2010 Rule 4 Draft Update

With one month left until the deadline to sign players selected in last month's 2010 Rule 4 Draft, here are the draft picks and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) who have been signed by the Cubs, and those who remain unsigned.


So far, the Cubs have signed 23 of their 50 draft picks, plus three NDFA. The Cubs typically sign about 30 of their 50 picks, so expect the Cubs to sign maybe another seven players before the deadline.


In some cases, the Cubs are scouting draft picks who are playing in summer collegiate "wood bat" leagues or with high school all-star squads to determine if the player is worth what the player is asking. In other cases, the Cubs may be waiting to sign a player to an "over-slot" bonus until closer to the deadline so as to not have too much of a negative impact on other clubs who are still negotiating with players selected in that same round.


Generally speaking, players selected on the 3rd day of the draft (round 31 and below) are either "fall-back" options in case players selected in higher rounds are not signed, or "long-shots" with low market value, or players who are thought to be virtually unsignable due to a solid college commitment.


NOTE: The 8/15 deadline does not apply to college seniors selected in last month's draft, but the Cubs have already signed all of the college seniors they drafted.


2010 RULE 4 DRAFT PICKS SIGNED:
1. HAYDEN SIMPSON, RHP (Southern Arkansas) – at AZL Cubs (DL - illness)
3. MICAH GIBBS, C (LSU) - at BOISE
4. HUNTER ACKERMAN, LHP (Louisburg JC) – at AZL Cubs
5. MATT SZCZUR, OF (Villanova) – at BOISE
8. CAM GREATHOUSE, LHP (Gulf Coast CC) – at BOISE
10. AARON KURCZ, RHP (College of Southern Nevada) – at BOISE
11. ERIC JOKISCH, LHP (Northwestern) – at BOISE
12. AUSTIN REED, RHP (Rancho Cucamonga HS – Rancho Cucamonga, CA) – at AZL Cubs
13. PIERRE LePAGE, 2B (Connecticut) – at BOISE
14. COLIN RICHARDSON, RHP (Winter Haven HS – Winter Haven, FL) – at AZL Cubs
15. ELLIOT SOTO, SS (Creighton) – at BOISE
16. RYAN HARTMAN, RHP (Mt. Zion HS - Mt. Zion, IL) – at AZL Cubs (DL – unknown)
19. DUSTIN FITZGERALD, RHP (Hill JC) – at BOISE
20. RYAN CUNEO, 1B (Delaware) – at AZL Cubs
22. JEFF VIGURS, C (Bryant U.) – at BOISE
23. MATT LOOSEN, RHP (Jacksonville U.) – at BOISE
24. DUSTIN GEIGER, 3B (Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) – at AZL Cubs
25. ERIC RICE, RHP (Palm Beach State CC) – at AZL Cubs
28. JOE ZELLER, RHP (The Master’s College) – at AZL Cubs
32. BRENT EBINGER, LHP (Lambuth U.) – at BOISE
34. DUSTIN HARRINGTON, INF (East Carolina) – at AZL Cubs
37. CHAD NOBLE, C (Northwestern) – at AZL Cubs
41. DALLAS BEELER, RHP (Oral Roberts) – NOT ASSIGNED YET


2010 NON-DRAFTED FREE-AGENTS (NDFA) SIGNED (ALL WERE COLLEGE SENIORS):
DOUG CHERRY, 2B (U. of Washington) - at AZL Cubs
ANTHONY GIANSANTI, OF (Siena) - at AZL Cubs
JAKE McALOOSE, 3B (Old Dominion) - at AZL Cubs


