Deadline One Month Away
The Deadline for signing players selected in this past June's Rule 4 Draft ("1st-Year Player Draft") is a month from today (August 17th). The deadline is normally August 15th, but MLB has extended it by two days because August 15th falls on a Saturday in 2009. There is no deadline for signing college seniors who have exhausted their eligibilty, but the Cubs have already signed all of the college seniors they drafted this year.
The Cubs have signed 25 of the 50 players they selected in the June Draft, but two of the players they signed (17th round pick RHP B. J. Dail and 23rd round pick OF Jeffrey Pruitt) had their contracts voided last week and are now free-agents. (Even though their contracts were voided, Dail and Pruitt have probably lost their remaining college eligibility)
The exact reason for the contracts being voided has not been disclosed, but it could be because a player tested positive for a banned substance, or a pre-existing medical condition was discovered, or because the club failed to submit a contract to the MLB office in a timely manner, or failed to add a player to a minor league reserve list within 15 days after signing the player. Since the Cubs got fined a reported $500K for screwing up contracts last year, I'll put my money on a club error as the reason Dail and Pruitt have been declared free-agents.
Of the remaining 23 players selected in last month's draft who are on Cubs minor league rosters, INF D. J. Fitzgerald (22nd round pick out of Dyersburg State CC) and catcher Richard Jones (9th round pick out of The Citadel) have had the most-impressive debuts. Fitzgerald hit .500+ for the AZL Cubs (Mesa) before getting promoted all the way up to Peoria, and Jones led the AZL in HR before getting moved up to Boise yesterday.
1st round pick CF Brett Jackson (Cal) has been every bit as good as advertised and is doing very well at Boise, and 4th round pick LHP Chris Rusin (U. of Kentucky) made his pro debut last night for the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park (throwing two shutout innings), and should get moved up to Boise shortly. Drafted as a college senior, Rusin is a polished lefty starter with a full-array of pitches, and so he could move quickly through the system.
Also, LHP John Mincone (11th round pick out of Suffolk CC - West in New York) and Canadian 3B-LF Bobby Wagner (38th round pick out of Panola JC in Texas) have looked good at Mesa, and both could get promoted up to Boise very soon, too.
And SS Wes Darvill,(Langley, BC) has reported to Fitch Park and is playing for the AZL Cubs after completing his U. S, and Cuban tour with the Canadian Junior National team.
2nd round pick 2B D. J. LeMahieu (LSU), 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk (Owasso HS - Owasso, OK), and 6th round pick LHP-CF Brooks Raley (Texas A&M) are the highest 2009 draft picks who remain unsigned, although LSU Coach (and Jim Hendry's good buddy) Pat Mainieri has told the local Baton Rouge media that LeMahieu should be signing soon with the Cubs.
If the Cubs are unable to sign LeMahieu or Kirk by August 17th, they would receive compensation picks in next June's draft (a pick one slot lower in the 2nd round for failing to sign 2nd round pick LeMahieu, and a "sandwich" pick between the 3rd and 4th round if they can't sign 3rd round pick Kirk). Clubs receive no compensation if they are unable to sign a player selected in a round below the 3rd, however.
And if it turns out that the Cubs are unable to sign LeMahieu, Kirk, and/or Raley, they might take the money they have put away to sign those three and seriously pursue one or two of the high risk/high reward high school kids who otherwise might be considered "unsignable," like Chad Taylor, Keenyn Walker, Sergio Burruel, Daniel Sheppard, Eric Whaley, Addison Dunn, or John Nasshan.
