2010 Cubs Draft Ticker Tracker - Day One

ROUND 1 (16): Hayden Simpson, RHP (Southern Arkansas)
R/R, 6'0, 175, 21 years old
COMMENT: College Junior... Features a 91-93 MPH fastball that tops out at 96... Throws both a 82-83 MPH slider and a 78-80 MPH curve... Has a change-up but rarely throws it... Went 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA, 99 IP, 73 H, 35 BB, 131 K, 6 CG and 4 Shutouts at SAU in 2010... Threw 42 consecutive scoreless innings at one point in 2010... Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II All-American and Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year... Was rated the #191 best prospect (6th round talent) by Baseball America pre-draft...

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write-up I found on BA from previous post

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/...

that Epstein and company selected Vitek makes me even more sad.

and the guy (Alex Wimmers) who many of the experts had pegged to land with the Cubs, went #21 to Minne.

inside the ivy says he's more 5'8ish than 6'0

http://twitter.com/insidetheivy/status/156695...

this guy really likes the pick fwiw, makes him and Wilken as the only two

http://twitter.com/tomrkolbe

A White Sox scout told me Simpson is. Clone of Ben Sheets, but with a much better changeup. Trust me, this kid will be great

There's a year-old article on Hayden Simpson entitled, "The Mini-Strasburg?" You may want to check it out:

http://www.baseballdailydigest.com/2009/05/12...

it begs the question, though...why the hell did he stay in Div2 ball after proving himself there? he had to have offers to move up from schools with scholarships to give...

the answer could be in the article

Only through a chance meeting did he even consider his hometown university as the place to continue his career. It took the kind words of his next door neighbor to help him make a decision on just where he would attend school. That next door neighbor was SAU head baseball coach Allen Gum, who got Simpson to put his signature on the dotted line during the early signing period, cementing the foundation for what has been a stellar campaign.

yeah, but c'mon...there's a point where people pay attention to what you're doing in D2 and make offers to move up to the big boys club. there's more than a few guys who started in lower divisions as freshman+ who get invitations from better programs.

it's cool he's close to his coach, but that must have been a hell a relationship.

I don't know the guy of course, and I'm sure we'll get some answer in the next few days, but he wouldn't be the first 18-20 year old to choose to stay close to home.

Close to his girl friend who couldn't pay to go to Texas.

I don't know.

Matt Weiters: .236 .308 .335 .644

Tyler Colvin: .294 .354 .612 .966

In spite of wrongly-biased attacks by the misguided NAVIGATOR and MIKE C, Tim Wilken has been given kudos this last year by every rating system out there, and the beat writers, for resurrecting a horrendous farm system.

Right now there are three rookies performing admirably on the team.

And, some decent players in the pipeline.

I am gonna have to wait and see how this year's draft crap shoot works out before evaluating.

Not sure I understand the logic. If Simpson is the greatest pitcher in the history of MLB and he would have been available for us in the 2nd round (or 3rd or 4th or 5th...), then the pick is a mistake.

Besides, isn't Josh Vitters the correct comparison with Wieters -- I believe they were the same draft class.

Wilken has done well, though our scouting in Asia and Latin America strongly assists his drafts. More importantly though, Wilken does not seem to understand the concept of relative value or the ability to draft the person that is your highest rated player at the last chance he will be available for drafting.

Vitters was a high school grad, Witters college. Big difference.

Wilken is not afraid to take some risks. Halladay is an example of that. I don't have a problem with that.

I agree, but if you are comparing Colvin and Witters, you should compare them based on number of years post-draft. Colvin has been out an extra year.

Taking risks isn't always the right move. Colvin might have been the correct pick based on Wilken's valuation because we didn't have another pick until the 5th round. But here we pick again in about 50 picks and, judging from all rating systems, it appears Simpson would've been available at that time. So the question is, would you rather have Simpson and a first round pick or Simspon and a 2nd round pick? That appears to be the choice and it looks like Wilken chose the latter.

Almost makes me wonder if this is a Signing mandate from the owners box?

First asking Dempster to defer money. Now taking a guy who will likely sign for the lowest amount of any 1st rounder.

of course you would...

if the Cubs were just looking for a signability pick, they could have taken someone that wouldn't have got them so much flak.

unless he is his own agent, he should sign for slot or slightly below.