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


2010 DRAFT PICKS STILL UNSIGNED:
2. REGGIE GOLDEN, RF (Wetumpka HS – Wetumpka, AL) – will attend U. of Alabama if he does not sign
NOTE: Cubs will receive 2011 2nd round pick one slot lower than where they selected in 2nd round in 2010 if Golden does not sign
6. IVAN DeJESUS, CF (Cupeyville School – San Juan, PR) – will attend UAB if he does not sign
7. BEN WELLS, RHP (Bryant HS – Bryant, AR) – will attend U. of Arkansas if he does not sign
9. KEVIN RHODERICK, RHP (Oregon State)
17. STEVEN BROOKS, CF (Wake Forest)
18. BROOKS PINCKARD, RHP/OF (Baylor)
21. CODY COX, RHP (Grassfield HS – Chesapeake, VA) – will attend Old Dominion if he does not sign
26. DANNY MUNO, SS (Fresno State)
27. BRYAN HARPER, LHP (College of Southern Nevada) – will transfer to U. of South Carolina if he does not sign
29. CASEY HARMAN, LHP (Clemson)
30. KARSTEN STRIEBY, 1B (Arizona Western JC)
31. BENITO SANTIAGO, Jr, 1B (Lon Morris JC)
33. MATT STITES, RHP (Jefferson CC) – will transfer to U. of Missouri if he does not sign
35. CHRIS ANDERSON, RHP (Centennial HS – Blaine, MN) – will attend Jacksonville U. if he does not sign
36. TYLER BREMER, RHP (Yavapai JC) – will transfer to Baylor if he does not sign
38. JEREMY FITZGERALD, RHP (Patrick Henry CC)
39. CASEY LUCCHESE, RHP (College of Charleston)
40. BRIAN SMITH, LHP (St. Mary’s Catholic SS – Pickering, ON) – will attend Volunteer State CC if he does not sign
42. TREY NIELSEN, RHP (Skyline HS – Salt Lake City, UT) – will attend U. of Utah if he does not sign
43. DANNY WINKLER, RHP (Parkland JC) – will transfer to Central Florida if he does not sign
44. JAKE ROGERS, 1B (St. Petersburg CC)
45. DEVON AUSTIN, C (Couer D’Alene HS – Couer D’Alene, ID) – will attend New Mexico State if he does not sign
46. JERAD EICKHOFF, RHP (Olney Central CC)
47. CLAYTON CRUM, RHP (Klein HS – Harris County, TX) – will attend Ohio State if he does not sign
48. ERIC PAULSON, 3B (Fremd HS – Palatine, IL) – will attend Bradley U. if he does not sign
49. BRYCE SHAFER, RHP (Valparaiso)
50. ERIC JAGIELO, SS (Downers Grove North HS – Downers Grove, IL) – will attend Notre Dame if he does not sign


 

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Comments

10th round pick RHP Aaron Kurcz has probably had the most-impressive debut (so far) among the Cubs 2010 Rule 4 Draft picks, striking out 20 in just 9.2 IP (combined) at AZL Cubs and Boise. Kurcz is a closer who throws mid-90's gas and an effective breaking ball, and he could end up at Peoria or even Daytona by the end of the 2010 season.

Kurcz was a teammate of 2010 overall #1 draft pick Bryce Harper at the College of Southern Nevada, after spending his freshman year at the Air Force Academy. He would have transferred to Oral Roberts U. if he hadn't signed with the Cubs.

FUTURE NICKNAME IF HE MAKES IT TO WRIGLEY FIELD... "Billy Goat"

Lou’s finally using a stable lineup...

CarrieMuskat: #cubs lineup sat is 2b riot, rf colvin, 1b lee, 3b ramy, cf byrd, lf sori, c soto, ss castro, p wells

Here's to hoping Theriot finally stops crapping his pants with two outs and RISP.

Castro is reaching base in front of him more and more.

"the Cubs are getting close to signing their No. 2 draft pick, Reggie Golden, an outfielder with power out of Wetumpka High School in Alabama."

From today's Bruce Miles Blog.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4405

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/7/15/1571...

"Another interesting recent promotion is Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson, hitting .327/.435/.519 in 14 games since moving up to Double-A Tennessee two weeks ago. He'd hit .316/.420/.517 in 67 games for Daytona, so his production has remained virtually the same, obviously an excellent sign. Don't forget five steals in six attempts since moving up. Jackson's strike zone judgment (a weakness in college) has been sharp as a pro, with a 51/75 BB/K this year in 315 at-bats. The strikeout rate is maybe a bit higher than ideal, but with all the walks and his overall production, I'm not worried about it. Reviews of his athleticism, outfield range, and arm strength are all positive. Given Chicago's propensity to move prospects quickly, he could be in the Wrigley outfield less than a year from now. Possible comp: about midway between Jim Edmonds and the non-50-homer version of Brady Anderson."

Phil or Anybody, any gossip on whether Reed, Geiger, Beeler, or Loosen got paid anything beyond the standard $100-150 type range?

I hope Simpson is OK. He's on the DL because he got sick, that can certainly happen. But isn't common for 21-year-old young men to be sick for a month.

Wilkin was excited to see him throwing hard twice in the JC tournament, IIRC both the Friday and then again on the following Monday in relief. It would seem typically Cub-like for him to come out of that with a sore arm. A lot more convenient to report him as DL because he's sick then to make this really surprising draft pick, and then have to report that he's on DL because he's got a bad elbow before he even gets started.

