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

2008 NDFA:
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)

Return to Homepage

Comments

AZ Phil, do you think the strategy has been to consciously fill in the 'High School' ranks with players from overseas, or is this just an outcome of rating North American highschoolers lower than the other teams?

I am a big believer in developing the system and think that teams should put more money into the draft. If, for example, Alex Wilson wanted first round money, is there a huge loss from signing him? If we draft him again this year, it will be about what we offered him last year. The investment would have been larger, but we would have had another good prospect in the system. Similarly, signing Cashner a year earlier as a 28th round selection would have brought him into the fold and given us another first rounder last year.

Look at certain players drafted by the Cubs but were unsigned -- Tim Lincecum (48th round, 2003), Micah Owings (19th round, 2004) and Khalil Greene (14th round, 2001). Sonny Gray, drafted and unsigned last year, is the Friday pitcher as a freshman at Vanderbilt. Not only would I argue that we sign these players, I also would expand Latin American practice and be involved with all the top players each year.

Certainly my statement that we need to sign these players is somewhat unrealistic; it might take $20-30 million to sign everyone. But with good scouting, the benefits could be enormous -- we could be adding 8-10+ first to third round talents to the system each year. Our drafting style might change as well, as we would possibly focus more on top players who had dropped due for monetary reasons and add them to our system. We won't get all of them, as some just want to go to college or get drafted higher, but we should be able to get many more.

The start up costs would be large as well, as we would need to add other minor league teams. Altogether though, if we focused on adding as much talent through the system as possible, we could focus less on signing free agents like Soriano, Lilly, Marquis, Bradley, etc. and instead use this money as part of the effort to stock our minor league system.

As an example, look just at Cashner. Had we signed him a year earlier, he could have developed with our coaches and hopefully would be progressing more quickly. Further, we would then have had another 1st round pick to go with him. In a poor system such as the Cubs, this other 1st round pick would likely be one of our top prospects. Repeat this situation 6-7 times, and my plan could (with good scouting) lead to a stocked minor league system to allow us to build through the farm and/or not be worried about trading our one gem in the system in an effort to acquire players like Peavy.

I know this idea is not going to happen and would be difficult to pursue. But I think it is possible and would be a great plan for any team focused on getting better through home grown players.

it would be a great story if someone would put together all the guys  drafted and unsigned who amounted to absolutely nothing. I bet it's a lot longer list than Lincecum, Greene and Owings.

And if you give every prospect whatever money they want, they will all just keep asking for more....

The list would be much longer actually. But I bet the list of unsigned that developed into major leaguers is not that far off from players signed from each round that are major leaguers. Truly, if you are concerned about money spent compared to players developed, then you wouldn't sign most players after the first 3 rounds.

Personally I would rather have spent $1 million on ten prospects we think have a chance than spend $10 million on Milton Bradley. While it is likely that none of those players become as good as Bradley (when healthy) and possible that none of them ever make the big leagues, it also is possible that a good percentage of them do make the big leagues and that one of them is Tim Lincecum.

I will guess that we could have gotten Sonny Gray and Alex Wilson for $1 million or so each. And I think these two players alone, with some other B prospects, might be enough to get us Jake Peavy (after June trading restriction). That would be enough of a reason to sign them, IMO.

The problem with your suggestion is that not every guy that we (and other teams) draft but don't sign is Tim Lincecum. Sometimes they're Ben Feltner or Kyle Dubois. Maybe you wanted to give a combined $3 million to those guys, but I am glad that the Cubs didn't. There's a reason that these guys don't get drafted where their 'talent' indicates they should, and that's because they're asking for more money than every MLB team thinks they're worth.

And sometimes they are Ryan Acosta or Mark Pawelek. Personally I think baseball scouting is one of the more inexact sciences in sports. As the failure rate is high, I would prefer to have as many chances as possible. And if we get those chances by drafting players in the 10th round or later who we believe were 2nd round talents, overpaying for players seems like a good idea; if we assume that players with first to third round talent are more likely to make the majors, I want as many of them in my system as possible.

Like I said, my system probably would have cost the Cubs an extra $80 million or so over the last 10 years. But we would have had, at a minimum, 5 more major league caliber players. And then perhaps we don't sign Marquis, which is some of that money returned. Perhaps further we don't sign Bradley, which is more of that money returned.

With good scouting, this concept will not be as expensive as advertised because you will not be signing as many free agents as we have.

