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June 2009

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2009 Amateur Draft

Written by , Posted in General

Usually I get pretty excited about the draft but this year has the appearance of being a weak draft. Nobody particularly excited me save Strasburg, Matthew Hobgood and Dustin Ackley. And those guys were long gone when the Cubs drafted thirty-first. I would put this year’s Cubs draft class slightly below last year’s and siginificantly below the 2007 class which included Vitters, Tony Thomas and Ty Wright. That having been said, it is what it is. Here are the highlights:

The Cubs used their first rounder (#31) to choose a decent outfield prospect named Brett Jackson (UC-Berkeley.) I like the fact that he is a Cubs fan (will likely sign quick) and some compare him to Jim Edmonds. The Cubs need more outfield prospects and he was listed as the second-best collegiate athlete by Baseball America. He is projected to have a little speed and power potential and wants to progress quickly. We’ll see how that goes, we all know that Tyler Colvin projected the same way.

Shortstop David LeMathieu of LSU was drafted second, he looked a little to me like Mark DeRosa. Clearly the Cubs are watching a lot more SEC baseball, having chosen several players from this conference in the past few years. Last year they took a chance on Sonny Gray despite his declared intention to play for Vanderbilt, I’m hoping they stick to this kid and take him high as soon as he’s available.

The Cubs’ third-round pick (109 overall) could have been their ringer. LHP Austin Kirk has already commited to playing for Oklahoma, he’s got about a seven-eighths lefthanded delivery and was ranked the 61st best highschooler by Rivals High. This guy projects best of all the pitchers the Cubs have taken in the last couple of years, let’s hope we can get him signed.

Christopher Rusin (LHP – Kentucky, #140) has come to Nashville so I’ve seen him pitch. He flips the ball a little like Strasburg and was their premier pitcher. He’s 6-2 190 and will likely do very little in what remains of 2009. I look for this guy to start with Boise next year.

Brooks Raley of Texas A&M was chosen as the number 200 pick – he is a lefthanded pitcher and outfielder. He’s 6-3 185 and his motion reminds me of Sean Marshall, it will be interesting to see if he continues on as a pitcher or outfielder.

Richard Jones was chosen with the 290 pick in the 9th round, he could be a sleeper. A catcher, Jones was a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All American (Second Team.) He had a .378 average with 17 HR and 69 RBI.

Other Cubs prospects chosen in the first ten rounds include 5th rounder Wesley Darvill (Brookswood HS, SS,) 7th round selection Blair Springfield (an infielder,) 8th rounder Robert Whitenash (RHP out of SUNY/Old Westbury) and 10th round draft pick Joseph Thomas, a third baseman who played for Edward Waters College.

I would sum this draft up as somewhat lame.

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  • The Cubs used their first rounder (#31) to choose a decent outfield prospect named Brett Jackson (UC-Berkeley.) … We’ll see how that goes, we all know that Tyler Colvin projected the same way.

    From what I can see, I am definitely not a fan. His strikeout numbers are WAY too high.

    Real Neal, over at TCR, did a little research on comps and this to say:

    Trying to find some hitting comps for Jackson:

    In 2000 Joe Borchard hit .333 .433 .624 with 44 BB’s,57 K’s in 255 at bats for Stanford. Being a White Sock he made it to the majors and ‘hit’ .205 .284 .352 with 222 K’s in 716 at bats.

    Jason Grove hit .314 .436 .505 with 25/29 Bb/K ratio against 105 at bats the same year for Washington State. Never made it out of AA.

    In 2004 a guy named Don Lucy hit .313 .381 .534 for Stanford and had a 17/47 BB/K ratio over 208 at bats. He went 3/16 with 6 K’s in his cup of coffee in 2007 and has hit .256 .328 .347 in the minors.

    Those guys are the closest I could find looking in the top three rounds of the 2000 to 2005 draft. None of them K’d as much and walked as seldom as Jackson and none of them is worth paying the ML minimum.

  • Mark Strickler

    You never know what you’re gonna get in the draft; if you pick close to the top you have a higher probability but you can never be sure. We’ll see how they pan out.

  • I agree with you to an extent, but you can use past performance to evaluate a player. And Jackson has a past performance that is very scary for a guy getting drafted that high. And this history of players with similar numbers does not appear to be good in recent years.

    And it isn’t like the Cubs have had success fixing hitters swings (C. Patterson, Pie, etc…).

  • Mark Strickler

    It’s not like I disagree with you here Dave. It’s a sketchy pick at best, not one I’m excited about. Wasn’t excited when we took Colvin either. Let’s hope the young man pans out, I’ll be thrilled if he does.

  • Yea… not arguing with you. More like arguing with the Cubs…

  • cap’n obvious

    The HS LHP is probably the most important signing, and although he is 3-4 years away, would be the most likely to play in Wrigley IF he doesn’t go to school.

  • Jerry

    The Cubs reportedly were looking for an outfielder with College experience. Evidently 3 players were potential first round choices. Pollock (Notre Dame) went #18 but surprisingly both other possibilities were available at #31. The Cubs elected to go with Jackson and Wheeler went next at #32. This was strictly a Hendry decision. If Wheeler becomes a star and not Jackson he screwed up but if it goes Jackson’s way than Hendry is a genius.

  • Amber

    I just wanna say pay close attention to Joseph Thomas, I think he may surprise you.