2009 Rule 4 Draft
The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 6 PM ET tomorrow (Tuesday) and will continue Wednesday and Thursday. The first three rounds (plus supplemental rounds) will be televised “live” on the MLB network Tuesday night (round #1 on the MLB cable channel and the other two rounds and supplemental picks on mlb.com TV), with the balance of the draft to be conducted via conference call (rounds 4-30 on Wednesday, and rounds 31-50 on Thursday).
The Cubs will have the 31st pick in the 1st round, followed by the 79th overall pick (2nd round), pick #109 overall (3rd round), and #140 overall (4th round), and then every 30 picks (#170, #200, #230, #280, etc) after that until the 50 rounds are completed. More than 1,500 players will be selected by the 30 MLB clubs before the drafting is finished.
Clubs have until August 15th to sign draft picks who have college eligibility remaining, but there is no deadline for signing college seniors who have exhausted their eligibility. Players who are not selected in the draft can sign with any club as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA), with the same deadline as drafted players applying to NDFA.
If a club fails to sign a 1st (or 2nd) round pick in a given year, it gets a replacement pick one slot lower in the 1st (or 2nd) round of the following year's draft. (Not signing a 3rd round pick nets a club a compensation pick between the 3rd and 4th rounds in the following year's draft).
The Cubs have a history of drafting players they like two years in a row, most-recently TCU RHP Andrew Cashner (30th round in 2007 and then 1st round in 2008), Clemson 3B Marquez Smith (35th round in 2006 and then 8th round in 2007). and Stanford OF Sam Fuld (24th round in 2003 and then 10th round in 2004), so don’t be surprised if the Cubs select a player they drafted (but did not sign) a year ago.
Texas A&M RHP Alex Wilson (Cubs 10th round pick in 2008 who is now rated the 52nd best prospect in the draft by Baseball America) might be a target if he is still available when the Cubs make their selection in the 2nd round (#79 overall), or perhaps the Cubs might take another shot at New Mexico RHP Cole White (Cubs 30th round selection out of Paris JC in 2008 now rated the 157th best prospect in the draft by BA) if he is available when the Cubs make their 4th or 5th round pick. The Cubs supposedly offered Wilson (who was rehabbing from post-2007 Tommy John Surgery a year ago) $600K after they selected him in the 10th round in 2008, but he wanted “first-round money” ($1.5M), so he declined the Cubs offer and returned to A&M, while White was a member of a band back home in Paris, TX, called “Turning Point” and wrote a song that was nominated for a Grammy.
Two names often mentioned in connection with the Cubs as a possible 2009 1st round pick are outfielders A. J. Pollock (Notre Dame) and Brett Jackson (Cal).
Last year, the Cubs signed 32 of their 51 selections, including 26 of their first 27 picks. Of the 32 who signed, two have subsequently been released, and one retired. Only eight of the Cubs 51 selections in the 2008 Rule 4 Draft were high school players, and the Cubs signed three of them (4th round pick C-IF Matt Cerda, 21st round pick INF Logan Watkins, and 22nd round selection RHP Tarlandus Mitchell). The Cubs also selected only eight high school players in the 2007 draft and signed only two (#1 pick 3B Josh Vitters and 12th rounder RHP Ryan Acosta), so obviously the trend under Scouting Director Tim Wilken is toward drafting college players. The Cubs have also given $3M+ in signing bonuses to amateur players from Korea, Australia, and Taiwan over the past couple of years, making the First-Year Player Draft somewhat less important than it would be if the Cubs were not actively pursuing players in Asia and Australia.
This will be Wilken’s fourth draft since joining the Cubs as Scouting Director in December 2005.
