Baseball America has been posting a draft report card for each team’s 2011 draft to their website, but those are subscription only. Fortunately for the unsubscribed, their 2011 Draft Report Card Overview is free and available for all our viewing pleasure. And there is some good stuff for Cub fans in that report.
In case you’ve forgotten, the Cubs opened the checkbook and spent their way to a very impressive 2011 Draft. Headlined by SS/3B Javier Baez and 1B Dan Vogelbach in the early rounds, the Cubs draft haul included OF Shawon Dunston Jr., P Dillon Maples, and 1B Rock Shoulders (who easily has the best name in baseball).
So, how did Baseball America like the Cubs’ efforts?
I think it is safe to say the Cubs did pretty well.
First of all, the bad news. The Cubs did not make the Top 5 in Best Draft. I can’t imagine they were that far out of fifth, though.
And now for the good news. The Cubs were well represented in a number of categories. BA only ranked the top five in each category, and I will only list the Cubs here. I strongly encourage you to click on over to the full article.
Best Pure Hitter
2. Javier Baez
That’s right, the Cubs got the second best pure hitter in the draft. Only collegiate star Anthony Rendon ranked higher.
Best Power Hitter
5. Dan Vogelbach
Not really a surprise here. Vogelbach does one thing well… crush baseballs. If he stays patient at the plate, he’ll crush a lot of them before he’s done.
Best Late Round Pick – Above Slot Bonus
1. Dillon Maples
I knew he would be high, but I didn’t think he would be on top of the list. The Cubs staff went down to the wire to get Maples signed, but I’m glad he’s on the roster.
Most Intriguing Background – Relatives
1. Trevor Gretzky
4. Shawon Dunston Jr.
No surprises here, either. Don’t let the last names confuse you, though. These guys are both legitimate prospects. They are raw and will need some time in the minors, but they are real prospects in their own right and not just riding on their famous last names.
Closest To The Majors – High School Players
3. Javier Baez
And that is a surprise. Normally infielders do not move quickly from high school to the pros for defensive reasons, so Baez ranking this high is almost purely a testament to his skills as a hitter. Don’t start penciling him into the 2013 starting line up just yet, though. For a high school player, three years in the minors is still considered fast. The Cubs will be patient with him.
There was plenty of quality in the draft for the Cubs beyond these players, but it is good to see that as respected a publication as Baseball America thinks this highly of some of the Cubs picks. As the team continues under the ownership of the Ricketts family, I think we can expect a lot more drafts like this one in the future.