I'm not saying he's got a bad arm, I have no idea. It isn't probable. But it seems perhaps no less improbably than being sick for a month.

In any case, I'll be mighty happy if/when he shows up and looks healthy. Until he does, I'll wonder.

Submitted by craig on Sat, 07/17/2010 - 1:40pm.

I hope Simpson is OK. He's on the DL because he got sick, that can certainly happen. But isn't common for 21-year-old young men to be sick for a month.

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

CRAIG: Hayden Simpson has been held back just to make sure he's back to full-strength before he gets into game action.

Personally I don't care if Simpson doesn't pitch at all during the balance of the 2010 regular season, just so long as he's healthy for the start of the AZ Instructional League in September.

It's actually not the worst thing for a pitcher to begin his pro career in Instructs. That way the pitcher doesn't have to risk developing bad habits at Boise that have to be undone later. It certainly didn't hurt Nick Struck that he signed late and began his pro career in Instructs. It's a good place to start. And the fewer innings a pitcher throws in June-July-August, the more gas he'll have in the tank for September-October.

damn u Barrett!!!

um, Soto.

-after wild pitch-

aw jeez, a week of Koyie Hill now.

Is that what folks mean when they say 'the wheels fell off'???

Ugh

In other news, joining Koyie in the game will be Cashner as the new closer

Piniella was quoted as saying "In light of our new direction in the second half, we decided to give the young man a chance."

boy that escalated quickly, really got out of hand fast...I think I saw Piniella throw a trident.

Did I say Cashner? I meant Russell.

Oh, nope, I was right with Cashner. Whew!

Castro on the other hand. Wow!

I feel this is a good time to point out that Marmol has like literally over 16Ks per 9 right now, is prone to wildness on occasion, and we have won the first two of the series. This sucks, but let's not call for Marmol's head or anything just yet...

If not Marmol's head, how about Teflon Larry's? What does the pitching coach do with his time, if he's not teaching his closer how to throw a fastball in the strike zone? Is guiding Zambrano toward mediocrity a full-time job?

Marmol and Zambrano have similar mechanical problems and control problems. Another thing they have in common is LR as their only ML coach.

Or does LR still get credit for the performance of pitchers who learned their trade long before they crossed his path, guys like Lilly and Dempster and Silva?

Meanwhile, Koyie Hill makes himself useful by working with pitchers and stressing a pitching philosophy and in general doing the job of the pitching coach, who is MIA. Rothschild's philosophy, if you can call it that, is keep throwing the same pitch until they hit it.

But if you don't like Hill, Rob, I can think of four catchers at Iowa and Tennessee who would have made that play.

/facepalm

"But if you don't like Hill, Rob, I can think of four catchers at Iowa and Tennessee who would have made that play."

Yep. And those same guys don't make that play sometimes, too.

So, what are Zambrano and Marmol's identical mechanical problems that can be fixed without taking something away from their stuff? Because I've been under the impression that Marmol's wildness is partly why he's so damn hard to hit.

"And those same guys don't make that play sometimes, too."

The very next batter, the lead run comes in on a wild pitch, which was a waist-high fastball inside, not a slider in the dirt. I think a good catcher gets that one, too, although it was a tougher chance than the relatively easy play on the throw to the plate.

I don't know much, I'll admit, about the gloves of Robinson, Clevenger and Chirinos, although the latter two are converted middle infielders, which puts them a notch above Soto off the bat. Castillo's defense was described by Fleita last season as "off the charts."

A good catcher makes that play, pure and simple. He had plenty of time to field the ball. He just got nervous and missed it. There is a reason why, until very recently, Soto came out of games in late innings. Then the Cubs got desperate for runs, and Soto started hitting. But catching is a defensive position, first.

Good catchers miss that play once in a while too, get distracted, take their eyes off the ball as the runner comes in, try to get in front of the plate before they have the ball in the glove, don't get the ball square enough in that big mitt. I've seen Henry Blanco miss very similar catches several times on WGN. It happens. I'm not about to judge a guys defense on one inning, one day. Soto's not the best defensive catcher, but I'd rate him right around average. And he's got a well above average bat.

"Good catchers miss that play once in a while too..."

Very, very seldom. A Molina? No. McCann? Nope. The second stringers? OK.

If you don't like lazy defensive plays, you're not going to like Castillo.

You don't know anything about catching.

A wild fastball is the most difficult ball to catch (well... maybe other than a knuckle ball). You expect off speed/breaking pitches to be wild, you don't expect fastballs to be thrown to a completely different spot than expected. And with Marmol, it is impossible to predict where a ball is going to go, which makes his hard fastballs even more difficult to catch.

