While Chicago could not claim any players in the first round of this year’s Rule 5 draft, four players from the Cubs organization were selected – including two pitchers, an infielder and an outfielder – and the team added a catcher in the Triple-A phase of the draft.
Chicago added Double-A catcher Charles Cutler, a catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, in the Triple-A phase, meaning he will spend the 2014 season on the roster at Triple-A Iowa. Cutler, 27, was originally drafted in the 14th round of the 2008 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of UC-Berkeley.
He spent several seasons in the Cardinals’ system, working his way up to Double-A before he was picked up by Pittsburgh in the 2012 Rule 5 draft. He was highly thought of by many surrounding the Pirates organization, but after a combined four years at the Double-A level, he is yet to see time at Triple-A with any organization.
In those four years at the Double-A level, he has slashed .295/.388/.408 – impressive marks for a catcher. He has a career .990 fielding percentage and has thrown out 24 percent of attempted base stealers during six minor league seasons.
The only Cubs player selected in the Major League phase of the draft (meaning he was selected by a club to appear on its big league 40-man roster in 2014) was right-handed reliever Marcos Mateo, a 29-year-old who has not pitched at the big league level since 2011, when he went 1-2 with a 4.30 earned run average with Chicago in 23 appearances.
His 1.478 WHIP left much to be desired – especially from a back-end reliever – and his career RAA of -4 shows that in limited time at the Major League level, he has not performed as well as many have hoped. That being said, he will begin the 2014 season on the 40-man roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks, adding another piece to their bullpen.
Three Chicago players were selected by other organizations in the Triple-A phase of the draft, including first baseman Justin Bour (Miami), outfielder Julio Borbon (Baltimore) and right-hander A.J. Morris (Pittsburgh).
None of the three players were listed in the organization’s top 20 prospect list.