Rule 4 Draft Update - D-Day +10

Ten days after the 2008 Rule 4 Draft, the Cubs have signed 23 of their 51 draft picks.

Ten days after the 2007 Rule Draft, the Cubs had signed 23 of their 50 selections, although they eventually signed 33.

Four of the Cubs 2007 selections (1st round pick 3B Josh Vitters, 12th round pick RHP/SS Ryan Acosta, 15th round pick LHP James Russell, and 44th round pick 1B Bryan Jost) were not signed until  just prior to the August 15th deadline.

Acosta (Clearwater Central Catholic HS with an NLI signed with U. of Georgia) and Russell (with another year of eligibility remaining at the U. of Texas) received "over-slot" bonuses (Acosta getting "4th round money" and Russell getting "3rd round money") to give up their college careers (or potential college career in the case of Ryan Acosta), and Vitters got $3M+ to give up an opportunity to play college ball at Arizona State.

While the Cubs certainly want to sign RHPs Andrew Cashner (2008 1st round pick out of TCU), Aaron Shafer (2008 2nd round pick out of Wichita State), and Justin Bristow (2008 5th round pick out of East Carolina), they may not get the deals done for a while.

Also, a lot of the players selected by the Cubs in the lower rounds of the 2008 Rule 4 Draft (10th round and below) who did sign sign right away are being "followed" (scouted) while they play in collegiate or post-HS summer leagues, so the Cubs might end up making a few "over-slot bonus" offers to some of the lower-round picks before the August 15th deadline, just as they did last year with Acosta and Russell. 

If it turns out the Cubs can't sign their 2008 1st and/or 2nd round picks (Cashner and/or Shafer), they would receive compensation picks in next year's draft (#20 overall in the 2009 draft if the can't sign Cashner, and/or #66 overall if the don't sign Shafer).

Cashner and Shafer are probably waiting to see what the draft picks chosen in proximity to their selections will get. If so, the 17th selection in the 1st round (two slots above Cashner) got $1.5M, and the 22nd selection in the 1st round (three slots below Cashner) got $1.4M. So Cashner should probably expect to get somewhere around $1.5M.

If Cashner wants substantially more than that, the haggling could go on until the August 15th deadline, but Cashner has expressed a desire to get a deal done quickly.

The 17th pick in the 2nd round (two slots above Shafer) got $644K, while the 28th pick in the 2nd round (nine slots below Shafer) got $563K. So Shafer should expect to get somewhere around $630K  If he wants substantially more than that, he is unlikely to be signed until the August 15th deadline, and that's only if the Cubs really want him that badly. Otherwise they can just take the 2009 compensation pick (#66 overall).   

And based on what 2008 Rule 4 5th rounders have received so far, Justin Bristow should probably expect to get a signing bonus in the vicinity of $175K. If he wants substantially more than that, the Cubs will likely wait until August to decide whether to sign him or not.   

BTW, the Cubs 1st round (Supplemental) pick (#41 overall) SS Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt) received a $906K signing bonus, right about what would be expected for a player selected in that slot.  

2008 RULE 4 DRAFT STATUS

* bats or throws left
# bats both

CUBS DRAFT PICKS SIGNED AS OF 6-16-2008:
1-S. * Ryan Flaherty, SS (Vanderbilt) - at BOISE
3. Chris Carpenter, P (Kent State) - will report to FITCH PARK this week
4. * Matt Cerda, C/INF (Oceanside HS – Oceanside, CA) - at AZL CUBS
6. Josh Harrison, 2B (U. of Cincinnati) - at BOISE
7. Luis Flores, C (Oklahoma State) - at BOISE
8. * James Leverton, P (Texas Tech) - at BOISE
9. Jay Jackson, P (Furman) - at BOISE
12. * Jake Opitz, 2B (Nebraska) - at BOISE 
13. * Tony Campana, OF (U. of Cincinnati) - at BOISE
14. Dan McDaniel, P (Chabot JC) - at AZL CUBS
15. Casey Coleman, P (Florida Gulf Coast) - at BOISE 
16. * Ryan Keedy, 1B (UAB) - at BOISE
17. Jon Nagel, P (Independence CC) - at FITCH PARK (REHAB -TJS)
19. # David Macias, OF/IF (Vanderbilt) - at AZL CUBS
22. Tarlandus Mitchell, P (Alto HS - Alto, TX) - at AZL CUBS
23. * Ryan Sontag, OF (Arizona State) - at AZL CUBS
25. Rebel Ridling, 1B (Oklahoma State) - at BOISE 
26. Josh Whitlock, P (West Virginia) - at BOISE
28. TeWayne Willis, OF (Lincoln Memorial U.) - at AZL CUBS
32. * Kurt Calvert, OF (Missouri) - at AZL CUBS
33. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B (Central Michigan) - at AZL CUBS 
34. Bubba O’Donnell, P (High Point) - at BOISE
36. Michael Brenly, C (UNLV) - at BOISE

