2008 Rule 4 Draft
Quick Update(Rob G.): Scout.com has a live blog going for the draft and they'll be answering user questions. The writer running it is hearing that the Cubs will not pass on Casey Kelly if he's available. Also, Parachat is (always) open if you want to chat amongst yourselves.
The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 2 PM ET today, with the 1st round and Supplemental 1st round to be televised "live" on ESPN2. The draft will continue tomorrow (Friday). Last year, the first five rounds of the draft were completed by the end of the first day, and the remaining 45 rounds were completed by the end of the second day.
With the selections to be made by Scouting Director Tim Wilken, the Cubs will have the 19th pick in the first round, one selection in the Supplemental 1st Round (the 41st pick overall, compensation for losing FA catcher Jason Kendall to MIL), one selection in the 2nd round (65th overall), one selection in the 3rd round (97th overall), one selection in the 4th round (131st overall), and then every 30 picks (#161, #191, #221, #251, etc) after that until the 50 rounds (maximum) are completed. Clubs have until August 15th to sign their draft picks. Players who are not selected in the draft can sign with any club as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA).
The name most-often mentioned as the Cubs 1st round target is RHP-SS Casey Kelly (Sarasota HS - Sarasota , FL), the son of one-time Yankees 2B Pat Kelly.
The younger Kelly has signed an NLI to play quarterback at the University of Tennessee, so signing him could be a problem. However, if a team fails to sign a 1st (or 2nd) round pick in a given year, it gets a replacement pick one slot lower in the 1st round (or 2nd) round of the following year's draft, so all would not be lost if (for example) Kelly is selected but does not sign. (Not signing a 3rd round pick nets a club a compensation pick between the 3rd and 4th rounds in the following year's draft).
Also, Canadian Junior National Team slugging 3B Brett Lawrie and Las Vegas Durango HS SS Niko Vasquez worked-out at Fitch Park in Mesa last weekend (Vasquez even played in Saturday's EXST game, and he hit a HR!), so don't be surprised if the Cubs select Lawrie in the 1st round (if available) and Vasquez (if available) either with their Supplemental 1st round selection, or in the 2nd round.
In addition, TCU RHP Andrew Cashner (a college closer with an upper 90's fastball) is rated a potential 1st round pick, and he has a Cubs connection, too. Cashner was selected by the Cubs in the 29th round of last year's draft out of Angelina JC, but he didn't get the money he wanted, so he transferred to TCU for his junior year and proceeded to light it up.
The Cubs do have a history of drafting players they like two years in a row, most-recently Stanford OF Sam Fuld (24th round in 2003 and 10th round in 2004) and Clemson 3B Marquez Smith (35th round in 2006 and 8th round in 2007).
Last year, the Cubs signed 33 of their 50 Rule 4 selections, including their first 18 picks, 23 of their first 24, and 28 of their first 32. Of the 33 who signed, six have subsequently been released, and one retired. .
Only eight of the Cubs 2007 Rule 4 Draft selections were high school players, and the Cubs signed only two of the eight (3B Josh Vitters and RHP Ryan Acosta).
Here are last year's Cubs Rule 4 selections, and where they are now:
NOTE: Players who signed with Cubs in bold
* bats or throws left
# bats both
2007 RULE 4 DRAFT
1. Josh Vitters, 3B (Cypress HS – Cypress, CA) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
2. Josh Donaldson, C (Auburn) - at Peoria
3. Tony Thomas, 2B (Florida State) - at Daytona
4. Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State) - at Daytona
5. Brandon Guyer, OF (Virginia) - at Peoria
6. * Casey Lambert, P (Virginia) - at Daytona
7. Ty Wright, OF (Oklahoma State) - at Daytona
8. Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson) - at Peoria
9. * Clark Hardman, OF (Cal State- Fullerton) - at Fitch Park (DL)
10. * Leon Johnson, OF (BYU) - at Peoria
11. * Chris Siegfried, P (U. of Portland) - at Peoria
12. Ryan Acosta, P (Clearwater Central Catholic HS - Clearwater, FL) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
13. * Jonathan Wyatt, OF (Georgia) - at Daytona
14. * James Russell, P (Texas) - at Tennessee
15. * Marc Sawyer, 1B (Yale) - RETIRED
16. * Zach Ashwood, P (Kansas) - at Peoria
17. * Arik Hempy, P (South Carolina) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
18. * Jeffrey Rea, 2B (Mississippi State) - at Fitch Park (DL)
19. * Kyle Day, C (Michigan State) - DID NOT SIGN
20. Jose Made, SS (Dominican College) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
21. * Dustin Sasser, P (East Carolina) - at Peoria
22. Craig Muschko, P (LaSalle) - at Peoria
23. Stephen Vento, P (Palm Beach CC) - at Peoria
24. Scott Meyer, P (Lamar) - RELEASED
25. Victor Sanchez, 3B (Gahr HS – Norwalk, CA) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at University of San Diego)
26. * Michael Bunton, P (College of Charleston) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
27. Clayton Suss, P (Cooper City HS - Cooper City, FL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Miami-Dade CC)
28. Bill Moss, 2B (U. of Memphis) - RELEASED
29. Andrew Cashner, P (Angelina JC) - DID NOT SIGN (transferred to TCU)
30. * Luke Sommer, OF (U. of San Francisco) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
31. * Brian Leclerc, OF (Florida) - RELEASED
32. Luis Bautista, C (Florida International) - at PEORIA
33. Preston Clark, C (Texas) - DID NOT SIGN
34. Enrique Garcia, P (U. of Miami) - DID NOT SIGN
35. J. C. Casey, P (Kickapoo HS – Kickapoo, MO) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Missouri State)
36. * Billy Mottram, 3B (Dowling College) - RELEASED
37. Mike McGee, 3B/P (Port St. Lucie HS – Port St. Lucie, FL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Florida State)
38. Yuri Higgins, P (South Florida) - RELEASED
39. Roberto Sabates, C (CUBAN DEFECTOR - Miami, FL) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
40. Corey Bachman, P (VMI) - RELEASED
41. Jordan Herr, OF (Pitt) - DID NOT SIGN
42. Colt Sedbrook, 2B (Arizona) - DID NOT SIGN
43. Garrett Clyde, P (San Jacinto JC – North) - DID NOT SIGN (transferred to U. of Texas)
44. * Bryan Jost, 1B (Minnesota) - at Fitch Park (EXST)
45. Ryan Lewis, OF (Yakima Valley CC) - DID NOT SIGN (transferred to Westen Oregon)
46. Tyler Clark, P (Springfield Catholic HS – Springfield, MO) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at U. of Missouri)
47. Josh Walter, P (Texas State) - DID NOT SIGN
48. Carlos Rivera, OF (East Aurora HS - East Aurora, IL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Waubonsee CC)
49. Jordan Rogers, P (San Jacinto JC - North) - DID NOT SIGN (transferred to Rice)
50. Blake Murphy, C (Western Carolina) - DID NOT SIGN
Patrick Brooks, INF (UT - Pan American) - RELEASED
Michael Christl, P (Bradley) - RELEASED
* Matt Hudgins, C (Virginia Wesleyan) - RELEASED
Chris Rivera, P (Virginia Wesleyan) - RELEASED
Derek Schermerhorn, 1B (Wichita State) - RELEASED