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A Look at the Cubs 2011 Possible Draft Picks

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  • A Look at the Cubs 2011 Possible Draft Picks

    The draft is nearly a week away and this draft is shaping up to be the deepest in nearly a decade. It’s full of projectable high schoolers on the mound and in the field as well as tested college veterans. Plus with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and a monster overhaul in the draft system likely to happen before the draft of 2012, odds are that many later round draft picks seen as unsignable get top money as this could be their last chance to get the money that they desire. Some of those changes that are being talked about are a Global draft intergration with the current one in place along with hard draft slots that would take much of the advantage away from high schoolers. With the Cubs picking 9th overall (d/t the Dbacks inability to sign Barrett Loux which would have made the Cubs pick 8th overall), and not wasting a free agent signing that would cost them a draft pick. The Cubs get strong picks later in the draft due to their position and money availability. All of the prospects listed are likely to finish early in the first round or subsequent sandwich picks. I’ve left out Rice’s 3B Anthony Rendon, UCLA’s RHP Gerritt Cole, Oklahoma HSer Dylan Bundy, and Virgina LHP Danny Hultzen due to all four are almost dead set to be gone by the time the Cubs pick.

    Sonny Gray RHP Vanderbilt 6′0 185lbs R/R


    The Cubs have a history with Gray taking him in the 27th round in the 2008 draft but came nowhere close to matching his desire for first round money. Gray was considered a Top 100 talent then and is now considered a Top 10 talent. Here is what I wrote about him 3 years ago on Cubshub.

    “There are alot of questions surrounding this pick, in the old days the Cubs’ would draft and follow with Gray trying to sign him right before next seasons’ draft. With the new system in place, there is a strong chance the Cubs show Gray the near first round that he’s asking for to pass up college OR they wanted to show Sonny that in three years not to forget us as a viable first rounder just like the Cubs’ showed 2007 29th round pick Andrew Cashner. When Cashner was Gray’s age, he was 5′9 and exploded in height over the next three years to 6′6. Sonny now is 5′10 and still has some room to grow to 6′0-6′2 over his college career, his size kept many teams away this draft. Gray’s stuff has two of the most developed pitches of the prep class, in his mid90’s fastball and his big dropping curveball in the low to mid 80’s. He shows strong control of both despite their late life in the zone. This year he suffered an avulsion fracture of the talus on a groundball add that with his strong commitment to Vandy and his signability is a question. Gray has two plus pitches now with further development he can add his changeup to the mix and not be a long term closing option. Sonny’s size, arm strength, and stuff has drawn some big comparisons to Billy Wagner. If the Cubs don’t offer Gray the cash, we’ll see Sonny in the first round of 2011.”

    His biggest detractions then are still his biggest detractions now, namely his size and command. Gray only grew an inch during his college career and many still hold that against him as being a viable front line starter in the big leagues due to the workload on a smaller frame. Sonny’s fastball sits in the mid 90’s with good movement and registers as a plus pitch. It’s his curveball that gets the accolades as a plus plus pitch with great velocity and break, as well as being regarded as the best curveball in the draft. His two developing pitches are his slider which is he recently started to throw within the last year and a changeup that he just started to work on; both look to be average pitches later on. It’s undeniable that Gray has great stuff but his command is questionable at times. On the flip side, his makeup and coachability are through the roof while on the mound, Sonny is a bulldog and scouts have said if there was one pitcher in this draft that they would bet on with the game on the line it would be Gray. Depending on who is available at number 9, Wilken could bite again on Gray.

    Francisco Lindor SS Montverde FLA HS 5′11 175lbs S/R

    Lindor is the one of the only shortstops in the draft that profiles as staying one in the big leagues. He’ll be one of the youngest players available for the draft at age 17 after moving from Puerto Rica. Defensively, he is highly regarded for his naturally fluid motions in the field: good soft hands, strong accurate arm, and a wide range. His offensive tool set is impressive as well but more of a rawer element. He’s highly regarded for his quick wrists that uses that for a line drive approach at the plate for both sides of the plate. With that level stroke, he has a gapper power though despite winning the AFLAC Homerun derby at Wrigley last year. His feet are nimble and quick which helps him in the field but not on the basepaths. regular One his biggest selling points is the maturity factor with Lindor as he has a strong work ethic and plays up on the fundamentals. Scouts have compared him to Omar Vizquel due to the overall style of play, and see him as a regular contributor rather than as a superstar. Wilken has interest in Lindor as he’s consider the best middle infielder available in the draft, and a team can never have enough shortstops in their system .

    Bubba Starling CF Gardner KS HS 6′4 180lbs R/R

    Bubba is the most athletic player available in the draft with a rare combination of power and speed. Starling is a true 5 tool prospect with the ability to be a 30/30 hitter and cover substancial ground in centerfield. He is extremely gifted physically but the problem is he is extremely raw; never dedicating himself solely to baseball and lack of playing qualilty competition. He’s got the ability to crush balls, wreck havoc on the basepaths and cover vast ground in centerfield. Along with playing baseball, Bubba has committed to Nebraska next year for the football team and baseball team. Scott Boras is his advisor and reportedly it will take a contract similar to Zack Lee (2010 Dodgers 28th overall draft pick) and Donavan Tate (2009 Padres 3rd overall pick) which was slightly above the 5 million mark. His MLB comparisons include Donavan Tate as well as Reds’ CF Drew Stubbs (8th overall in 2006). His stroke is greatly scrutinized and needs to work on its length and mechanics, something most feel can be corrected if he dedicated himself solely to baseball. High reward, high risk athletic players attract Wilken; if Bubba is available 9th overall it wouldn’t be suprising to see him selected.

