Cubs Go Back to Disney World

The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA "First-Year Player Draft") continues today at Disney World in Florida. Yesterday, the first five rounds of the draft were completed, and the Cubs selected five players: 1. Josh Vitters, 3B (Cypress HS - Cypress, CA) 2. Josh Donaldson, C (Auburn) 3. Tony Thomas, 2B (Florida State) 4. Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State) 5. Brandon Guyer, OF (Virginia) Interestingly, four of the five picks were college players, and no pitchers were chosen. AZ PHIL UPDATE: 6. Casey Lambert, LHP (Virginia) COMMENT: UVA's closer and a teammate of Cubs 2007 5th round pick Brandon Guyer, Lambert is a 5'10 160 lefty who had 11 saves, 0.81 WHIP, and 12/54 BB/K, 34 H, and two HR in 43.2 IP in '07. If the Cubs sign him, Lambert will likely be assigned to Boise. 7. Ty Wright, OF (Oklahoma State) COMMENT: The Cubs draft another college outfielder. A 6'1 195 right-handed hitter, Wright led the Cowboys in hitting (411/465/599), with 6 HR and 40 RBI, 14 doubles, with a 18/23 BB/K. If the Cubs sign him, look for Wright to be assigned to Boise, although (like Brandon Guyer) he might have a shot at getting a slot at Peoria. 8. Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson) COMMENT: A power-hitting third-baseman and middle-of-the-order run producer, the powerfully built Smith was a teammate of Cubs 2006 #1 pick (Tyler Colvin) at Clemson, and (like Colvin) was selected by the Cubs in last year's draft (35th round), but unlike Colvin, Smith did not sign and went back to school, probably hoping to improve his draft status (and he sure did!). He was selected first-team all-ACC this past season, hitting 329/410/560, with 13 HR and 56 RBI. If the Cubs sign him, Smith is another player who will likely be asigned to Boise, although he could end up at Peoria if Josh Lansford (as anticipated) receives a mid-season promotion to Daytona. 9. Clark Hardman, OF (Cal State - Fullerton) COMMENT: Still another college outfielder, Hardman is a 6'2 195 left-handed hitting CF who was selected as a Freshman All-American before being slowed by shoulder surgery a year ago. If he signs, Hardman will probably get assigned to Boise, although Peoria needs a CF. 10. Leon Johnson, OF (BYU) COMMENT: Another college outfielder, this one had his college years interrupted when he served a Mormon mission in Siberia for a couple of years, so going to Peoria in April would probably seem like a vacation in Acapulco. Like Hardman, Johnson is a left-handed hitting CF with plus-speed, but he lacks power and has struggled at the plate (248/335/339 in 2007). If Johnson signs, he will likely get assigned to Boise, keeping Cliff Andersen and Drew Rundle at AZL Mesa for another season. 11. Chris Siegfried, LHP (Portland) COMMENT: Like Lambert, Siegfried is a lefty reliever, but unlike Lambert, Siegfried is a lanky 6'5 195. Siegfried went 1-2 with a 5.20 ERA, with 19/22 BB/K in 36.1 IP throwing out of the Pilots bullpen in '07. Out of the 30+ pitchers who were at EXST at Fitch Park, only TWO (Mark Pawelek and Taylor Parker) were LHPs (and T. Parker has a sore elbow), so expect the Cubs to draft a few college lefty relievers with the intention of assigning the ones they can sign to Boise. 12. Ryan Acosta, RHP (Clearwater Central Catholic HS - Clearwater, FL) COMMENT: The son of former Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta (who was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last year), Acosta ia a 6'2 170 RHP/SS. Acosta signed an LOI with the University of Georgia last November, so he could be a "tough sign" for the Cubs, although the fact that they took him in the 12th round might mean they have reason to believe he wants to turn pro immediately. 13. Jonathan Wyatt, OF (Georgia) COMMENT: So five of the Cubs first 13 picks in the '07 Rule 4 Draft are college outfielders? Interesting. Wyatt is a 5'10 185 left-handed hitting CF (he hit .323 with a .415 OBP for the Dawgs in '07), and his selection speaks to the Cubs not believing they have enough quality outfielders at their lower minor league levels (Daytona, Peoria, and Boise). If they sign all five of the outfielders they have selected so far (Guyer, Wright, Hardman, Johnson, and Wyatt), one might be assigned to Peoria immediately, with Guyer or Wright the most likely candidates. The others would go to Boise, and (as I said) that means both Andersen and Rundle will likely remain at Mesa for another season (or at least the first part of the '07 season). 14. James Russell, LHP (Texas) COMMENT: OK. Here's another college LHP, but this one is a rotation starter. The son of former MLB RHP Jeff Russell (14 year career 1983-96, mainly as the closer for the Texas Rangers), James is 6'4 and 205. He went 8-4 with a 3.86 ERA, allowing 108 hits (14 HR) in 109 IP, with a 28/91 BB/K for the Longhorns in '07. If he signs, he almost certainly goes to Boise, where (depending on the needs of the Hawks) he could be used either as a starter or reliever. 15. Marc Sawyer, 1B (Yale) COMMENT: A 6'3 210 L/L first-sacker, Sawyer was Ivy League player of the year in 2006 and All-Ivy in 2006 and 2007. Like SS and LHP, the Cubs also have a dearth of 1B prospects at the lower levels of the system (especially at Boise/Mesa), so if he signs, Sawyer would very likely immediately become the #1 1B at Boise. 