considered an elite hitter. LaPorta had more HBP than he had K's, I would peg him as the first hitter to reach the bigs, unless a position switch (catcher?) slows him down.

"I’m not sure how any player can be dismissed as a wasted pick unless he’s missing an arm or a leg. The draft is hit and miss. There are very few sure things. I trust Tim Wilken a little more than I trust Carlos Rubi."

Yes, definitely, but from what I gathered on Donaldson, he doesn't look exactly what you'd pick with a sandwich pick.

When your MLB.com profile mentions you could someday be a decent backup catcher, you know you don't have a good ceiling. Hell, if you want backup catchers, the Cubs have plenty of those in their system.

But whatever. You're right.

34 supplemental picks... jeez...

As long as you say I'm right, the rest doesn't matter. ;)

My comment probably read more harshly than I intended. I'm just sayin' the draft is unpredictable.

Jace — June 7, 2007 @ 3:53 pm
I don’t know. From what I read on Donaldson, he looks like he fits well with all the other catchers we have. Can hit, but can’t throw people out.

===========================

JACE: And don't forget the ones who can catch + throw, but can't hit. The Cubs have a few of those, too.

The Towel is back. I don't like the Josh Vitters pick. At all ! The Cubs have a dreadful enough time developing positional talent without taking a 17 year old straight out of high school. Plus, I've read too many things about Vitters that suggest he is far from a sure thing. But we shall see.

The smart pick would have been Matt Wieters.

....

This 5-6 year stuff most likely isn't what the Cubs expect from Vitters. More likely 3-4. Eric Chavez would be a good comparison, though Vitters defense is probably not expected to be at the same level. The best high school hitters, if they develop, are usually in the bigs in 3-4 years. Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez etc. Maybe you don't think this kid is like that, but the Cubs brass certainly hopes that he is.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/Eric...

For all the Weiters lovers, and at the start of the season I was one, there are a lot of scouts who aren't sold on him. It looks like the Orioles will have to lose someone from their 40 man to sign him, and the Cubs aren't in position to do that right now.

Memo to Jim Hendry. Back up the truck and swing a trade for Saltimacchia out of Atlanta. You need to stop with this infatuation over Michael Barrett. Trade Barrett for a bucket of balls, either that or lease him out as a punching dummie to a local boxing ring.

He’s a dumb pick when a better talent is on the board at a position you have a major need at

First of all... if you cannot pay that player, you can't (or at least shouldn't) draft that player. And from what it sounds like, either major league baseball or the trib company said the Cubs couldn't pay Weiters.

Second, while Weiters was/is more ready than Vitters, he is still a ways away. You simply do not draft need with the third pick. You pick the best play available that you can afford.

if you aren’t going to provide the proper players at key positions, (catcher, closer, shortstop, etc.).

Closer? The Cubs have a closer who has been pretty damn good.

Gammons said Vitters is slow. MLB.com’s draftsite full scouting report says he can’t field 3b.

I have seen several reports, but most have said average speed, average defense.

The speed doesn't bother me. If the guy fulfills his potential, the Cubs won't need his speed. The defense is an issue, but because he is only 17, he has plenty of room to grow.

Josh Vitters has drawn comparisons to Sean Burroughs by his distractors, of which there are a few. Plus, he is slow, has little power and needs lots of work at 3rd base. Sounds to me like a 3rd base version of Matt Friggin Murton. I hope I'm wrong, but I really hate this pick. The intelligent move for a team on a 99 year losing streak, a giant payroll and a GM who is on the verge of being a dead man walking would have been to take Matt Wieters. That kid is going to be a perennial All-Star in this league.

Plus, I’ve read too many things about Vitters that suggest he is far from a sure thing.

What is your point? There are very few sure things in MLB amateur drafts.

Shoot... Prior was supposed to be the closest to a "sure thing" in years.

Again... I think that most of us wanted Weiters. But it was pretty clear from what was being reported that the Cubs were unable to pay him what he would have demanded. And that may have even come down as a directive from Major Leage Baseball. While I think we all agree that that is ridiculous, we cannot do anything about it.

So the Cubs did the next best thing - take what they considered the best player available.

I have a question here. If we're going with this theory that says the Cubs couldn't pay Wieters at #3 the money he wanted, then how are the Orioles going to be able to pay him what he wants in a LOWER slot at #5? Isn't the discrepancy between what he wants and what MLB believes he should get, even wider at #5 than it is at #3? I don't quite understand this.