    Alex Meyer RHP Kentucky 6′9 220lbs R/R

    Meyer is an enigma, one game he’s throwing a 98mph fastball with movement along with a devastating slider, the next he can’t find the strikezone. His 6′9 frame is what attracts teams to him but it’s also what causes them to waiver. Boston saw the rawness of his ability back in the 2009 draft as a high schooler and offered him 2 million as a 20th round pick (despite being a first round talent) which he declined and headed to Kentucky. Meyer is an intimidating presence on the mound and is slowly starting to turn from a thrower into a pitcher. Yes, he likes to light up radar guns with the ability to hit 100 mph but he’s toning it down at times to throw with more precision. His main secondary pitch is his slider that can be nearly impossible to hit when he’s on. While his changeup is still in the elementary phases. Even with all of his raw talent, Meyer’s size makes it difficult to repeat his delivery leading to some severe control problems at times. Teams will always see the upside a huge flamethrower with Randy Johnson ability or at least a strong arm in the bullpen. Wilken has a love for power arms and Meyer has a huge upside that could lead to him to reaching the big leagues soon as a reliever. If Meyer isn’t shown the money, he could re-enter the draft next year and potentially be the top pick.

    Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS 6′4 210lbs R/R

    When the season began, Bradley was on higher accords than his fellow Oklahoman high schooler Dylan Bundy for his pitchers physique and stuff. The smaller Bundy took off this year and become the best high school arm if not the best arm in the draft. Archie started slowly but showed why he should be the first high school arm taken as he took it to Bundy’s high school team (Owasso, OK number 1 in the nation) in the Oklahoma championship with a 14 strikeout two hitter. Bradley has a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s and can reach 101 mph as it did in the championship with late break. He backs up his hard fastball with a knee buckling hard curveball that rates as a plus pitch like his fastball and has an average to plus changeup developing. Archie repeats his delivery often and throws with ease but can thrown out quickly. Bradley has committed to Oklahoma to play quarterback and pitch and he’s not shy about asking for money to get him to sign. He fits Wilkens bill as an athletic power arm with room to grow, the price tag though could be in the neighborhood of 6 million or so.

    George Springer CF UConn 6′3 205lbs R/R


    Outside of Bubba Starling, George Springer is the best athlete in the draft. Springer has shown off amazing bat speed with quick wrists that help him launch the ball. His speed aids him on the basepaths as he’s a smart runner along with covering great range in centerfield. He is close to a 5 tool prospect but his number of strikeouts (especially swing and misses) is alarming and some scouts see him as a .260 hitter at best with more than his fair share of punchouts. Springer is very reminiscent to the Cubs 2009 first rounder in Brett Jackson out of the University of California. Wilken took Jackson for his athleticism and felt his holes in his swing could be fixed and that’s worked out for us well thus far.

    Matt Purke LHP TCU 6′3 175lbs L/L


    At the beginning of this season, Matt Purke was regarded as one of the three top prospects along with Rice 3B Anthony Rendon and UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole but suffered from shoulder bursitis midway through the season which hampered his draft stock. Back in the 2009 draft, Purke was taken 14th overall by the Rangers and had agreed to a 6 million dollar deal but MLB nixed the deal as it was in control of the Rangers finances; much like MLB will be in the position this year with the Dodgers. Purke is a rarity in that he’s a lefty with power stuff. Typically, his fastball sits in the low 90’s with great movement and one of the nastiest sliders in the draft. His changeup has come along nicely and has the makings of an at least average MLB pitch. Purke’s stuff and arm angle are very similar to that of Randy Johnson, although some scouts believe that’s what has put him on the shelf for much of 2011. Purke is very bullheaded and showed how tough he was by trying to throw much of the season in discomfort, to the point he was throwing sidearm and winging it up there. Odds are strong that he’ll play in the Cape Cod League to reestablish himself much like “Top 5 early prospect” Anthony Ranaudo of LSU did and signed for early first round money (2.55 million at 39th overall) late in the draft with Boston. Pitching prospects like Purke come few and far between, his injury could be a blessing in disguise allowing a team later in the draft to take a chance on him. Even with his injury, Purke is still looking for a deal in the neighborhood of his last deal and he has the leverage to go back to the draft since he’s a sophomore and become the 1st or 2nd pick overall. He’s not Wilken’s usual type pick but depending on how far he slides, Purke could be the steal of the 2011 draft.