16. Zach Ashwood, LHP (Kansas) COMMENT: Still another college LHP. A 6'5 205 intra-Big 12 transfer from TCU, Ashwood went 4-4 with a 5.77 ERA in 12 starts for the Jayhawks in 2007. He was previously drafted out of HS (26th round) by the Seattle Mariners in 2004. If he signs with the Cubs, Ashwood will likely be assigned to Boise. 17. Arik Hempy, LHP (South Carolina) COMMENT: And here's another one. At 6-'4 240, Hempy is a load. He had TJ elbow ligament transplant surgery last year, but bounced back and was a rotation starter for the Gamecocks in 2007, going 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA, allowing 30/57 BB/K in 58 IP, with a .242 OPP BA, as he helped pitch South Carolina into a NCAA Super Regional this weekend vs UNC. 18. Jeffrey Rea, 2B (Mississippi State) COMMENT: A 5'8 157 left-handed hitting lead-off man and 2B, Rea hit .340 for the Bulldogs and was first-team All-SEC. He also has played some outfield at MSU. 19. Kyle Day, C (Michigan State) COMMENT: A left-handed hitting catcher, Day hit 295/438/434 with 3 HR and 26 RBI, 12 doubles, and 33/38 BB/K for the Spartans in 2007. Those are NOT good college offensive numbers. He displays no significant power, and he apparently is not a good hitter. 20. Jose Made, SS (Dominican College) COMMENT: A 5'8 switch-hitting SS, Made hit 338/439/531, with 4 HR and 38 RBI, 11 SB (0 CS), and a 19/21 BB/K for the Chargers in 2007. If he signs with the Cubs, I would expect Made to begin his pro career at Boise. 21. Dustin Sasser, LHP (East Carolina) COMMENT: Whew! Another college lefty. I told you they need lefties at Boise! A 6'0 195 rotation starter, Sasser was the ace of the Pirates staff in '07, going 5-4 with a 3.52 ERA, allowing 106 hits and five HR in 94.2 IP, with a 48/68 BB/K. 22. Craig Muschko, RHP (LaSalle) COMMENT: After missing 2006 with an injury, Muschko (6'2 200) was in the Explorers starting rotation in '07, going 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 10 starts, allowing 54 hits in 58 IP, with a 18/40 BB/K and 1 HR. I would think if he signs, Muschko goes to Boise. 23. Stephen Vento, RHP (Palm Beach CC) COMMENT: Selected in last year's Rule 4 Draft (19th round) by the Minnesota Twins, Vento decided to return to PBCC and hope for a DNF signing with MIN or a better draft slot this time around. It didn't work out that way. 24. Scott Meyer, RHP (Lamar) The Cubs have drafted several guys out of Lamar in the past few years, including Iowa 1B Micah Hoffpauir, Daytona RHP Chuckie Platt, and ex-West Tenn RHP Thomas Atlee (who was released in ST). Meyer was used as both a starter and as a reliever this year at Lamar. 25. Victor Sanchez, 3B (Gahr HS - Norwalk, CA) COMMENT: Rated by BA as one of the top 50 HS players in the nation and a member of the Team USA Junior National Team, Sanchez has signed a LOI to attend the University of San Diego. In order for the Cubs to sign him, they will probably have to offer "1st round money," and with ownerhip of the club in flux, I doubt that they are in a position to do that this time around. Through the first 25 picks, the Cubs have selected six LHP, five OF, four RHP, three 3B, two C, two 2B, two SS, and one 1B. Of the first 25 picks, 22 were college players (including 21 from four-year colleges), and only three were HS players. Starting with this draft, the old "Draft + Follow" (DNF) will no longer be allowed (all drafted players must be signed by August 15th or they go back into next year's draft), so there is less motivation to select JC players (they were the ones usually signed as DNFs). The draft continues, with 25 more rounds to go... 26. Michael Bunton, LHP (College of Charleston) 27. Clayton Suss, RHP (Cooper City HS - Cooper City, FL) 28. Bill Moss, 2B (Memphis) 29. Andrew Cashner, RHP (Angelina JC) 30. Luke Sommer, OF (San Francisco) 31. Brian Leclerc, OF (Florida) 32. Luis Bautista, C (Florida International) 33. Preston Clark, C (Texas) 34. Enrique Garcia, RHP (Miami) 35. J. C. Casey, RHP (Kickapoo HS - Kickapoo, MO) 36. Billy Mottram, 3B (Dowling College) 37. Mike McGee, 3B (Port St. Lucie HS - Port St. Lucie, FL) 38. Yuri Higgins, RHP (South Florida) 39. Roberto Sabates, C (Cuban defector - Miami, FL) 40. Corey Bachman, RHP (Virginia Military Institute) 41. Jordan Herr, OF (Pitt) 42. Colt Sedbrook, INF (Arizona) 43. Garrett Clyde, RHP (San Jacinto JC - North) 44. Bryan Jost, 1B (Minnesota) 45. Ryan Lewis, OF (Yakima Valley CC) 46. Tyler Clark, RHP (Springfield Catholic HS - Springfield, MO) 47. Josh Walter, RHP (Texas State) 48. Carlos Rivera, OF (East Aurora HS - East Aurora, IL) 49. Jordan Rogers, RHP (San Jacinto JC - North) 50. Blake Murphy, C (Western Carolina) Remember, the Cubs historically have signed about 70% of their Rule 4 Draft picks, but that included players signed as a "Draft + Follow" (DNF) the following season (and DNF has been eliminated starting with this draft--any player selected in the 2007 Rule 4 Draft not signed by August 15th goes back into the draft again next year). So even with a best-case scenario, don't expect the Cubs to sign more than about 35 of the 50 players they drafted. Also, for those who want a sneak preview, the following Cubs draft picks are on teams that will be playing in NCAA Super Regionals this weekend: Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State) Clark Hardman, OF (Cal State - Fullerton) Arik Hempy, LHP (South Carolina) Jeffrey Rea, 2B (Mississippi State) Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson) Ty Wright, OF (Oklahoma State)
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Comments

