The MLB Amateur Draft begins tomorrow, and with that in mind, Bruce Levine gave his draft preview on the Chicago Cubs. Over the past few seasons the Cubs have had what many would consider to be good draft selections. As their recent first round selections have already made it to the Majors in 2008 pick Andrew Cashner, and 2006 pick Tyler Colvin. Both of whom appear capable of contributing to the Chicago Cubs on a everyday basis. Along with Cashner and Colvin, 2009 first round selection Brett Jackson is also considered to be on the fast track to the majors. Many expect the center fielder to be with the Cubs sometime during the 2011 season.
The Chicago Cubs scouting director is Tim Wilken, who is thought to be an “outside of the box” thinker when it comes to drafting prospects. Wilken was not only behind the selection of Tyler Colvin, but, five years ago he was also the mastermind of the Toronto Blue Jays that decided to draft a high school pitcher by the name of Roy Halladay.
"“We saw him early that year and he was impressive,” Wilkensaid. “But as a final test we had him do some endurance running with a couple of the other guys who were going to be drafted high. Halladay held up when the others didn’t. Other pitchers were projected higher in that draft. We looked at every physical and makeup scenario before we made that pick.” ESPN CHICAGO"
With that in mind lets take a look at who Bruce Levine reports is on the Cubs radar, who have the 16th selection in the first round. Levine projects the Cubs to take a risk and draft a high school catcher by the name of Justin O’ Connor who lives in Muncie, Indiana. Doing some research on O’ Connor, I found out that he also plays shortstop and is a right handed pitcher. However, it is most likely that O’ Connor is going to remain a catcher. Scouts are saying that he has great athleticism, a strong arm, with above average power potential.
Also, on the Cubs draft board, is a 6’3 185 pound right handed pitcher by the name of Karsten Whiston. Whitson is ranked as the 15th best prospect out of top 100 amateur players by Baseball America, and the second best high school pitching prospect. Whiston has a fastball that can reach the mid 90’s and has two above average pitches in his slider and changeup. Given his projection it is likely that he will add even more velocity to his already strong fastball. However, it is likely that whatever team drafts Whiston would have to tweak his delivery, as at times he may be too upright with his delivery.