Cubs Sign Oscar Acosta’s Son, Still Negotiating with #1 Pick

With the signing of 12th round pick RHP Ryan Acosta (son of the late Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta), the Cubs have now signed 30 of their 50 selections in June's Rule 4 Draft, including 12 of their first 13, 16 of their first 18, and 21 of their first 24. The Cubs were able to convince Acosta to forgo his scholarship at the University of Georgia, where he was one the Dawgs top 2007 baseball recruits. Although he was a "two-way player" (SS/RHP) in high school, the Cubs drafted Acosta as a pitcher. Cubs 1st Round pick (and #3 overall) 3B Josh Vitters remains unsigned, although the Cubs remain optimistic that a deal can get done. With MLB strongly encouraging its clubs to follow the informal "slotting" system (where clubs pay their 1st round draft picks an amount somewhere between what the player selected above and the player selected below received), negotiations could go down to the wire. So far, only one of the top five overall picks in the 2007 Rule 4 Draft has signed (4th overall pick Clemson LHP Daniel Moskos with PIT for $2.475M), with Vanderbilt LHP David Price (selected #1 overall by TB), Chatsworth (CA) HS 3B Mike Moustakas (selected #2 overall by KC), Vitters, and Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters (selected #5 overall by BAL) still unsigned. This is the first year where clubs and draftees (and their agents) are operating with a hard-deadline, where if the club can't sign the player by August 15th, the player goes back into the draft the next year, and clubs get compensation picks if they fail to sign any of the their picks from the first three rounds (a 2008 1st round pick one slot lower than where they picked this year if the club fails to sign its 2007 first-rounder, a 2008 2nd round pick one slot lower than where the club picked this year if it fails to signs its '07 second-round pick, and a "sandwich" pick between the 3rd and 4th rounds if it cannot sign its '07 3rd round selection--all IN ADDITION TO their "normal" 2008 1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd round picks). Of the 20 unsigned Cubs '07 draft picks, six are highly-regarded high school players who have signed National Letters of Intent (NLOI) to attend NCAA or NJCAA schools, three others are hotshot JC players who have transferred to four year schools, and seven are attending four-year colleges where they have eligibility remaining. 2007 RULE 4 DRAFT - SIGNING STATUS 1. Josh Vitters, 3B (Cypress HS – Cypress, CA) UNSIGNED NOTE: Signed NLOI with Arizona State. 1-S. Josh Donaldson, C (Auburn) BOISE NOTE: 1st Round (supplemental) compensation pick for losing Type "B" FA OF Juan Pierre to LAD. 2. NONE NOTE: Pick went to WAS after Cubs signed Type "A" FA OF Alfonso Soriano. 3. Tony Thomas, 2B (Florida State) BOISE 4. Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State) PEORIA 5. Brandon Guyer, OF (Virginia) AZL CUBS (MESA) 6. Casey Lambert, LHP (Virginia) PEORIA 7. Ty Wright, OF (Oklahoma State) BOISE 8. Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson) BOISE NOTE: College teammate of Cubs 2006 #1 pick (OF Tyler Colvin), Smith was selected by Cubs in 2006 draft (35th Round) but did not sign. 9. Clark Hardman, OF (Cal State- Fullerton) PEORIA NOTE: Freshman All-American in 2004, missed most of 2005 season with torn labrum. 10. Leon Johnson, OF (BYU) PEORIA NOTE: Spent two years on LDS mission in Siberia (2004-06). 11. Chris Siegfried, LHP (U. of Portland) PEORIA 12. Ryan Acosta, RHP/SS (Clearwater Central Catholic HS - Clearwater, FL) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Son of ex-Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta (killed in a car crash in Dominican Republic in 2006). 13. Jonathan Wyatt, OF (Georgia) BOISE 14. James Russell, LHP (Texas) UNSIGNED NOTE: Son of ex-TEX closer Jeff Russell. 