I like the approach to stock up on hitters. Our current hitting prospects aren't very good.

I'm thinking Darwin Barney will never make it. Just because his name is Darwin Barney and I can't imagine a world where Darwin Barney is a star baseball player.

They must feel they have enough pitching prospects in their organization. I agree and have thought they are short on hitting prospects. Peoria and Daytona seem to have trouble scoring runs and they have only mediocre offensive prospects, except for possibly Colvin. Dopriak and Harvey look like busts.

I'm sure you guys already covered this, but what's the difference between this draft and the draft where the Cub's picked up Samardijza?

Also, I was hoping they'd use the high pick on a pitcher, but I guess a position player, specifically a bat is wise, since pitching prospects are so hit-and-miss.

Does anything know anything about a guy named Hyun Choi Conger......aka Hank Conger? He was drafted 25th overall last year by the Angels of LA, California, USA, Earth, etc. Young (19) catcher in A ball with a pretty good bat. If he has some D skills that would be super.

Sorry if this is old news.

"[Ramirez]'s got a severe case of patella tendinitis and we're going to see how he responds with treatment and with rest over the weekend, and then try to make a decision, probably Monday," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella prior to Thursday night's opener of a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. "If we can ride this thing out, I think that's our preference"

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Cubs 7th Round pick: Ty Wright, R/R OF, Oklahoma St. U.

Heh. Here's Ty Wright's player page of OSU:

http://www.okstate.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID...

"... favorite movie is The Natural ... favorite athlete is Manny Ramirez ... dream job is to play for the Chicago Cubs ..."

#1 Horatio...........If you can't imagine a world where a player named Darwin Barney could make it. Can you imagine a world where a player named Felix Pie would make it?