You've also got to realize if the Cubs did this, it would cost them more to sign their other picks. If they're 8th round pick gets $1.5 million, because he and just about no one else on the planet thinks he deserves the money then the first round pick isn't going to sign for $1 million, he's going to want at least $2 million, and the 2nd round pick is going to want $1.8 million, because, hell you just gave $1.5 million to a player that you acknowledged has less value than you. Not every guy would do that, but the majority would. Then in year 2 the agents would all know the gig, and work the Cubs for more money, so now you're paying a 40% premium on all picks, just because you're the Cubs. And being that the Cubs are pretty crappy at developing these picks... well, it's not a good idea. If the average first round pick is worth $3 million (based on marginal value of his first 6 years in the majors') the Cubs average first round pick is probably worth $1.4 million, but now you've got us shelling out $1.8 million for third round picks, who's marginal value is probably $600 to the Cubs.

Then there's the the issue of roster size. The Marlins far outpaced the Cubs in marginal salary in 2008, yet they were watching the Cubs on the TV during the playoffs. Just stocking your roster with good values doesn't get a WS. You need to acquire players externally.

Then finally, there's your flawed argument about Marquis and Bradley. You can say the same thing about DeRosa... except that DeRosa was turned into three players who we didn't have to pay any signing bonus for and who are all more likely to make the majors than your average 3rd rounder.

You are right to some extent, although the argument about relative salaries is not true -- Logan Watkins signed for overslot last year but that didn't affect the payments for those after him. Same with when Chris Huseby signed, for example.

Also, saying we need to acquire players externally is not true. Why? If the Cubs take their current roster and sign numerous top draft picks (many who had fallen for money reasons) and (this is the big assumption) they draft well...there is no reason to sign free agents. Your assumption is seemingly saying that had the Cubs scouted and signed Alfonso Soriano, we would have needed to sign someone else to play his position? The Marlins, for example, would be fine had that not traded their top players all the time. The facts are the facts...we could have traded just the players I mentioned (other than Lincecum) that we drafted for Jake Peavy and our rotation would have Peavy and Lincecum. Which sure sounds better than spending $48 million on Ryan Dempster.

Your response about players waiting for more money is probably true to an extent, but certainly if the negotiation works both ways. We show willingness to spend more and then, if they don't sign, they are taking a much larger risk.

Most importantly, your concern about us developing players is unfortunately true. We would need to make training a focus.

I don't think this is an easy idea and I think there are problems that would need to be corrected. But to think that signing 50 players rather than 36 would be impossible seems unimaginative.

You repeatedly look at one example and imply that it proves a point. When did Watkins sign? When did Carpenter sign? If the Cubs did that year-in-year out, they would pay the price, there's no way around it. These players who don't get drafted where their talent levels indicate they should are all greedy or have over hyped opinions of themselves by nature, that's why they're not getting drafted. It's not about 'getting an education' because that can be done with their signing bonuses after their careers are over (or during the off-season or U of PHX online etc) Occasionally there's a Ryne Sandberg in there but he's by far the exception to the rule.

There's also going to be a point of diminishing returns when it comes to scouting, player development and signing bonus budget and getting. Also if you bring in 70 players a year (assuming 50 from draft and 10 free agents) you've got to get rid of 70 players a year, regardless of how many teams you have.

By the way, Marquis has out-pitched Peavy this year, and has done so for less money, therefore free agency is better way to acquire talent than trading. Of course that's not true, but it's as valid a the points as you're making with Lincecum and Watkins.

Logan Watkins. Chris Huseby. Ryan Acosta. Sean Gallagher. These are all examples of Cubs players signed over slot for their round who had a neglible (if any) effect on players signed afterward. There are numerous examples for other teams I am certain (I don't think Rick Porcello's signing, for example, caused any change to the amount offered by the Tigers to other picks). You point to no examples of the increased demand, yet question the validity of my point.

You also misinterpret my point, creating some odd strawman to make your argument look correct. I am stating that (1) the Cubs draft fifty players per year and sign less than 100% of those players, (2) certain players that do not sign have gone on to have good major league careers and (3) I think it would be a good investment to take a chance on signing most (if not all) of the draft picks so that we increase the chance of developing players who have good major league careers.