2008 NDFA SIGNED BY CUBS AFTER RULE 4 DRAFT:
Eric Allen, P (King College) - at AZL CUBS
Tommy Mejia, P (Dominican College) - at BOISE
Mike Perconte, P (Murray State) - at BOISE

CUBS DRAFT PICKS STILL UNSIGNED AS OF 6-16-2008:
1. Andrew Cashner, P (TCU)
2. Aaron Shafer, P (Wichita State)
5. Justin Bristow, P (East Carolina) 
10. Alex Wilson, P (Texas A&M)
11. Toby Matchulat, P (Wabash Valley CC)
18. * Jeffrey Beliveau, P (Florida Atlantic)
20. Jericho Jones, OF/P (Louisiana Tech) 
21. * Logan Watkins, SS (Goddard HS – Goddard, KS) - signed NLI with Wichita State 
24. David Cales, P/3B (St. Xavier U.)
27. Sonny Gray, P (Smyrna HS – Smyrna, TN) - signed NLI with Vanderbilt
29. Sean Buckley, 3B (King HS – Tampa, FL) - signed NLI with U. of South Florida
30. Cole White, P (Paris JC) - transferring to U. of New Mexico
31. # Kyle Wilson, 3B (Hill JC) - transferring to NC State 
35. Ross Vagedes, P/OF (Wright State)
37. Erik Hamren, P (Saddleback CC)
38. Sean McNaughton, OF (BYU) 
39. Jordan Brown, P (LSU) 
40. * Jared McDonald, INF (Pima CC) - transferring to Michigan State
41. Jordan Petraitis, SS (Miami of Ohio)
42. Derek Riley, P (Chandler-Gilbert CC) - transferring to Arkansas State
43. Jesse Ginley, P (Dunnellon HS – Dunnellon, FL) - expected to attend St. Petersburg CC
44. David Doss, C/3B (South Alabama) 
45. * Ashton Florko, P (U. of British Columbia)
46. Tony Zych, P (St. Rita HS - Chicago IL) - signed NLI with U. of Louisville
47. * Chad Cregar, RF (Western Kentucky) 
48. Dylan Moseley, P (Louisiana Tech)
49. Hunter Scantling, P (Episcopal HS – Jacksonville, FL) - signed NLI with Florida State
50. Pete Levitt, P (Pitt CC)

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Comments

Thanks Az Phil -

If possible, can you give me your mid year cubs top 10 prospect list and any thoughts on performances of our top guys in the minors. It seems to be a real down year for our prospects in looking at the numbers. Thoughts?

Submitted by Cubs Win on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:40am.

Thanks Az Phil -

If possible, can you give me your mid year cubs top 10 prospect list and any thoughts on performances of our top guys in the minors.

It seems to be a real down year for our prospects in looking at the numbers.

Thoughts?

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

CUBS WIN: When we do that, it will be in the form of an article (not a comment) and it probably won't be for another week or two.

PHIL: This year and last year seem to be amazing classes for Vanderbilt baseball players and high draft slots.

What's going on down there?!

When did the "Northwestern of the South", get so loaded with top recruits? Are their other drafted players from previous years doing well in the minors or MLB?

I just don't think of them w/the Miami's, Florida State, Wichita State & LSU's of the collegiate circuit.

E-MAN: The rise of the Vanderbilt baseball program has been a rather recent phenomenon.

Up until the last four or five years, one-time Cubs RHP Scott Sanderson was probably the most-famous Vanderbilt baseball alumnus ever.

