6/7 Cubs pick RHP Simpson

The Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Hayden Simpson of Southern Arkansas University with the 16th pick in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft on Monday. It’s the third pitcher to be selected by scouting director Tim Wilken since he joined the Cubs in December 2005.

Simpson was recently named the Daktronics National Pitcher of the Year, only the second pitcher in Gulf South Conference history to earn the honors and first since Bubba Dixon did so in 1994. Simpson was 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA and six completed games in 15 starts for the Division II school, striking out 131 in 99 1/3 innings. He walked 35.

— Carrie Muskat


Really good numbers. Not sure why he was taken so early but lets hope Wilken and company know what they are doing.

I’m leaning towards trusting Wilken. He looks like he was right on Colvin when many of us thought he was going to be a bust, he appears to be right about Cashner having a future as a starter when many of us were down on the selection of a college closer in the first round. And Brett Jackson appears to be on the fast track to becoming our leadoff hitter & centerfielder in the next year or two. The pick of Simpson screams of a Billy Beane move, taking a guy with good college numbers over someone the scouts ranked higher. But maybe that signals a shift in the Cubs’ organization towards more of a sabermetric approach, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

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