I think what they do today will illustrate whether they think this guy was the best pick or if they liked him and wanted to go cheap. If they draft some hard signs, like they've been doing for the last few years, then we know this is more a Colvin than a... well maybe Vitters - we don't really have a recent history of being stingy.

This is also the first Ricketts draft

yeah Vitters was the guy they took instead of Wieters, not sure why Colvin is in there.

this isn't Wilken's first rodeo, I know it's hard to fathom for some folks but maybe, just maybe he had a good idea that someone was going to take him before the Cubs next pick.

Merely pointing to the fact that the "highly-touted-can't miss" prospect is being outplayed by a formerly-skinny "unconventional" pick as was Colvin, championed by Wilken.

That's all.

There was a blip somewhere (Levine?) saying part of the reason we took him was because at least one team drafting after us was high on him (FYI)

some very angry people on Twitter that this guy isn't ranked higher by the holy bible of Baseball America.

hell, he isn't ranked high on anyone's holy bible...hehe

i'm not pissed (or mad or irked or whatever), but the whole thing stinks of a money + signability thing.

maybe, have to see what Cubs spend on subsequent rounds though...

http://cubs.scout.com/2/975378.html

Wilken says he would have taken Ike Davis if Mets took Cashner in '08.

O'Connor finally selected #31 by Rays

From John Sickels:

"Roy Halladay was drafted in the first round by the Blue Jays in 1995, out of high school in Arvada, Colorado. The 17th overall pick, he was assigned to the Gulf Coast League and pitched well, going 3-5 in ten games but posting a solid 3.40 ERA and a 48/16 K/BB in 50 innings. I didn't give letter grades to new draft picks back then, but nowadays I'd probably have given him a Grade B at that point. Halladay's fastball was just average at that point, but he had an excellent breaking ball, and scouts felt his velocity would pick up after he matured physically."

"Roy soon became a pretty famous Denver-area ballplayer in his own right. He pitched in 48 games for coach Jim Capra’s Wildcats between 1992 and 1995, going 25-2 with a 0.55 ERA. In his senior season, he allowed just 24 hits and only five earned runs in 63 innings, while striking out 105. He was named All-Conference and All-State for three years, plus League and State MVP twice."

And...per Rob G and Baseball Digest, re: Simpson:

"Simpson is now 21-1 in 23 career starts, and the peripherals were even more dominant in 2009. The righty tossed 101.2 frames, allowing just 27 earned runs. Opponents hit .180 off of him, and he struck 119 batters on the year. He failed to go six innings or more in just three outings, and had 10 or more punch-outs in five games. Simpson threw six complete games (!) and four shutouts, defeating five ranked teams on the year."

So - as I said - you can't be bummed out with this pick, imo.

yeah, but he did it in Div2.

it's like holding the strikeout record in Utah or something...

I don't fully agree with the Roy Halladay comparison, partially because this is a miniature guy (maybe they want him to hang out with Theriot and Fontenot?) without a traditional pitcher's build. But I do agree that I am not bummed out...on draft day, it is easy to believe that the GM knows something we don't and they all will be great. Even if I am being realistic though, it sounds like, at worst, he will be a decent middle reliever or set-up man.

From Keith Law

Just heard a non-100 name for the Yankees here...

FIRE CASHMAN!!

The positives about Simpson are his plus-fastball, clean medical, durability, and consistency from year-to-year (and perhaps signability), while the negatives are his lack of size and that he loses velocity in the 4th or 5th inning. So maybe the Cubs scouts project him as a Huston Street-type closer. And the Cubs have another pitcher in the organization (Tarlandus Mitchell) who is 5'8 but throws a mid-90's fastball, so I don't think lack of size is as big of an issue with the Cubs Scouting Dept. as it might be with some other organizations.

My main concern about selecting Hayden Simpson as a #1 pick is that I hope the Cubs had a REALLY good reason to believe that he would be gone when they pick at #65.

I guess there is just a big difference between the NFL and NBA drafts and the MLB draft, in that two baseball scouts can watch the same pitcher or player on the same day at exactly the same time and leave with two completely opposite opinions.

“I feel Hayden is a potential starter who has four average-to-plus pitches and is very athletic with a good feel for pitching,” said Tim Wilken, director of amateur and professional scouting for the Cubs. “I think we’re fortunate to have received really good coverage from our scouts with this selection.”

and told to Muskat

"This guy just made sense."

well, to their credit...the last "obviously bland" pick they made was colvin...lot of people thought he'd go later. i remember people being especially pissed they didn't take a flyer on kyle drabeck or jeremy jeffress (the drabeck one would have been nice).

not like colvin is some star in the making, though he probably will have a nice chunk of career.