However, after taking over the program in 2003, Coach Tim Corbin has turned Vandy into an NCAA powerhouse built around pitching, with 2004 #6 overall draft pick LHP Jeremy Sowers (who got the largest bonus ever paid up until that time by the Indians), 2007 overall #1 draft pick LHP David Price (selected by Tampa Bay), RHP Casey Weathers (8th overall pick in the 1st round of the '07 draft by the Rockies), and RHP Brett Jacobson (drafted in the 4th round by the Tigers in 2008 draft) anchoring the staff over the past four or five years.

3B Pedro Alvarez was the #2 overall pick in the this year's draft (selected by the Pirates), and Alvarez, Jacobson, and Cubs Supplemental 1st round pick INF Ryan Flaherty played for Team USA in the 2007 Pan Am games (Flaherty played 2B for Team USA, although he will play SS--for a while at least--with the Cubs), following Price and Weathers, who played for Team USA in 2006.

Cubs 2008 19th round draft pick switch-hitting OF/IF David Macias played CF for Vandy but will apparently be an IF-OF "super-sub" with the Cubs, and Cubs 2008 27th round pick RHP Sonny Gray (1st round talent out of Smyrna HS - Smyrna, TN) sent a letter to MLB clubs prior to this month's draft advising them not to bother drafting him because he WILL be attending Vanderbilt.

One of the Cubs minor leaguers who played against Vanderbilt told me the Commodores pitching staff in 2007 (Price, Weathers, Jacobson, et al) was (by far) the best he faced in college.

Thanks AZ PHIL. Pedro Alvarez has gotten some major press as has David Price - which you indicate.

Northwestern's men's athletics should use Vandy as a model for a top academic program that is also fielding some very competitive squads in football, basketball, and baseball, over the last several years.

They also did something really revolutionary with their college sports - like this:

" Under the new organization, Vanderbilt will bring together intercollegiate sports and recreational activities for students in a single department that will be part of the Division of Student Life and University Affairs. In addition, the University will take a leadership role in the national reform agenda for college sports."

It doesn't hurt matters that Nashville is a darn nice place to live either. Tons of things to do both upscale and not-so upscale.

Agreed, from what I have heard from others.

Only been there a couple times, but I know there are many pluses to living in Nashville. For me, however, not a big Country music fan. It is the main economy there!

Thanks AZ....looking forward to it!

You mentioned Russell getting 3rd round money, how do you feel about his impressive performance this year as he has already surfaced in AA. Is he just advanced/mature or is he a high ceiling pitcher?

AZ Phil, looking forward to top 10 list. I am of the opinion, and I would value yours on this statement, that as good a year as the parent club is having, our Farm systems is having a terrible year. There are many many prospects that are seeming to not move forward or flat out disappoint (Veal, Samardzija, Colvin, Thomas, Donaldson, Ceda, etc), some have disappeared completely (Ryan Harvey?), and the only player that has emerged seems to be Casey Lambert.

We have very little projectable ML-help at this point, other than a few OK arms (Ascanio, Wells, Marshall, Hill if you count him). All the prospects are not performing or are at High-A or lower. This lack of hot prospects will make it difficult to trade for someone like Sabathia.

PS, in our Farm System's defense, it is fair to say that we just received some recent productivity and "graduated" some home-grown prospects, which is what it's for anyway. Thinking Gallager, Soto, Theriot, Hoffpauir.

I have to admit that I am among the group that cannot wait for AZ Phil's Top 10. Probably one of the most exciting posts of the year post draft.I am curious to here what everyone else thinks in anticipation of the post.

First, who is not considered a prospect? Are Pie or Gallagher prospects? Soto is clearly off the list, probably Pie too. Gallagher likely will be by the end of the season. Colvin seems to have dropped based on the simple fact that he is not hitting. Do Mathes and Wells get added to the list with their recent strong performances? Holliman seems to have clearly dropped, not surprising.

Here is my top 10 for hitters and pitchers as prospects.
Note: I am not nearly the scout the AZ Phil is!!!

