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
Position Players: 21
Corner infielders: 02
Middle infielders: 05
The First Ten Rounds
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.
|01.02||Kris Bryant||3B||San Diego||Average|
|04.108||Tyler Skulina||RHP||Kent State||Average|
|05.138||Trey Masek||RHP||Texas Tech||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|
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.
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.