Go Cubs go

8th round pick: Marquez Smith, R/R 3B, Clemson

Still no pitchers.

6th round guy was a pitcher. Casey Lambert, LHP Closer
So far, the only HS player drafted has been Vitters

Ah, thanks - I missed that one.

9th Round: Clark Hardman, L/R CF, Cal State Fullerton.

The emphasis is definitely on college position players. Trying to stock the system for new ownership, I guess?

10th: Leon Johnson, L/L CF, Brigham

Now Clark Hardman, THERE'S a baseball name...

Pat Venditte is still out there... I would have expected him to go somewhere in the 15-20 round....

Venditte is a great story and it'd be downright awesome to see him pitch consecutive hitters from different sides of the rubber, but what kind of arsenal does he have?

Well, I've read that he has different deliveries. His right side is pretty much overhand, and has a 90-mph fastball, and a traditional curve. From the left side, he has a big, sweeping curve, and a mid-80s fastball, I think...

13th round pick is another HS guy. That's only 2 outta HS.... Seems like he's trying to be a little safer...

AZ Phil--

I've been reading your EXST reports, and it seems like Cliff Andersen and Drew Rundle are both displaying some pretty good talent so far. Wouldn't that merit a call-up to Boise over someone who just got drafted in the 10th round?

8 oldcubsfan

Felix Pie is actually a pretty awesome baseball name. The name thing is just a running joke I have with one of my buddies. We declared last year that Melky Cabrera can never be good primarily because his name is Melky.

This mar-KWEZ dude has some sick numbers...

It's going against every one of my better instincts, but I'm feeling really good about this draft.

So here's a question:
Does that rule about getting next year's 4th overall pick if this year's 3rd overall pick doesn't sign with you apply to all draft picks, or just the first round?

Its really suprising that the Cubs skipped over a lot of good pitchers.

Re: BArney -
Thanks for the info...

"...favorite musician is James Blunt ."

Not my favorite. But, that's just me.

Jace:
More on Venditte…

Wtf? So what do you do when a switch hitter comes up? Rock-paper-scissors?

If he's any kind of legit talent, they'll probably keep him lefty and scrap the switch-pitching idea all together. What a talent, though.

You know the old adage, Rory... you can never have too many pitchers with a blocked path to the majors.

Rynox, in that situation, the pitcher must first declare which hand he'll throw with, then the hitter bats to his preference.

Rynox - I know that they are likely at some point to pick a side and have him stick with it. I am intrigued by this, though, since noone has done that yet. This is as far as anyone has made it as a switch pitcher in a long time. It also seems to me that he would not tire as quickly, since he would be using both arms...

Rynox - In that article I posted, they talk about the first time a switch hitter came to plate. Nobody knew what to do....

He's still out there... Round 20....

Sheffield/Cornelia — June 8, 2007 @ 11:07 am
AZ Phil–

I’ve been reading your EXST reports, and it seems like Cliff Andersen and Drew Rundle are both displaying some pretty good talent so far. Wouldn’t that merit a call-up to Boise over someone who just got drafted in the 10th round?

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

SHEFFIELD/CORNELIA: Although both Cliff Andersen and Drew Rundle are talented youngsters (especially Andersen), both have struggled to make consistent contact at AZL Mesa '06, the Arizona Instructional League '06, and EXST '07. And Andersen is out with a lower back strain right now and might be rehabbing at Fitch Park for a while. So it wouldn't surprise me if both Andersen and Rundle go back to AZL Mesa for another season (or at least start the season at AZL Mesa).

With the change in MLB Rule 5 (giving clubs an extra year before they need to add a player to the 40-man roster), clubs can afford to move players--especially raw U. S. high school and Latin players--much more slowly through the system.

I personally believe the Cubs made a HUGE mistake promoting Brian Dopirak, Ryan Harvey, and Dylan Johnston to the next level (in Johnston's case, skipping Boise entirely and going directly to Peoria) when all three showed signs that they had not yet mastered the previous level.

Maybe the Cubs learned their lesson (please don't laugh) and don't want to make the same mistake with Andersen and Rundle that they made with Dopirak, Harvey, and Johnston.

heh...another tribune "loaded question" poll...im fine by the pick, but i think some have an issue with his defense (sans arm strength) and how about another option besides "should have picked up a pitcher"...heh

---

The Cubs selected 3B Josh Vitters. Good by you?
Yes, good bat and defense
No, should have picked a pitcher

Jace — June 8, 2007 @ 11:50 am

So here’s a question:
Does that rule about getting next year’s 4th overall pick if this year’s 3rd overall pick doesn’t sign with you apply to all draft picks, or just the first round?

