2010 Rule 4 Draft
The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 7 PM ET tomorrow (Monday June 7th) and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. The first round (plus the 1st supplemental round) will be televised “live” on the MLB network Monday night, with the balance of the draft to be conducted via conference call (rounds 2-30 starting at noon ET on Tuesday, and rounds 31-50 starting at noon ET on Wednesday).
The Cubs will have the 16th pick in the 1st round, followed by the 65th overall pick (2nd round), pick #97 overall (3rd round), and #130 overall (4th round), and then every 30 picks (#160, #190, #220, #250, 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).
Projected 1st round picks “connected” to the Cubs in recent mock drafts include catcher Justin O’Conner (Cowan HS - Muncie, IN), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (The Citadel), RHP Alex Wimmers (Ohio State), and RHP Karsten Whitson (Chipley HS - Chipley, FL). O‘Connor has one of the best arms in the draft, and could be moved to RHP if he doesn’t hit enough to stay behind the plate. The fact that the Cubs think nothing of moving a catcher to pitcher makes O‘Conner the “logical“ Cubs choice if he is available when the Cubs pick at #16.
I strongly suspect the Cubs will take a catcher somewhere in the first two rounds (at #16 or at #65), with LH hitting Kellin Deglan (a teammate of Cubs 2009 5th round pick SS Wes Darvill on the 2009 Canadian Junior National Team) a likely target if he is available at #65 and if the Cubs don't draft O'Conner in the 1st round. Switch-hitting catcher Micah Gibbs (LSU) is another possibility for the Cubs at #65 if the Cubs don't get a shot at O'Conner or Deglan .
The Cubs did give an extended work-out to Big South Conference Player of the Year (and Illinois native) CF Nate Roberts (High Point U.) at Fitch Park on Friday (he even played in an EXST game, getting an RBI single and two stolen bases), but he probably wouldn‘t get selected until maybe the 3rd or 4th round (if he‘s still available).
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. 2009 31st round pick 1B Andrew Clark (U. of Louisville), 20th round pick LHP Eric Ericson (U. of Miami), 34th round pick RHP Rett Varner (UT-Arlington), and 16th round pick OF Keenyn Walker (Central Arizona JC) are four players who were drafted but not signed by the Cubs last year who might get the Cubs attention again this time around (Clark reportedly turned down a six-figure offer from the Cubs at the deadline last August).
Last year, the Cubs signed 31 of their 50 selections, including their first 12 picks, and 25 of their first 29. Of the 31 who signed, two had their contracts voided, four have subsequently been released, and one retired. 14 of the Cubs 50 selections in the 2009 Rule 4 Draft were high school players, and the Cubs signed four of them (3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk, 5th round pick SS Wes Darvill, 7th round selection IF-OF Blair Springfield, and 19th round pick C Sergio Burruel). The Cubs selected only eight high school players in the 2007 draft and eight in the 2008 draft (16 combined) and signed only five of the 16 (3B Josh Vitters and RHP Ryan Acosta in 2007, and C-IF Matt Cerda, INF Logan Watkins, and RHP Tarlandus Mitchell in 2008). The Cubs have also given $6M+ in signing bonuses to amateur players from Korea, Australia, and Taiwan over the past three 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 fifth 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
2009 RULE 4 DRAFT
1. * Brett Jackson, OF (Cal) – SIGNED (CF at Daytona)
2. D. J. Lemahieu, SS (LSU) - SIGNED (INF at Daytona)
3. * Austin Kirk, P (Owasso HS - Owasso, OK) - SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
4. * Chris Rusin, P (U. of Kentucky) – SIGNED (at Daytona)
5. * Wes Darvill, SS (Brentwood SS - Langley, BC) - SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
6. * Brooks Raley, P/OF (Texas A&M) - SIGNED (LHP at Daytona)
