Part 1: History of the Cubs draft
Part 2: Trades & GMís
Part 3: The Couldaí Been Cubs
Weíve strolled through the tortured history of the Cubs draft, which perfectly leads us up to draft day 2005. A number of excellent articles exploring the history of the draft have come out in recent days and I recommend checking these out.
Alan Schwarz The Magic of #5
Alan Schwarz Best, Worst Draft Picks
Peter Gammons A Draft Unlike Any Other
As for the Cubbies, theyíre slotted to pick 20th and scouting director, John Stockstill has only one philosophy when it comes to the draft,
We take the best available talent. To me, the only way to [draft] is to stack up the players, take the best ones, and that's it."
Here are some of the names being rumored to possibly be the Cubs first round pick.
OF/LHP Brian Bogusevic (Tulane)
A lefty pitcher or power hitting right fielder? No one is quite sure yet although the betting line is favoring a pitcher. Heíll most definitely be a first round pick and should go somewhere near the Cubs pick. Heís got a Mark Mulder type body (6í3î, 200)and has three good pitches, a fastball with some late sink, a circle change, and uses his slider as an out pitch.
LHP Ricky Romero (Cal-State Fullerton)
It appear the Blue Jays have a liking for him at the sixth spot but some say they may pass on him because of concerns with his velocity. Heís had a great season for one of colleges powerhouses, Cal-State Fullerton and had a good run with Team USA last year. Everyone raves about his competitiveness as well as his repertoire of pitches. Two fastballs, a 12 to 6 curve, a cutter and a late-breaking slider.
INF Justin Bristow (Mills Goodwin HS, Virginia)
Basball America just did a piece
on Virginia becoming a new hotbed of amateur baseball talent. Also, as pointed out in the comments of a previous thread, the Cubs have been scouting the region heavily in recent years. Heís committed to the University of Auburn but a nice signing bonus may change those plans. Most believe heíll play the left side of the infield in the majors, probably a shortstop, maybe a third basemen, but he pitches as well reaching the low 90ís. Heís a big boy at 6í4î, 220 pounds, already plays good defense, has good power and above average plate discipline. My hunch says this is the Cubs pick, for what itís worth.
OF Jacob Ellsbury (Oregon State University)
, one of the best college baseball web sites available, has devised a strength of schedule rating for college baseball teams. The top 5 are Oregon State, Cal-State Fullerton, Tulane, Texas and USC. In Pac-10 play, Ellsbury put up a line of .415/.504/.604 in 207 at-bats and even stole 21 bases in 29 attempts. He hits lefty and Baseball America says heís a Johnny Damon look-a-like with Damonís tablesetter skills. Plays some good defense as well.
The Scott Boras class
Since many teams donít want to deal with Scott Boras or the personalities associated with a young kid whoís decided heís worth millions without ever doing anything in professional ball, some of these players may drop on draft day.
LHP Mark Pawelek (Springville HS, Utah)
He's ranked as the top high school pitcher available in the draft, his stock has been rising of late due to an impressive performance in the Utah state playoffs. He's 6'2", 190 pounds with a fastball that touches 95 mph, a good curve and throws a change and splitter as well. Cubs haven't drafted a high school pitcher with their top pick since 1997 (Jon Garland), but might be too good a talent to pass up.
RHP Luke Hochevar (University of Tennessee)
Should go in top 10, possibly top 5 and is considered by many as the top arm in the draft. 6í4î, 198 pounds and has a K rate well over 9 so far this season. Emerged as one of Team USAís top pitchers last year.
RHP Mike Pelfrey (Wichita State University)
Itís between him and Hochevar for top pitcher in the draft. 6í7î, 210 pounds and a fastball that reaches the upper 90ís. Hopefully heíll turn out better then the only other Wichita St. alum I know, Darren Dreifort.
RHP Craig Hansen (St. Johnís University)
A relief pitcher who should go in the top 10, he emerged after a successful campaign in the Cape Cod league. Heís said to be the most major league ready player in the draft and throws both his fastball and slider with command. Apparently has an odd arm angle that throws off hitters as well.
RHP Mark McCormick (Baylor University)
6í2î, 190 pounds with an upper 90ís fastball, nasty curve and a power slider. Listed having the best fastball among the college prospects but has some control problems, so sounds like the perfect fit for the Cubs.
SS Tyler Green (Georgia Tech University)
Green wasnít a certain first round pick before he signed with Boras and now he may be around in the second round. Supposedly an excellent baserunner with an okay glove and respectable swing. Iím hardly excited.
Here are some other potentials....
RHP Wade Townsend
Selected 8th by the Orioles last year but didnít sign. Stock has been dropping of late and goes with the Cubs philosophy of trying to pick up upper-round talent that other teams may have soured on (think Bobby Brownlie or Grant Johnson). Can't remember if he's a Boras baby or not.
RHP P Cesar Carillo
Small frame but went undefeated the last 2 seasons for Univeristy of Miami until recent loss.
C Jeff Clement
Plays for USC and has been projected as high as #3. Great plate discipline, power and defense has improved this year. God knows we could use a catching prospectÖwhy canít we trade picks again and move up in the draft?
I believe the first round of the draft is being broadcast on mlb.com and we shall soon see who the Cubs will select. May his name be synonmous with Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and NOT Luis Montanez, Ty Griffin or Ben Christensen.