Rule 4 Draft

Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.

16th ROUND (494):
Michael Hamann, RHP
R/R, 6'3 170, 21 years old
U. of Toledo
COMMENT: College Junior... had season-ending shoulder surgery in 2011... went 3-5 with a 5.80 ERA for Rockets in 2012, but with a 2.12 ERA over last five starts... allowed 89 hits in 76 IP (14 GS), with 29/55 BB/K... was a mainstay of the Toledo starting rotation freshman & sophomore seasons... throws 90-93 MPH fastball that touches 95, but command and secondary stuff need work... projects as a reliever in pro ball... was a member of National Honor Society in HS... was selected by Cleveland Indians in 24th round of 2009 draft but did not sign...


2nd ROUND (67):
Duane Underwood, RHP
R/R, 6'3 210, 17 years old
Pope HS - Marietta, GA
COMMENT: Outstanding all-around athlete... Two way player (RHP/OF) in HS... fast runner with plus-power at the plate... throws 91-94 MPH fastball that can touch 96-98, but has had command issues... change-up has been his best and most-reliable pitch... mediocre curve ball needs a lot of work... signed NLI with U. of Georgia...


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...


If you were following the Z drama through the papers or through our comments, you would have noticed the healthy amount of spin his agent Barry Praver was putting on the situation, because there is nothing worse for an agent than losing out on the 10% commission of the $24M or so he's still owed. It went something along the lines of, he said nothing about retiring, wait, yes he did, but it was not meant for public consumption. He came back Friday and returned his stuff, no I meant Saturday...he never punched Michael Barrett, Michael Barrett fell on his fist, etc, etc...

Kapman today scored the first interview with Z and it appears they finally found the narrative they plan to go forward with. Essentially, yes Z did make comments about retiring, but they were all intended to be private (counterpoint: Cubs claim to have text messages saying "good-bye and thanks" from Z). He also tried to return to the team Saturday with his belongings, but was not allowed and naturally, does not agree with the Cubs punishment. They intend to file a grievance by the end of the day.

Anyway, the idea of Z gifting the Cubs $18M next year seems out the window, but give credit to the Cubs for seizing the opportunity to save $3M or so this year by putting him on the disqualified list. Him leaving early means nothing to me, but obviously it rubbed many of his teammates the wrong way and in the end he gets a longer vacation and Cubs fans get Casey Coleman.

And now for the rest of the story...

Big Z: "I received text messages of support from Sosa, Byrd, Ozzie, Jason Giambi, Pena, and Soriano." Also said he and Soriano are cool.

Surprised Derrek Bell didn't think to drop him a note...

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.

ROUND 31 (939): Ronnie Richardson, OF (U. of Central Florida)
B/R, 5'6, 170, 21 years old
COMMENT: Draft-eligible college sophomore... Considered a bit of an under-achiever... Was a member of USA Junior National Team in HS, and was selected out of HS by Twins in 11th round of 2009 draft but did not sign... Strong arm and a good defensive CF... Above-average speed... Hit 312/440/422, with 36/44 BB/K and 19 HBP, and 15 SB (5 CS) in 62 games (297 PA) for Golden Knights in 2011...

ROUND 2 (68): Dan Vogelbach, 1B (Bishop Verot HS - Ft. Myers, FL)
L/R, 6'0, 250, 18 years old
COMMENT: Rated by Baseball America as the #109 best player and the #3 best HS power hitter in 2011 draft... Hit 508-ft HR (with metal bat) at the Power Showcase in December... Hit 17 HR in 32 games leading his HS team to 2011 Florida 3-A state championship... Weighed 280+ a year ago but lost 30+ pounds over past year... Signed NLI with U. of Florida...


ROUND 1 (9): Javier Baez, SS (Arlington Country Day School - Jacksonville, FL)
R/R, 6'1, 205, 18 years old
COMMENT: Rated by Baseball America as the best HS hitter in the draft... Hit .771 with 64 hits, 22 HR, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and just three K in 2011... Very aggressive hitter with plus bat-speed and plus raw-power... Above-average arm but just barely average range for SS... Figures to eventually outgrow SS and move to another position (most likely 3B)... Emotional player on the field... Signed NLI with Jacksonville U...

The deadline for signing HS, JC, and college players (other than seniors) selected in this past June's Rule 4 Draft has past, as the Cubs announced the signing of four draft picks (RHP Ben Wells, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, LHP Casey Harman, and LHP Brian Smith) prior to the midnight deadline on Monday.  

In total, the Cubs signed 29 of their 50 draft picks, just about the usual number they sign each year. In addition, the Cubs signed four Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) to provide depth at Mesa and Boise.

Here are the 2010 draft picks and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) who were signed by the Cubs, and those who the Cubs were not able to sign. The highest draft pick to get away was 6th round pick OF Ivan DeJesus, who will be attending UAB.

