Cubs Post-Draft Signing Update

With the Boise Hawks slated to begin league play tonight and with the AZL Cubs ready to go on Monday night, here are some updates on signings by the Cubs since the conclusion of the 2011 MLB Rule 4 Draft last week.

So far the Cubs have signed 11 of their 50 draft picks.

The Cubs have also signed three college seniors as Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA), and one more Cuban defector.

The 11 draft picks who have signed are:

RHP James Pugliese (Mercer CC - 18th round)
1B Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee State - 19th round)
OF Ben Klafczynski (Kent State - 20th round)
RHP Pete Levitt (Mt. Olive College - 32nd round)
LHP Sheldon McDonald (U. of British Columbia - 33rd round)
IF-OF Trevor Garcia (Martin Methodist College - 36th round)
RHP Casey Lucchese (College of Charleston - 38th round)
RHP P. J. Francescon (Trevecca Nazarene - 40th round)
SS Brad Zapenas (Boston College - 42nd round)
SS Kenny Socorro (Marshall - 44th round)
RHP Scott Weismann (Clemson - 46th round)

Most of the 11 Cubs 2011 draft picks who have signed could best be described as "low-hanging fruit" (lower-round draft picks and/or college seniors without leverage). The exceptions are Pugliese (a JC freshman) and Weismann and Zapenas (college juniors with one year of eligibility remaining), but the other eight were college seniors (and McDonald was a "5th year senior").

Hoilman, Klafczynski, and Zapenas have already been assigned to Boise, and several of the pitchers should end up there too once they get into game shape.

The three Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) signed by the Cubs post-Rule 4 Draft are:

1B Ryan Durrence (Bethune-Cookman)
RHP Nick Johnson (U. of Cincinnati)
C Pat Terry (U. of Santa Clara)

All three of the NDFA are college seniors (Terry is a "5th year senior").

Durrence will likely play 1B and bat clean-up for the AZL Cubs, Terry will be a back-up catcher at either Boise or Mesa (AZL Cubs), and Johnson will likely provide some college pitching depth at Mesa (AZL Cubs).

I wouldn't be too surprised if Hoilman leads the NWL in HR and Durrence leads the AZL in HR. They both have plus-power (Hoilman won the HR Derby at the 2010 College World Series and tied for 3rd in NCAA D-1 in HR in 2011, and Durrence hit 10 HR in league play plus two more at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional).

In addition, the Cubs have signed their fifth Cuban defector since December, adding LHP Frank del Valle to the organization. Del Valle pitched for the Cuban Junior National team about five years ago, and he joins catcher Yaniel Cabezas (Boise), OF Mayke Reyes (DSL Cubs #1), OF Rubi Silva (Daytona), and INF Rafael Valdes (Daytona) as the newest Cuban-Cubs. And the player considered to be the first Cuban defector (ex-DET OF Barbaro Garbey) is the hitting coach at Daytona. (Maybe it's time to bring back those 1990's Cubs road jerseys that Harry Caray thought displayed "Cuba" on the front).


Az Phil, thanks for the update. Do you have a scouting report on Del Valle? I trust your opinions above most of the Cubs scouts.

Submitted by Hagsag on Fri, 06/17/2011 - 9:53am.
Az Phil, thanks for the update. Do you have a scouting report on Del Valle? I trust your opinions above most of the Cubs scouts


HAGSAG: I haven't seen Del Valle yet. I don't know if the Cubs will assign him to one of their DSL teams or to the AZL Cubs, but even if he goes to the DSL he'll probably be at AZ Instructs post-2011.

I should get a chance to see Jeimer Candelario, Carlos Panalver, Francisco Sanchez, Jeffrey Baez, and Alberto Mineo at Instructs, too. (BTW, Mineo is technically on the AZL Cubs roster, but he is attending the MLB Eurpoean Academy in Italy).

Candelario has the minor league fans around the web walking around with a perma-boner with all the walks he's taken. I hope he's 1/10th as awesome as I hear he is!

jeimer candelario shouldn't have been an unrestricted FA, imo...woo baseball draft grey area.

also, his walks are overblown as hell.

he's K'd like 10 times since he got his early "omfg he walked 15+ times in 50-60 plate appearances."

...he's also not a very good 3rd basemen, but not many 17/18 year olds are...

Baseball America has added him to the list of signed draftees.

ROUND 16 (489): Rafael Lopez, C (Florida State)
L/R, 5'9, 190, 23 years old
COMMENT: College senior... Attended Boston College and Indian River JC before landing at Florida State... Has only been catching for three years but already is considered above-average defensively... Hit 325/437/520 with 7 HR & 36 RBI, 18 doubles, and 35/34 BB/K in 246 PA (57 games) for Seminoles in 2011...

Has only been catching for three years but already is considered above-average defensively


Sounds like an interesting kid - he didn't stick out to me on draft day, but those numbers aren't bad at all in a relatively big time conference (lack of NCAA titles non-withstanding).

Except he's 2 years older than Starlin Castro. Sounds like org. fodder and a possible future coach/manager.

Well....he was drafted out of college, not as a 17 year old from the DR.....sheesh.. =P

Some college senior draftees work out don't they?

5th year Seniors? None that I know of? Maybe AZ Phil is aware of one?

Dr. aaron, the skeptic.

ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine reports that the Yankees recently sent some top advisers to watch Carlos Zambrano pitch.
With a 4.50 ERA this year, $28 million owed to him through the end of next season and a volatile reputation, Zambrano isn't a very attractive trade piece. But, the Yankees might be a team willing to pick up his contract in a salary dump deal. Some of the Yankees' top evaluators have more interest in Ryan Dempster, who has $7.7 million remaining on his contract this year, as well as a $14 million player option for 2012. But, a deal for him is considered less likely.

Buried at the bottom of Levine's article is a direct quote from Soriano...

"I expect to stay here," said Soriano, who also has a full no-trade. "This is my fifth year, but if they say they want to trade me, then why wouldn't I want to go somewhere else. I wouldn't stay here."

Time to start boo-ing Soriano.

Nobody should be off the table for this team.

Nobody should be off the table for this team.


Castro maybe?

And Doug Davis...?

I don't know how you field a team without Bake and Dewy.

If Castro goes, I go!!!! After 70 years of following them!!!

Seriously? 70 years following the Cubs? Right on, man...

Started listening to Bert Wilson(We don't care who wins just as long as it's the Cubs) broadcast Cub games on WIND Chicago in the early forties.

God bless you. All the bad teams you've had to put up with, especially starting in the '60's. Do you remember the '45 team?

I was born in 68, probably around 1975-76 is where most of my Cubs memories start, and they were awful back then. Those late 70's teams were a special kind of bad.

Remember the '45 team well and the world series. I was a freshman in HS.

Awesome! Tough to imagine the pain you have experienced watching the Cubs for that time. I am only 38 and think it has been painful!

Pain? I was born in '48. What world series?

Unfortunately, we have a few things going against us. First, no trade clauses (both contractually and in MLB players agreement) that prevents certain trades. On this note, certain of the players either like playing for the Cubs more than a shot at the playoffs (like Z) or have personal reasons for wanting to be in Chicago (like Dempster...I think he has a no trade protection).

Then there is the fact that Hendry is our GM. His version of trading vets for young players is sometimes pretty good (DeRosa deal) or not so good (though DeWitt is our #3 hitter!)

Finally, the Cubs have won 3 of 4 against Brewers and our up 3-0 right now against the Yanks. This may be the run where the team does not get anywhere near contention, but wins enough to convince Hendry that he can't break up the team.

DeWitt hitting 3rd again today... This should have been a fire-able offense the first time it happened. Ugh...

It says more about team construction than it does lineup construction, imo. The distance between DeWitt and anyone else that could hit 3rd in this lineup is just not that great.

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
2B DeWitt
3B ARam
1B Pena
LF Soriano
CF Campana
C Hill
P Davis

he Cub Reporter looked ahead to the Cubs roster and payroll obligations going into the 2012 season.

best kept secret in the blogosphere, aka azp, gets linked...

Uggh, today's starters career ERA vs other teams:

Doug Davis, ERA over 6 vs. Yankees

Freddy Garcia, ERA 1.47 career vs Cubs

Let's go law of averages!

Not a sure that a team that is related to the Cubs should be mocking someone about not winning a title.

/chuck has my mere 62 years as a Cub fan look paltry.

Well, I am a 1968'er as well. God bless you psuedo-oldsters. You have to be in your 80's to be a serious oldster fan or usher.

Anyone else having problems with MLB.TV today? This game is so choppy it is almost unwatchable for me. Every couple of weeks I get one of these, and it's not a problem on my end as far as I can tell.

It's better now.

Nice game. What on Earth happened to this team the last few days? (Well the Brewers defense did give us some gifts, but still, we're playing much better. Feels nice but odd.)

it was just the injuries :)

Q-Ball's plan all the way. Get 14 or 15 under in June and good teams start to take you for granted.

This team is still terrible. Bah humbug.

only 11 more wins away from .500!!!

cute nothing-to-do-anything-cubs stat thingie...

i was looking at chipper jones' career...

when 3-0 count on chipper, situational...

55ab 21h (.382 average)
378bb 0k (.917 ob%)


he hit a homer yesterday on a 3-0's rare enough that he even swings on a 3-0.

More proof that Jones sucks - a slugger should never take a 3-0 pitch.

Probably should take IBB's (156) out of that to get a little better read. After 3-0 he's got 23K's versus 485 BB's, pretty nice ratio.

Fukudome has got 3 K's versus 73 BB's.

"If you bought a ticket today and you weren’t happy with what you saw, you should probably do lacrosse or something." - quade

Not a bad idea.

Not a bad idea at all...

So Quade is ripping on Lacrosse??!!!!??? Damn him!

"Officers were able to track down the driver of the Cadillac, David C. Wilder."
Dave Wilder, former Cubs minor leaguer and asst. GM with several teams? (I know it's not, but it would be ironic if it were)

Well that's what you get for wearing the opposing team jersey.

Oh sorry, wrong thread

I'm surprised there's no reaction here.
Frankly, I don't want to see him go.

he's fuku-territory for me...nothing wrong with him, imo...he's just paid a bit too much for what he brings.

there's nothing to be done about that, though.

he's probably worth 10-12m, not 18m...but at least he's pitching like he's worth 10m+.

it's also nice to see him hitting 93+mph on his fastball rather than the 89-91mph he was throwing for a chunk of last season.

Me either, but I don't think wise decisions should be muddied with emotions. I love Z, but at this point, if you can get something of value or potential, pull the trigger. It's not like Z is a big time value for the Cubs.

I do. The Cubs are not a team that will win this year or next. We probably won't re-sign him then. It would be better for Z to be elsewhere and the Cubs will be better off with prospects that might provide something for the future.

Cap on comcast said yanks not interested inZ due to drop in velocity.
" does not have al east stuff" scout said

Neither did their starter today, nor half their rotation, by that standard.

I guess Doug Davis has "AL east stuff" then, 'cause he just shut down your lineup and made it look easy.

And Cubs recent sucess is because Dewitt is batting third.
Today's lineup-

Fukudome, rf
Castro, ss
DeWitt, 2b
Ramirez, 3b
Pena, 1b
Johnson, cf
Soriano, lf
Soto, c
Dempster, p

does any other team bury power at the bottom of the lineup while stacking singles/doubles hitters up top?

of all the things for quade to pick up from loupa...yeesh...

Tyler Colvin hits for the cycle tonight for the Iowa Cubs at Albuquerque.

Two more HR and six RBI for I-Cubs catcher Welington Castillo tonight. Perhaps the Cubs might be looking to trade Geovany Soto before too much longer. Giants might be interested. Heath Hembree and Tommy Joseph would be an OK return.

Glad to see Tyler can get all "swoll" at the AAA level again.

Too bad he cannot replicate it at the MLB level this year so far.

AZ Phil,

I'm formulating that it isn't that the Ricketts' don't 'get it'. It's that they don't want to get it. Example: Yes, of course you trade Soto now and bring up Castillo, and play LeMahieu, and Flaherty, et al.

lemahieu is d.barney with r.theriot power. his ob% is total smoke and mirrors since he's more of a contact hitter with good luck rather than a guy who's going to take a bunch of pitches waiting for something he can hit. to me, he's a 2nd/3rd bench version of d.barney's SS/2nd.

flahety has some upside, thankfully. soto probably has as much trade value this offseason as he does now.