Hitters
1. Vitters - Age 18 - I think he is the best hitting prospect based on potential and not performance thus far and given how young he is.
2. Tony Thomas (2B) - Age 21 - In terms of need and tools.. he is hitting 280/330/439 with 5 HR and 11 SB and would represent a top of the order threat at 2B for the Cubs
3. Ryan Flaherty (SS,3B) - Age 21 - He is a supplement 1st round pick from Vandy at 6'3'' 210 lbs. He hit at career .349 at Vandy with 14 HR is 63 games as in his final year. The potential is there but a position in the infield will need to be settled unless he shows he can play good defensive SS for his size.
4. Tyler Colvin (OF) - Age 22 - 2006 1st round pick. He hit .299 last year in 125 games with 16 HR. (SLG .488) His numbers are a lot worse this year. 230/304/351. I think the most concerning thing is that his power numbers are down although he is learning better plate discipline. The great thing is that he is very athletic and still young and plays a position of need for the Cubs.
5. Wellington Castillo (C) - Age 21 - Defensively very strong. Young and is better than anticipated with the bat. Hitting 287/325/380 and 324/424/552 in the last 10 games at Double A.
6. Steve Clevenger (C) - Age 22 - Wasn't able to perform at the Double A level but is hitting 318/408 at high A is a great utility 1B,C. He hit 340/378/441 last year.
7. Marquez Smith (2B,3B) - Age 23 - 2007 8th round. His status may drop if he is unable to perform at High A once promoted but he plays positions of need and appears to have power slugging .544 in low A ball.
8. Eric Patterson (2b,OF) - Age 25 - Hasn't performed at the major league level. Has hit 326/361/514 at Triple A and has been hot lately, but hasn't been able to put it together at the big show.
9. Spears (2b) - Age 23 - Acquired in the Corey Patterson trade. He is hitting 311/408/425 at Double A and hits from the left side and is still young. Only problem is he was drafted in 2003 and this is his 6th year of minor league ball.
10. Ryan Harvey (OF) - Age 23 - It's still not clear if he will ultimately become a pitcher, but he does have power. He is slugging .429 on the season, but would need to improve his plate discipline and he is far removed from his 1st Rd 2003 draft pick to consider his potential that incredible as a hitter.
11a.Adduci (OF) - Age 23 - Playing in his 5th minor league season. He is also finally beginning to put it together and is hitting 307/389 at high A. Will a promotion spell the end of his success, only time will tell.
11b.Johnston (OF) - Age 21 - 2005 4th Rd. Drafted as a SS, a change in position may spell success for Johnston. He is hitting 275/347/472 at Low A Peoria, after struggling last year at both Peoria and Boise. His 8 HR will hopefully project into good OF power as he is still young.
11c.Rosa (1b,3b) - Age 20 - 2006 22nd Rd. Despite horrific defense, he is hitting 290/368/412 this year at low A. He is still very young so he has time to significantly improve his game.

Wait and see:
Luis Flores - Age 21 - Selected by Cubs in seventh round of 2008 draft from Oklahoma State University batted .298 with 5 HR and 11 doubles in 57 games behind the plate in 2008
Josh Harrison - Age 20 - Selected by Cubs in sixth round of 2008 draft from University of Cincinnati ... led team in hitting in final college season in '08 with .378 average, 5 HR and 22 doubles in 59 games played. Assigned to Class Low-A Short-Season Boise for start of professional career.