15. Marc Sawyer, 1B (Yale) BOISE 16. Zach Ashwood, LHP (Kansas) BOISE 17. Arik Hempy, LHP (South Carolina) BOISE 18. Jeffrey Rea, 2B (Mississippi State) DAYTONA 19. Kyle Day, C (Michigan State) UNSIGNED 20. Jose Made, INF (Dominican College) BOISE 21. Dustin Sasser, LHP (East Carolina) BOISE 22. Craig Muschko, RHP (LaSalle) AZL CUBS (MESA) 23. Stephen Vento, RHP (Palm Beach CC) BOISE 24. Scott Meyer, RHP (Lamar) AZL CUBS (MESA) 25. Victor Sanchez, 3B (Gahr HS – Norwalk, CA) UNSIGNED NOTE: Member of Team USA Junior National team, signed NLOI with U. of San Diego. 26. Michael Bunton, LHP (College of Charleston) AZL CUBS (MESA) 27. Clayton Suss, RHP (Cooper City HS - Cooper City, FL) UNSIGNED NOTE: Signed NLOI with Miami-Dade CC. 28. Bill Moss, INF (U. of Memphis) BOISE 29. Andrew Cashner, RHP (Angelina JC) UNSIGNED NOTE: Has transferred to TCU. 30. Luke Sommer, OF (U. of San Francisco) AZL CUBS (MESA) 31. Brian Leclerc, OF (Florida) PEORIA 32. Luis Bautista, C-1B (Florida International) BOISE NOTE: Brother of PIT 3B Jose Bautista. 33. Preston Clark, C (Texas) UNSIGNED NOTE: Team USA's #1 catcher, was rated the #4 catcher in '07 draft by Baseball America, but wants 1st Round money to sign. 34. Enrique Garcia, RHP (U. of Miami) UNSIGNED NOTE: Has already announced he will be returning to the "U" for his senior year. 35. J. C. Casey, RHP (Kickapoo HS – Kickapoo, MO) UNSIGNED NOTE: Signed NLOI with Missouri State. 36. Billy Mottram, 3B (Dowling College) DAYTONA 37. Mike McGee, 3B/RHP (Port St. Lucie HS – Port St. Lucie, FL) UNSIGNED NOTE: Signed NLOI with Florida State. 38. Yuri Higgins, RHP (South Florida) AZL CUBS (MESA) 39. Roberto Sabates, C (Cuban defector - Miami, FL) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Played for Industriales in Cuba. 40. Corey Bachman, RHP (VMI) AZL CUBS (MESA) 41. Jordan Herr, OF (Pitt) UNSIGNED NOTE: Son of ex-STL 2B (and Cub-killer) Tommy Herr. 42. Colt Sedbrook, INF (Arizona) UNSIGNED 43. Garrett Clyde, RHP (San Jacinto JC – North) UNSIGNED NOTE: Has transferred to Texas. 44. Bryan Jost, 1B (Minnesota) UNSIGNED 45. Ryan Lewis, OF (Yakima Valley CC) UNSIGNED 46. Tyler Clark, RHP (Springfield Catholic HS – Springfield, MO) UNSIGNED NOTE: Signed NLOI with Missouri. 47. Josh Walter, RHP (Texas State) UNSIGNED 48. Carlos Rivera, OF (East Aurora HS - East Aurora, IL) UNSIGNED 49. Jordan Rogers, RHP (San Jacinto JC - North) UNSIGNED NOTE: Has transferred to Rice. 50. Blake Murphy, C (Western Carolina) UNSIGNED NDFA (signed after completion of 2007 Rule 4 Draft) Patrick Brooks, INF (UT - Pan American) AZL CUBS (MESA) Hong-Wen Chen, RHP (Taiwan) FITCH PARK INFIRMARY NOTE: Chen was signed by Cubs Pacific Rim scouting coordinator Steve Wilson a couple of months ago but has been unable to pitch due to "arm fatigue." Michael Christl, RHP (Bradley) AZL CUBS (MESA) Matt Hudgins, C (Virginia Wesleyan) AZL CUBS (MESA) Chris Rivera, RHP (Virginia Wesleyan) AZL CUBS (MESA) Derek Schermerhorn, INF (Wichita State) PEORIA Yusdel Tuero, RHP (Cuban defector) DAYTONA NOTE: Deceptive slop-throwin' side-armin' right-hander (think Rod Beck circa 2003) pitched for Las Vaqueros de la Havana in Cuba Chih-Hsiang Wen, OF (Taiwan) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Like Chen (see above), Wen was signed in June by Cubs Pacific Rim scouting coordinator Steve Wilson, and he may be the worst professional baseball player I have ever seen. 5th YEAR SENIORS (2006 NDFA) signed in May 2007 Michael Bartek, RHP (Nicholls State) PEORIA John Muller, RHP (St. Thomas Aquinas College) BOISE NOTE: Was combination SS/RHP (closer) and team captain at Aquinas, has an OUTSTANDING slider. 2006 DRAFT + FOLLOW (DNF) signed in May 2007 Jordan Latham, RHP (College of Southern Idaho) BOISE NOTE: Cubs 2006 29th Round pick Marcus Hatley, RHP (Palomar JC) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Cubs 2006 39th Round pick, was two-way player (OF/RHP) in college. Cedric Redmond, RHP (Oakton CC) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Cubs 2006 27th Round pick Jovan Rosa, 3B (Lake City CC) AZL CUBS (MESA) NOTE: Cubs 2006 22nd Round pick, was his conference's 2007 player of the year and was rated a pre-draft likely '07 Top 5 rounder by BA.
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Comments