Assume that scouting and drafting is an inexact science and each player has an x% chance of making it to the major leagues and being productive. Assume further that x varies based on the player's talent, which is roughly a measure of the Cubs ranking of such players; thus x is greater for players deemed to be a first to third round talent than for players deemed to be a lower round talent. My statement is that by signing all the draft picks, the chance of having one or more solid major leaguers from your draft increases. If the Cubs were to draft and sign highly ranked players that fell for signability reasons (i.e. Wilson and Gray last year), these players will create an even larger increase in the chance for multiple productive major league players.

You discount this for some reason. I point out that the Cubs, like every other major league team, has drafted some players that did nto sign and went on to be good major leaguers. You mock this for some reason. The points are not controversial -- we would be better off had we signed Lincecum. Our system would be stronger had we signed Cashner a year earlier (when he was a 28th rd pick) and drafted someone another first round pick. Do you dispute this? If not, then take the next step. As we cannot fully and accurately predict who will be Cashner or Lincecum or Khalil Greene, etc., sign everyone.

Is this incredibly costly? Yes. For this reason, not every team could do it. But I point out that if we have a productive minor league system, we would have less need to sign free agents; we could not only bring up youngsters but also trade them. Because of our previously perceived minor league strength, for example, we have not had to go get a 1b or 3b free agent due to trades of young prospects for Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Do you deny the fact that having more prospects makes it easier to trade for good players?

Apparently you consider at least some of the previous points invalid. I do not understand your reasoning and hope you would explain.

Let me make it very simple.

You're living in a fantasy world. You have no idea how much money it would take to sign these players. If the Cubs always sign every player they draft, regardless of what they ask, the cost would be astronomical.

Say Tim Lincecum wanted I don't know, $5 million. You're answer? Give him $5 million. Your budget for one draft isn't $10 million, it's $80 to $100 million, and the next year it's $120 million. There is no possible way to operate a business like this where you just tell every employee you sign "here's an blank check, cash it". And don't say "that's not what I am proposing" because it's exactly what you're proposing. Maybe the Cubs get away with it for 1 year, but after that the agents are going to say "well, if the Cubs draft me I will ask for twice as much as I would for any other team." And when the Cubs pay that in year two, guess what happens in year three? The agents ask for 3 times as much. You can't run a draft saying "we are going to pay whatever it takes to sign each player we draft", it just can't be done. It's a total disconnect from the real world. You can't look at one or two situations and then say it's safe to extrapolate that to change an entire policy.

Let's do an exercise with this draft. Let's look at every player who is mentioned to slide because of salary demands and if he's available when the Cubs pick, say we draft him. Then when August rolls around let's see if we can tally up the bonuses, and just give $1 million to the guys who don't sign, that's probably undercutting some of their demands, but in the end lets see what the budget for this would be.

Let me give you an example, just to be perfectly clear.

Say Purke, who is after Porcello type money (which I recall being $6 million) falls to the Cubs at #31.

The Cubs did their due diligence, calling before the draft twice to confirm he wants $6 million, and both times he said 'Yes'.

Wilken "We have the offer sheet ready, we're sending it over today by Fedex. $6 million, welcome to the Chicago Cubs".

Wilken 3 days later, "Hi, we're still waiting to get that contract back."
Purke, "well I have been thinking, I really want to go to college."
Wilken "What?"
Purke "I think that I will do better if I go to college and come out as the #1 overall in three years. I should be able to make $10 million like Strasburg then."
Wilken "Well, there's no need to do that, $6 million is a lot of money, you know."
Purke "Yeah it is, but I think with net present value if I were to get a $8 million contract, that would make me a Cub."
Wilken "well, OK, I'll send a new one over..."

By making the mandate that the Cubs sign all the players they draft, you take away their bargaining power. After a year or two, every single conversation is going to go like that one.

I do not mean to imply the following:

1) The Cubs mandate is sign everyone no matter their demands.

2) Our negotiation plan is give in automatically to every demand.

3) Illegitimate demands should be taken anyway.

But let's look differently. Say (somehow) Strasberg fell to the Cubs and demanded $15 million (which is probably around what the Nationals will pay). Would you give it to him? It is immensely overslot. According to your previous posts, this would mean every other draftee would then increase their demands. If you would give it to him, then let's say someone like Strasberg fell to the 5th round and demanded $10 million guaranteed. Would you give that to him (that is pretty much the Jeff Smarz story, if I am not mistaken).

My point is that I would be willing to overpay and make an effort to sign everyone. If they are unrealistic and demand some insane amount, then I would not sign them. And I would make that known. But I also would devote a lot more money to the draft to make sure we don't lose Sonny Gray, Khalil Greene, Alex Wilson etc.