"not like colvin is some star in the making..."

It is too early to tell, either way.

Again, the players that become "stars" are few and far between. The organization has sucked in producing said "stars" for a long time. Well, since 2002-2003 anyway.

However, the main job of all these guys, is to get drafted player into the Majors as a productive player, or for use in a trade to acquire vets. THAT is the gig.

a "nice chunk of a career", as you say, considering all of the layers in minor league ball, etc., is a resounding success. The few creme de la creme players are the minority and not always top draft choices (Bobby Brownlee was THE highly-touted "no-brainer" draft pick. Didn't fare too well).

The Rule 4 draft is completely a crap-shoot - so getting hung up on rankings at this moment is just absurd in my opinion.

sounds to me like that's proof it's a performance enhancing drug.

thank god it's banned. evil, cheating bastards.

"It came as a complete shock," Simpson said on a telephone conference call. "We were hearing second to fifth round."

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagocubs/post/_/id...

Simpson was not ranked highly in Baseball America's projections of the top 200 prospects. But Wilken said one other major league team drafting right after the Cubs was showing major interest in him.

Team behind Cubs snickering into their sleeves.

at least he's old enough that we should know what kind of pitcher he is within the next 2-3 years.

a 21 year old with plus stuff dominating division 2 baseball...how shocking...at least he has some wins vs. teams that mattered scattered in his season.

meh, not like im expecting failure. i don't have a clue what to expect.

Even if someone else was going to take him, does it make sense for the Cubs to take a 2nd to 5th round pick in the first round? There were still a lot of very good pitchers on the board. So even if you really like Simpson, by taking him in the first round, you're missing out on a legit first round pick.

Maybe Wilken knows something we don't (that seems likely), but on it's face, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Even if someone else was going to take him, does it make sense for the Cubs to take a 2nd to 5th round pick in the first round?

if they felt he was better than the other 1st round picks, sure.

I'm not overly concerned with what BA or other draft experts sources fed them.

So, you would rather have Simpson and a 2nd round pick than Simpson and a first round pick?

Keith Law: Law: I haven't heard anyone mention Simpson as a potential first-rounder this entire spring -- one club I know had him going in the fourth-fifth rounds -- and I can't imagine he wouldn't have made it to Day 2 had the Cubs not taken him. He's 90-92 with a decent curve and average-or-better command and control.

So, you would rather have Simpson and a 2nd round pick than Simpson and a first round pick?

I dunno. I'd rather trust guys that take chances and seem to have a clue with what they're doing, rather then follow the masses. Let's call that guy Tim Wilken.

if Keith Law and BA and all of them were so well connected and informed, they'd do better than 20-30% correct on their mock drafts. Or they'd be running the drafts themselves. And his scouting report doesn't jive with what the Cubs have for him (tops out at 97, curve, slider and change).

to sum up: Tim Wilken = really good scouting director, he knows more than you (or me or them).

Hey man. Keith Law gets paid to talk about the draft. Wilken only gets paid to choose players in the draft. Clearly Law knows more than Wilken.

I just watched an mlb.com clip where Callis says Simpson is a lefty, and Mayo doesn't correct him. That's how much those guys know.

That's how much those guys know.

Why would you expect them to know anything about this guy? Nobody here did either.

I'm sure the pick surprised them and being on TV isn't that easy especially if you don't do it a lot. As I mentioned, Callis corrected himself immediately on twitter.

Tim Wilken is very good and does know more than me for sure. But BA's rankings are based on relationships with scouts throughout the game and, while they likely don't tell BA everything, they also would not universally lie to the extreme that someone who is one of the top 16 players in the country will end up ranked at 191.

You are misstating the point -- it is not a comparison of Jim Callis and Keith Law with Tim Wilken. It is a comparison of their sources, which include scouts for every team in baseball, and Tim Wilken. Most of those scouts would not have picked Colvin as high as Wilken did and perhaps they were wrong. But those scouts also wouldn't have paid 7 figure bonus to Smardizaja and they would have been right.

