June 2005 Draft: The Results Are In

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.
120LHPMark PawelekSpringville HS, UtahHS
268LHPDonald VealPima CC, ArizonaSoph
3100RHPMark HollimanU. of MississippiJ
3108RHPMike BillekU. of Central FloridaJ
4130SSDylan JohnstonHamilton HS, Chandler, ArizonaHS
5160RHPScott TaylorHermitage HS, Richmond, VirginiaHS
6190IFKyle ReynoldsBaylor U., TexasJ
7220LHPTrey TaylorBaylor U., TexasS
8250CJake MuycoNorth Carolina State U.J
9280RHPMatthew AveryU. of VirginiaJ
10310SSJoe SimokaitisU. of NebraskaS
11340RHPMichael PhelpsCentral Missouri State U.Soph
12370CYusuf CarterEl Paso CC, ArizonaSoph
13400RHPBrett JacksonModesto JC, California?
14430OFTyler GrahamOregon State U.J
15460RHPRoger EvensonNorthwest Nazarene U., IdahoS
16490RHPJon MuellerU. of MinnesotaJ
175203BBrandon TaylorBrigham Young U., UtahJ
18550OFVictor LirianoEl Paso CC, TexasJ
19580RHPKyle HoldenCalifornia State U. San BernardinoJ
20610OFL.D. WareNorth Atlanta HS, GeorgiaHS
21640CPeter FarinaVirginia Commenwealth U.S
22670RHPMichael HyleU. of GeorgiaS
23700LHPJayson RuhlmanCentral Michigan U.Soph
24730SSScott HodeU. of ArkansasS
25760OFD.J. LewisLA Valley CCJ
267901BNikolaus CrouchVanguard U., CaliforniaS
27820OFDavy GreggU. of South CarolinaJ
28850LHPMichael GreenhouseU. of Evansville, IndianaS
29880OFJohnny DefendisRutgers U., New JerseyJ
30910CMatt LiuzzaLouisiana State U.J
31940RHPBrad DePoySan Jacinto JC, TexasSoph
32970RHPColby WarkLower Columbia JC, WashingtonFresh
331000RHPBen FergusonCottonwood HS, UtahHS
3410303BCody GilbertLincoln Trail JC, IllinoisFresh
351060RHPDrew O'ConnellJohn Logan JC, IllinoisFresh
361090LHPNeedham JonesOld Dominon U., VirginiaSoph
371120OFKyle KeenU. of GeorgiaJ
381150OFRyan EpiscopoAndrew JC, GeorgiaSoph
391180CJustin MorganU. of LouisianaS
401209LHPRyan ChambersBrigham Young U., UtahS
411238RHPChris RollinsWinslow Township HS, New JerseyHS
421267RHPNoah GarzaNolan HS, TexasHS
431296CMichael BrenlyNotre Dame HS, ArizonaHS
441325OFEddie RushWestlake HS, GeorgiaHS
451354RHPCorey MaddenSt. Marys College, CaliforniaJ
461383IBLuther MurphyHialeah Miami Lakes HS, FloridaHS
471412CMario WilliamsHillsborough HS, FloridaHS
481440CAndy HawranickGeorgia TechJ
4914673BKyle MuraLoyolo Marymount U., CaliforniaJ
501494RHPSteven MorlockU. of California, Santa BarbaraS
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 Rest 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.


You forgot about Joe Simokitis!!! The Cubs 11th round pick plays SS for the Huskers against Miami this Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday. Sergio #1!

Right you are, Mark. 10th rounder, Joe was, by the way.

Having seen Joe Simokaitis in person and on TV all this year, he's got a pretty good bat and a very slick glove. I'm glad to see the Cubs got him.

If you want to see Pawelek's delivery/mechanics firsthand, you can watch a scouting video of him here - http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a... scroll down to the little blurb about him at the bottom right for the link. he does seem to have a slightly awkward delivery, but hopefully it can be smoothed out with a few years of pro pitching instruction.

I updated the times for the Nebraska games and wanted to thank John Hill for cleaning up this post and adding the table of players and breakdown of positions and schools.

And now that I read it again it appears he added quite a bit more information on a number of the players.....we really need to find a way to add double bylines on these posts.

D- Yeah hopefully Cubs can help him with mechanics like they did Wood. Yikes.

Great report. I have to say that it is so annoying how scouts and draft gurus (in all sports) feel a need to draw comparisons between prospects and existing pros. Like "reminds one of Jeff Brantley" and such. It's useless -- tantamount to "he looks sorta like _____." It's at best silly and at worst dangerous to imagine and project talent based on what amount to a resemblance. It's what an 11 year old would do, not a paid analyst. It was most comical in the NBA, when it became in vogue to point to a "Charles Barkley-like presence" in a hoops prospect. Before Barkley came along, that just meant fat, which is certainly not an indicator of future success, without a lot of imagination.

I just came across another tidbit on Holliman that mentioned the same stat line that I put up for him, but has no mention of them being just his conference stats. So those might be his complete 2005 numbers as well as Billek's. The conference websites where I got the information from was certainly not clear on the matter.

Has anyone seen the pictures of Kerry Wood's simulated game on Chicagosports.com? I am very disappointed to see that the "minor mechanics adjustments" did not include a very basic change. Kerry is obviously still throwing accross his body upon delivery to home plate. Doing so forces the pitcher to try to speed up his arm and often creates a problem with their release point as well. Basically, it increases torque on the elbow and limits your ability to consistently replicate delivery (ie control). Am I the only one that notices this? A few years ago I was at Busch stadium watching a pitcher by the name of Rick Ankiel. Electric Left hander, with great stuff. However, his mechanics were terrible and he severely threw across his body. This was never more evident than in the playoffs when he threw several wild pitches. Ankiel could not release his hips to home plate because his fromt striding foot pointed halfway up the first baseline as opposed to towards the catcher. This type of movement is what is referred to as throwing across your body and forces a pitcher to speed up his arm to hit a release point that might allow a chance to hit the strike zone. Rick's arm could not speed up enough to the release point thus leaving several pitches high. Later Rick experienced several pressure related mental problems and ultimately gave up pitching. I realize this is a dangerous and extreme comparison however Rick's main problem was not his head, but rather that the Cardinal's rushed him and did not correct a very basic mechanical flaw until it was too late. Some pitchers have the same problem to smaller extents. But this is basic pitching mechanics and I feel is a major reason that Wood has incosnistent INNINGS and frequent arm related issues. Any Thoughts?

Wood is not going to do anything major to change his delivery in the middle of the season. It takes many and many reps to ingrain that new delivery into your brain as normal. Maybe in teh offseason and into ST next year, but for now, he will be pretty much same old same old.

Speaking of draftees, Grant Johnson is making his debut tonight for the Peoria Chiefs against Beloit.

doesn't randy johnson throw across his body? just because a motion is not mechanically perfect does not mean it cannot function or will cause injury. on the whole, the average pitcher is better off with "perfect" mechanics...but how many pitchers have that?

Yes, Johnson does slightly throw across his body. However, his mechanics have been altered this year as well (some blame this for his performance this year). Additionally, his mechanics were terrible when he first broke into the majors (as a pitcher in the Montreal organization) and it wasn't until he refined them to this point that he was able to be a successful (albeit late developing) pitcher. I agree with you assesment that perfect mechanics are not necessary, but when you have health and control problems I would think you might examine some potentially glaring areas that are easy to "fix".

Second Sacker: Kerry Wood says that he's working on not throwing across his body and is pleased with the results. June 9, "Wood has sought to smooth his delivery and relieve stress on his arm and shoulder by not throwing across his body. He felt he was successful in doing that Wednesday in the majority of his deliveries. "I tried to take what had been working on on the side and take it out there,'' Wood said. "Just trying to keep it a little more smooth. Sometimes, depending on the situation in a game, you want to try to do a little more and end up jumping. I'm trying to keep everything the same, regardless of the situation in the game."

doesn't randy johnson throw across his body? except johnson has rarely been injured in his career and Kerry Wood knows the DL better then he knows the Wrigley Field mound. Wood has had issues with injuries since high school and he's not done one thing to alleviate the problem, basically refusing to change his mechanics in fear that he'll lose something off of his stuff. And he's going to continue to see the DL if he continues to refuse to address the problem.

