Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Draft Day 2 and some potential perspective

The day 1 draft pick of Hayden Simpson caused an uproar all throughout the Interwebs in both Cub and Non Cub sites. Let me go on record that I don't mind the pick, per se, just where Simpson was picked. I think the Cubs should have waited until the 3rd round to select him. I am hopeful that Simpson will turn into a useful player but unless he turns into a near stud, I don't think good teams gamble like this in the first round.

Having said that, it actually kept me up last night trying to figure out what Tim Wilken was doing with the pick. I have concluded this. All of the players available to the Cubs had some flaws. They were asking too much money. They needed to be moved from their current position. They had command issues. They lacked power or speed or they had a hole in their swing. They threw too many pitches in college and were injury risks.They didn't have great stuff. Selecting any of them would have been somewhat risky also. I am referring to guys like Alex Wimmers, Asher Wojciechowski, Anthony Ranuado, Zach Cox, Josh Sales, Justin O'Connor.

Now each of those players profiled as a first round pick and I'd have gone that route but each of them has some flaws in their game. There were no slamdunk picks at 16 here. So I think Wilken looked at Simpson. He saw someone who was refined, could throw hard and had a ton of success in college and decided he wanted him. He figured, hey, all the other prospects here have issues that are making us not take them. Why not take Simpson? I think the fact that he heard rumblings about the Angels, who had like 86 first round picks, considering taking him forced his hand.

I don't like the pick, but that's the justification I'm going with.

Today is Day 2 and they will be picking through the 30th round. I will enter picks in here with some commentary from Andy Seiler's Bonus Baby Site as the Cubs make their pick. I will stop after round 10. Maybe the second round pick will be a highly projectible player who has big time signing bonus expectations like AJ Cole, Stetson Allie or Austin Wilson. I'm done speculating on what the Cubs will do.

Round 2: Reggie Golden OF Wetumka HS (WA): Here's some video from MLB.com. I like this pick a lot more than the first round choice. Golden is a high risk, high reward player. Judging by his size, he has compared to Ron Gant. In the video you can see him popping a HR at Wrigley Field. Feels right. Just saying.

Round 3: Micah Gibbs C LSU: Switch hitting catcher who is quite good defensively. He showed big time power this last year but there appears to be a question about whether or not he will have the bat speed necessary to play catcher regularly in the majors. I'm happy with him and will have some video soon. I think the Cubs needed catching depth in their system. Unless you're a Wellington Castillo fan (or God help you, a Robinson Chirinos fan), Gibbs immedietely becomes the top catching prospect in the system.

Round 4: Hunter Ackerman LHP Louisburg Junior College (NC). I'll copy and paste the scouting report from Andy Seiler here:

“Hunter Ackerman is a short left-handed junior college pitcher from Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina. Ackerman originally came to Louisburg from Cosby High School in Midlothian, Virginia, which is just outside of Richmond. He wasn’t much of a prospect at all coming out of high school, and most teams barely gave him a second thought last spring, so he went undrafted. He landed at Louisburg, where he’s put together an excellent freshman campaign. That campaign has gotten him more scouting attention, and he’s no longer an unknown name. As with most junior college freshmen, the leverage he has is enormous, so he could easily fall down draft boards, but there’s plenty of reason to think that he could start his career as soon as the draft is over. He has a ceiling as a possible number five starter or middle reliever, and that is quite obtainable in fairly short order. His fastball is an average pitch that sits 87-89, and he gets good sink on it, making him a groundball pitcher. He adds in a potential average curveball that needs more zip behind it, and his last pitch is a potential solid-average changeup, meaning he shouldn’t be useless against right-handed hitters if he ends up having a career in the bullpen. This is no LOOGY. He has built up enough draft stock to become a seventh to twelfth round pick on talent, but if his leverage as a freshman comes into play, he’ll likely be a late-round pick with interest for next year.”

Not sure what to think about this. I do think this is where you pick the players you fall in love with. Ackerman may be a signability question mark here. I think if he asks for too much, he isn't the guy you throw Samardzija money at.

Round Five: Matt Szczur OF Villanova. Now this is what I'm talking about. I knew nothing about this player prior to the draft (just like Haydon Simpson) but this is a Simpson-esque pick. He is fast and hit really well at Villanova. He was a wide receiver on the Villanova football team so this article asks the obvious questioin and appears that not only does Szczur consider himself a baseball player, he says he only considers himself a baseball player. Going in the fifth round, he might get higher than slot money but who cares, the Cubs can afford it.

According the article, he was considered by Baseball America to be the second fastest runner among all college positon players eligible to be drafted and he put up some gaudy numbers. This is my favorite pick of the draft and to think the Cubs got this guy in round five....

Round Six: Ivan DeJesus OF Cupeyville School (PR) Puerto Rican OF with the famous name. Here is a picture of him and notes from his commitment to UAB to play baseball. My read on him is that he is very raw with quite an upside if the Cubs can sign him away from UAB. This is the second high school player the Cubs have taken in the draft after Reggie Golden.

Round Seven: Ben Wells RHP RHP Bryant HS (AR) Can't find too much on him yet. Seems to be a big right hander out of high school. Picked seventh, my gut tells me he doesn't sign. Who knows. Only comment from Andy Seiler was "I don't like this pick at all". I'll see what I can get when I do a complete wrap up in a couple of days.

Round Eight: Cameron Greathouse LHP/OF Gulf Coast CC (Fl) In my cursory look, this is a better selection than Wells. I did see video of him and I'm no scout but I think this guy needs to really clean up his motion or else he's going to hurt his shoulder. Apparently he's also an outfield prospect with a little upside there also.

Excellent justification,

Excellent justification, Sayers. Could very well be how Wilkens was feeling about the pick.

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