In fact, I will state right now that if over the last 15 years, for most teams, if that team always drafted the player that was highest ranked at the time by BA rather than who they did draft, they would have drafted better than they did -- it is the consensus of scouts of every team and that is likely better than the 2-3 scouts for your team who sees a player.

A lot of people think that Samardijza got a huge signign bonus. He didn't.

It would be pretty easy to test your theory, and I am 100% certain that teams have beat the pre-draft rankings. Ever hear of Albert Pujols? He's done so much by himself that the Cardinals would probably beat their "projected" pick. There was one Cubs scout who was crazy about Greg Maddux and recommended him being a #1 pick, who crapped himself when the Cubs passed on him. Turns out he was right, just like the guy who found Pujols.

And then you've got to factor in signability...

Wilken is a baseball's equvillant to Bill Polian, he just drafts on a different board then everybody else. I dont think I have liked a 1st round pick intially yet but all of them seem to be progressing and everyone's view on the system has changed from a lower-tier one to a mid-tier one and he only has 2.5 draft classes (06 we had 2 picks in the first five rounds so its hard to say its a full class) in yet.

Wilken is a baseball's equvillant to Bill Polian, he just drafts on a different board then everybody else.

I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I'd sure like to believe so...good analogy.

his splits if they matter, not that they should for a Division II guy

http://www.collegesplits.com/players2010/simp...

that is a kick ass site

Where do you find all of these obscure sites, ROB G?

in that case, someone linked to it on twitter.

otherwise black magic.

otherwise black magic

gay witchcraft

~fixed~

list of guys that could fall into Cubs lap tomorrow

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Eibner apparently wants to be a hitter, but teams want to draft him as pitcher, sounds like a perfect NL candidate

then they should have picked up my man crush of the draft. =p

seriously, though...he had a next-to-no chance of being a cub seeing as he projects for 2 positions the cubs don't have a pressing need for (3rd/corner-OF) and he's got a hell of a payday waiting for him. there were teams that wanted him as a pitcher, but more want him for a bat...nice insurance on talent/investment, though.

I predict the 2b from West Virginia (who is also about 5'9 or so (I believe) -- Wilken might want a team of short people.) He is a hitter without a position and reminds me of someone like Fontenot or DJ Lemeiux...and someone we will take in the second round. Ranking-wise, that is a good pick at that time.

If that's the case, and it ends up working out, maybe Michael Lewis should write his next book on Tim Wilken.

Midgets are the new OBP.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

"This guy just made sense," Wilken said Monday. "They can say what they want to, the prognosticators. It was very, very simple, but you had to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, this is almost too good to be true.'"

video as well at that link, Callis mistakes him for a LHP, but corrected himself later on Twitter

oh, the prognosticators!

philistines!

Hopefully he at least signs quickly and for slot (or maybe less). And hopefully we then dole out money (as we have in the past) for players that are tough signs that fall for money reasons.

Simpson already said that signing wasn't going to be a problem.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-0...

says they liked Grandal but after Reds took him, Simpson was there guy.

hold on...they were prepared to drop grandal-level loot, but their fallback was simpson?

they must REALLY like this kid...a lot.

My thought exactly, this isn't a case of the Cubs or Ricketts not wanting to pay first round money - Wilken just liked the guy better than anyone else on the board and didn't think he'd last until the 65th pick.

This isn't like the NFL or NBA, there's no "managing the draft", you take the guy you want each time you pick and it sounds like that's what they did. If he didn't some other team would be getting grief for picking this kid in the first round or supplemental.

This isn't like the Colvin pick, though where we went 4 rounds between picks. Colvin was not going to last until the 5th round, this guy may have lasted until the second.

There's a function of calculating the chance that he's going to last until the next round, versus his perceived value over who else the Cubs liked in the first round. You also should factor in the money saved there, though I doubt the Cubs decision making process is that analytical.

Sounds to me similar to what was said about the last couple picks (I'm thinking Jackson and Cashner specifically), basically that they were more polished than some of the competition.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm haunted by a ghost wearing a Cubs jersey with a 22 on the back, and it makes me think that a little less flashy is okay. Someone said earlier on here that the point is to make it to the show and contribute, and I think Wilken puts the bulk of his chips on guys who have the highest chance of doing that vs. the high-risk/high-reward type that make BA's top 50....

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4182

This will be another test for Wilken, a fun, roguish type guy who doesn’t give a damn what you, I or Baseball America thinks. His No. 1 picks with the Cubs have been Tyler Colvin, Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson and now Simpson.