Here are last year's Cubs Rule 4 selections, and where they are now:
NOTE: Players who signed with Cubs are in bold
* bats or throws left
# bats both
2008 RULE 4 DRAFT
1. Andrew Cashner, P (TCU) – at Daytona
1-S. * Ryan Flaherty, SS (Vanderbilt) – at Peoria
2. Aaron Shafer, P (Wichita State) – at Peoria
3. Chris Carpenter, P (Kent State) - at Peoria
4. * Matt Cerda, C/INF (Oceanside HS – Oceanside, CA) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
5. Justin Bristow, P (East Carolina) – at Peoria
6. Josh Harrison, 2B (U. of Cincinnati) – at Peoria
7. Luis Flores, C (Oklahoma State) – at Daytona
8. * James Leverton, P (Texas Tech) – at Daytona
9. Jay Jackson, P (Furman) – at Tennessee
10. Alex Wilson, P (Texas A&M) – DID NOT SIGN
11. Toby Matchulat, P (Wabash Valley CC) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
12. * Jake Opitz, 2B (Nebraska) – at Daytona
13. Tony Campana, OF (U. of Cincinnati) – at Daytona
14. Dan McDaniel, P (Chabot JC) – at Daytona
15. Casey Coleman, P (Florida Gulf Coast) – at Tennessee
16. * Ryan Keedy, 1B (UAB) – at Daytona
17. Jon Nagel, P (Independence CC) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
18. * Jeffrey Beliveau, P (Florida Atlantic) – at Peoria
19. # David Macias, OF (Vanderbilt) – at Peoria
20. Jericho Jones, OF (Louisiana Tech) – at Daytona
21. * Logan Watkins, SS (Goddard HS – Goddard, KS) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
22. Tarlandus Mitchell, P (Alto HS – Alto, TX) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
23. * Ryan Sontag, OF/P (Arizona State) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
24. David Cales, P (St. Xavier U.) – at Daytona
25. Rebel Ridling, 1B (Oklahoma State) – at Peoria
26. Josh Whitllock, P (West Virginia) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
27. Sonny Gray, P (Smyrna HS – Smyrna, TN) DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Vanderbilt)
28. TeWayne Willis, OF (Lincoln Memorial U.) – RELEASED 3/09
29. Sean Buckley, 3B (King HS – Tampa, FL) – DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at South Florida)
30. Cole White, P (Paris JC) – DID NOT SIGN (transferred to New Mexico)
31. # Kyle Wilson, 3B (Hill JC) – DID NOT SIGN (transferred to NC State)
32. * Kurt Calvert, OF (Missouri) - RETIRED 5/09
33. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B (Central Michigan) – at Fitch Park (EXST)
34. Bubba O’Donnell, P (High Point) – RELEASED 3/09
35. Ross Vagedes, OF/P (Wright State) – DID NOT SIGN
36. Michael Brenly, C (UNLV) – at Peoria
37. Erik Hamren, P (Saddleback CC) – at Peoria
38. Sean McNaughton, OF (BYU) – DID NOT SIGN
39. Jordan Brown, P (LSU) – DID NOT SIGN
40. * Jared McDonald, SS (Pima CC) – DID NOT SIGN (transferred to Arizona State)
41. Jordan Petraitis, SS (Miami of Ohio) – DID NOT SIGN
42. Derek Riley, P (Chandler-Gilbert CC) – DID NOT SIGN (transferred to Arkansas State)
43. Jesse Ginley, P (Dunnellon HS – Dunnellon, FL) – DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at St. Petersburg JC)
44. David Doss, C (South Alabama) – DID NOT SIGN
45. * Ashton Florko, P (U. of British Columbia) – DID NOT SIGN
46. Tony Zych, P (St Rita HS – Chicago, IL) – DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at U. of Louisville)
47. * Chad Cregar, OF (Western Kentucky) - DID NOT SIGN
48. Dylan Moseley, P (Louisiana Tech) – DID NOT SIGN
49. Hunter Scantling, P (Espicopal HS – Jacksonville, FL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Florida State)
50. Pete Levitt, P (Pitt CC) – DID NOT SIGN
Eric Allen, P (King College) – RELEASED 11/08
Pat Mahoney, C (Connecticut) – RELEASED 4/09
Tommy Mejia, P (Dominican College) – RELEASED 4/09
Mike Perconte, P (Murray State) - at Peoria
Chris Weimer, OF (U. of Nebraska – Omaha) – at Fitch Park (EXST)