    Matt Barnes RHP UConn 6′3 180lbs R/R

    Barnes entered UConn 3 years ago as an unknown but added several inches in height and weight, turning himself into a top first round talent. His fastball hits the upper 90s but becomes straighter the harder he throws it. His sinker is heavy and gets good drop in the low 90s. His curveball is a plus pitch with sharp break and good control; while his changeup is still developing but looks promising. Barnes is highly competitive on the mound and shows good control. He gets mark downs for his mechanics and ability to repeat them, leading to command issues at times. Wilken likes versatile power arms and Barnes still has a growing ceiling as he’s expected to increase his size becoming even more of a power pitcher.

    Trevor Bauer RHP UCLA 6′1 175lbs R/R

    Bauer is often in the shadow of his Bruin teammate Gerrit Cole who’s likely to go first or second but his pitchability argues that he’s not the better of the two long term. Trevor is a highly cerebral player, graduating high school early to enter into UCLA with side studying biomechanics . He led in strikeouts in 2010 and looks again to lead in the area once again. He has amazing stuff with a strong and durable arm that puts up a mid-to-low fastball with great movement and control. His secondary includes a plus to plus-plus curveball which is one of the best in college for it’s sharp downward sink. Other pitches include a plus changeup and a decent slider. Bauer’s biggest detraction is his delivery that puts heavy toque on his frame, his comparisons are often to Tim Lincecum (2003 Giants 10 overall pick) and Trevor could fall due to that as well. Bauer would intrigue Wilken if he slides down this low but he doesn’t fit the mold of Tim’s past picks. Other concerns of Bauer has been his heavy workload, pitch count, and his long tossing exercises that many frown upon.

    Taylor Jungmann RHP Texas 6′6 195lbs R/R


    Jungmann has been Texas best pitcher the past two years and that includes being on loaded rotation that had four pitchers going in the first four rounds. His towering frame throws a darting fastball with excellent command that he throws down in the zone. He adds in a hard biting slider thats a plus pitch, a slow average curveball and a developing changeup. He loves pitching in the spotlight and underpressure situations as he’s done for nearly his entire college career. One of his biggest selling points in addition to his extensive repetoire is that he knows how to pitch even when he doesn’t have his good stuff. The biggest knock is on how much effort goes into his delivery which has some convinced he’s bound for the bullpen instead of the rotation. Jungmann figures to move swiftly through the minors, his ceiling isn’t has high as others but has a chance to climb quickly to the big leagues.

    Jed Bradley LHP Georgia Tech 6′3 205lbs

    Bradley is second best lefty in the draft and has come a long way from when he first joined the Yellow Jacket rotation. He learned from former fellow rotation mate Deck McGuire (blue jays 11th overall 2010) on how to handle himself in big games and in certain situations. Bradley has the frame to be a power pitcher but usually sits in the high 80s and low 90s with strong natural sink. He’s not overpowering but shows a plus slider and a changue that has promise for an average to plus pitch. Bradley has pitching longevity and a repeatable delivery on his side plus a strong work ethic. Bradley is the most polished lefty in the draft and could climb the minor league ranks quickly and help his team. The Cubs have a shortage of lefty starters and this looks to be a good draft to load up on.

    Mikie Mahtook CF LSU 6′1 200lbs R/R
    Mahtook is another one of the athletic position players available in the draft and his stats improved with the new lesser bats. Mikie’s stroke is level with no big holes, using the whole field and shows off one of the best eyes in the draft. He has above average power and has a knack for working counts, his speed is slightly above average and uses his finer baseball skills to exploit them on the basepaths. Currently, he’s playing centerfield but his lack of arm and range have many questioning if he has to be pushed to left or rightfield instead. His fundamental hardnosed style of play goes with what Wilken preaches and desires from his players. Taking Mahtook 9th overall is probably a stretch but Tim’s done weirder things and no one knows how this draft is going to play out.

    Taylor Guerrieri, RHP Spring Valley HS, Columbia, S.C. 6′3 195lbs R/R

    Guerrieri has climbed the draft board further than anyone this season due to his added velocity. The righty sits in the mid 90’s now and holds there thru much of the ball game, registering as a plus pitch. Taylor’s curveball is thrown with power getting sharp break and could turn into a plus pitch in the future. The rest of his stuff is still in the developing range with a changeup and a cutter. Guerrieri is very athletic and has fluid mechanics, his control is questionable at time and needs to better harness his stuff. There have been off field problems with Taylor in the past and his makeup is in question. Wilken loves the young arms but doesn’t like questionable characters, he would have to be sold on him before taking him.
    What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
    Line Drive: .356
    HBP: .342
    Non-Intentional Walk: .315
    Intentional Walk: .176
    Outfield Fly: .035
    Groundball: -.101
    Bunts: -.103
    Infield Fly: -.243
    Strikeout: -.287
    It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

  • #2
    Thanx! Interesting info!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Iowanic View Post
      Thanx! Interesting info!
      This is the fifth year I've done. Here are the past ones. 2010 draft , 2009 draft, 2008 Draft Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, 2007 Draft, 2006 Draft
      What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
      Line Drive: .356
      HBP: .342
      Non-Intentional Walk: .315
      Intentional Walk: .176
      Outfield Fly: .035
      Groundball: -.101
      Bunts: -.103
      Infield Fly: -.243
      Strikeout: -.287
      It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

      Comment

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