Huge Cubs fan but can't speak with authority on this draft. But I read "MoneyBall" and it seemed like (from Beane's standpoint at least) that stud high-school picks were a bit risky. Anyone else worried. Eamus Catuli!

To #15: I was typing my comment, so I didn't see yours. I certainly hope Kerry has seen the "light", cause there's no doubt in my mind that something needs to be changed for him to recpature his glory.

I hope so too! However a picture is worth a thousand words. The chicagosports.com photos definetly show a need for further work. I find it baffling that millions are invested into a pitcher and his mechanics are just now given some attention. If you recall, Rothschild stated that they would review tape on Wood earlier in the year. Why wait until now. Great hitters study tape and execution why not pitchers? baffling. Maddux consistently replicates and excellant pitching motion and has remained healthy for 15 plus years. Rocket and Nolan are Kerry's idols, you would think he would note their excellant mechanics and consistent deliveries. I hope he puts it together. The talent is obvious but unfortunately the execution is suspect.

High school pitchers are certainly riskier then collegians, but Pawelek was probably a top 5 pick in terms of talent, certainly top 10. As mentioned he dropped cause of signability and cause many teams do believe that college pitchers are less of a risk compared to high schoolers. But at 20th, I think the Cubs made the right move. He may not pan out, but if he does, he has star potential. Luke Hochevar was available as well (went 40th to the Dodgers I believe) and was rated either one or two among college pitchers. But the Cubs have a number of players knocking on the door of the major league club and Pawelek seems to have a bit more upside and the Cubs certainly have the luxury to wait and let him develop. It's not like every high school pitcher is doomed for failure, it's just their success rate is lower then college pitchers.

Copying this over from the previous thread... Way back when Wood was hot stuff (20 K's), I saw a side-by-side comparison of his delivery and that of Roger Clemens. They were similar in a lot of respects, but the most telling difference was that when Clemens followed through, he came down on the ball of his foot, and when Wood followed through, he came down on his heel. I've always attributed that particular flaw in his mechanics to be the cause of his durability problems.

wood will never quit throwing entirely across his body, he is unable to locate his fastball out of any other arm slot unless he drops his body with the ball...he's tried before and it usually resulted in him airmailing it more often than not which led to the usual hotheadedness which led to him being even more spotty...sigh. wood, unfortunately or not, is a thrower....this isnt a bad thing, really...not with a little control and a 95+mph fastball to match it. for those that think/say/etc he's lazy and dont work on his pitches...well, go screw yourselves =p all you gotta do is watch a game from 1998 and one from 2001+ to see how different of a pitcher he is in many respects. he can no longer crutch on that "slurve" of his. anyone ever see schilling as a kid? and by kid i mean, pretty much until age 30...he didnt really get his crap together til his late 20s. clemens once threw him against a locker for being a cocky jerk who's "wasting his tallent"...and clemens wasnt even on the same team as him! it'd be nice if kerry could magically turn a switch and replace his mechanics, but most likely he's only gonna be able to tweak his mechanics and learn how to use what he throws to become a better pitcher. speaking of wild/harsh mechanics...by all predictions, what dontrelle willis had done with his body for 5+ years he should have had his arm cut a few dozen times by now =p

Comcast Sportsnet in Chicago is reporting that the Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry will have a press conference at 4 p.m. CST, they are reporting that a trade has been made.


A trade? I am giddy with anticipation! Betcha its Wagner!

I'll betcha that if there is a press conference its to show the Wood time table for return.

it's a fake post

was anyone else kinda weirded out by the very unneccesary and very negative "view from a cubs fan" slam on patterson? out of all the user submitted articles, the editor ran that one...hmmm...HMMMM...HMMMM =p

F them!

oh yeah...dur...that article is in the trib...which makes it the weird part...aside from the editor picking that particular fluff piece to run.

I read that as well, but I didn't take it as some secret signal that the team is trying to run Patterson out of town. The Trib sports division has a conflict of interest in their reporting on the Cubs, sure, but they've never been just the propaganda men/hatchet men for the baseball team. Surely the Cubs could employ better measures than THAT, if they really wanted to run Corey out of town. (Which I don't think they want, anyways, personally....) I'm just attributing this to a slow-submisison-week at the Trib, and to the fact that they have at least some amount of independence from the team...

#30 refered to post #28. This next comment refers to post #29: F HIM! If that's true he's an ASS!

yeah, im not claiming conspiracy...for what its worth the cubs and the tribune owned press have pretty much all been left to run themselves without hirings being dependant on sucking up to the brass up top...well, no more than any other paper it seems... i just think its a damn interesting choice of a fluff piece for an editor to greenlight outta all the submissions he got to mull over. it seems to have very little benefit and an odd way to call someone out seeing its criticism that isnt even coming internally.

Cool down the tenor, Chad.

Not only was the Trib negative on Patterson in the "View from a Cubs Fan" they also felt the need to throw in this blurb today... "Damon watch Boston center fielder Johnny Damon, who comes to town with the Red Sox on Friday, will be a free agent in November and is the type of leadoff man the Cubs have been lacking. Damon's only drawback is his lack of poweróhe had one homer through Tuesday. He doesn't think that should hurt. "I'll be all right either way," Damon told the Boston Globe. "They know what they'll getóa winner. I can do a lot of other things.""" With so many FA's available next year, does anyone else find it ironic that they picked a CF for a "Watch"?

Well, it's certainly true that the cubs are looking for a leadoff man. I just think this all is one manifestation of everyone's recognition that Corey hasn't yet turned into the player we hoped he would, and the sort-of-related fact that we don't have a leadoff hitter. Still don't think it's a hint of any pending trade.

#35 - Jeez

I disagree. Wood's mechanical problems stem from his elbow angle at the start of the follow through. He's way past 90 degrees. I had another PT/pitching mechanics guy agree with me today. And unless you have seen thousands and thousands of pitchers, I have no idea how you could base anything off of those three pitches I saw on the tape.

Alas your screen name reminds me of the good old days when I had an apartment on Grace St. very near the Marigold Bowl. Alas (AGAIN!) I understand it is now closed. Of course it was already a dive decades ago but we're talking Chicago landmarks disappearing here.

"Betcha its Wagner!" Why in the $%[email protected]) would the Phils trade Wagner? they are more in the playoff hunt than we are at the moment (being in the division and wild card race) I've heard a few on that kick here since the beginning of the season...it didn't make sense to me then, and it makes less sense now that the Phils are in a playoff position. I also happen to think A closer is not our top priority at the moment. On another note, Cubs coaches have started to call out Patterson in a very public manner. I get e-mails all the time from a chain I am on with people ripping Patterson to shreads. This is not isolated to one bitter fan and a newspaper. Honestly, I'll be happy to see Patterson go if he is on the way out. I love his upside potential, but I simply hate his mental approach to the game and think that it is getting in the way of the Cubs.

Why would they trade Wagner? They have two closers. They can now improve in ANY other category they would like. Perhaps starting pitching or a better centerfielder (I believe old Kenny Lofton is still patroling center there).

I think Patterson still has a lot of upside offensively. He's still just 25 and most position players don't blossom at the plate until age 27 or so. The thing that concerns me is his defense. Anyone notice that he seems to be just fast enough to get to a ball, but not focused enough to make the catch? I can count 3 balls in the last week that he was able to get to, only to close the glove on air and have the ball bounce off of it. Plus the bone-head throw over the catcher...

Chad, I'd be amazed if they would trade Wagner to a team they would be contending with for a WC spot...but crazier things have happened.

Good first game for Urbina in a Phils uniform... .1 IP, 22 pitches, 2 hits, 2 BB, 4 ER All that with a 10-4 lead going into the 9th. They had to bring Wagner in to save the game.

They have two closers though.

I'm not a big Patterson guy either, but this anti-Patterson sentiment has gone WAY overboard. Even with all his flaws, he's still a very good CF with speed; a very capable 6/7 hitter. The problem everyone has is in not letting go the high expectations of a few years ago and the frustration with his strike zone recognition (or lack thereof). He's not going to change much as a player; the cake is pretty much baked. However, the finished product is a pretty good player, even with the frustrating strikeouts. Not a savior or a franchise cornerstone, but a real contributor; a (usually) excellent CF with great speed and some power. It's time that we start accepting the guy for who he is, and stop holding OUR bloated expectations against him. We miscalibrated his potential. Just because he's no longer the future of the franchise doesn't mean he sucks.

Hey guess what Cubs fans that live in Central Illinois. The Fox Network has decided that unless we live in Chicago, we are Cardinals fans, and thus this Saturday when everyone in Chicago will be watching Cubs vs Red Sox, the rest of us in Central Illinois will be treated to Cardinals vs Yankees. Why?? I have no clue, since St. Louis is in ANOTHER FRIGGIN STATE. Either way, if you live in the Central Illinois area and would like to complain about not being able to see Cubs vs Red Sox this Saturday at 2:15 PM, go here: http://wrsptv.com/contact.html

433 I'll tell you the problem with CP not becoming a star. He holds us back from getting a better player there. He was a big reason (not the ONLY reason) that we didnt' get Carlos Beltran. He was the reason that we didn't sign Kenny Lofton (let us not forget what he did at the leadoff spot for us!) He may have cost us Jim Edmonds (speculation) His development may have cost us Jim Thome (why would we need to pay ALL that money if the left hand second coming was on the horizon?) Maybe Johnny Damon would have been a Cub maybe Preston Wison. Who knows. But anyway, whats the differnece between Jeromy Burnitz and CP? Not much. I say that cause I'd rather have Burnitz as our 6th hitter and a real centerfielder as a leadoff. CarmenFanzone said it best: CP is the Shawon dusnston of the new millenium.

but...corey patterson IS preston wilson =p

Corey couldn't carry Wilson's jockstrap.

Also, Carmen didn't exactly say that. He made the great comparison, though.

Chad-- "His [Corey's] development may have cost us Jim Thome (why would we need to pay ALL that money if the left hand second coming was on the horizon?)" Go Corey! It wasn't exactly the hardest thing to predict, an old player getting worse, but Jim Thome is in 167 plate appearances so far this year hitting 205/365/333 (yes, his OBP is higher than his SLG) while striking out in one of every three at-bats. There's $61.33m left on his contract (assuming they buy out his option). Er, I think I'll let the Phillies take the gamble on him turning things around to the extent that he's worth that money. And, besides, I'm happy with Derrek Lee right now. And, besides, it was Hee Seop Choi that blocked Thome. Chad-- "But anyway, whats the difference between Jeromy Burnitz and CP? Not much." It's a big enough difference that even when Corey is underperforming as he is right now, he's still better than Burnitz overall! Corey has excellent power, plays well above average defence at a very important defensive position, is a very good baserunner, and is young, still cheap and under our control for a few years yet. Burnitz has excellent power, plays bleh defence at a pretty unimportant defensive positions, isn't a very good baserunner, and is old, more expensive and, thank God, out of contract at the end of the year, assuming the Cubs have the sense to realise what they should have realised all along. Neither is particularly good when it comes to balls and strikes. Burnitz is probably marginally better, but both strikeout too much, neither walks enough. The difference is that if either one of them is going to improve with balls and strikes, it'll be Corey. And if Corey does figure out balls and strikes, the sky's not too far from being the limit. Will Corey improve? Maybe. He should if someone comes along and remorsely drills it into him repeatedly until the idea sticks. Naturally, that should have been done five, six years ago. That's the difference between Corey Patterson and Jeromy Burnitz, seeing as you asked. And it's a big difference. Chad-- "Corey couldn't carry Wilson's jockstrap." I think it's more a case of Corey wouldn't carry Wilson's jockstrap. He just doesn't want to be touching other people's jockstraps. And are you being serious? Preston Wilson, a guy five years older and five times more expensive than Corey, who hits like Corey despite playing in Colorado while not bringing anywhere near as much defensively or on the basepaths as Corey any more, and you think he's better than Corey? Corey Patterson is to the likes of Preston Wilson what Moises Alou is to hands.