"According to your previous posts, this would mean every other draftee would then increase their demands."

No. It's not 1 or 2 players that would do that. I've said it probably six times. Focus. If you pay overslot for ALL YOUR PLAYERS - ALL YOUR PLAYERS will ask for more money, because they know it's Cubs policy to throw around money like Barrak Obama. You have to maintain some semblance of negotiating power.

"If they are unrealistic and demand some insane amount, then I would not sign them. "

Now you've figured it out. Now you are doing what every GM in baseball does. When Lincecum asked for $1 million EVERY GM IN BASEBALL said "that's insane". The Cubs took a flyer on him hoping that over the summer his demands may change, or that his stuff would merit that kind of money.

Comprendo?

I do agree that my plan will not occur. But I think you are limiting negotiation skills. I am not saying that we sign everyone no matter what. I am saying that I would overpay for players that have high demands.

Alex Wilson allegedly wanted first round money (we drafted him in the 10th round) and we offered $600,000. I would have tried to negotiate for better terms and hopefully settled somewhere in the $1,000,000 range (or a little more) to sign him. Other prospects to whom we may have offered $100,000 (like a few mid-20s round picks, I am guessing) likely would not have demanded $1,000,000 but something more in the range they could have gotten had they gone where they expected.

Nowhere am I saying that we "just give $1 million to the guys who don't sign". If you plan to discuss this point throwing that continually out, then it is a useless discussion. But we paid well overslot for Chris Huseby, Jeff Smarz, Logan Watkins and others. We did so because we thought their talent level was better than they drafted. My thoughts are to extend that further -- if we thought Alex Wilson wanted first round money and we had him as second round talent, then be willing to pay more to get him. From friends who were drafted, for many players drafted in later rounds (including those who fell for signability reasons) the club gives the players a take it or leave it offer. Be willing to negotiate and overpay. Make legitimate efforts to sign everyone -- if Lincecum said $5 million or not signing, then don't sign him. But if Cashner had demanded $500,000 as a 28th rounder, I wish we would have signed him.

The choices are not 1) Do it the way the Cubs do it, or 2) Give every player $1 million. There are many points in the middle of these benchposts where a team can spend more (and for some players, overspend) and legitimately try to sign everyone. I just don't think you are considering such immense middle ground in your critique.

Your reading comprehension is failing.

For the point of conducting the hypothetical exercise I was saying to assign the unsigned players $1 million to come up with your hypothetical budget.

At this point it's just beating my head against a brick wall. If you have friends who have agents run this idea past them and see what their agents say. To a one, I guarantee they will say the outcome would be exactly as Rob and I have explained it. If you give a 3rd round guy $2 million and sign every player you draft ,next year a player with the exact same value would ask for $2 million from the Yankees will ask for $3 million from the Cubs.

If you're not saying to sign the players no matter what they ask for.. guess what? That's what the Cubs and 29 other major league teams are already doing.

For the most part I think your plan is completely unfeasible for the reason I originally outlined and Neal has in greater detail. Once you put it out there that the Cubs will sign all their draftees regardless of cost, agents and players will begin to take advantage of it. Yes, it has worked to occasionally pay overslot, but the Cubs (and other teams) had an idea on how far overslot they were willing to go. If you're not willing to walk away from negotiations, the agents will take advantage of it.

It could work for a year or two, the Cubs could say internally that we're going for every unsignable player and throwing whatever it takes to get them, but once agents caught on, they'd have to abandon it and that would certainly negate any long-term benefits you think the Cubs would get in having to sign a few less FA's (which is sketchy at best).

With good scouting, a team should be able to supply itself with plenty of talent under the current system.

Besides, adding minor league teams assumes there are minor league team owners out there willing to set up shop. I know that some big league teams got into the minor league business themselves a few years back (the Cubs owned their Rockford team for a couple years) and got right back out. I think under the current economic circumstances, the minor league market is pretty much saturated.

Well ... we sure timed it right in regards to picking low. This draft is fairly thin at the top, and the difference between guys in the mid-first to the mid-2nd won't be by much (there was a blurb somewhere on mlbtr where someone noted that there were 60+ players that were possible first rounders).

Leaving aside the discussion from the other day, what I'd like to see is more power, bats and arms. I'm really high on the crop of arms from last year, but with attrition rates being what they are, you could always use more. I'd like to see us lean a bit more towards the positional side this year, but grabbing talent is the most important thing.

