Results tagged ‘ First-Year Player Draft ’

6/27 Cubs sign 4th round pick

The Cubs have signed right-handed pitcher Tyler Skulina from Kent State University, the fourth-round selection in the First-Year Player Draft. So far, the Cubs have signed 18 players from the June draft, including four top-five picks, eight top-10 selections and 15 top-20 picks. Skulina, 21, went 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 15 games for the Golden Flashes. He walked 34 and struck out 102, for an average of 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He was named a 2013 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season Second Team All-American after going 11-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 18 starts in 2012. The righthander sat out the 2011 campaign after transferring to Kent State from Virginia. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 46th round of the 2010 draft, but did not sign.

6/24 Extra bases

* The Cubs announced they have signed four more Draft picks on Monday. Left-handed pitcher Sam Wilson, an eighth-round pick who played at Lamar Community College, signed as did catcher Jordan Hankins of Austin Peay, an 11th round pick, and 13th round selection Trevor Graham, a right-handed pitcher who played at Franklin Pierce University. Also signing was 15th-round pick Michael Wagner, a right-handed pitcher who was No. 1 pick Kris Bryant’s teammate at San Diego.

* Right-handed pitcher P.J. Francescon has been promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee, and Smokies outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha has been promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Francescon, 24, was 5-4 record with a 4.76 ERA with Daytona. In 14 appearances (13 starts), he gave up 40 runs (37 earned) on 75 hits, walked 21 and struck out 62. He was a 40th round pick in the 2011 Draft.

Ha, 22, hit .284 with five doubles, a home run and 14 RBIs in 28 games for the Smokies. Following a 42-day (May 7-June 18) stint on the disabled list, Ha appeared in the Smokies first three games of the second half and batted 2-for-13 with a run scored and a RBI.

* Maybe the Cubs should consider a move to the American League? They’re 8-3 this season in Interleague play.

* Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in four of his last five games (7-for-16, .438), and scored a career-high four runs on Sunday. He also had his first multi-RBI game since June 5, driving in four runs.

* The Cubs have hit 52 home runs at Wrigley Field, most home homers in the National League. On Sunday, they set season-highs in runs scored (14) and hits (16).

6/18 Cubs sign Draft picks – UPDATED

The Cubs have signed eight players selected in the First-Year Player Draft, including left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny out of the University of Missouri, who was chosen 41st overall in the second round.

Other signees include right-handed pitcher Zachary Godley (10th round), catcher Cael Brockmeyer (16th round), shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio (18th round), second baseman Zak Blair (20th round), left fielder Kevin Brown (22nd round), left-handed pitcher Tyler Ihrig (23rd round) and right-handed pitcher Zak Hermans (30th round).

Zastryzny will reportedly receive a bonus of $1.1 million, which is $261,900 less than the assigned slot value for the 41st selection.

Other Cubs Draft picks who have reportedly signed — but not been confirmed by the team — include fourth-round selection Tyler Skulina ($800,000) and ninth-round pick outfielder Charcer Burks. Skulina tied a Kent State record with 11 wins in 2012. He was 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA and 102 strikeouts over 94 innings.

Also, fifth-round pick Trey Masek, a right-handed pitcher, apparently has signed as well. Masek announced the news Tuesday on Twitter: “Just signed my contract, officially a member of the Chicago Cubs organization! Couldn’t be more blessed!”

Zastryzny, 21, posted a 3.38 ERA with three complete games, one shutout and a 2-9 record for Missouri in his junior year this season. He struck out 82 in 90 2/3 innings, compared to 24 walks, and held opponents to a .266 batting average in his 13 starts. In his 2012 sophomore campaign, he struck out 76 batters compared to 31 walks while compiling a 5-5 record.

6/8 Hannemann eager to play ball – UPDATED

In the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs selected outfielder Jacob Hannemann, a 22-year-old freshman who went on his Mormon mission before attending Brigham Young on a football scholarship. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was listed as the backup cornerback on the Cougars’ spring depth chart, but his tools on the diamond will lead him into the Cubs organization.

“It’s exactly what I wanted,” Hannemann told’s Cash Kruth about being drafted. “The opportunity’s there so it’s a much better road. BYU was a great opportunity to play both sports I love but now I’m able to be professional. I’m a baseball guy now and I’m a Chicago Cub. I’m real, real excited for it.”

He struggled to open the season — batting only .111/.179/.139/ in his first 40 plate appearances — but finished .344/.415/.553 with five home runs and seven triples en route to garnering West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Hannemann also was 14-for-15 on the basepaths and is hopeful to be part of a young group of players that changes the Cubs’ fortunes.

“I’m just real stoked and blessed to be one of those players,” Hannemann said of being drafted by Epstein. “I’m going to work hard. Nothing’s done yet. I haven’t arrived. I don’t think I’ll ever arrive — that’s my mindset. I hope I progress through the Minors and sometime help the Cubs have a great season.”

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Saturday he didn’t know much about Hannemann other than the scouting reports.

“I know [the Cubs front office] is really happy about being able to get him [in the Draft] and he sounds like one of those football mentality guys who comes to kick your butt every day and has the whole package and can drive the ball, can catch it and run it down,” Sveum said. “The comparisons we’re made to [Jacoby] Ellsbury and [Grady] Sizemore. [Hannemann is] a guy who just came back from a mission and as his season went, he got better and better.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/6 Draft day

OK, you’ve read about the top prospects, you know the Cubs have needs in the system — especially pitching — and heard that they want an impact player. They have the second pick overall. Who would you pick among the final four?

Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray
Stanford RHP Mark Appel
North Carolina 3B Colin Moran
San Diego 3B Kris Bryant

6/5 Sveum scouts top picks

The Cubs have the No. 2 pick overall in Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft, and have narrowed their choice to four players. Manager Dale Sveum has seen video and offered his opinion. Does he have a preference?

“They want the guy to be an impact player,” Sveum said of the Cubs front office, including Theo Epstein. “Nothing’s guaranteed, we all know that. The key to those high picks like that is it’s easy to say, ‘Make sure it’s an impact player.’ Whether it’s a position player or a pitcher, you want him to be an impact player in a couple years when you’re drafting that high.”

The Cubs’ final four includes pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Standford and third basemen Kris Bryant of San Diego and Colin Moran of North Carolina.

“Appel is pretty ahead of the game as far as development,” Sveum said. “Position players, sometimes you really don’t know until they get a wood bat in their hands and play at a faster pace and play every day, and obviously are facing velocity and all that. The one thing about position players in the top five, 10 picks, is they’ve been pretty good.”

Sveum said he might stop by the Cubs’ war room Thursday when they make the pick. The Cubs are expected to make their pick around 6:15 p.m. CT Thursday. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network’s Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m. CT, with the top 73 picks being streamed on and broadcast on MLB Network.

Will the Cubs manager have the deciding vote?

“I’m sure there will be no consultation,” he said, laughing. “I’ve already said my piece. That’s their job.”

He’s given his scouting report on the quartet.

“As far as picking one guy, there’s so much involved in that,” Sveum said. “You’ve got a position player who has out-homered 200 Division I schools [in Bryant], and you’ve got a starting pitcher who maybe can step right in your rotation right now [in Appel], and you have a guy with a dominating fastball who can throw the ball by anybody at any time [in Gray]. You have Moran, who’s a professional quality left-handed hitter who knows the strike zone.

“That’s why those four guys are mentioned,” he said. “They all have their qualities that could benefit in the long run.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/4 Draft day is coming

The Angels spent freely this offseason, and the payroll is more than $137 million. The team, though, hasn’t run away with the AL West.

“It’s not the formula all the time,” Dale Sveum said. “Sometimes it is — the Florida Marlins went out and traded and bought and this and that, but in the long run, you look at the teams that have won World Series, and bits and pieces come from somewhere else, but the core players are ones they drafted and came from the organization.”

Which is why Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft is so critical.

“It’s huge,” Sveum said. “It’s probably why I haven’t talked to anybody [in the front office] in two weeks. They’re in lock down, making sure we get the Draft right. It’s a gamble. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket to make sure not even the No. 2 pick in the country is right, but everything else is and you’re getting the best players after that, too.”

Sveum said he may stop by the war room Thursday to see what the Cubs do.

“Maybe I’ll just call and see who they’re taking,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

6/2 Draft day

The Cubs haven’t done any mock drafts yet heading into Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft. Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development for the Cubs, said it’s a little different when you have the second pick overall.

“When you’re picking [No. 2], it takes a lot of the ‘mocking’ out of it,” McLeod said Sunday. “If you have the group of five players or so, it’s like, ‘OK, in our mock draft, Houston takes player X. OK, we’re on the clock.’ You can do a lot of strategy when you’re picking deeper in the Draft.”

McLeod said the Cubs front office has actually spent more time discussing their second and third round picks, Nos. 41 and 75 overall, more in recent days.

“We’ve probably discussed No. 2 for about two hours of the four days we’ve been here,” McLeod said. “We’ll get into those guys more this week.”

Having the No. 2 pick overall has given McLeod and others the chance to see some of the best amateur players.

“For me, on a weekly basis, I’ve spent a lot of Friday nights seeing the top college pitching around the country and seeing the best players who we’re going to consider with that pick and with our second pick at 41,” McLeod said. “When you’re only seeing the best players, it’s a lot of fun nights.”

The Cubs have narrowed their list to four: pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Standford and third basemen Kris Bryant of San Diego and Colin Moran of North Carolina.

“Ultimately, it’s long term, who will make the most significant impact on the organization,” McLeod said. “We don’t go into any Draft drafting based on need, we go in drafting on who we feel is going to provide the biggest impact for our club, hopefully for years to come. Whether you’re picking sixth like last year, or two, or in Boston, late in the first round, that’s always the mindset. The player pool changes a lot when you’re picking at the top of the Draft.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/1 Draft update

The Cubs are focusing on four college players in the upcoming First-Year Player Draft, and three of those are competing in the NCAA baseball tournament, which got underway on Friday.

Pitcher Jonathan Gray struck out 11 in a complete game, helping Oklahoma beat Coastal Carolina, 7-3, on Friday in the NCAA Regional opener. The Sooners play Connecticut on Saturday in the double elimination round.

San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant was 0-for-3, drawing a walk, in a 9-2 loss to Cal Poly. San Diego plays San Diego State on Saturday.

Third baseman Colin Moran was 1-for-5 in North Carolina’s 6-3 win over Canisius. The Tar Heels face Towson on Saturday.

Stanford pitcher Mark Appel’s team did not qualify for the tournament.

The Cubs have the second pick overall on Thursday, behind the Astros.

5/26 Draft day

The Cubs appear to be focusing on four players for the upcoming First-Year Player Draft, to be held June 6: pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Stanford and third basemen Kris Bryant of San Diego and Colin Moran of North Carolina. The Cubs have the second overall pick in the first round, behind the Astros. Manager Dale Sveum has watched video of the top prospects.

“Now we’re down to the core guys,” Sveum said Sunday. “It’s interesting to keep up with them and watch the video. There’s new video that comes up sometimes. You don’t get to see, like with Bryant, you don’t get to see him taking ground balls and the other day there was nice video of him taking ground balls and showing his arm angles.”

Bryant has hit 30 home runs entering conference tournament play, and played for Team USA over the summer. A right-handed bat, he impressed Sveum as did Moran, a left-handed hitter, considered a better pure hitter than Bryant.

“[Moran] is another polished-type hitter at that age already,” Sveum said. “He has a Robin Ventura-type swing and presence at the plate. He has really good plate disicipline and not really the power numbers that Bryant can put up. Bryant is a big 6-foot-5, some kind of leverage at the plate. Two different hitters, one’s right, one’s left. It’s fun to watch them.”

Sveum also has seen video of Gray and Appel.

“They’re pretty special arms,” Sveum said. “They’re two different guys. Appel is so advanced as far as his secondary pitches and Gray can just power you away with easy life on the fastball. It looks like it’s showing 85 [mph] and it’s 100. They’re both pretty good. I don’t know if one separates from the other one.”

– Carrie Muskat


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