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
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
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.
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.