Pitchers
1.Andrew Cashner - Age 21 - 2008 1st Rd. He has a huge potential to be a significant factor on the Cubs soon. His role is probably TBD, but he is likely a potential closer.
2.Jose Ascanio (RP) - Age 23 Acquired in the Ohman/Infante trade, he has been spectacular ever since and looks to have potential closer ability given his recent experience in the majors. He has 11 saves and opponents are batting .191 against him. He averages over 1 strikeout per inning against righties.
3.Donald Veal - Age 23 - 2005 2nd Rd. He has improved somewhat, that is at least his ERA is improved. He needs to take his game to the next level to improve.
4.Jose Ceda - Age 21 - Acquired in Todd Walked trade. Recently promoted to Double A. Throws extremely hard with several pitches.
5. James Russell - Age 22 - 2007 14th round Has been impressive since being drafted, some say the steal of the draft is he can sustain this. He sports a 4.06 ERA in 44 innings at double A
6. Jeff Samardzija - Age 23 - 2006 5th Rd. Stock is dropping as he continues to struggle in double A. Its probably a sign that he just needs more time than the Cubs anticipated, but it came at a huge price.
7. Randy Wells - Age 25 - Recently selected in Rule 5 draft. He has yet to get a real opportunity in the majors and has excellent numbers at Triple A. It remains to be seen whether he will get added to the 40 man roster before next year.
8. Justin Berg - Age 24 - Acquired from the Yankees in the Matt Lawton trade. He has been compared to Brandon Webb and is continuing to master some great stuff. He is in his 5th year of minor league ball so he still has a little time.
9. Greg Rheinhard - Age 24 Acquired in Jae Kuk Ryu trade he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2005 draft and finds himself in Triple A after a recent promotion with opponents batting .231 on the season.
10. Casey Lambert - Age 22 - 2007 6th Rd. Dominated at lower levels thus far. Lefty.
11. Marco Carillo - Age 21 - NDFA 2005 - Very Consistent thus far
12. Mark Pawelek - Age 21 - 2005 1st Rd - Lots of injuries but still very young. This is a huge year for him and he could move up on the rankings.
13. Mitch Atkins - Age 22 - Still very young at Double A. Opponents are batting .242 in 14 game starts
14. Alesandro Maestri - Age 23 - First italian born played. 3.84 ERA in 12 starts at high A

Please all comment on what you think... I am very open to suggestion and will probably remake this whole thing in a month. I really look to real people like AZ Phil's rankings, and these are just the opinion of a dedicated Cubs fan. Thanks!

2. Tony Thomas (2B) - Age 21 - In terms of need and tools.. he is hitting 280/330/439 with 5 HR and 11 SB and would represent a top of the order threat at 2B for the Cubs

Huh?

Since when is 280/330/439 a good line? And since when is a .330 OBP a good top of the order threat?

You are correct. It is not a good line. It is just a representation of what is in the system. In Thomas' case he is a top of the order hitter for high A Daytona and is batting 321/397/500 with 3 SB in June. You really have to consider potential. He was a 2007 3rd round pick and at 21 years old is rather new to professional baseball so potential needs to be an enormous consideration. Last year he had 28 SB in 182 AB at rookie ball. This could project to 50-70 steals in a full season of at-bats, if he continues to develop plate discipline. I think he could be compared to a young right-handed version of Brian Roberts. You won't really have a great idea of what he will become until he plays at double A like Colvin is now. I think he will be better than Colvin in the long-run.

Just throwing this question out there to anyone who feels like answering it:

What would you give up to get Sabathia at the trade deadline?

Note: I don't really care what CLE wants/needs. I'm more interested in finding out what people on this board think he's worth to the Cubs.

The proverbial farm.

Rich Hill, Felix Pie, Eric Patterson and Jose Ceda

too much?

probably, far too little...

seeing as they're set at CF, Pie won't be much of an option and Hill needs to get over the yips.

It's going to cost us at least 2 first round types and a bit more, so the likes of Gallagher, Donaldson, Vitters, Colvin are certainly going to be in play. If we can keep Gallagher I'd be thrilled. 

For Sabathia? Everything. Anything they want. I care about the Cubs, not Iowa. This team has a legitimate chance at an championship so I say go for it.

I concur.

I wouldnt bat an eye if we sent

Colvin
Vitters
Donaldson
Pie
Veal
Ceda
and
Samadzspellcheck

Over there for him. With Dempster,Howry,Sabathia all being type A free agents at season's end. We should be able to get a HUGE draft haul next June. With astute drafting the farm will be back and better than it currently is anyway.

I'm all for resigning Redster.

I think there's a really good chance Dempster re-signs with the Cubs. Hendry pulled him off the scrap heap, so there's the loyalty factor. He also seems like he LOVES playing in Chicago. I see him giving a pretty big hometown discount. I'm guessing 3/$24m.*

*Assuming he keeps up this level of pitching all year, which is far from a lock.

