2012 Cubs Draft Tracker Ticker - Day One
1st ROUND (6):
Albert Almora, CF
R/R, 6'2 180, 18 years old
Mater Academy - Hialeah Gardens, FL
COMMENT: Rated best HS defensive outfielder and 2nd best HS hitter in draft by Baseball America... Gold Glove quality defender right now... has average arm strength but with outstanding accuracy... is line-drive hitter with plus bat-speed... has just average speed for a centerfielder but is an above-average baserunner and base-stealer... was named tournament MVP while playing for Team USA 18 & Under squad at Pan American Games in Columbia last November... signed NLI with U. of Miami...
SIGNING BONUS POOL #6 SLOT VALUE: $3.25M
1st ROUND - SUPPLEMENTAL (43):
Pierce Johnson, RHP
R/R, 6'3 180, 21 years old
COMMENT: College junior... Ranked 6th in NCAA D-1 in K-per-IP in 2012.... 4-6 with 2.53 ERA in 14 GS for the Bears in 2012, with 85 hits allowed and 28/119 BB/K in 99.2 IP... Throws 92-93 MPH fastball that has touched 96, a mid-80's cutter, and a hard-breaking curve... Has had several injuries in his career, including broken hand senior year in HS, forearm strain freshman year in college, dislocated knee-cap while pitching in Cape Cod League in 2011, and more forearm issues this past season...
SIGNING BONUS POOL #43 SLOT VALUE: $1.196M
NOTE: This was compensation pick received by Cubs for losing Type "B" MLB Article XX-B FA Aramis Ramirez
1st ROUND - SUPPLEMENTAL (56):
Paul Blackburn, RHP
R/R, 6'2 180, 18 years old
Heritage HS - Brentwood, CA
COMMENT: Athletic pitcher with 90-92 MPH fastball that touches 94, curve, and change-up... Excellent control... Impressed scouts in Area Code Games (HS All-Star) in 2011... Signed NLI with Arizona State...
SIGNING BONUS POOL #56 SLOT VALUE: $911,700
NOTE: This was compensation pick received by Cubs for losing Type "B" MLB Article XX-B FA Carlos Pena
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.