2006 Draft: Cubs Using Money for Persuasion
With the Cubs not possessing a second, third, or fourth round pick in this year's draft, they set themselves up for either saving a few million dollars or taking highly regarded talents that fall due to signability concerns. The Cubs didn't cop out on us, they spent the money and they took the chances under Wilken's first year as scouting director.
The newest use of money comes on the heels of the Cubs formally coming to an agreement with 11th rounder Chris Huseby, who was considered a lock to go to college. He joins a list of highly touted high school players that were considered extreme longshots to sign with a major league club and instead go honor their college letters of intents and become top round picks in a few years. The main concern for Andersen, Rundle, and Huseby were all questions of signability and their leverage of college committments. The Cubs proved that money does talk.
Perhaps the biggest suprise and risk of the three is right handed pitcher Chris Huseby . As is he didn't throw more than five games between his junior and senior seasons of high school due to rehabbing his surgically repaired arm (Tommy John surgery).
But by May, his arm was healed and he was clocked as fast as 93 mph and consistantly around 90 mph. Not many other teams were interested due to his injury and lack of experience, but one Florida Cub scout, Rolondo Pino, the same man who found Sean Gallagher, saw something in kid who's now filled out a 6'7 frame. Pino kept tabs on Huseby as a sophomore and was in touch during his rehabbing process. With everything looking good he gave Wilken/Hendry a very favorable report on him and three days before the draft he had a private tryout before Hendry and Wilken. Still all signs pointed to Huseby owning up to his commitment to pitch for Auburn unless the Cubs offered up top tier money. And Cubs did not disappoint by getting Huseby to sign for 1.3 million. Last year, the lowest picked player to receive a bonus of a million or more was No. 33, Huseby was the No. 329th pick. In comparision, the Cubs 2006 first round pick Colvin received just 1.475 million.
A player from my neck of the woods, Drew Rundle, put up great numbers in high school (Bend, OR) and has a god given ability to play the game gracefully at every facet. The 6'3 190lbs left handed outfielder has a pure smooth stroke, great plate discipline, speed on the bases, great arm and glove in the field. His power is slight but he's going to put more muscle on and likely to add much more power to his game. Some analysts had him going as high as the 1st round of the supplement portion of the draft. But teams didn't bite due to money and college so when the Cubs saw him still there in the 14th round they'd decide to roll the dice and see if the kid would sign. Rundle had already signed a letter of intent to play at Arizona, and they were looking forward to his presence. Yet Drew had a dream of playing in the big leagues sooner rather than later and the Cubs were willing to reach his asking price of a half million dollars.
Much like Rundle, Clifford Andersen was regarded as a top round talent but many teams passed on him due to signability concerns and that he had already signed a letter of intent at Oklahoma State. The pitcher/centerfielder instead past up his college career and signed for a little more than a half million dollars. Currently he's in the Arizona Cubs outfield.
The Cubs have now signed 26 of their 47 draft picks from the 2006 Draft:
Rd Pos Name School Bonus
1 OF Tyler Colvin Clemson $1.475 million bonus
5 RHP Jeff Samardzija Notre Dame $250,000 bonus (5yr/7.25M)
6 3B/2B Josh Lansford Cal Poly SLO
7 SS Steve Clevenger Chipola College
8 RHP Billy Muldowny Pittsburgh
9 OF Clifford Andersen Cottonwood HS ~$700,000 bonus
10 RHP Jacob Renshaw Ventura JC
11 RHP Chris Huseby Martin County HS $1.3 million bonus
12 RHP Kitt Kopach Illinois State
13 OF Matt Camp North Carolina State
14 OF Drew Rundle Bend (OR) HS $500,000 bonus
15 C Matt Canepa Cal Poly SLO
16 C Richard Parker Arkansas
19 LHP Jeremey Paplebon North Florida
21 LHP Taylor Parker Missouri
23 RHP Charles Platt Lamar
24 SS Matt Matulia Citadel
26 RHP Michael Cooper Cal Berkeley
30 RHP Donald Walters Richland College
32 SS Cesar Valentin Catalina Morales de Flore HS
33 RHP Ronald Clipp Point Loma Nazarene U
36 RHP Greibal Cuevas-Novas LA Pierce College
40 RHP Eli Diaz Texarkana CC
45 OF Eliot Shea Franklin Pierce College
47 RHP Andrew McCormick Pikeville College
49 3B/2B Ryne Malone Florida State
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Last edited by Bob Sacamento; 07-03-2006 at 06:09 PM.