14 of the first 32 picks are pitchers!

How the hell do the Angels get TWO draft picks in the first round after winning the AL Pennant?!

ROB G, I am holding your wife responsible for this!!

by not winning the AL Pennant?

and they had 3 picks plus 2 supplemental round picks as well for for a total of 5 (lackey and figgins were Type A free agents).

If only we could get some compensation picks. I wouldn't mind having a couple extra picks in these early rounds.

Who all did we decline to offer arb?
Harden
Gregg
Wood

I know there are more players - I also remember all the perceived risk that one of them might just accept, but damn it looks like the Angels have it figured out with 5 picks before the second round

Figgins and Lackey were no-brainers to offer arbitration too and of course they got lucky that both signed with teams that didn't have protected picks.

here's what I've put together over the years...

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Free_age...

Type A

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_Typ...

Type B

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Type_B

Oh yeah....they only made it to the NLCS. Yankees...doh!

It is your wife's fault. Still!

The Angels switched leagues?

ALCS...

Although in the "realignment", expect:

MLB WEST:

Dodgers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Padres
Giants

On the subject of first rounders, Josh Vitters is dying at double A with three singles in his last 40 at bats. Overall at Tennessee he's at .211/.250/.303 (.553 OPS). He may have to follow Ryan Flaherty back down to Daytona. (It worked for Flaherty.)

Put it this way, Vitters is not putting pressure on Aramis, or making it easier for the Cubs to negotiate with Ramirez if he threatens to opt out.

I don't think anybody expected Vitters to put pressure on Aramis going into the year and nothing's changed. He's still a long-term investment whose had his share of bumps in the road in the minors.

Well, so was Tyler Colvin until the Cubs figured out how to instantly beef up a ballplayer with 25 lbs of muscle. I'm sure all the skinny 6'3" Josh Vitters needs is a few weeks with Tim Buss and he'll turn into a 225 lb hitting machine as well.

He is still only 20 and has time, heck even if he doesnt hit the show until the super two cutoff period in 2012 he would only be shy of his 23rd birthday by 6 weeks. Looking at how the top 10 played out after Vitters got picked (Moskos as a college pitcher still isnt out of double-A, Weiters doesnt look like a cant miss guy right now, Detwiler and Parker have had major arm surgery, LaPorta's power hasnt translated to the MLB level, Weathers cant crack a Rockies bullpen that isnt very good and yeah Bumgardner would have been a better pick). Looking back at the first and compensory round about the only guys that are arguably better picks after Vitters are Bumgardner, Weiters, Heyward (dont know if he would have signed with anyone else but the Braves), Porcello, Revere, Cecil and Hunter.

Wilken also said there was at least one other club that had Simpson on its radar Monday. That club “had some extra picks not that far away from us and he was in their mix.

*cough* Angels *cough*

From Rogers this morning:

The Cubs sort of stumbled onto Simpson on the reports of their area scout for southwest Arkansas, Jim Crawford -- or "Crawdaddy,'' as scouting director Tim Wilken calls him -- and every time a different scout looked at him he continued to look better. He has a Tim Lincecum-style delivery, which roving pitching director Mark Riggins graded as a 100 on a scale of 1-100, and throws four quality pitches, including a fastball that hit 97 in games the Cubs scouted.

I'm okay with Wilken making these unexpected picks, because he seems to be doing okay. I'm just thanking the heavens right now we didn't have the first pick.

EDIT: BTW, regarding size, Greg Maddux wasn't exactly J.R. Richard.

BTW, regarding size, Greg Maddux wasn't exactly J.R. Richard.
---
and Maddux was a 2nd round pick (1984 draft); Drew Hall was the Cubs 1st rounder.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index...

DREW HALL??!!

Was this an Ed Lynch pick?

Dallas Green and Gordon Goldsberry

If I am not mistaken, that was perhaps the best pitching talent (in terms of MLB production) drafted by one team in major league history. Hall made the majors, but was slightly overshadowed by the 600 or so wins from Maddux and Moyer. Unfortunate that most of those 600 wins did not come for the Cubs.

You just HAD to remind us?

September 2012

Jamie Moyer wins his 300th game

bank it

i'm going out on a limb, but I think someone named carlos will represent cubs at all-star game .

Dallas Green and Gordon Goldsberry

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