The fact that you think that Koyie Hill is a better option than Soto is hilarious.

I don't know much, I'll admit, about the gloves of Robinson, Clevenger and Chirinos

But because they are in the minors, you will assume that they are awesome both offensively and defensively, even thought you refuse to look at the context (age, level, peripheral stats, etc).

Have you ever even seen a minor league game?

Now... for what its worth, Soto should have made that play. I think that we all agree. But Koyie Hill has made some pretty big mistakes this year too, and being that Soto is one of the best offensive catchers in baseball, to sit him for a terrible hitting catcher that isn't much better defensively is indefensible.

Catching is a defensive position, first. I would say it's about 75% defense. For the sake of comparison, shortstop would be about 65% defense, while pitching is 97% defense, even in the NL.

So imagine you had said --

"Zambrano is one of the best offensive pitchers in baseball, to sit him for a terrible hitting pitcher that isn't much better on the mound is indefensible."

That would be 97% ridiculous. What you said was only 75% ridiculous.

Here's another one. Joe Girardi was the Cub first-string catcher for one season, 1991. In '92, he shared the job with Rick Wilkins. By '93, Wilkins had slugged (30 HR) his way into the everyday lineup and Girardi was on his way out. Or, to put it another way,

"Wilkins was one of the best offensive catchers in baseball, to sit him for a terrible hitting catcher that wasn't much better defensively would have been indefensible."

Good teams know the right mix of defense/offense in a catcher. Girardi never hit double-digit HRs in his career, but he was a starter in '96 for the first Yankee team in 18 years to win the WS, and he contributed to three championship teams. Yadier Molina has never had double-digit HRs and he averages about six, but most people acknowledge that he's the second MVP on his team, a perennial winner.

I like Soto as a hitter, although I don't love him--his swing looks a bit loopy to me. Hamels was throwing mostly offspeed pitches yesterday but I noticed he threw three straight fastballs to Soto, as though he was the one Cub hitter who couldn't catch up to it. But Soto has done a nice job this year of laying off close pitches and earning lots of walks and, more importantly, hitter's counts. Soto is a smart hitter, a smart player, a good player. He should have significant trade value. There are a lot of teams around--not necessarily good teams--that will covet a power-hitting catcher like Soto.

What were the computations that you used to come up with those percentages and apply them to pitcher, catcher and shortstop?

You can't just throw out a number - 75% - and think that that makes things clearer. How do you measure offense and defense to weigh this way?

How about catcher A who hits .150 but is really good defensively, maybe twice as good as catcher B who hits .330. Which one do you start?

The Yankees? Joe Girardi? He hit .294 in 1996, a career-high (even higher than his years in Colorado) and about 30 points above his career average. That's why he started. And he still only had 422 at-bats, as he split time with Jim Leyritz. Girardi had less than 400 at-bats in 1997 as he split time with Jorge Posada. Girardi then became the back-up to Posada in 1998 and 1999 before he became a free agent and the Yankees didn't resign him. Posada is a butcher at the plate. The Yankees are the worst example of a defensive-first attitude towards catcher.

From 1992-1995 they had Mike Stanley and Jim Leyritz as their catchers because they can both mash. They then had Girardi and Leyritz, Girardi and Posada, and then Posada and a bunch of back-ups for the next decade+.

You can take Girardi's .666 career OPS with superior defense and I will take Posada and his career .859 OPS any day of the week. All else equal, I bet I win more games.

Obviously I made up the numbers. It doesn't really matter if they're off by 10%. The point is that there are numbers that dictate when you play Catcher A even though he is not as good a hitter as Catcher B.

I'm more interested in the way people address problems than the exact formulas they use. There is a tendency on TCR to ask a particular question when deciding who ought to get playing time, and it strikes me as an odd question: who would I rather have on my fantasy team? Obviously, Soto would win a lot of those head-to-heads. But real baseball, where you have to field throws to the plate cleanly, is different.

I admire your wide-ranging knowledge of players and teams and enjoy eliciting these responses from you. I would just throw in that Girardi was involved, as catcher or manager, in four of the Yankees' last five championship seasons. It just struck me at the time, and still does--and did again in 2006 when the Cubs interviewed Girardi for manager--that he was good enough for the Yankees, but not the Cubs.

