All told, the Cubs drafted the rights to 51 players over the two day draft. We'll see how many of these guys sign and how many decide to try their luck with the draft again next year. All but 8 of these players were from the college ranks. The Cubs, and Tim Wilken, have been showing a preference for college aged players of late-all but 4 of the Cubs draftees in '07 were college players. 28 of the players in the draft class are pitchers.
Why all the college players? Well, yesterday, we learned the Cubs double-secret draft strategy:
"It was, 'Get the guy who's going to be the best Major League player,'" Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush said Friday. "It's a philosophy [scouting director] Tim [Wilken] has, and we all agree with that philosophy."Um. Yeah.
Five of the players drafted were within Baseball America's top 84 prospects. Andrew Cashner, RHP, TCU, BA rank #24, drafted with the 19th pick; Ryan Flaherty, SS/3B, Vanderbilt, BA rank #68, drafted 41st; Aaron Shafer, RHP, Wichita State, BA rank #84, drafted 65th; Christopher Carpenter, RHP, Kent State, BA rank #61, drafted 97th; and Sonny Gray, RHP, Smyrna HS (Tenn), BA rank #52, drafted 821st.
Interesting choice here in Sonny Gray. He's a short righty who draws a lot of Roy Oswalt comparisons. Gray is thought of as a first round talent but spent most of his senior year of high school injured and is, thus, basically considered unsignable. He's likely heading to Vandy in the fall. In fact, kid actually sent a letter to MLB's Scouting Bureau asking that he not be drafted. The hell is that? (Incidentally, I also sent a letter-that's, like, totally why I didn't get drafted again this year. Otherwise...)
Baseball America has a nice review of the first round selections here. Here's what BA has to say about the Cubs' selection of Cashner:
19. Chicago Cubs
Andrew Cashner, rhp, Texas Christian
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 185.
For a while, it appeared that the state of Texas might get shut out of the draft's first round for the first time since 1977. That's unlikely to happen now, thanks to Cashner, the hottest pitching prospect to come out of Angelina (Texas) JC since Clay Buchholz. Cashner turned down opportunities last year to sign with the Rockies (as a draft-and-follow) and the Cubs (as a 29th-rounder), opting instead to transfer to Texas Christian. A starter at Angelina, Cashner has excelled as a reliever for the Horned Frogs. No college pitcher in this draft can match his consistent 96-98 mph velocity, the product of outstanding whip in his 6-foot-6, 180-pound frame, and overmatched opponents have hit just .104 against him. Cashner has armside run on his fastball, and he backs it up with an 84-85 mph slider that can be electric. The slider is much better than the mediocre curveball he threw in the past, though it's not always consistent. Neither is his command, which may prevent him from becoming an effective starter, but some clubs are interested in returning him to that role in pro ball. A team in love with radar-gun readings could take Cashner as high as the middle of the first round.