Chicago Cubs Get Pitching Early and Hard In MLB Draft
The buzz from the Chicago Cub`s draft room is a positive one. Similar to last years draft, the Cubs went deep and early on young pitching. The Cub`s vice president of scouting, Jason McLeod, was very high on this years group and had this to say about the early on bringing of pitchers.
[quote]”We definitely wanted to have a pitching-heavy draft again this year. After the (first 10 rounds ) Theo (Epstein) and I were sitting there looking at the board and I felt really good about it.”[/quote]
The major difference between this years group of pitchers and last years is the fact that all seven of the ten round pitchers have pitched in college. Last year the Cubs drafted several high school arms that will have to be in development for a while longer than the college arms. This could mean that the Chicago Cubs are looking for some more immediate help in their farm system, or it could mean that they are more comfortable with scouting older kids. Again, Jason was quoted on ESPN saying,
[quote]”We talked a lot about needing some starting pitching in the organization and we felt we needed to take guys that were a little bit more advanced,” he said. “We wanted to infuse the system with guys who fit the criteria of what we felt could be starting pitchers and that was reflected in the top 5 or 6 rounds.”[/quote]
So the Cub`s are looking to the mound for help and I think it is the right way to address their rather dire situation. However, in my opinion the two names that stuck out to me were the first round pick and the third, both non-pithcers.
Their first round pick was Kris Bryant who is both a third baseman and an outfielder. He is considered an elite hitter by many with the small taint of striking out more than usual. But the kid is a golden bear. I think he has the upside to be a fantastic player. His bat speed needs a little bit of work, but with some conditioning in the minors I see no reason for Kris not to be in the majors in a year or two and potentially be suiting up for all-star games quickly.
The third round pick is a colleague of mine Jacob Hannemann. Jacob went to the same university as me this past year and was a standout for our baseball team. I followed the BYU team very closely and Jacob has several things going for him. He has standout speed, solid defense, and has no off-field problems. He suited up for only a year, due to his LDS mission, and displayed a solid .344 AVG with .413 OBP. Mcleod went on to talk about the 22 year old after the draft.
[quote]”We went a little bit off the board with his selection,” McLeod said. “We are really excited about his upside and potential as well. He was a guy we felt we just had to have with his athleticism and his strength. We feel he has tremendous upside even though he is already 22 with only one year of baseball under his belt.”[/quote]
I personally love both of these picks. The Cubs drafted two players who are a little older yet a little more secure in what they will produce. I see both of them being big league talent and look forward to the Cubs moving forward from this draft.