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:
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).
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?