Nothing like reviewing something that isnít complete. Almost every media outlet grades each teamís respective drafts in the NBA and NFL with some randomly chosen letter grade, as if you could pass judgement on something before anyone's put on a helmet or laced up a sneaker. NFL.com writer Gregg Easterbrook
, a lover of all religions
, puts my distaste for rating drafts much more eloquently then I could. The reality is, and especially when it comes to the grand old pastime, that a draft can only truly be evaluated a good few years down the line.
Hereís all 51 of our picks and some information, useful or not, about some of the soon to be baby Cubbies.
|1||20||LHP||Mark Pawelek||Springville HS, Utah||HS|
|2||68||LHP||Donald Veal||Pima CC, Arizona||Soph|
|3||100||RHP||Mark Holliman||U. of Mississippi||J|
|3||108||RHP||Mike Billek||U. of Central Florida||J|
|4||130||SS||Dylan Johnston||Hamilton HS, Chandler, Arizona||HS|
|5||160||RHP||Scott Taylor||Hermitage HS, Richmond, Virginia||HS|
|6||190||IF||Kyle Reynolds||Baylor U., Texas||J|
|7||220||LHP||Trey Taylor||Baylor U., Texas||S|
|8||250||C||Jake Muyco||North Carolina State U.||J|
|9||280||RHP||Matthew Avery||U. of Virginia||J|
|10||310||SS||Joe Simokaitis||U. of Nebraska||S|
|11||340||RHP||Michael Phelps||Central Missouri State U.||Soph|
|12||370||C||Yusuf Carter||El Paso CC, Arizona||Soph|
|13||400||RHP||Brett Jackson||Modesto JC, California||?|
|14||430||OF||Tyler Graham||Oregon State U.||J|
|15||460||RHP||Roger Evenson||Northwest Nazarene U., Idaho||S|
|16||490||RHP||Jon Mueller||U. of Minnesota||J|
|17||520||3B||Brandon Taylor||Brigham Young U., Utah||J|
|18||550||OF||Victor Liriano||El Paso CC, Texas||J|
|19||580||RHP||Kyle Holden||California State U. San Bernardino||J|
|20||610||OF||L.D. Ware||North Atlanta HS, Georgia||HS|
|21||640||C||Peter Farina||Virginia Commenwealth U.||S|
|22||670||RHP||Michael Hyle||U. of Georgia||S|
|23||700||LHP||Jayson Ruhlman||Central Michigan U.||Soph|
|24||730||SS||Scott Hode||U. of Arkansas||S|
|25||760||OF||D.J. Lewis||LA Valley CC||J|
|26||790||1B||Nikolaus Crouch||Vanguard U., California||S|
|27||820||OF||Davy Gregg||U. of South Carolina||J|
|28||850||LHP||Michael Greenhouse||U. of Evansville, Indiana||S|
|29||880||OF||Johnny Defendis||Rutgers U., New Jersey||J|
|30||910||C||Matt Liuzza||Louisiana State U.||J|
|31||940||RHP||Brad DePoy||San Jacinto JC, Texas||Soph|
|32||970||RHP||Colby Wark||Lower Columbia JC, Washington||Fresh|
|33||1000||RHP||Ben Ferguson||Cottonwood HS, Utah||HS|
|34||1030||3B||Cody Gilbert||Lincoln Trail JC, Illinois||Fresh|
|35||1060||RHP||Drew O'Connell||John Logan JC, Illinois||Fresh|
|36||1090||LHP||Needham Jones||Old Dominon U., Virginia||Soph|
|37||1120||OF||Kyle Keen||U. of Georgia||J|
|38||1150||OF||Ryan Episcopo||Andrew JC, Georgia||Soph|
|39||1180||C||Justin Morgan||U. of Louisiana||S|
|40||1209||LHP||Ryan Chambers||Brigham Young U., Utah||S|
|41||1238||RHP||Chris Rollins||Winslow Township HS, New Jersey||HS|
|42||1267||RHP||Noah Garza||Nolan HS, Texas||HS|
|43||1296||C||Michael Brenly||Notre Dame HS, Arizona||HS|
|44||1325||OF||Eddie Rush||Westlake HS, Georgia||HS|
|45||1354||RHP||Corey Madden||St. Marys College, California||J|
|46||1383||IB||Luther Murphy||Hialeah Miami Lakes HS, Florida||HS|
|47||1412||C||Mario Williams||Hillsborough HS, Florida||HS|
|48||1440||C||Andy Hawranick||Georgia Tech||J|
|49||1467||3B||Kyle Mura||Loyolo Marymount U., California||J|
|50||1494||RHP||Steven Morlock||U. of California, Santa Barbara||S|
25 pitchers (of which 7 lefties), 26 position players (of which 9 outfielders, 8 catchers, 4 shortstops, 3 third basemen, 2 first basemen).