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

JACE: Getting a pick one slot lower in the same round in the next Rule 4 Draft applies only to the first and second round.

If a club is unable to sign their third round pick, they get a"sandwich" pick between the 3rd and 4th round.

If a club fails to sign a 4th round (or any lower round) pick, they are SOL.

Also, a compensation pick (for not being able to sign a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round draft pick) is only good for the next draft. In other words, if a club fails to sign a compensation pick, they don't get another one the following year and keep getting one every year until they sign somebody. It's a one-year thing, and either you sign the compensation pick, or you don't, and if you don't that's it (you lose the pick).

Off-topic, but just for fun -- Sammy update:

1HR in his last 18 games, during which time his average has fallen from .268 to .239.

Thanks, Phil. As always, you answered my question along with the three follw-up questions I had...

Off-topic, but just for fun — Sammy update

Expectations were so high for the Rangers this year... I don't know why but they were. Sammy's recent slump coincides exactly with the local sportspages concluding that the Rangers need to bust their lousy loser team up and start over with young players. They were writing that it's time for Tex to go and for Sammy to call it a career starting a few weeks ago.... so it looks like Sammy did.

2 from 600 for mr. sosa...

"Off-topic, but just for fun — Sammy update:

1HR in his last 18 games, during which time his average has fallen from .268 to .239."

Billy, you could time his tired swing with a sundial right now. I caught a good deal of the innings in the past Rangers/Tigres series, and he was clearly cheating to try to catch up to even 89 mph fastballs.

Sammy's still having all sorts of troubles with the righties, his splits are rather defined.

Still 8th in AL in RBI's and hitting like .324 with RISP, .262 with runners on.

it's a shame he made all the Texas pitchers forget how to pitch too. :)

Hmm, something seems to be wrong with my puter.

fun with numbers...

Sean Marshall 3rd amongst NL Starters with a 4.40 K/BB ratio
Lilly 6th with a 4.19

Round 27, pick #817 the immortal Clayton Suss...RHP Cooper City HS.

Lilly also has an impressive 1.08 WHIP and 7.87 K/9....unfortunately he remembered that he's Ted Lilly and has begun reverting back to true Ted Lilly form with 3 straight 5ER or more over his last 3 starts.

he'll bounce back, Hill had a few rough outings as well.

unfortunately he remembered that he’s Ted Lilly and has begun reverting back to true Ted Lilly form with 3 straight 5ER or more over his last 3 starts

Hmmm... and what exactly would "true Ted Lilly form" be?

He only had six starts all year where he had 5 ER or more.

In 2005 he also also only had six starts with 5 ER or more, though he did miss the entire month of August.

One more... in 2004 he only had 7 starts with 5 ER or more.

So I am not quite sure how having three starts in a row of 5 ER or more is "reverting back to form."

Lilly is where he should be... .500 record, 4 ERA. I'll be content if he keeps up the WHIP and K/BB ratios.

I’ll be content if he keeps up the WHIP and K/BB ratios.

If he maintains his WHIP and K/BB ratios, he will be better than .500 and a 4 ERA.

well he's posted those numbers so far and what's his record dave? 4-4.

another college OFer in the 31st round. LFer Brian Leclerc...U of Florida.

Teams usually start passing on their picks somewhere in the 30's right?

Sure... I am just saying that if he maintains those very good WHIP and K/BB numbers, it would be very unlikely that he would have a 4.00 ERA, which in turn would make it unlikely that he has a .500 record.

Though of course, Lilly's record is also dependent on run support. And in three of Lilly's four losses, the Cubs have scored a total of one run.

Question for Arizona Phil, or Rob or anyone else here who might know.

Let me set this up. We have a local area boy, a LHP who is an outstanding high school pitcher. He regularly strikes out the side and has a K/IP over 2.0, has a 94 mph fastball to go with three other pitches and sports an ERA that generally hovers around .600. Yes, you read that right, it's less than 1.

I was hoping the Cubs might draft him, or the Dodgers but Kansas City picked him #96. So here's my question.