I'd hate to see Geo go. Jason Kendall is likely coming off the DL for the Royals in July, maybe Hendry will trade for him. Oh Boy! Kendall and Hill. I hope they have .357 Magnum day at the ballpark or at least assisted suicide day.

yeah, i like geo...but honestly...if quade is just going to bat the guy 6th-8th the cubs might as well see what they can get for him. w.castillo is marginally better D, better arm, and probably just as much power...he just won't take as many walks waiting for the pitcher to hit him in.

that said, i don't believe moving him would be a subject they'd look into until the offseason. welly might tear up AAA and change some minds, but right now soto's batting under-par even though he's looking good doing it.

Wellington has 8 hr in his last 28 games.

NY post says yanks interested in Dempster

"Headless Corpse Found in Topless Bar." Yeah, I saw that too. About as factual too.

Huh? Two different sources have now said that the Yanks are interested in Dempster. It actually makes a good amount of sense.

Waiting for that

Thank God, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are calling today's game. The day was already too peaceful and headache free.

oh thank you useless ass Fox for chosing this week the be the 1st east coast non-NYY/NYM/BOS game of the week.

ATL vs. TEX...zzzzzz.

less than 10 minutes in and this game already sucks ass...TEX up by 2 and the braves are playing cubs-style D helping give up both runs.

Cubs game isn't far behind, Dempster has loaded the bases with 1 out, Cano up.


McCarver keeps saying witty things, like, "Today Ryan Dempster doesn't know which dugout to look into for pitching advice. Larry Rothschild was his pitching coach the last 7 seasons."

Hey Hey, Dempster strikes out Cano and Swisher to get out of it. He was somewhat wild until those ab's.

e.andrus steals home...well, that was was off a stupid/ill-timed catch and run play at 2nd from home with andrus on 3rd.

trying to defend against speed #1.

Neat blimp shot of the Wrigley roof over the home plate area, tons of pidgeons up there plotting their dive bombing.

Yankees catcher Russell Martin looks like he ate Ray Liotta.

rain got the cubs game on watch it stay tied til the 9th and Fox switch back the ATL game...

k.rosenthall seems to be pretty damn sure one of either dumpster or Z is going to be traded.

i'm getting sucked into this game (mid 7th) and i know Fox is gonna take it away from me eventually...ugg.


"A baseball executive told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that the Yankees have "zero interest" in the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano."

Shocking. I don't think many teams would be interested in Z joining their team, even if they didn't have to give up much to get him. He's a 4.5 ERA pitcher who is also a headcase. Plus he's not just a rental that they can't get sick of in a few months and let go.

And on the positive side, he also costs a fortune!

wow castro...also, THINK BEFORE YOU THROW.

c.pena = kelly leak
g.soto = tanner

Why is Grabow pitching in a 1-run game in the 9th with runners on base?

Could Joe buck be any less interested in this game?

Well the players are clothed

I would have sac-bunted with Soto; gives the team two chances to hit a single to tie it, and Cubbery would predict a double play there. First pitch even, Cubbery at its finest.

Someday, the ignorant manager will finally realize that Cubbery need not be tempted and do the high-percentage move. Pena has to realize that was a fucking stupid move.

That inning was the game.

sac bunting a guy to second reduces your chances to score a run.

Yes, under most circumstances.

However, with a line like:.220 .307 .384, I do not agree.

does it help that he's never bunted in the majors before?

wonder if he did in the minors.

Statistically, sure. But I say 9 times out of 10 a Cub hitter hits a DP there. That's just the way things are. And a DP in that situation drastically reduces the chances of scoring a run.

Rivera just gave up a HR and a single and Soto probably hasn't bunted in a game in 5 years.

but yes, Cubmetrics probably does show that a DP was coming there...

Rip Clarence Clemons, the big man.

Very sad.

Maybe the Cubs could can Take Me Out to the Ball Game for one night and replace it with Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.

That would be awesome. Clemons was a very cool man.

Happy Father's Day to all you seed spreaders. :)

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  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 5 hours 44 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 5 hours 48 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 6 hours 4 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 6 hours 17 min ago view
  • it's been a while since joe's over-managed a's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.

    crunch 7 hours 3 min ago view
  • Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.

    John Beasley 9 hours 19 min ago view
  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 9 hours 41 min ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 9 hours 50 min ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 10 hours 51 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 12 hours 5 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 12 hours 49 min ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 13 hours 37 min ago view