Isn’t the discrepancy between what he wants and what MLB believes he should get, even wider at #5 than it is at #3?

I am pretty sure is related to the fact that the Cubs have been sold/are being sold again.

The Orioles are not being sold, at least not that I know of.

I seriously doubt Salty is going to get moved. The Braves have already said either McCann or Salty will move to 1B and from what it seems they think Salty will be the better defensive C at this point and there is nothing in the Braves system to think 1B is being held for anyone....especially Scot Thorman.

The smartest team in the draft is the one that takes Grant Desme out of Cal Poly; kid's a stud.

I've been pouring through material on Josh Donaldson. And all I can say is, Tim Wilken what are you thinking? Donaldson is an average catcher who can't throw. Haven't we already cornered the market on that type of commodity? Or is Wilken intent on perpetuating the Jim Hendry Development League for DH's, honorary members of which have been or are Brian Dopirak, Brendan Sing, Jason Dubois, Matt Murton, Jake Fox?

I can't wait until a new owner surfaces, hopefully with a flamethrower to rid this planet of the current Cub front office.

Rishi — June 7, 2007 @ 4:18 pm
The smartest team in the draft is the one that takes Grant Desme out of Cal Poly; kid’s a stud.

==============================

RISHI: I'm surprised the Cubs didn't draft him. They've already got Josh Lansford, Rocky Roquet, and Matt Canepa, might as well get Desme and go All Cal Poly - All the Time.

To clarify my question at 186, what I'm asking is, if MLB won't let the Cubs pay Wieters what he wants at #3, then how would the MLB let any other team (specifically, in this case, the Orioles at #5) pay him what he wants? If MLB is restricting what ANYONE pays Wieters, then the Cubs would have been able to justify taking him at #3 and signing him to the money MLB allows.

(I'm not justifying the outright collusion, just saying that money problems due to the sale become a BS excuse if no one else is allowed to pay Wieters what he wants either.)

First, it is not exactly clear that MLB told the Cubs that they could not go over slot money.

But second, the difference lies in that the Cubs are being sold, and the Cubs were allegedly told that because you are being sold, you can't go above the slot money.

At least that is the way that I understand it.

MLB has no say whatsoever in what any team offers any player. They act in an advisory roll, but the advice is universally dismissed by the teams, unless it happens to match with their own opinions. The Cubs just got on the shit list for giving Smardzjsa that ridiculous deal last off-season (which was actually a contract extnesion, since he had already signed a deal, which most people forget). If they wanted to they could tell Selig to stick it with no reprucussions other than some groaning at the next owners meetings.

Got it, thanks!

Has anyone not seen this? Vitters MLB scouting video--nice swing. Repeatable, hands back, excellent balance at the plate. He's just 17, if he fills out some, it's easy to see how he's a projectable hitting talent.

http://mfile.akamai.com/10869/wmv/mlb.downloa...

Silent Towel:
Memo to Jim Hendry. Back up the truck and swing a trade for Saltimacchia out of Atlanta. You need to stop with this infatuation over Michael Barrett. Trade Barrett for a bucket of balls, either that or lease him out as a punching dummie to a local boxing ring.

So we're going to dump our high priced contracts for a relatively cheap catching prospect onto a team trying to cut payroll. Please elaborate:

1. Why the Cub's would do this.
2. Why the Brave's would do this.
3. Why am I bothering with a response to this post?

.....

Eric the Great:
Has anyone not seen this? Vitters MLB scouting video–nice swing.

Thanks, great link!

I think ST is suggesting we trade Pie and Gallagher (or whoever the Braves most like) for Salty.

I think that he probably can be had in a trade. The Braves need a 3rd basemen, maybe a 1st basemen 2 outfielders and pitching, and Scheurholz knows the value of players on the fielding spectrum, so he will take offers.

CUBSTER: Re A-Ram - "Patella tendinitis"

Only rest "cures" tendonitis, right? I mean, its the kinda thing that one just has due to repetitive motion - its not going to go away, as I would understand it?

Kerry Wood case-in-point. He's gonna have to live and pitch w/the pain, or cash it in.

And it's no surprise the smartest team in the draft is none other than your Oakland Athletics.

I love saying, "I told ya so!"

All honesty, though, kid's got five-tool potential and when you adjust his stats for league and park difficulty, he's only second to LaPorta in my book for pure offensive terror.

Tendinitis can be tricky. I get it in my achilles sometimes and all I have to do is wear different shoes and it goes away in a day or two. But yeah rest, in general rest is the first treatment.

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