How much is major league baseball allowed to meddle with high school players? There were usually 10-12 major league scouts at Danny Duffy games and one of them, the Cleveland scout actually organized a team made up of the kids in this area he thought had potential and traveled them around last summer playing against stiffer competition than they faced in high school. Great for these young players but is that legit? How far can scouts get involved with these players before drafting them??

Forgive me if I can't get excited about this draft. Unless we get a Mark Prior type that we know we will see in the big next year, I just can't get excited about these kids. I mean there is a good chance that none of them will ever make the big club.

Also, is it me or does this catcher (our second pick) seem like he can't hit very well. He hit like .275 in college. That doesn't sound that great.

If you hadn't heard yet, Barett and Z love each other:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

yeah but the chances of Lilly maintaining his current WHIP and K/BB/9 ratios are rather slim in accordance to his career #'s

1.35 WHIP
7.68 K/9
3.7 BB/9

don't get me wrong, I'm not a big W/L record honk, I view quality starts over wins as a much better guide to performance, and I look to rate stats rather than counting stats in general, but like I said Lilly is right where I expected him to be...albeit with a better WHIP and BB rate than expected and a few more K's.

Josh Donaldson 2007:
.349/.444/.591
11 HR, 54 RBI, 19 2B, 17/20 SB's?, 38BB, 27K

He seems to have a little promise at least, yeah?

yeah but the chances of Lilly maintaining his current WHIP and K/BB/9 ratios are rather slim in accordance to his career #’s

Yea... I agree with you here.

Chad — June 8, 2007 @ 2:17 pm
Forgive me if I can’t get excited about this draft. Unless we get a Mark Prior type that we know we will see in the big next year, I just can’t get excited about these kids. I mean there is a good chance that none of them will ever make the big club.

Also, is it me or does this catcher (our second pick) seem like he can’t hit very well. He hit like .275 in college. That doesn’t sound that great.

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

CHAD: Josh Donaldson hit .349 with 11 HR and 54 RBI in 55 games at Auburn this year with 38 BB and 25 K, and he was one of the top offensive players in the SEC. He also hit .302 with 15 XBH in the Cape Cod League (a wood bat league) last Summer.

Baseball America rated him the #5 college catching prospect in the draft.

His offense isn't the problem. It's his defense that's a concern (although he's a converted 3B who has only been catching for two years, so maybe he'll improve).

He seems to fit the same profile as Jake Fox.

Yes it does Dusty. But his page didn't have those stats. The only ones I found there were a .275 last year and .29something the year before.

nice...who held barrett's purse when he was fighting Z or is that why he cant seem to hit someone and actually knock them down?

Sorry if this has been posted before, but I have limited online time today and I wanted to share this BP tidbit with you:

Harry Carey (six feet under): Is a position switch in Josh Vitters' future? The Cubs just signed Aramis to a long-term extension, did they not?

Kevin Goldstein: Josh Vitters is 17 years old. You just don't worry about that yet. Most scouts think he can stay at third, but he's nowhere near the defensive whiz a guy like Matt Dominguez is.

armcrow (los angeles): What kind of plate discipline does Josh Vitters have and how long before the Cubs beat it out of him?

Kevin Goldstein: He's not a plate discipline guy, he's more of a Howie Kendrick type (in hitting style) in that he can pretty much hit anything, so it's hard for him to watch a lot of pitches go by. He's never going to walk 100 times a year, but he's sure going to hit.

COMMENT: Comparable: Aramis Ramirez.

Ty Wright looked good in the field today, but not so great at the bat in a 9-0 loss to Louisville. He made what one commentator called the "play of the tournament" possibly robbing a homerun.

Pitcher Carlos Zambrano said he and batterymate Michael Barrett shared some tears when the two Chicago Cubs teammates reconciled after their dugout fight last week.

"He came to me the next day, and he apologized and I apologized to him and we cried," a teary-eyed Zambrano said after he beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. "I still love him."

I love Z.

percival might sign a deal with STL soon, supposedly.

Angel Guzman has a strained UCL/MCL -- the injury was reported as a "medial collateral ligament strain" but if I'm not mistaken, MCL is a synonym for UCL.

Angel Guzman only got the MRI because he insisted he was injured. The Cubs in the past have claimed his forearm tightness was just caused by dehydration---->

"The Cubs believe he doesn't have a serious injury, despite his past forearm cramping."It's precautionary," assistant general manager Randy Bush said. "We're characterizing it more as tenderness. [Guzman] has some injury history going back, so we feel for his own peace of mind we'll let the doctor look at it."We don't want him going out there with any doubts about what's going on. The right thing to do is put his mind at ease. We really don't feel like it's anything to worry about. He has a bright future."