I'm quietly optimistic about the direction of the system. I think we're seeing solid improvement across the board, moreso on the pitching side (I wonder how much of that should go towards the hiring of Riggins). Here's hoping for a strong draft to restock the lower levels. Here's hoping within a year or two, we will be looking at the upper levels of our minors and see solid prospect value.

springs - don't disagree with anything in regards to the building from within aspect. I also wanted to see us shell out the big bucks to land Alex Wilson (don't think he'll be there in our 2nd ... that said who knows, but a lot of people are talking about him in the supplemental first) and Sonny Gray considering how highly touted both were. I do wonder if Cashner's value would've taken off as much if he had signed with us 2 years ago. He really jumped ... partly due to the shift to the pen. Would he have gotten as much attention to make said jump? Statistically, he seems to be progressing nicely.

i've stayed outta the draft stuff...glad it's almost over.

it's hard enough to speculate who a team will take with the first 10-15 picks...when it's this deep i can't even begin to imagine. it's even too late of a pick for the cubs to tip their hat on who they actually want.

Thought provoking discussion on the necessity of the draft:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/shysterball/arti...

A lot of my thoughts are "what a dipshit!" but there are some good things in the comments.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 8:26am.
AZ Phil, do you think the strategy has been to consciously fill in the 'High School' ranks with players from overseas, or is this just an outcome of rating North American highschoolers lower than the other teams?

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

REAL NEAL: Since the 2006 draft (Wilken's first draft for the Cubs), when the Cubs selected 16 HS players and eventually signed eight (five of whom were paid "over-slot" bonuses, including one who got "1st round money," another who got "3rd round money," two more who got "4th round money," and another who got "5th round money"), it appears that Wilken & company have decided to re-direct a lot of the cash they used to give to U. S. HS players (often by paying "over-slot" signing bonuses) on international players. Cubs Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator Steve Wilson has been very aggressive, signing five Korean players (Rhee, Lee, Ha, Jung, and Kim) and four Australian players (Searle, Hams, Spencer, and Williams) over the past couple of years. However, South Korean baseball coaches have gotten wise to what the Cubs have been doing (stealing their best prospects and taking them back to the U. S.), and so they have been trying to keep Cubs scouts away from Korean high school baseball tournaments by making attendance at the games by invitation only.

One big change that was implemented by MLB after the 2006 draft that makes drafting & signing U. S. high school players or JC freshmen players more of a crap shoot than it used to be was the elimination of the "Draft & Follow" rule, where a club could draft a high school or freshman JC player and retain the rights to that player until a week prior to next draft, allowing the club to "follow" (scout) the player over one additional JC baseball season before deciding whether to sign the kid. Now the decision whether to throw big bucks at a HS or JC player has to be made by August 15th, which gives a club less information before making its final offer, thus making a college junior or college senior the better draft bet.

Thanks, I hadn't heard that before about the Korean coaches. That's sort of a shitty thing to do.

Do you think any of the Cubs avoidance of HS players is just to save money? If you're scouting a Friday night ACC or Big 12 game you can maybe see 6 draftable guys. If you do the same thing at a high school game, you'll be lucky to see 2.

I just think the Cubs United States Scouting Department has been god awful for ohhhh say the last 30+ years, especially in positional talent. They don't know how to find useful major league talent if it crapped in their lap.

International Scouting is only saved recently by Zambrano and Marmol.

Coaching department is about the same, as in it stinks. They just let the young toolsy players they draft continue with being the same hacktastic/non walking players they have always been. But i guess they get credit for turning two former catchers into useful major league pitchers, but that isn't exactly a shining light. When the best pitching talent coming from your minors rests on two converted catchers something has gone horribly wrong down there.

An injury happens in the OF we have un-heralded Micah Hoffpauir to fill in with the next call up being Jake Fox. Our organizational depth consists of a converted catcher who doesn't really play the OF as being our next best thing?

An infielder goes down and the first call up is 30 year old Bobby Scales followed by equally less enthusiastic Andres Blanco?

In search of a starter none of our highly regarded picks are doing anything worth a damn so we turn to a 38th round former catcher?

Dont get me wrong i like Hoff, and Wells but damn where is the talent at? It is virtually non-existent in the Cubs farm system and its been that way for a very long time.

Real Neal and Rob G. are agreeing far too often lately. I don't like it.

I would guess that Rob an I agree 98% of the time. We just blow that 2% out of proportion.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter