The deadline for signing players from the 2011 draft was last night and the Cubs followed through on their commitment to spending more money on the draft.
Per Baseball America (pay article), the Cubs paid over slot for each of their first 5 picks. The Cubs dolled out bonuses of $5.4 on their first 5 picks versus major league baseball’s recommendation of $3.2 million. In addition, the Cubs spent big on 11th rounder Shawon Dunston Jr., who received a $1.275 million bonus, and 14th rounder Dillon Maples, whose $2.5 million was second only to first round pick Javier Baez ($2.625 million).
The Cubs signed 34 of their 50 picks in the draft, their highest number since the 2006 draft (also 34). More importantly, the Cubs signed 21 of their first 25 picks, slightly below the average for the last 5 years (21.8), but still a high percentage.
Overall, I am impressed with the Cubs draft and their willingness to spend to get the players they want (and need). It shows that they are committed to building from within and its not just the same lip service we’ve been hearing for years.
By opening up their checkbook, the Cubs were able to aim high for top talent that fell to the lower rounds due to signability concerns, such as Maples and Dunston. Scouting Director Tim Wilken called it the best draft in his 6 years here and I wholeheartedly agree.
We may not see dividends on this year’s draft for a few years, but its good to see the Cubs finally commit to the future.