Bright future? He's been injured since at least 1999 when the Royals drafted him then cancelled it after looking at his arm.

True, CWTP.

EVERY year it seems as if there is Guzman "down time" for injury.

Very frustrating.

This was one year where I thought he would actually be valuable in middle-long relief - especially looking at our choices in the current 'pen.

Angel Guzman is a nice kid I'm sure, but he's a nonfactor, always has been. Simply cannot stay healthy, and even when he does, he cannot put together consistent performance. He is little more than a less-healthy version of Juan Cruz: a 4A talent with good stuff that can never get over the hump. Meh.

That's why I was happy to see the Cubs go with Marshall two weeks ago. Sean showed last year he can get big league hitters out over 6 inning stretches, something Guzman has never done. And I like Marshall's makeup.

The only real negative here is that the Cubs have three VERY similar pitchers in the starting rotation right now in Hill, Marshall and Lilly, so you get stretches like yesterday and today where two of the lefties pitch back-to-back. That is suboptimal for lefty #2, the other team will be ready for that kind of approach after having seen it the night before.

I expect Sean Gallagher to make his big league debut tonight in the bullpen if Marshall is out after 6. Demp needs the night off, so you could see Howry or Marmol get a save oppo if the need arises. Wuertz and Gallagher would get the 6th/7th inning call.

Finally, expect Scott Eyre to see more action in the next couple weeks as Hendry tries to build up some trade value for him. If he can string together three or four solid outings, he's gone. Yankees, Phillies, White Sox and Toronto could all have some interest. Eyre can veto a trade to 10 teams, I do not believe any of those 4 are on his list (though I could be wrong with Toronto).

Dammit!! The f-ing Yankees drafted Pat Venditte!!! That is pretty much the only team he could go and play for, where I can't possibly root for him. That really sucks!

Forgot to add: if the Cubs decide to move Barrett, Oakland is a very real possibility. The A's have also shown interest in Matt Murton, so a combo deal could be in order. Murton + Barrett for whom?

I had this discussion with a friend earlier today: in order to dump Jock, who NO ONE wants, find me a player that is due similar money on another team, who also is not wanted by anyone, but could fill a bench role on the Cubs better than Jock does. For example, a backup catcher, a reserve middle infielder, or a middle reliever.

Soriano, LF
Pie, CF
Lee, 1B
Floyd, RF
DeRosa, 3B
Barrett, C
Theriot, 2B
Izturis, SS
Marshall, P

Johnson, 2B
Escobar, 3B
Renteria, SS
Jones, A, CF
Francoeur, RF
Diaz, LF
Saltalamacchia, C
Thorman, 1B
Cormier, L, P

Yay!

I'm in the lineup!

Thanks, Chad!

Weird, mlb.com has JJ batting cleanup, no Floyd...

yep. i see jones in cleanup too

yahoo has floyd.

Fox Sports has JJ batting cleanup.

We shall see.

JJ is the line up because Floyd had to go back to Chicago to deal with a family situtation according to ESPN 1000.

The game tonight is being carried live on televsion by TBS for those that have cable or DirecTV.

WHAT A WASTE OF BASES LOADED NOONE OUT

Marshall's command seems off too.

Listening to Chip's broadcast is like flashing back three years. His phony-broadcaster-style voice always bugged me, but now it doesn't sound as bad as Len's phony-broadcaster-style voice.

IZTURIS KILLS ME

i miss chip too, think he calls a good game.

seems i was wrong on marshall's command...

Angel Guzman has a strained UCL/MCL — the injury was reported as a “medial collateral ligament strain” but if I’m not mistaken, MCL is a synonym for UCL.

Hmmmm, a job for Cubster, but I understand the MCL is more like "tennis elbow" and far less serious than the UCL.

Glad to see them stocking up on position players, though since I don't follow the pre-draft stuff, I have no idea if they have stocked up on good position players. They need to do something in that area though. Have we had anyone come up through our system and establish themself as a solid everyday player(for the Cubs, anyway) since Mark Grace? It's kind of ridiculous. Hopefully Pie changes that, and there is some hope for The Riot too, although I think he lacks the punch to be a year-in-year-out regular.

Thanks for all the info AZ Phil.