Hi: First, from Will Carroll's column on Baseball Prospectus, I found the following particularly noteworthy comment from Dusty: "A simulated game is something like simulated wood or real faux pleather. It will do, if that's what's there, but it's not like having the real thing. Kerry Wood will take the results of his simulated game on Wednesday and like them just fine. Throwing to Jose Macias and Enrique Wilson is almost its own punchline, but Wood looked good according to those who saw his three-inning session. Wood will throw at least one more time--likely another simulated game--before being activated. Sergio Mitre may have given the Cubs a bit more breathing room with his great performance on Wednesday. More encouraging was this TWIQ-worthy quote from Dusty Baker via Cubs.com: "What I've noticed is that he's leading the league in complete games and averaging under 100 pitches during his games," Baker said of Roy Halladay. "Maybe we can pay attention, especially some of the younger guys, on how to minimize your pitches."" The discussion about how bad Corey is and whether he is worse or better than Jeremy Burnitz or Preston Wilson led me to Baseball Prospectus's stat page and looking at their VORPs, they all suck. (That Wilson is sucking at Coors means he must really suck although his VORP 6.3is adjusted for park effects - Corey's VORP is 5.6). How good or bad the real Corey is may be still debatable, but he has really sucked so far this year. I then looked at Dubois's, Hollingsworth's, and Burnitz's VORPs are also abysmal (-3.0 for Todd, 5.2 for Jason, and 6.4 for Burnitz), all far down the list for their positions. For those who like to be dismissive of stats like VORP, Derek Lee is leading all of baseball with a VORP already over 50 with 2/3ds of the season to go (any player who gets a VORP of over 100 for full season has had had a fabulous season). There are two options, try to trade for some better outfielders, or wait and see if these guys return there level of performance.

Except VORP measures hitting only.

I'm a bit concerned with the apparent growing desire of some fans to rotate people in and out of the club out of impatience and frustration. First it was 'the Cubs will be good if only they can get rid of Farnsworth and Sosa.' Then it's 'they will be good if only they can get rid of Hawkins and Patterson.' I'm all for improving the team, but some of these suggestions reek of impatience if not panic. All teams have flaws. Nobody is perfect. If there's a glaring problem then Hendry should try and fix it but this isn't a fantasy team. Some continuity is needed.

re: my comment about mechanics, I wasn't implying that Wood shouldn't change his delivery. I'm all for that. I was replying to the idea that Pawelek needed to change the way he throws. The reason people are hard on Patterson is because the "well he's cheaper than Tori Hunter/Preston Wilson/whomever" argument is infuriating. Corey was the #1 or #2 prospect in all of baseball at one point, and the Cubs don't have the kind of depth to be content with him as a Tori Hunter type. The Cubs NEED him to be a star, and sadly that doesn't seem likely anymore.

Corey the 21st century version of Mark Grace. I remember in the 90's all the power hitting first baseman the Cubs could have had but they had to keep Grace with his .310 average and 10 homeruns. Cpat a centerfield with speed who does not get on base and is flakey in the field. That said I would keep him to play left field at minimum pay and get a Damon or lead off hitting CF. Corey still has good upside, but he will never be a lead off hitter.

Chris--"The reason people are hard on Patterson is because the "well he's cheaper than Torii Hunter/Preston Wilson/whomever" argument is infuriating."
That really doesn't make any sense, at least not to me. If someone's not going to be a superstar, probably best not to pay them superstar money.
Chris--Corey was the #1 or #2 prospect in all of baseball at one point, and the Cubs don't have the kind of depth to be content with him as a Torii Hunter type. The Cubs NEED him to be a star, and sadly that doesn't seem likely anymore.
The Cubs only have themselves to blame for Corey not living up to expectations. They're the ones that promoted him level to level long before he was ready, before he had learnt the lessons he needed to have learnt to be successful in the majors. They asked him to do too much too soon, they asked him to be a star before he even should have been a regular, and it set him back a long way, perhaps irreversably (although I personally still believe not). And, besides, what on earth is so wrong with a Torii Hunter-type if he's costing us a few million? You can't have superstars at every position. Why are we even talking about Corey? The far, far bigger problem for the Cubs right now is their lack of production from the corner outfield positions. You say Corey needs to be a star because we don't have the depth. Wouldn't the better way around things be acquiring the depth at the corner outfield positions so Corey can be Corey, which is good enough, instead of asking that Corey be a young Ken Griffey Jr picking up the slack of the two people either side of him?