I think everyone here would agree with you that "there are numbers that dictate when you play Catcher A even though he is not as good a hitter as Catcher B." But I also think nearly everyone here would agree that the numbers (defensive and offensive) for Hill and Soto right now do not dictate playing Hill over Soto. The defensive upgrade would be marginal and offensive downgrade would be significant. For reference, Soto's career OPS is .828, Molina's is .684, and Hill's is .581. Hill would basically be the worst offensive starter - by a sizable margin - at any position in major league baseball if he played regularly.

I don't think I've ever actually said that Hill should replace Soto as a starter. Remember a month-or-so ago when Lou said that Soto "has to hit" if he wants to play? I pretty much agree with that. Hill doesn't have to hit, but Soto does, in order to play.

Soto has been hitting, so fine, up to a point. But I keep coming back to the fact that catching is not like playing first or left. It's too important a position to judge a guy by his OPS. You could play a Ryan Doumit behind the plate to generate a few offensive sparks, if you're a last-place team and you're trying to get people in the stadium, win or lose.

I'm really more interested in Castillo and Chirinos than Hill, and I think of Hill as a backup and a mentor to the catcher who would replace Soto if and when the Cubs to decide to upgrade the position defensively.

if and when the Cubs to decide to upgrade the position defensively.

Let me correct that statement a little bit:

"if and when the Cubs to decide to upgrade the position defensively [and downgrade the position offensively]."

You keep using Girardi and the Yankees as an example. Do you think that Posada is great defensively? Or even significantly better than Soto?

I'd just like to add to this that there are no guarantees that Castillo will ever be an upgrade to Soto. He has the physical tools, but the reports from AZ and others have consistently been that he's very raw defensively.

Chirinos, who knows? And who knows whether he can hit a lick above AA ball? (I do think it's time for the Cubs to at least get him to AAA or something though. He's old.)

Catching is a defensive position, first. I would say it's about 75% defense.

Says who? You? The same guy who seriously believes that catchers make a pitcher throw harder?

You are the only person connected with baseball who would rather start Koyie Hill over Geovany Soto at catcher. And please tell me you are not comparing Yadier Molina's defensive abilities to Koyie Hill. Or any catcher in the Cubs system, or baseball, for that matter.

You have zero credibility on this. You admit that you know nothing about the defensive abilities of the Cubs catchers in the minors, yet you still claim that they are good defensively.

There are at probably at least 20 teams in baseball who would take Soto as their starting catcher.

Ok. I missed the game yesterday, so I had to catch the wild pitch on mlb.com. SOto was shifting outside....Marmol threw the fastball well inside and low....this is not an easy play. Does a Gold Glove catcher make that play? Probably. But sheesh...this wasn't like the ball glanced off his glove high and wild...it was a wild pitch. Not an easy play to make, for any catcher.

you would have said the same thing about Soto if he was in Iowa right now.

while Marmol isn't Mariano Rivera, I'm not sure there's a lot of teams that would take him.

"while Marmol isn't Mariano Rivera, I'm not sure there's a lot of teams that would take him."

You mean, "I'm sure there's a lot of teams that would take him."?

yes.

Teflon Larry is probably busy teaching the worst pitcher in baseball last year how to get a 3 ERA this season.

And before that, he was busy teaching guys like Jason Marquis and Glendon Rusch to not completely suck.

That's fair enough. But you have to add Zambrano to his list of failures including Wuertz, Ohman and Hill. I'm not sure which direction Marmol is going, although his control, like Zambrano's, seems to be deteriorating.

The one younger pitcher who seems to be holding his own under LR is Marshall, and so far Wells.

What was failing about Wuertz's 3.57 ERA in 5 seasons as a Cub?

Zambrano's walks per nine remains virtually unchanged throughout his career.

Hill owes his failure to himself.

LR has been her since 2002 and you can find only two "young" guys who have had success under him? In 8 years you think Marshall and Wells are the only two young pitchers who have done well? Look a bit harder. Hell, Zambrano was a 21-year old when Rothchild showed up and has went 91-51 from 2003-2008.

I'm all for making Hill a pitching coach.

I'm fine with him being a backup catcher who starts day games after Soto starts night games.

Or he could be the bench coach.

"In reality, good baseball teams win these types of games. Mediocre teams stand up and continuously take the blame for yet another win that got away."

From Levine.

"While Maddux doesn't know when he will be ready to devote himself full-time to coaching, he guessed it could coincide with his 13-year-old son, Chase, getting his drivers' license."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Who names their kid after a bank? :)

Someone who could probably buy one?

Cra-Z to AAA Tuesday or Wednesday.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/2010...

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