7. Blair Springfield, SS (MacArthur HS - Decatur, IL) - SIGNED (IF-OF at Fitch Park EXST)
8. Robert Whitenack, P (SUNY - Old Westbury) - SIGNED (at Peoria)
9. * Richard Jones, C (The Citadel) – SIGNED (1B at Fitch Park EXST)
10. Charles Thomas, 3B (Edward Waters College) - SIGNED (at Peoria)
11. * John Mincone, P (Suffolk County CC) – SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
12. Runey Davis, OF (Howard JC) – SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
13. Chad Taylor, SS/P (Jefferson HS – Tampa, FL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at U. of South Florida)
14. Danny Keefe, P (U. of Tampa) – SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
15. Cody Shields, OF (Auburn U. - Montgomery) – SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
16. # Keenyn Walker, OF (Judge Memorial Catholic HS – Salt Lake City, UT) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Central Arizona JC)
17. B. J. Dail, P (Mt. Olive College) - SIGNED (contract voided - subsequently signed with Gateway Grizzlies - Frontier League)
18. Matt Williams, C (Duke) - SIGNED (retired post-2009)
19. * Sergio Burruel, C (Trevor Browne HS – Phoenix, AZ) - SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
20. * Eric Erickson, P (U. of Miami) - DID NOT SIGN
21. Greg Rohan, 1B (Kent State) – SIGNED (1B-3B-LF at Peoria)
22. D. J. Fitzgerald, SS (Dyersburg State CC) – SIGNED (LF at Peoria)
23. Jeffrey Pruitt, OF (Cal State – Northridge) - SIGNED (contract voided - subsequently signed with Florida Marlins)
24. Gerardo Esquivel, P (De La Salle Institute – Chicago, IL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Kansas Sate)
25. * Justin Bour, 1B (George Mason) – SIGNED (at Peoria)
26. Steve Grife, P (Mercyhurst College) – SIGNED (at Peoria)
27. Corey Martin, P (Western Carolina) - SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)
28. Jordan Petraitis, 3B (Miami U. - Ohio) – SIGNED (released March 2010)
29. Tim Clubb, P (Missouri State) – SIGNED (released April 2010 - subsequently signed with Gateway Grizzlies - Frontier League)
30. Daniel Sheppard, C (Downers Grove North HS – Downers Grove, IL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at U. of Iowa)
31. * Andrew Clark, 1B (U. of Louisville) - DID NOT SIGN
32. Trey McNutt, P (Shelton State CC) - SIGNED (at Peoria)
33. * John Lambert, P (NC State) - DID NOT SIGN
34. Rett Varner, P/OF (UT – Arlington) - DID NOT SIGN
35. Kevin David, C (Oklahoma State) - DID NOT SIGN
36. Brandon May, 2B (U. of Alabama) – SIGNED (3B-1B at Fitch Park EXST)
37. * Peter Mooney, SS (Palm Beach CC) - DID NOT SIGN
38. * Bobby Wagner, 3B (Panola JC) - SIGNED (C-1B at Fitch Park EXST)
39. Nick Struck, P (Mt. Hood CC) - SIGNED (at Peoria)
40. Eric Whaley, P (Cardinal Gibbons HS – Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at LSU)
41. Jake Schmidt, P (Concordia U. – St. Paul) - SIGNED (released March 2010 - subsequently signed with St. Paul Saints - Northern League)
42. Trey Ford, SS (Chaparral HS – Scottsdale, AZ) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at South Mountain CC)
43. Colin Kaepernick, P (U. of Nevada) - DID NOT SIGN
44. Frank DeJiulio, P (Daytona State CC) - DID NOT SIGN
45. Addison Dunn, P (Warren Area HS – Warren, PA) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Kent State)
46. * Glenn Cook, OF (U. of Miami) - SIGNED (released post-2009)
47. Joey Jocketty, 3B (Ladue Horton Watkins HS – St. Louis, MO) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Miami U. - Ohio)
48. John Nasshan, P (Niles West HS – Skokie, IL) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Bradley)
49. Christian Segar, CF (McQuaid Jesuit HS – Brighton, NY) - DID NOT SIGN (enrolled at Bradley)
50. Zach Cleveland, P (Central Arizona JC) - DID NOT SIGN (transferred to U. of New Mexico)
* Daley Cox, P (Santa Fe CC) - SIGNED (released post-2009)
Jesse Ginley, P (St. Petersburg CC) - SIGNED (at Fitch Park EXST)