If you are an excellent player, it shouldn't matter how long you are in the minors and how quickly you get brought up. Corey had/has the talent, he is just choosing to not use it to its full ability or just doesn't have the talent anymore. Great players like, Bonds, Pujols, Prior, Griffey Jr. (just to name a few) all went through the minors in

I think we should start calling Corey by his REAL name...DONALD!!!

How about trading for Vernon Wells?

Here are the top ten most similar players to Patterson through age 24: Reggie Smith (961) Ruppert Jones (961) Chili Davis (960) Dwight Evans (957) Rick Monday (954) Jimmy Wynn (954) Sixto Lezcano (952) Dave Winfied (950) Andre Dawson (950) Jose Guillen (950) Not that bad a list.

Scott- Great Info!! But is Corey more Sixto Lezcano than Winfield.

Folks, I am a Corey defender, and for good reason. Look around the majors and create a list of other CFs you would rather have than Corey... Damon, Beltran, Edmonds. Maybe Andrew Jones, Brad Wilkerson and Hideki Matsui. That's it. There are the "speed" guys --Pierre? Crawford? Podsednik? Dave Roberts? No, no, no, no. There are the old/injured guys -- Griffey? Garrett Anderson? Steve Finley? Milton Bradley? Torii Hunter? No, no, no, no, no. There are the expensive/overpaid guys-- Vernon Wells? Preston Wilson? No, no. And there are guys whose names simply make me laugh--Lew Ford? Aaron Rowand? Tike Redman? Coco Crisp? Fact is, Corey, faults and all, is in the top quartile of starting CFs in baseball. That is not a hole. Burnitz/DuBois/Holly are, at best "average" corner outfielders. That's where this team can improve its chances the quickest and in the most cost-effective way.

>How about trading for Vernon Wells? Wells and Patterson are an interesting parallel, both 5th round draft picks a year apart in the draft and in age. Both were phenoms. Wells developed power; Patterson has speed. So far, Wells has been the more productive player. But both are entering what should be their primes the next couple of seasons.

Vernon Wells, Corey Patterson = Top 5 Picks in draft, not "5th round"

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport... A bit on Grant Johnson's performance last night... 5 IP, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 HBP, 1 HR 36 of 62 pitches for strikes (he was on a 70 pitch count limit) Apperently he picked off the runner that he hit in the head....

Inside the Ivy has a Q & A with 9th round pick Matt Avery (P - Virginia U.) and a draft capsule for 10th round pick Jason Simokaitis (SS - Nebraska) Avery: http://cubs.scout.com/2/386283.html (subscription required) Simokaitis: http://cubs.scout.com/2/386240.html To summarize, Avery throws a fastball, change, curve, topping out at 94 on the fastball, but usually around 88 to 91. Claims to throw a lot of strikes and get a lot of groundballs and relies on his changeup. Is not committed to sign with the Cubs if he doesn't receive a "fair deal". Stats: (2005) 6-5, 4.34 ERA, 15 G, 71 K, 28 BB (2004) 7-2, 3.22 ERA, 14 G, 51 K, 30 BB (2003) 2-4, 3.40 ERA, 14 G, 20 K, 14 BB Simokaitis: Defensive stud, was 18th in NCAA history with 32 sacrifice bunts before this season, doesn't sound very good offensively. Hit .169 in Cape Cod League last summer, best they could say about his offense was that he added strength and is effective at moving runners and has good speed. Nebraska is playing right now on ESPN I believe....

Apparently a rain delay...so there showing a regular season mathcup between Texas and Nebraska instead.

John, Let's look at our comparisons of Jeromy Burnitz and Corey Patterson: JB/CP ABS 223/222 RUNS 29/30 HRS 8/10 RBIS 34/21 BB 18/11 K 43/52 SB 3/8 AVE .260/.266 Jeromy will never will a Gold Glove in right field but he is not a bad fielder. He moves well and has a good arm. He has/can play center. In fact, should Patterson get hurt and need to miss a couple of weeks I'd bet that they would move Burny to center. Patterson is a better fielder over all due to his speed. But you know what? His speed is what bails him out of his bonehead mistakes. He doesn't have a good feel for the ball or seem to be able to get himself into postion well. He misreads the ball ALL THE TIME, he's just fast enough to make up for it. You claim that Corey is a good baserunner? I would disagree. I think he's a terrible baseruneer. Once again, he has blazing speed so that makes up for bad mistakes. And DC, I would trade STRAIGHT UP Pierre or Crawford for CP anyday. Lets face it guys CP is not going to get any better. Look at his numbers and I think they are downright CRAPPY for a sixth hitter who plays centerfield. Those numbers could be replaced easily.