I guess the scouts skipped the high schoolers after checking out Vitters in the frist round. There's a couple A's esque draft picks in there, I particularly like the Lambert pick. The Old School Cubs philosophy would have never gone after a 5'10" lefty in the first 10 rounds of the draft (of course someone will look it up and find me to be wrong).

Also just from perusing the numbers on the college hitters there's a lot of guys with ISO OBP in the .100 range, which everyone knows this organization desperately needs. Put five or six of those guys (if they can hit at all) into the Boise Lineup and I think it can be an eye opening experience for the Cubs. Even the guy AZ Phil said can't hit had an OBP .143 higher than his BA. A catcher who knows the value of walks as a hitter, will hopefully help his pitchers throw a few more strikes.

Stats!

#50 Blake Murphy
.367 .495. .683 52/45 BB/K the team OBP and SLG were over .400 and .500 respectively.

#47 Josh Walter - From Texas State website:
Walter made 13 appearances on the year and ended his junior year with a 0-1 record. He threw 10.2 innings, allowing 14 runs to score off of 14 hits and striking out 12.

#44 Brian Jost - Lefthanded batting outfielder/firstbaseman hit:
.303 .383 .480 27/39 BB to K ratio, 2nd year junior who had the lowest BA among the starters at MN

#28 Bill Moss
Played SS, 2nd, 3rd, from UoM site:
Moss had his best season this year as he helped lead Memphis to its firs NCAA Regional appearance in 13 years. He hit .338 and dialed in a career-high totals in runs (54), home runs (14) and RBI (54).

#26 Michael Bunton 6'4" L/L
6.72 ERA in 65.2 innings with 28/47 BB K ratio 6 HR's.

#29 Andrew Cashner 6'5" 185 R/R

#20 Luke Sommer
.243 .335 .388 21/30 BB/K and 8 for 9 in SB's
Also listed as a pitcher 6'3 LHP, but didn't pitch this year.

#31 Brian LeClerc 5'10" L/R
.313 .397 .441 21/27 BB/K ratio
Teammate drafted #1 by Brewers had a .1399 OPS

#32 Luis Bautista
.357 .477 BA OBP in 2006
.331 .389 .483 in 2007 - Dusty must have gotten ahold of him. Jose Bautista's little brother.

#33 Preston Clark 5'11
.286 .350 .498 16/43 BB/K
but hit .327 .398 .614 in Big 12 action

#34 Enrique Garcia 6'4" 215
8-4 3.82 ERA 92 innings, 30/80 BB/K ratio 3 HR's

#36 Billy Motram
.391 .489 .570 31/29 BB/K 17 for 21 in SB and .863 F%

#38 Yuri Higgins 5'8" !
5-4 4.74 76.0 55/81 6

#40 Corey Bachman 6'0 Reliever
4-2 7 saves 1.99 ERA 49.2 16/31 1 HR

#41 Jordan Herr- 6'1" R/R Son of Tom Herr, who I would assume is Tommy.

Batted .263 with 4 triples and among the league leaders in K's and Caught Stealing

#42 Colt Sedbrook 5'11 R/R
.335 .431 .426 18/38 BB/K 7-11 SB's

Nothing too exciting. Probably like Moss and Mottram the most of the bunch, they were both seniors.

REAL NEAL: Cubs 33rd round pick Preston Clark (Texas) was a member of Team USA and was rated by Baseball America as the #6 college catching prospect in the draft, but he stated before the draft that if he didn't get $1M+, he was going back to school. Since he was essentially a "4th round talent" who wanted "1st round money," nobody took him in an early round. Obviously the Cubs are hoping maybe something will happen in his personal life in the next couple of months that will cause him to change his mind about going back to school.

BTW, with the elimination of "Draft+Follow" (DNF), baseball would be wise to cut the draft back to 25 or 30 rounds. Rounds 26-50 were the ones where MLB clubs would select HS players who were planning on attending a JC or JC players as DNFs, and without that, there really is no point in having a 50-round draft.

The guys taken in rounds 26-50 either won't sign (and will go back to school), or could be signed as "Non-Drafted Free-Agents" (NDFA) after the draft is over.

Without DNF, the last half of the draft is now a total waste of time.

AZ Phil,

Where are they going to 'draft and follow' the seniors to?

I suspect a few of these players will be signed, and with the short negotiating time a higher percentage of the earlier drafted players won't sign.

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