The first two picks of the Cubs’ 2015 draft are in the books and they continue to load up on hitters.
With the ninth overall pick, the cubs selected switch-hitting outfielder Ian Happ from Cincinnati. He has a nice combination of power and on-base skills, and he might be able to play multiple positions.
Cubs Senior Vice President, Player Development and Amateur Scouting Jason McLeod spoke to the media after the pick and said the Cubs aren’t going to put any limitations on where Happ plays.
Sounds like the kind of player Joe Maddon likes.
With their second pick (47th overall), the Cubs took another outfielder: Donnie Dewees, from the University of North Florida. He hit .422/.483/.749 with 18 home runs in 60 games this year. He struck out only 16 times.
The Happ pick definitely seems to line up with the strategy in previous drafts: target the best hitter available. I was a tad surprised the Cubs went with another hitter with their second pick, but I’m sure he was at the top of their board at the time.
I expect them to load up on pitching in the middle rounds, which will take place today.
Baez and Schwarber updates
In addition to discussing first-round pick Ian Happ with the media, Jason McLeod touched on a couple other topics.
He said the best-case scenario for Javier Baez, who broke his left ring finger on Sunday, is missing six weeks — but it could take eight weeks. Pretty disappointing, as we initially heard he might be able to return as soon as four weeks. Regardless, he’s going to be out for a while, and that’s really a shame.
And what about the recent talk of Kyle Schwarber — doesn’t it seem crazy he was drafted only last year? — joining the Cubs to serve as designated hitter in Detroit this week?
According to Patrick Mooney, we shouldn’t count on it.
“There’s been no discussion other than the draft over this past week,” McLeod said. “That’s all I can say.”
The rumors were probably fueled by Joe Maddon not ruling out a Schwarber call-up, but I didn’t feel the Cubs would bring him up just yet. It would have been fun, for sure, but I think if it happens this year, it’ll be closer to September.
“(Kyle’s) off to a great start,” McLeod said. “All we want him to do is focus on what he’s doing in Tennessee.”
* Dallas Beeler had a very nice start for Triple-A Iowa last night. He threw six shutout innings and gave up only one hit, while striking out eight and walking zero. It would be good to see more of this from Beeler, who a couple years ago I thought had a chance to eventually be in contention for a back-of-the-rotation spot in Chicago. He has had a rough go of it this season, however. Hopefully this will get him going in the right direction.
* Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left last night’s game against the Rockies with a right quad strain. The severity will be determined today, writes Derrick Goold, but from all accounts, it didn’t sound good. The Cardinals have definitely had their fair share of injuries this season (losing ace Adam Wainwright and first-baseman Matt Adams), but they just keep winning. Losing Holliday for an extended period would be a huge blow, for sure. The Cardinals dropped the game to the Rockies and now sit 6.5 games ahead of the Cubs. They are 38-20.