2013 Draft Review: Chicago Cubs

Bryant, Kris

Over the next six weeks, MLB-DI will take a look at each teams draft class, breaking down the best — and most questionable — over the past week.

Next up, the Chicago Cubs? The Cubs switched their focus from prep-heavy in 2012 to college focused in 2013, but did they get good value throughout the three days? Let’s discuss.

The Decision Makers

General Manager: Jed Hoyer

Director, Scouting: Chad McDonald

The Breakdown

College: 29

Prep: 11

Pitchers: 19

Position Players: 21

LHP: 3

RHP: 16

Catchers: o6

Corner infielders: 02

Middle infielders: 05

Outfielders: 08

 The First Ten Rounds

Value Key:

Steal: Player was selected several rounds — or in the case of the first-round, several picks — later than his value indicated.

Solid: Player was taken later than his value indicated.

Average: Player was selected where his value indicated.

Slight-reach: Player was taken slightly earlier than his value indicated.

Reach: Player was drafted several rounds or picks earlier than his value indicated.

Pick Player Position  School Value
01.02 Kris Bryant 3B San Diego Average
02.41 Rob Zastrynzy LHP Missouri Slight-Reach
03.75 Jacob Hannemann CF BYU Reach
04.108 Tyler Skulina RHP Kent State Average
05.138 Trey Masek RHP Texas Tech Solid
06.168 Scott Frazier RHP Pepperdine Solid
07.198 David Garner RHP Michigan State Average
08.228 Sam Wilson LHP Lamar C.C. Average
09.258 Charcer Burks OF William B. Travis H.S. (Tex.) Average
10.288 Zach Godley RHP Tennessee Reach

Analysis: Everyone assumed that the Cubs were going to take whomever the Astros passed on between Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, but the Cubs went with the best offensive player on the board in Bryant. I personally would have picked Gray? But that doesn’t mean that I have an issue with the pick. Bryant’s 70 power to all fields will fit in very nicely in Wrigley Field, and I think he’s going to be able to play third for the long run.

I don’ t think the Cubs went way off the board with Zastrynzy, but there’s a couple of things that could keep him from being a mid rotation starter at the next level. He’ll throw all four of his offerings for strikes, but he doesn’t have an out pitch and I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to stay 91-93 at the next level because there’s very little torque in his delivery. I think he’s a solid back-end guy because of the four pitches and change, but there were better starters on the board at this point.

While I can justify the Zastrynzy pick in the second, I struggle to justify the Hannemann pick in the third. Yes he’s athletic, but he’s also 22 years old and extremely raw, still. I thought Hannemann would be a solid lottery ticket in the back end of the first ten rounds, but at 75? There’s just too much risk involved.

After Hannemann, however, I liked what Chicago did. Tyler Skulina has a ton of arm strength, and at times he looked like a top 100 guy. The Cubs will have to get him to throw his breaking ball with more consistency, but if he does he’s a potential mid-rotation starter, or at worst a quality bullpen arm.

I loved the Masek pick in the fifth round, as a guy with three above-average pitches and an advanced feel for pitching. There’s not a ton of upside, but I think Masek is a very safe bet to end up a back of the rotation arm at the next level, with slight chance for more.

Gardner is definitely a reliever at the next level because of his size and command, but he might be a pretty good one with a fastball that will run up to 95 and a breaking-ball that will flash above average.

The Cubs took some chances in the later rounds, but have a strong chance of signing (if they haven’t already) Trevor Clifton and Tyler Alamo. Clifton was on a lot of boards this summer because of his projectable build and a fastball that’s touched 97. but struggled a bit with consistency. He’s not a top 100 guy for me, but a solid value play that late, assuming the delivery can be cleaned up. Alamo has a ton of raw power, but there’s a ton of swing and miss in his game already and I’m not sure he can stay behind the plate.


Final Thoughts

This was a tough draft to process (notice I didn’t say grade?), and one that I have mixed feelings about. Most of what I saw was solid, I think Bryant is going to be an all-star and I think Zastrynzy Masek and Skulina all have a chance to be solid No. 3 to 5 starters. That being said, I don’t think there’s a ton of upside in this draft, sans Hannemann, and generally you’d prefer your upside play to not be a 22 year old freshman. Still, I think Chicago did a nice job accruing talent, and if Hannemann proves he is Jacoby Ellsbury-esque, then this could be one of the better drafts we saw this year.

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4 Responses to “2013 Draft Review: Chicago Cubs”

  1. Zane says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Chris. I thought Zastryzny was a reach as well. There have been some rumors that he was hitting mid 90′s with his FB at the SEC tournament. I guess we will if he can consistently keep his FB in the low 90′s going forward. Hannemann seems like a reach as well. Then again, maybe he will surprise us even though he is older due to an LDS mission. Rumors are floating around that Clifton is signing for 3rd round money. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciated your observations. I look forward to more of them. Take it easy. :)

  2. Bea Arthur's Husband says:

    Not be be a troll and I can’t argue with your analysis in anyway. However, let’s get facts straight here–Jed Hoyer is GM. Not Theo. He is team president. Jason McLeod is the key guy along with the top 2. Jaron Madison is no higher than 4 on the depth chart.

    These are really big errors.

    While they all seem to make decisions, each deserves at least the respect of being mentioned with the right job.

    again, Im sure your prospect analysis is solid.

  3. Zane says:

    Yeah, that’s an error I quickly overlooked when I first read the piece. For accuracy purposes, Theo is the PBO, not the general manager. Jason McLeod really is our draft guru, but Jaron Madison holds the title of Amateur Scouting Director. This still doesn’t change Chris’ analysis as you said.

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