Cubs Back the Truck Up for Speed and Lefties on Day Three of the Draft
I feel like I spent most of yesterday on the road. It was only five hours, but that is a haul for me. Driving through Western Illinois and Southeast Iowa kept me busy all day. I had to sneak a peek every now and then at the draft but haven’t had much time until now to analyze what the Cubs did on Day 3.
Overall, I think the Cubs drafted players they feel they can develop. They also selected several high profile prep names they have little chance of signing in back half of the draft. Speed was a theme, high makeup was a trait most of them have, and there were a lot of left-handed hitters and pitchers selected.
Of the 30 picks on Day 3, the Cubs will be doing well to sign 15-20 of the players. If they sign any of the prep stars, it will be a major bonus. As players sign the next two weeks, I will profile each signee. Most of these picks, save the relievers, will start out in the Arizona Rookie League once they sign.
Let’s start with who they drafted…
Matt Rose from Georgia State led off the day as the first pick in the 11th round. The big 3B/1B is recovering from TJS but hit 16 homers, is known as a patient hitter, and controls the zone.
There were four other names that stuck out to me for picks 11-20: Kyle Twomey, Scott Effross, John Cresto, and Jake Kelzer. Effross and Kelzer were both pitchers for Indiana. Kelzer is another one of the giant 6’7″/6’8″ pitchers the Cubs are enamored with lately.
Twomey was the most well known of the group, having pitched for USC. He pitches mostly to contact – he does that really well. He could add a couple of ticks as he has some projection left.
Here is profile of Twomey from Arizona Phil of The Cub Reporter:
COMMENT: Selected by Oakland A’s in 3rd round of 2012 draft but did not sign… 9-3 with a 2.87 ERA .255 OppBA, allowing 87 hits (only two HR) and 38/68 BB/K in 93.2 IP (16 GS) for Trojans in 2015… lefty workhorse features an upper 80’s two-seamer with plus-movement that can touch 91, an above-average change-up, and a below-average curve… Ranked 14th-best prospect in Cape Cod League by Baseball America in 2014…
Cresto is unique pick because he was drafted high enough for the Cubs to sway his commitment to Santa Clara. He was also a teammate of first rounder Brady Aiken.
I expect most of these first ten to be signed quickly and assigned to Arizona Rookie League. As a reliever, Effross has a chance to move up quickly this year as his arm has little wear and tear.
What I liked about the second ten picks is that there are some high profile names in Jared Padgett, Delvin Zinn, and Sutton Whiting. Jared Cheek was Georgia’s closer and should do well as a reliever. Whiting had a good glove for Louisville and the Cubs picked up 3 catchers, a position they now seem to be stockpiling.
Padgett, to me, was the fourth best pick out of 40 the Cubs selected. The odds of signing the young, projectable lefty is slim as it is with Zinn, a young, fast shortstop.
Here is an analysis on Padgett and what the Cubs might be missing from The Cub Reporter:
COMMENT: Raw athletic talent who will require time to develop… two-pitch pitcher at this point… best pitch is spike-curve… also throws fastball that sits at 90-91 MPH and touches 94, but he lacks command of the heater…
To be honest, most of these players outside of Padget and Zinn are signable. The Cubs picked more college seniors in this group too.
TOP SURPRISE PICK: Alex Bautista might be the most surprising pick to click because of his combination of speed and power, albeit at the NAIA level.
These last ten picks are unique because they are mostly hard to sign and highly-thought-of prep players.
Spignola was drafted last year by the Cubs and did not sign. After a poor senior season at Georgia Tech, the athletic outfielder will likely sign this time – he has no choice.
The biggest sleeper of the section is John Kilichowski, a draft-eligible sophomore from Vanderbilt. At 6’5″ and 217 pounds, the young lefty could be a steal, as he was thought to be a stalwart in the rotation next year with Vandy losing Fullmer, Buehler, and Ferguson earlier in the draft.
If they sign one of Stadler, Supple, Hawken, and Al (Alonzo) Jones, just that one signing becomes a major coup by the Cubs. They wont get Dylan Cease money ($1.5 million) though, more like Trevor Clifton money ($375,000). Alonzo Jones’ speed is comparable to that of Billy Hamilton’s and is committed to Vanderbilt – and that’s a tough commitment to break
Here is a nice video profile on Supple:
The Cubs will likely sign 3-4 from this group with Spignola and Cimino, as seniors, the most likely. Tayler Jones, of Gonzaga, is likely to go back to school to develop his burgeoning power stroke.