With one month left until the deadline to sign players selected in last month's 2010 Rule 4 Draft, here are the draft picks and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) who have been signed by the Cubs, and those who remain unsigned.

So far, the Cubs have signed 23 of their 50 draft picks, plus three NDFA. The Cubs typically sign about 30 of their 50 picks, so expect the Cubs to sign maybe another seven players before the deadline.

In some cases, the Cubs are scouting draft picks who are playing in summer collegiate "wood bat" leagues or with high school all-star squads to determine if the player is worth what the player is asking. In other cases, the Cubs may be waiting to sign a player to an "over-slot" bonus until closer to the deadline so as to not have too much of a negative impact on other clubs who are still negotiating with players selected in that same round.

Generally speaking, players selected on the 3rd day of the draft (round 31 and below) are either "fall-back" options in case players selected in higher rounds are not signed, or "long-shots" with low market value, or players who are thought to be virtually unsignable due to a solid college commitment.

NOTE: The 8/15 deadline does not apply to college seniors selected in last month's draft, but the Cubs have already signed all of the college seniors they drafted.

1. HAYDEN SIMPSON, RHP (Southern Arkansas) – at AZL Cubs (DL - illness)
4. HUNTER ACKERMAN, LHP (Louisburg JC) – at AZL Cubs
5. MATT SZCZUR, OF (Villanova) – at BOISE
10. AARON KURCZ, RHP (College of Southern Nevada) – at BOISE
11. ERIC JOKISCH, LHP (Northwestern) – at BOISE
12. AUSTIN REED, RHP (Rancho Cucamonga HS – Rancho Cucamonga, CA) – at AZL Cubs
13. PIERRE LePAGE, 2B (Connecticut) – at BOISE
14. COLIN RICHARDSON, RHP (Winter Haven HS – Winter Haven, FL) – at AZL Cubs
15. ELLIOT SOTO, SS (Creighton) – at BOISE
16. RYAN HARTMAN, RHP (Mt. Zion HS - Mt. Zion, IL) – at AZL Cubs (DL – unknown)
20. RYAN CUNEO, 1B (Delaware) – at AZL Cubs
22. JEFF VIGURS, C (Bryant U.) – at BOISE
23. MATT LOOSEN, RHP (Jacksonville U.) – at BOISE
24. DUSTIN GEIGER, 3B (Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) – at AZL Cubs
25. ERIC RICE, RHP (Palm Beach State CC) – at AZL Cubs
28. JOE ZELLER, RHP (The Master’s College) – at AZL Cubs
32. BRENT EBINGER, LHP (Lambuth U.) – at BOISE
34. DUSTIN HARRINGTON, INF (East Carolina) – at AZL Cubs
37. CHAD NOBLE, C (Northwestern) – at AZL Cubs

DOUG CHERRY, 2B (U. of Washington) - at AZL Cubs
JAKE McALOOSE, 3B (Old Dominion) - at AZL Cubs


2. REGGIE GOLDEN, RF (Wetumpka HS – Wetumpka, AL) – will attend U. of Alabama if he does not sign
NOTE: Cubs will receive 2011 2nd round pick one slot lower than where they selected in 2nd round in 2010 if Golden does not sign
6. IVAN DeJESUS, CF (Cupeyville School – San Juan, PR) – will attend UAB if he does not sign
7. BEN WELLS, RHP (Bryant HS – Bryant, AR) – will attend U. of Arkansas if he does not sign
9. KEVIN RHODERICK, RHP (Oregon State)
17. STEVEN BROOKS, CF (Wake Forest)
21. CODY COX, RHP (Grassfield HS – Chesapeake, VA) – will attend Old Dominion if he does not sign
26. DANNY MUNO, SS (Fresno State)
27. BRYAN HARPER, LHP (College of Southern Nevada) – will transfer to U. of South Carolina if he does not sign
29. CASEY HARMAN, LHP (Clemson)
30. KARSTEN STRIEBY, 1B (Arizona Western JC)
31. BENITO SANTIAGO, Jr, 1B (Lon Morris JC)
33. MATT STITES, RHP (Jefferson CC) – will transfer to U. of Missouri if he does not sign
35. CHRIS ANDERSON, RHP (Centennial HS – Blaine, MN) – will attend Jacksonville U. if he does not sign
36. TYLER BREMER, RHP (Yavapai JC) – will transfer to Baylor if he does not sign
39. CASEY LUCCHESE, RHP (College of Charleston)
40. BRIAN SMITH, LHP (St. Mary’s Catholic SS – Pickering, ON) – will attend Volunteer State CC if he does not sign
42. TREY NIELSEN, RHP (Skyline HS – Salt Lake City, UT) – will attend U. of Utah if he does not sign
43. DANNY WINKLER, RHP (Parkland JC) – will transfer to Central Florida if he does not sign
44. JAKE ROGERS, 1B (St. Petersburg CC)
45. DEVON AUSTIN, C (Couer D’Alene HS – Couer D’Alene, ID) – will attend New Mexico State if he does not sign
46. JERAD EICKHOFF, RHP (Olney Central CC)
47. CLAYTON CRUM, RHP (Klein HS – Harris County, TX) – will attend Ohio State if he does not sign
48. ERIC PAULSON, 3B (Fremd HS – Palatine, IL) – will attend Bradley U. if he does not sign
49. BRYCE SHAFER, RHP (Valparaiso)
50. ERIC JAGIELO, SS (Downers Grove North HS – Downers Grove, IL) – will attend Notre Dame if he does not sign


