Boise Hawk Josh Vitters

Before I launch into Josh Vitters and the rest of the Boise Hawks roster, I would like to provide some background for the casual reader who may not intently follow Northwest League Baseball. The Boise Hawks are the Cubs Class A Short-Season affiliate. The season starts mid-June and ends in September. Part of the purpose in having the short season is that it allows the parent club to comprise the team of a mixture of guys who have spent the last two months in Extended Spring Training/Rookie Ball and guys who were recently signed out of the draft. Since some of these guys just graduated from high school, this allows them time to get acclimated to playing professional baseball. A lot of these guys will also play winter ball, so it gives them a chance to not have to grind through a 140 game season and then head to winter ball. With all that said, let's see what the Boise Hawks roster has in store:
Michael Brenly (C)-This, of course, is Bob Brenly's son, which is essentially why he's being mentioned. Taken in the 36th round this year, Brenly quickly signed with the Cubs after a college career at UNLV.
Luis Flores (C)-While Brenly will have the name recognition, Flores is the better prospect here. A 7th round pick of the Cubs a few weeks ago, he is a collegian whose season came to an end in the NCAA regionals.
Josh Harrison (2B)-A 6th rounder from this year, he was the Big East Conference Player of the Year this year.
Josh Vitters (3B)-The 3rd overall pick in last year's draft, Vitters has struggled with a few injury issues and hasn't been the hitter that made him the third pick. He spent some time earlier in the season at Peoria, and if he can impress, he may return. One thing to keep in mind with Vitters...his 19th birthday won't occur until near the end of the Hawk's season.
Ryan Flaherty (SS)-Flaherty was the Cubs supplemental first round pick a few weeks ago out of Vanderbilt. Combine him with Vitters, and the Hawks left side of the infield is comprised of a 3rd overall pick and the 41st overall pick.
Kyler Burke (OF)-Burke was the throw-in the deal that sent Michael Barrett to San Diego for Rob Bowen. A former supplemental first round pick (35th overall), Burke has struggled since being drafted in 2006.
Mark Pawelek (P)-Unfortunately, Mark Pawelek will pitch in his fourth straight season for Boise. A first round pick of the Cubs back in 2005 (20th overall), Pawelek has struggled with injury issues, including breaking his elbow after tripping over a Playstation. If there is a silver lining here, it's that Pawelek was drafted out of high school, meaning that despite being in pro baseball for now his fourth year, he has yet to turn 22.
James Leverton (P)-An 8th round pick for the Cubs in the 2008 draft, Leverton will be a relief pitcher for the Hawks after pitching in relief for Texas Tech.
Jay Jackson (P)-Taken with the Cubs 9th pick after Leverton, Randy Jackson prefers to be called Jay. Along with pitching, he also played outfield in college at Furman.
Jake Muyco (P)-Muyco will be rejoined with former 2005 Boise Hawk teammate Mark Pawelek, but for different reasons. Muyco, a 8th round pick in 2005, made it to AA as a catcher, before the Cubs decided to convert him to a pitcher. Muyco will start his new journey as a pitcher with Boise.
In total, the Cubs have 3 of their former first round picks at Boise (including supplemental picks), 4 if you throw in Kyler Burke. That's not good, any way you slice it. You'd hope that if you have multiple first round picks there, it'd be because you had multiple first round picks in the same year's draft.
Others that may find their way to Boise are 3rd rounder Chris Carpenter and 5th rounder Justin Bristow, both from this year's draft. Both have already signed and were assigned to the Cubs Rookie ball team.

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