Cubs Agree to Terms with #1 Pick
The Cubs have agreed to terms with their 2009 #1 draft pick, Cal junior CF Brett Jackson.
A 20-year old left-handed hitter (he turns 21 in August), Jackson was a pre-season All-American and was named to the 2009 All-PAC 10 team. He hit 321/407/564 with 8 HR & 41 RBI, 17 doubles, six triples, 11 SB (5 CS), and 29/61 BB/K in 253 PA overall, but only 236/320/445 in PAC-10 conference play.
Once he passes his physical, I would expect Jackson to be assigned to Boise, although he might spend a week at Fitch Park first, depending on what kind of baseball shape he's in (Cal's season ended several weeks ago).
I have seen Jackson play in college, and while he is a good defensive outfielder with plus-speed, he really needs to work on his hitting (too many swings & misses). He reminds me of Cliff Andersen and Drew Rundle, two other left-handed hitting "athletic" outfielders in the Cubs system who also have struggled to make contact.
While there is no question that Jackson has lots of potential, right now I would describe him as a bit overrated. I actually like Arizona State CF (and Northbrook native) Jason Kipnis better than Jackson. (Kipnis was named PAC-10 Player of the Year and was selected by Cleveland in the 2nd round). While Jackson might be the better "athlete," Kipnis is just a better all-around baseball player, in my opinion.
Jackson made his mark with the scouts while playing in the Cape Cod League ("wood bat" collegiate league) last summer, where he was rated the #8 prospect despite hitting only .238.
The Cubs have now signed 18 of their 50 selections in this month's Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft), including four of their Top 10 picks. Besides Jackson, the Cubs have also signed 5th round pick SS Wes Darvill (Langley, BC), 8th round pick RHP Robert Whitenack (SUNY - Old Westbury), and 10th round pick 3B Charles Thomas (Edward Waters College). Whitenack (who throws the Burt Hooton-like "knuckle-curve") is assigned to Boise and Thomas is assigned to the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park, while the 17-year old Darvill is presently touring in the U. S. and Cuba with the Canadian Junior National team, after-which he will report to Fitch Park.
2nd round pick 2B D. J. LeMahieu is currently playing for LSU in the College World Series (deciding game is tonight), so if the Cubs can sign him quickly once the CWS is over, he would probably go directly to Boise. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been attending the CWS in Omaha, where his good friend Pat Mainieri is the head coach for LSU (Mainieri was the long-time Notre Dame head baseball coach prior to moving down to Baton Rouge).
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.