I'm guessin' 3/44

Personally, I don't think we have the talent to land CC or Harden. If we did, we'd have to give quantity over quality which would really deplete the system......but then again, I'm not sure the owners are really going to care about that:)

I concur that we dont have enough to land Sabathia. The Indians are guarnteed a 1st rounder (I doubt any team that finshes sub .500 this year spends 20 Mil/yr on a pitcher) in the 23-30 range and the 31st pick as Sabathia will be the highest rated Free Agent this winter. I think the Wang injury makes Sabathia to the Yanks a lock in my opinion for a package of Austin Jackson, Alan Horne and another prospect or two. Beane likes trades of quantity over quality so Iwould not be surprised if we got Harden for a price like the D'backs paid for Haren, which was one blue chip prospect and 4 good useful prospect who are future "role players".

IMO, Schafer is the early-round must sign.

FYI David Doss is from U. of South Alabama, not UAB.

http://www.usajaguars.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=3...

I have to admit that I am among the group that cannot wait for AZ Phil's Top 10. Probably one of the most exciting posts of the year post draft. I am curious to read what everyone else thinks in anticipation of the post.

First, who is not considered a prospect? Are Pie or Gallagher prospects? Soto is clearly off the list, probably Pie too. Gallagher likely will be by the end of the season.

Here is my top 10 for hitters and pitchers as prospects potential contributions to the major league team.
Caution: I am not nearly the expert that AZ Phil is!!!

Hitters
1. Vitters - Age 18 - I think he is the best hitting prospect based on potential and not performance thus far and given how young he is.
2. Tony Thomas (2B) - Age 21 - In terms of need and tools.. he is hitting 280/330/439 with 5 HR and 11 SB and would represent a top of the order threat at 2B for the Cubs
3. Ryan Flaherty (SS,3B) - Age 21 - He is a supplement 1st round pick from Vandy at 6'3'' 210 lbs. He hit at career .349 at Vandy with 14 HR is 63 games as in his final year. The potential is there but a position in the infield will need to be settled unless he shows he can play good defensive SS for his size.
4. Tyler Colvin (OF) - Age 22 - 2006 1st round pick. He hit .299 last year in 125 games with 16 HR. (SLG .488) His numbers are a lot worse this year. 230/304/351. I think the most concerning thing is that his power numbers are down although he is learning better plate discipline. The great thing is that he is very athletic and still young and plays a position of need for the Cubs.
5. Wellington Castillo (C) - Age 21 - Defensively very strong. Young and is better than anticipated with the bat. Hitting 287/325/380 and 324/424/552 in the last 10 games at Double A.
6. Steve Clevenger (C) - Age 22 - Wasn't able to perform at the Double A level but is hitting 318/408 at high A is a great utility 1B,C. He hit 340/378/441 last year.
7. Marquez Smith (2B,3B) - Age 23 - 2007 8th round. His status may drop if he is unable to perform at High A once promoted but he plays positions of need and appears to have power slugging .544 in low A ball.
8. Eric Patterson (2b,OF) - Age 25 - Hasn't performed at the major league level. Has hit 326/361/514 at Triple A and has been hot lately, but hasn't been able to put it together at the big show.
9. Spears (2b) - Age 23 - Acquired in the Corey Patterson trade. He is hitting 311/408/425 at Double A and hits from the left side and is still young. Only problem is he was drafted in 2003 and this is his 6th year of minor league ball.
10. Ryan Harvey (OF) - Age 23 - It's still not clear if he will ultimately become a pitcher, but he does have power. He is slugging .429 on the season, but would need to improve his plate discipline and he is far removed from his 1st Rd 2003 draft pick to consider his potential that incredible as a hitter.
11a.Adduci (OF) - Age 23 - Playing in his 5th minor league season. He is also finally beginning to put it together and is hitting 307/389 at high A. Will a promotion spell the end of his success, only time will tell.
11b.Johnston (OF) - Age 21 - 2005 4th Rd. Drafted as a SS, a change in position may spell success for Johnston. He is hitting 275/347/472 at Low A Peoria, after struggling last year at both Peoria and Boise. His 8 HR will hopefully project into good OF power as he is still young.
11c.Rosa (1b,3b) - Age 20 - 2006 22nd Rd. Despite horrific defense, he is hitting 290/368/412 this year at low A. He is still very young so he has time to significantly improve his game.

Wait and see:
Luis Flores - Age 21 - Selected by Cubs in seventh round of 2008 draft from Oklahoma State University batted .298 with 5 HR and 11 doubles in 57 games behind the plate in 2008
Josh Harrison - Age 20 - Selected by Cubs in sixth round of 2008 draft from University of Cincinnati ... led team in hitting in final college season in '08 with .378 average, 5 HR and 22 doubles in 59 games played. Assigned to Class Low-A Short-Season Boise for start of professional career.
Matt Cerda

Pitchers
1.Andrew Cashner - Age 21 - 2008 1st Rd. He has a huge potential to be a significant factor on the Cubs soon. His role is probably TBD, but he is likely a potential closer.
2.Jose Ascanio (RP) - Age 23 Acquired in the Ohman/Infante trade, he has been spectacular ever since and looks to have potential closer ability given his recent experience in the majors. He has 11 saves and opponents are batting .191 against him. He averages over 1 strikeout per inning against righties.
3.Donald Veal - Age 23 - 2005 2nd Rd. He has improved somewhat, that is at least his ERA is improved. He needs to take his game to the next level to improve.
4.Jose Ceda - Age 21 - Acquired in Todd Walked trade. Recently promoted to Double A. Throws extremely hard with several pitches.
5. James Russell - Age 22 - 2007 14th round Has been impressive since being drafted, some say the steal of the draft is he can sustain this. He sports a 4.06 ERA in 44 innings at double A
6. Jeff Samardzija - Age 23 - 2006 5th Rd. Stock is dropping as he continues to struggle in double A. Its probably a sign that he just needs more time than the Cubs anticipated, but it came at a huge price.
7. Randy Wells - Age 25 - Recently selected in Rule 5 draft. He has yet to get a real opportunity in the majors and has excellent numbers at Triple A. It remains to be seen whether he will get added to the 40 man roster before next year.
8. Justin Berg - Age 24 - Acquired from the Yankees in the Matt Lawton trade. He has been compared to Brandon Webb and is continuing to master some great stuff. He is in his 5th year of minor league ball so he still has a little time.
9. Greg Rheinhard - Age 24 Acquired in Jae Kuk Ryu trade he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2005 draft and finds himself in Triple A after a recent promotion with opponents batting .231 on the season.
10. Casey Lambert - Age 22 - 2007 6th Rd. Dominated at lower levels thus far. Lefty.
11. Marco Carillo - Age 21 - NDFA 2005 - Very Consistent thus far
12. Mark Pawelek - Age 21 - 2005 1st Rd - Lots of injuries but still very young. This is a huge year for him and he could move up on the rankings.
13. Mitch Atkins - Age 22 - Still very young at Double A. Opponents are batting .242 in 14 game starts
14. Alesandro Maestri - Age 23 - First italian born played. 3.84 ERA in 12 starts at high A

Wait and see -
Aaron Shafer
Christopher Carpenter
Justin Bristow
James Leverton
Rafeal Dolis
Larry Suarez
Chris Huseby
Jeff Antigua

Please all comment on what you think... I am very open to suggestions and will probably remake this whole thing in a month. I really look to real people like AZ Phil's rankings, and these are just the opinion of a dedicated Cubs fan. Thanks!

Nice summary SkaV....

In reading the list, our system is W-E-A-K right now. Hopefully the new owners will come in and invest in the system sooner rather than later.

agreed 100%. Hopefully someone with a Red Sox type mindset is in place before the year is out. On the plus side we have several potentially high draft picks coming back when Dempster,Howry and possibly Wood leave as Free Agents.

Baseball America is reporting that Bristow has already signed. I hope that is the case. He had 2 terrible years in college and one good one so if he goes back for a senior year he won't have a strong position to deal from money wise....he better take the money this time.

Maestri had an incredible performance with 10 strikeouts, no walks in 10 innings. At 23, only at high A Daytona, I wonder how he projects?

Arizona Phil......It looks like Ryan Flaherty and Ryan Sontag were sent to Boise on Tuesday, and Boise outfielder Anthony Campana will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.Are there any other moves (promotions,pink slips)in the last few days?Have any new draft signees taken the field in Mesa?

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