Today's line up SS Neifi CF Patterson 1B Lee RF Burnitz 3B Ramirez 2B Walker LF Hollandsworth C Barrett P Maddux

He misreads the ball ALL THE TIME, he's just fast enough to make up for it. Corey spends a long time watching the ball as it heads to the outfield. Great CF's start running to the ball almost before they hear the crack of the bat. Like you say, CP uses his speed to cover up a lack of feel for the position.

DC Tom-- I'd much rather have Lew Ford, who you think "has a funny name", than K-Patt. Ford makes contact, he's an OBP monster, and a real nice hitter. His only problem is that he's had guys in front of him throughout his career, so now he finds himself on the wrong side of his 20's. But dude can play, and much better than K-Patt. Also, I forget which post now, but someone neglected to note that Patterson has NEVER in his professional career, but for a two-month stretch in early 2003, done ANYTHING to merit the praise or awe you would expect for a 1st round "5-tool" pick. Patterson's numbers beyond single A are demonstrably underwhelming, proving once again that minor league big numbers are not necessarily a strong indicator of future big league success, but minor league underachieving is a sure indicator of future big league failure. K-Patt==FAILURE. Let's move him, and move on with this team's future.

Eric, i don't know if you'll read this... I was very unfamiliar with Lew Ford so I looked him up. i would trade Ford for Patterson STRAIGHT UP. I'm with you on all your patterson takes.

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  • Arizona Phil 20 min ago (view)

    The fact hat the Cubs have not run him through waivers by now tells me the Cubs know Duane Underwood Jr is a lock to get claimed and so they are hoping to find a club that would be willing to give the Cubs something more than the $50,000 waiver price in return for Dunderwood (either more $$$ and/or a player). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 1 min ago (view)

    Today's pitchers, most of them the same guys who threw last Tuesday: 

    Alec Mills:
    FB: 89-91 
    SL: 81 
    CH: 81-82 
    CV: 67-70 
    COMMENT: This just in: Mills heater now sitting at 91!!!!... had two easy innings and looked very good... threw only a handful of his "Bugs Bunny curves" but they are fun to watch because hitters don't know how to deal with it... ... 

    Craig Kimbrel: 
    FB: 93-96 
    CT: 87-88 
    SL: 82-84 


  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 35 min ago (view)

    DJL: Jason Adam sustained a right elbow fracture a few years ago and missed two full seasons, and when he returned to action he started using a "short-arm" delivery. 


  • crunch 1 hour 36 min ago (view)

    baez "soft tissue injury"...no biggie...it's spring.  he'll be back in a day or 2.


  • crunch 3 hours 45 min ago (view)

    kimbrel...K, single, HBP, 3 more hits...inning called due to pitch count.  4 earned.

    also, baez removed after being HBP on the hand.



  • First.Pitch.120 9 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.

    Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton. 


  • First.Pitch.120 9 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Yes! Exactly... I'd love to be able to watch coverages in football or just key-in on a great WR to watch them work.


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Wow... this is the most engagement I have ever received on any topic on social media platform. Please stay tuned for my opinions on the Oxford Comma, the APA Style Manual for Academic Writing, and the auto-correct on my iPhone.  

    I am an awesome guy at parties.... 


  • bradsbeard 20 hours 26 min ago (view)

    I watched some of the Puerto Rican Winter League games that Miguel Amaya played in this winter. At least one broadcast had a super wide shot for balls in play that let you see the OF and the baserunners at the same time. It was awesome. 


  • Wrigley Rat 23 hours 32 min ago (view)

    3 dots on this evening's Cubs-Dodgers game - makes sense & they do color in the 3rd dot as they're going to commericals (Spectrum Sportsnet).


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    3 dot crew represent.  i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.


  • Charlie 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!

    Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.


  • George Altman 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.