Glavine going for his 198th tonight. He's 299-197. Up until this year (9-6) he's been a .500 pitcher with the Mets.

Lastings Milledge looks like a piece of work. He got a little publicity for his clubhouse demeanor last year. Yesterday, on Lee's blooper to center, rather than hustle and dive after an initial misread, Milledge tried for a casual shoestring catch of a ball that he couldn't reach.

Usually outfielders don't get charged errors on balls they don't get to, but Milledge got an error, basically for loafing.

I hope he stays on that team a long time and poisons it.

I like Milledge a lot but he has really seemed to put on weight since last season.

AZ Phil,

I think it makes more sense for us to sign Clark than Vitters for the simple fact that good catching prospects are harder to find than corner postion prospects plus we get the 4th pick next year if we let Vitters walk. Is this a good stratagy in your opinion?

Speaking of catching prospects, how is that Donaldson kid? He's 22 and seems to be able to take a walk. Think its too early to tell, or could he be a legit catching prospect in a couple years?

chifan3887 — August 5, 2007 @ 12:46 pm
AZ Phil,

I think it makes more sense for us to sign Clark than Vitters for the simple fact that good catching prospects are harder to find than corner postion prospects plus we get the 4th pick next year if we let Vitters walk. Is this a good stratagy in your opinion?

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

CHIFAN: Yes, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, although the Cubs would be paying "1st round money" for a player who is rated only as a "3rd round talent" (which still ain't bad) and also probably incurring the wrath of the MLB office by overpaying (although I suspect as it gets closer to August 15th, the MLB office will back-off and let clubs do what they're gonna do), by signing Preston Clark the Cubs would be getting a polished college catching prospect with Team USA experience while also retaining the 4th overall pick in next year's draft IN ADDITION TO their other 2008 #1 pick.

And while they wouldn't be able to draft Vitters again with that '08 overall #4 pick (if the Cubs don't sign him, Vitters will go to Arizona State and won't be draft-eligible again until June 2010), they should be able to get a pretty good player at #4 overall, preferably a college player.

However, it sounds like the Cubs fully-intend to try and sign Vitters, and listening to him the day of the draft, I kind of got the impression he might not exactly be the type of individual who would want to go to college, even if it's mostly (and mainly) to play baseball.

BTW, if they sign Vitters, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Cubs move him from 3B to 1B (sort of like the Astros did with Jeff Bagwell), because that would allow him to progress through the system more quickly and at his own pace (without getting blocked along the way), as might happen if he were to remain at 3B, where Jovan Rosa, Marquez Smith, Josh Lansford, Kyle Reynolds, and Scott Moore are stacked solid right now.