2009 RULE 4 DRAFT
NOTE: click on player's name for current minor league stats
1. Brett Jackson, OF (Cal) - at BOISE
4. Chris Rusin, LHP (Kentucky) - at AZL Cubs
5. Wes Darvill, SS (Langley, BC) - at AZL Cubs
7. Blair Springfield, IF-OF (MacArthur HS – Decatur, IL) - at AZL Cubs
8. Robert Whitenack, RHP (SUNY – Old Westbury) - at BOISE
9. Richard Jones, C (The Citadel) - at BOISE
10. Charles Thomas, 3B-1B (Edward Waters College) - at AZL Cubs
11. John Mincone, LHP (Suffolk CC – West) - at AZL Cubs
12. Runey Davis, OF (Howard JC) - at BOISE
14. Danny Keefe, RHP (U. of Tampa) - at BOISE
15. Cody Shields, OF (Auburn U. – Montgomery) - AZL Cubs 60-day DL (TJS)
18. Matt Williams, C (Duke) - at BOISE
21. Greg Rohan, 1B-3B (Kent State) - at BOISE
22. D. J. Fitzgerald, INF (Dyersburg State CC) - at PEORIA
25. Justin Bour, 1B (George Mason) - at BOISE
26. Steve Grife, RHP (Mercyhurst College) - at AZL Cubs
27. Corey Martin, RHP (Western Carolina) - at BOISE
28. Jordan Petraitis, INF (Miami U. of Ohio) - at AZL Cubs
29. Tim Clubb, RHP (Missouri State) - at AZL Cubs
32. Trey McNutt, RHP (Shelton State CC) - at AZL Cubs
38. Bobby Wagner, 3B-OF (Panola JC) - at AZL Cubs
41. Jake Schmidt, RHP (Concordia U. – St. Paul) - AZL Cubs 60-day DL (unknown)
46. Glenn Cook, OF (U. of Miami) - at AZL Cubs
2009 Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) SIGNED:
SIGNED - CONTRACT SUBSEQUENTLY VOIDED:
17. B. J. Dail, RHP (Mt. Olive College)
23. Jeffrey Pruitt, OF (Cal State – Northridge)
UNSIGNED (deadline is August 17th):
2. D. J. LeMahieu, 2B (LSU) - draft-eligible SOPH
3. Austin Kirk, LHP (Owasso HS – Owasso, OK) - signed NLI with U. of Oklahoma
6. Brooks Raley, LHP-OF (Texas A&M) - draft eligible SOPH
13. Chad Taylor, SS-RHP (Jefferson HS – Tampa, FL) - signed NLI with U. of South Florida
16. Keenyn Walker, OF (Judge Memorial Catholic HS – Salt Lake City) - signed NLI with Central Arizona JC
19. Sergio Burruel, C (Trevor Browne HS – Phoenix, AZ) - signed NLI with Central Arizona JC
20. Eric Erickson, LHP (U. of Miami) - JR (rehabbing from TJS)
24. Gerardo Esquivel, RHP (De La Salle Institute – Chicago, IL) - signed NLI with Kansas State
30. Daniel Sheppard, C (Downers Grove North HS – Downers Grove, IL) - signed NLI with U. of Iowa
31. Andrew Clark, 1B (U. of Louisville) - JR
33. John Lambert, LHP (NC State) - JR
34. Rett Varner, RHP-OF (UT – Arlington) - JR
35. Kevin David, C (Oklahoma State) - draft eligible SOPH
36. Brandon May, IF-OF (U. of Alabama) - JR
37. Peter Mooney, SS (Palm Beach CC) - JC FRESH
39. Nick Struck, RHP (Mt. Hood CC) - JC FRESH (will transfer to U. of Hawaii)
40. Eric Whaley, RHP (Cardinal Gibbons HS – Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - signed NLI with LSU
42. Trey Ford, SS (Chaparral HS – Scottsdale, AZ) - signed NLI with Chandler-Gilbert CC
43. Colin Kaepernick, RHP (U. of Nevada) - JR
44. Frank DeJiulio, RHP (Daytona State CC) - JC FRESH
45. Addison Dunn, RHP (Warren Area HS – Warren, PA) – signed NLI with Kent State
47. Joey Jocketty, 3B (Ladue Horton Watkins HS – St. Louis, MO) - will attend Mami U. of Ohio
48. John Nasshan, RHP (Niles West HS – Skokie, IL) - signed NLI with Bradley U.
49. Christian Segar, OF (McQuaid Jesuit HS – Brighton, NY) - signed NLI with Bradley U.
50. Zach Cleveland, RHP (Central Arizona JC) - JC SOPH (will transfer to U. of New Mexico)