31 players out of colleges, 11 out of high schools, 9 out of junior colleges.
(1st round, 20th pick) LHP Mark Pawelek (6í2î, 180, L-L, 18 years old, Springville HS, Utah)
As the first round pick, he gets the bulk of the publicity. Baseball America writes...
Pawelek topped out at 94-95 mph this year with an effortless delivery. Scouts say his feel for pitching, presence and composure are so advanced for his age that he's the equivalent of a college sophomore. He has command of four pitches and knows how and when to use his curveball and changeup.
The fourth pitch is a splitter. In 10 high school starts this year and 63 innings, Pawelek didn't allow an earned run. He struck out 132 hitters, and won each and every decision. Sure, it's only high school, but that's still quite impressive.
The Cubs were only able to nab Pawelek, extensively profiled here
, as low as 20th because there were concerns about his signability as a Scott Boras client. Some concerns they were - Pawelek had put pen to paper by the time the Cubs announced their third round selection. He gets a $1.75 signing bonus, essentially slot money.
I did read something about ìinconsistent mechanicsî, which sets off the (very distracting) red warning lights in my head. So I do hope the Cubs take their time with the kid, cleaning up those mechanics and dialing in his delivery so we can see him in a few years sans arm surgeries.
In case you're wondering, it's pronounced "Paw-lick".
(2nd round, 68th pick) LHP Donald Veal (6í3î ñ 215 lbs, L-L, 20 years old, Pima CC, Arizona)
8-5 3.65 ERA, 119 Kís, 74 IP, .207 BAA)
I wonder if Hendry and company have some sort of Vertigo
like fascination with Dontrelle Willis and behind closed doors are really upset they traded him. I can see it nowÖ
ìYou know kid, we like you, but weíd like to tweak your delivery a bit. Just raise your leg a tad higher, now look up a bit moreÖ.goodÖ.good, now adjust your arm angle a bit. Youíre going to be in the show soon kid, but Donald just doesnít sell tickets, but itís really close to DontrelleÖ.î
The kid is a spitting image of Dontrelle Willis and we can only hope he pitches as well. Veal was originally drafted out of high school by the White Sox in 2003, but he went to the University of Arizona instead where he injured his labrum. Opting to avoid surgery he transferred to Pima Community College in Arizona and seems to have regained his touch. MLB.comís scouting report has his fastball just touching 90 and a ìlive armî. BA had him ranked as the 86th best player in the draft in itís pre-draft rankings and compared him to Vida Blue for you old-school crowd.
(3rd round, 100th pick) RHP Mark Holliman (6í0î ñ 195 lbs, R-R 21 years old, Ole Missí)
(SEC Conference Stats) 8-4 3.85 ERA, 117 K/45 BB, 110 IP, .253 BAA, 6 HRís)
MLB.com compared him to Jeff Brantley and actually used the term ìgood mechanicsî. Has 5 pitches, four-seem(tops out at 91 mph) and two-seem fastball, 12/6 curve, circle change and uses his slider as his out pitch. He was drafted in 2002 by the Cubs in the 41st round out of high school, but chose to go to college. According to Boydís World
, he threw a 147 pitch game on May 13th versus South Carolina striking out 13 and walking just 3. BA ranked him as #141 player in itís pre-draft top 200 prospect list and labeled his stuff inconsistent.
(3rd round Supplemental, 108th pick) RHP Michael Billek (6í4î ñ 235 lbs, R-R 21 years old, U. of Central Florida)
(Atlantic Sun Conference Stats) 4-3 4.07 ERA, 84 K/33 BB, 90.2 IP, .274 BAA, 6 HRís)
He seems to be all fastball, topping out at 94-95, although heís been hard-pressed to reach that while nursing a groin strain this season. His curve and change are rated as average. I watched his scouting video on mlb.com and it looks like he just tries to overpower every hitter, although he will pitch to both sides of the plate. His curve didnít look too bad but his fastball was straight as an arrow.