Jordan,

Donaldson is hitting 272/400/580/980 in Boise while Mitch Canham who was rated a better prospect and the top signed catching prospect in the draft is hitting 349/440/465/905 in the same league for the Father's entry for a comparsion.

Jordan — August 5, 2007 @ 12:57 pm
Speaking of catching prospects, how is that Donaldson kid? He’s 22 and seems to be able to take a walk. Think its too early to tell, or could he be a legit catching prospect in a couple years?

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

JORDAN: I like what I saw of Josh Donaldson when he was here at Mesa for about a week after he signed (and before he left for Boise). He has plus-power and a pretty good eye at the plate. However, he is (right now) mainly a dead-red fastball hitter. He really sits on the heater, so he has trouble with breaking balls and off-speed pitches. His defense is a bit unconsistent, too, although probably not as bad as was suggested the day of the draft.

Ryan Braun with his 20th HR? Are you freeking serious? Why can't the scouts figure this guy out?

Is there any kind of precedent for teams sharing scouting data if it were to benefit the team? For example, say the Cub's have figured out Braun and wanted to tell the Phillies about it. Is that a no-no?

Fun stat... position players on the roster with less HR than Ryan Braun:

Everyone

the book on braun is he's gonna swing and has a wide zone of contact...at least so far. he's not got a glaring vulnerability. he's gonna put the ball in play with power all over the place. not exactly as accurately wild as vlad, but he's not feasting off 1 zone or mistakes. he's got a lotta coverage and a fast bat. he dont really have "his pitch" or looking for anything in particular it seems.

Ryno,

Thanks. I'm now very angry.

Thanks for nothing Philly - after fighting the Cubs tooth and nail for four games, you roll over and die for Milwaukee. Mucho appreciado.

ha! The CARDs really ran into a buzz saw in Washington. The Nationals just completed a six game sweep at home beating St.Louis 6-3 ....and they're 41-35 since starting 10-25.

and, Tony LaRussa got thrown out of the game by our "favorite umpire" Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes.

YEAH, BABY!!

The Phillies have tied the Brewers in the ninth 6-6!! Five runs in ...batted around.

Have an inning, Cordero. 40 pitches. He didn't start the inning, either.

AZ PHIL, if you are around and about

I was really pleased when the Cubs drafted and signed Jeff Rea out of Mississippi State. Followed his career there and he's just the kind of player that Cubs fans will love. Kind of a cross between Mike Fontenot/Ryan Theriot +30 points of batting average and minus 3 years of age. He's 5'8 like Fonty. A second baseman who was converted into a centerfielder this year out of necessity. He can run, he can throw, he can steal a base, he was one of the hardest hitters in college ball to strike out and he had a ton of hits during his career.....3rd most in SEC history.

The Cubs fastracked him to Daytona after a look in the AZL where the DCubs have in CF/2B and battting leadoff. And I see he's hitting his usual .320-.330.

So, AZ PHIL, did you get to watch him play centerfield? If so, how does he look out there?

The fans in MIL don't look too pleased.

C'mon Phills!

Philadelphia taking the Brewers to the 11th.

Go Phillies!

Dave Helms, te amo.

2-run dooble, Phils up 8-6.

PHILLIES JUST GOT TWO. MAKES OUR GAME EVEN MORE IMPT.

Woooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Go Phillies!

yeah but Braun and Prince are due up in their part of the 11th.

C'mon Mesa, bear down.

Jose Mesa is going to F us over.

Phils Win!

PHils WIN!

Cubs 1/2 out!

NICE MELTDOWN MILWAUKEE!!

Counsell lines out with the bags packed with beer makers! Go cry in your cheap Millers Brewers fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, Barrett was issued his first walk since being traded to the Padres.

Ouch.

go crazy philly fans! go crazy!

espn is salivating even more now, as the cubs can be in first with a win, glavine going for his 300th, two huge markets, etc.

should be fun, i'll have the TV on mute and synch-ing wgn radio with my dvr.....f u joe morgan.

Plus, Wood might make his first appearance in forever, Green Lantern. This is going to be a very fun game (I hope!).

...Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes.

of course Wegner threw LaRussa out...he knew that LaRussa was going to argue before the game.