ROUND 31 (940): Benito Santiago, Jr, 1B (Lon Morris JC)
L/R, 6'5, 225, 20 years old
COMMENT: JC Sophomore... Also plays basketball... Will probably transfer to Evansville or St. Francis (NY) to play basketball if he doesn't pursue career in baseball... Son of ex-MLB catcher Benito Santiago...


ROUND 2 (65): Reggie Golden, OF (Wetumpka HS - Wetumpka, AL)
R/R, 5'10, 210, 18 years old
COMMENT: Top position player prospect in Alabama... Has plus-bat speed and power, but lacks plate discipline... Hit a HR at Wrigley Field last August in Under Armour All-American game... Above-average arm... Projects as RF... Only slightly above-average speed... Signed NLI with University of Alabama...


ROUND 3 (97): Micah Gibbs, C (LSU)
B/R, 5'11, 207, 21 years old
COMMENT: College junior... Top defensive catcher in draft, although he has just an average arm... Won Rawlings ABCA Gold Glove in 2009... Was leading hitter at LSU among starting position players in 2010, hitting 388/438/592 with 10 HR & 60 RBI with 14 2B in 62 games... Hit just .212 with wood bat in Cape Cod League in 2009... Was Baseball America 1st Team Freshman All-American in 2008... Was teammate of Daytona Cubs INF D. J. Lemahieu on LSU College World Series Champion team in 2009... SEC Academic Honor Roll... Cubs GM Jim Hendry has long-time friendship with LSU Head Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri going back to when Mainieri was the coach at Notre Dame...


ROUND 4 (130): Hunter Ackerman, LHP (Louisburg JC)
L/L, 6'1, 19 years old
COMMENT: JC freshman... Throws an 88-92 MPH fastball... Has a solid change-up... Breaking ball needs work... Went 8-1 with a 1.41 ERA, 38 hits allowed, and 24/92 BB/K in 57 IP for the Hurricanes in 2010... This guy was very likely recommended by Cubs ace bird-dog scout Billy Swoope, who has a lengthy track record of finding quality arms in VA and NC...


ROUND 5 (160): Matt Szczur, OF (Villanova)
R/R, 5'11, 190, 20 years old
COMMENT: College junior... Last name is pronounced "Caesar" (like the emperor Julius, or if you prefer, like the comedian Sid)... Football player (WR & PR) who might get selected in 2011 NFL draft... MVP in 2009 FCS Championship game... Has been compared to Patriots WR Wes Welker... Hit 443/487/667 for Nova in 2010, with 4 HR & 38 RBI, 13 2B, 7 3B, 10 SB (5 CS)... Played both catcher & OF for the Wildcats but will likely play CF or LF in pro ball... One of the fastest players in college baseball... Below-average arm... Slash hitter with below-average power... Patient hitter who profiles as a lead-off man... Gets high marks for work ethic and intensity... Missed several weeks during 2010 baseball season after donating bone-marrow to one-year old girl with leukemia...

ROUND 1 (16): Hayden Simpson, RHP (Southern Arkansas)
R/R, 6'0, 175, 21 years old
COMMENT: College Junior... Features a 91-93 MPH fastball that tops out at 96... Throws both a 82-83 MPH slider and a 78-80 MPH curve... Has a change-up but rarely throws it... Went 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA, 99 IP, 73 H, 35 BB, 131 K, 6 CG and 4 Shutouts at SAU in 2010... Threw 42 consecutive scoreless innings at one point in 2010... Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II All-American and Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year... Was rated the #191 best prospect (6th round talent) by Baseball America pre-draft...

The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 7 PM ET tomorrow (Monday June 7th) and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. The first round (plus the 1st supplemental round) will be televised “live” on the MLB network Monday night, with the balance of the draft to be conducted via conference call (rounds 2-30 starting at noon ET on Tuesday, and rounds 31-50 starting at noon ET on Wednesday).

The Cubs will have the 16th pick in the 1st round, followed by the 65th overall pick (2nd round), pick #97 overall (3rd round), and #130 overall (4th round), and then every 30 picks (#160, #190, #220, #250, etc) after that until the 50 rounds are completed. More than 1,500 players will be selected by the 30 MLB clubs before the drafting is finished.


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