Billek, the 108th overall pick, represents the only return the Cubs will get for Matt Clement. That makes a mockery of the compensation system when you consider that losing Jon Lieber netted the Yankees the extremely toolsy HS outfielder C.J. Henry at 17. Derrek Lowe meanwhile brought the Red Sox the near ML-ready reliever Craig Hansen at 26 and
righty Michael Bowden at 47, and Carl Pavano delivered the Marlins Jacob Marceaux at 29 (highly-rated hard-throwing college righty) and Sean West at 44 (lefty high-schooler). Yet wouldn't you take Clement over Lieber, Lowe and Pavano?
The 190th selection of the draft was SS Kyle Reynolds (Baylor Univeristy), son of former major leaguer Craig Reynolds and a potential third basemen. Nepotism continued throughout the draft as the Cubs selected switch-hitting catcher Yusuf Carter (El Paso CC, Texas) with their 12th round pick, nephew of former Cub Joe Carter. The 43rd round pick was also a catcher and related to a former major leaguer as well - the player is Michael Brenley and heís the son of current color commentator Bob Brenly. Heís committed to UNLV though and unlikely to sign.
The 19th round pick was spent on RHP Kyle Holden (Cal St. San Bernardino), which holds absolutely no significance other then itís the AngelFan wifeís alma mater and a rare sight to see in the baseball draft.
The Cubs original 21st pick was RHP Michael Hyle (University of Georgia), but the pick was voided cause the Cubs selected him last year in round 37 and did not sign him. The Cubs could have only drafted him again if Hyle gave them written permission. Instead the Cubs chose catcher Peter Farina (Virginia Commonwealth University). They then got the necessary written permission and drafted Hyle in the next round. The other players the Cubs also selected last year are LHP Trey Taylor (7th round, 20th round last year), RHP Colby Wark (32nd, 37th last year), 3B Cody Gilbert (34th, 32nd last year) and RHP Drew O'Connell (35th, 35th last year too).
In the 44th round the Cubs chose an outfielder from Georgia named Eddie Rush. Considered to be possibly one of the fastest players in the draft, he ran a 6.36 second 60-yard dash which apparently is a Georgia record.
My ìhunchî of high school shortstop Justin Bristow being the Cubs first pick couldnít have been more wrong. He dropped to the Kansas City Royals as the 652nd overall pick because he was thought unsignable if he didn't go in the first-round. Assuming he doesn't agree terms with the Royals, he'll head to Auburn where he could emerge as a two-way star at Auburn. Speaking of two-way stars, the Cubs drafted Scott Taylor in the 5th round, a right-handed pitcher who had dueled with Bristow twice this season (Bristowís team winning both times though). Taylor though is committed to Virgina Commonwealth University, the same place Jason Dubois went. Dubois was a two-way star there too.
For those dying to see the potential new Cubbies, the wait is not long. I believe six of them will be showcased this weekend in the NCAA super regionals, and all of the games should be broadcast on ESPN/ESPN2 or ESPN/U.
RHP Mark Holliman (3rd round, Mississippi)
Texas at Mississippi, Saturday (6 pm), Sunday (5 pm) and Monday (TBA)
Not sure which game or games Holliman will pitch as teammate Matt Maloney was also selected in the draft, 3 picks before Holliman.
SS Kyle Reynolds (6th round) and LHP Trey Taylor (7th, both Baylor)
Clemson at Baylor, Saturday (11 am), Sunday (3 pm) and Monday (TBA)
SS Joe Simokaitis (10th round, Nebraska)
Miami at Nebraska, Friday (12 pm), Saturday (11 am), Sunday (3 pm)
OF Tyler Graham (14th round, Oregon State)
So Cal at Oregon State, Saturday (7 pm), Sunday (6 pm) and Monday (4 pm)
C Andrew Hawranick (48th round, Georgia Tech)
Tennesse at Georgia Tech, Friday (4 pm), Saturday (1 pm) and Monday (6 pm)
Iíll try and Tivo as many of the games as possible and hopefully give a better scouting report. I believe all the times above are central standard and the third games will be only played if necessary.