All of the above reasons make it impt. The Mets are beatable especially now with Beltran and Lo Duca out. All about scoring early and often and Marquis keeping the ball on the ground.

Lou said he wants W eased into his role. I hope the game is not close when he comes in.

Why am I not worried?

Not to wax philosophical, but I'm feeling like the Cubs are only going to make the playoffs if they're good enough to do so (apologies to Yogi Berra). It's a crowded WC field and the Brewers are clearly not that strong. If our team can win 6/10 for the rest of the way they'll win 90 games, finish with a .556 record and will be in first place in the Central. If they go back to hitting like a AAA team, their bottom 3 starters turn into pumpkins, or the bullpen melts down frequently, we'll settle into playing what we've so far averaged for the season and finish around .530 with 86 wins and we'll miss the postseason. There's not a lot of room for error.

Either this team is good enough or it isn't. I don't think we'll likely see a late September meltdown or crazy distracting issues getting in the way. We'll either see enough talent to put is into October or we'll see confirmation that the pieces we've felt were missing did indeed bite us in the ass.

That being said. I sure hope Hendry knew what he was doing sitting on his hands at the deadline. I'd love to be watching our boys come October.

he Mets are beatable especially now with Beltran and Lo Duca out.

Yea... I am sure the Mets miss Lo Duca's .674 OPS when they replace him with Ramon Castro's .890 OPS.

Paul Lo Duca has to be one of the most overrated players in the game.

Randolph (and I) disagree with you dave. If I have the choice, Lo Duca gets the nod.

Lo Duca's back anyway tonight...game thread up.

But yeah, can't say they really missed Loduca up to this point, maybe they would going down the stretch but for the time being Castro more than held his own.

I'm sorry, but with Marquis struggling and the wind blowing out, I'd rather be facing Lo Duca every day of the week over Castro. To whit, Castro has 9 HRs in 124 ABs and Lo Duca has 5 HRs in 326 ABs, in addition to Castro walking more and hitting better.

Lo Duca is better at throwing out stealers, but neither of them are that good.

Speaking of catchers, Soto now has 293 at bats, or a bit more than half a season's worth.

19 homers and 76 RBI. Good lord.

cubswinthepennant — August 5, 2007 @ 3:23 pm
AZ PHIL, if you are around and about

I was really pleased when the Cubs drafted and signed Jeff Rea out of Mississippi State. Followed his career there and he’s just the kind of player that Cubs fans will love. Kind of a cross between Mike Fontenot/Ryan Theriot +30 points of batting average and minus 3 years of age. He’s 5′8 like Fonty. A second baseman who was converted into a centerfielder this year out of necessity. He can run, he can throw, he can steal a base, he was one of the hardest hitters in college ball to strike out and he had a ton of hits during his career…..3rd most in SEC history.

The Cubs fastracked him to Daytona after a look in the AZL where the DCubs have in CF/2B and battting leadoff. And I see he’s hitting his usual .320-.330.

So, AZ PHIL, did you get to watch him play centerfield? If so, how does he look out there?

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

CWtP: I saw Jeffrey Rea play 2B, LF, and CF out here before his promotion to Daytona, and he handles all three positions well. He's not as fast as Theriot and doesn't have the power of Fontenot, but otherwise he is in their class (as is Matt Camp, though Camp is faster than Rea, but not as good a hitter). Rea is probably the best pure hitter of that group. He is one tough out.

Rea is an advanced, polished college player, which is why the Cubs promoted him so quickly to Hi-A. I would expect him to move up to AA next year and be the everyday 2B there (he is ten times better than Nate Spears), playing occasionally in LF and CF to help promote his versatility.

Simply put, Jeffrey Rea is a ballplayer.(high baseball IQ). The Cubs drafted several of that type of player this past June, including Leon Johnson, Darwin Barney, Ty Wright, and Jonathan Wyatt.

Forgot Tony Thomas Jr, Clark Hardman, Brandon Guyer.

Really good article on why the signings aren't being announced for this years' draft.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

I wholeheartedly disagree with anyone who thinks we should not sign Vitters, btw.

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