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The 2011 Draft: Day Two

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The baseball draft got underway at noon today and picks were made in rounds two through thirty. In case you missed our coverage of the first round last night, the Cubs selected high school shortstop Javier Baez with their first pick.

Today the Cubs chose twenty nine other players. Some of the names are familiar, a lot of them are excellent prospects, and while there were a few surprises, on the whole I like what I see. As we find more information on today’s selections, we’ll try to keep this post updated.

Baseball America had a few comments on some of the Cubs picks today.

From the second round:

"68. Cubs: Florida HS 1B Dan Vogelbach. Bat-only guy with some of the best power in the draft, hit a 508-foot homer at the Power Showcase in December. HS teammate of Twins sandwich pick Hudson Boyd."

From the fourth round:

"129. Cubs: Louisville RHP Tony Zych. Works 94-97, touching 99. Some funk to his delivery makes fastball seem faster. Athletic 6-foot-3, 188 pounds. Slider needs consistency."

From the fifth round:

"The Cubs went with Arizona prep righthander Tayler Scott, one of the most interesting stories in the draft. Scott moved to the United States from South Africa a few years ago and is also a standout soccer player. He’s an above-average runner and has a fastball in the 90-93 mph range with a promising curveball. Scott is committed to Arizona."

From the seventh round:

"Cubs: California HS 1B Trevor Gretzky. The son of the Great One was thought to be bound for San Diego State, but that might change after he got drafted this high. Power is his best tool, but the rest of his game needs a lot of work."

From the eleventh round:

"The Cubs took the son of one of their former shortstops, Shawon Dunston in the 11th round. He didn’t have a consistent performance this spring and figures to fulfill his commitment to Vanderbilt, but Dunston is a raw outfielder with plus speed. A lefthanded hitter, he could develop gap power and hit for average."

From the fourteenth round:

"Unless the Cubs pony up some cash for their 14th-round pick, Dillon Maples will land on campus at North Carolina in the fall. He has the stuff of a first-rounder in most years with a plus fastball and curveball, but questionable mechanics have affected his command and raised red flags for scouts. He is a very good athlete with a strong lower half and will get a chance to kick for the Tar Heels football team as well."

Cubs.com has some information on day’s early pick as well.

All in all, I think the Cubs had a pretty good day. I think they aggressively went for some guys who have a very high ceiling but could be tough to sign, and I like that strategy. I think the Cubs will be spending a large amount of money on the draft this year, and I think they will make very attractive offers to guys like Dunston, Gretzky, Maples and other guys who could be hard to sign. That doesn’t mean the players will decide to join the Cubs over college, but I think the Cubs should be able to sign many of them.

Unless the Cubs turn some of those high school hitters into pitchers (which is alway a possibility), they only took two left handers today. That was a bit of a surprise for me. I had expected them to focus some on picking up some lefties, particularly later in the day.

I was happy to see some very good power bats land on the Cubs board, including Gretzky and Vogelbach in the second round. The Cubs have been a little thin on power on the farm in recent seasons.

If Tony Zych signs quickly, he could be on a fast track through the minors and into the Cubs bullpen. A reliever only needs one very good pitch, which Zych appears to have. If the Cubs want him to work out the second pitch, it will take him a little longer, but I suspect he might be the first member of the Cubs draft to reach the majors.

Tayler Scott in the fifth round is now the second highest drafted high school pitcher by the Cubs under Wilken. The Cubs might be expecting this guy to turn into something special.

Four community college arms in the first thirty picks is another thing I find interesting. The Cubs have had some luck grabbing very good pitching talent from outside the top tier of the college ranks, including their top two pitching prospects Trey McNutt and Hayden Simpson.

Now that I have learned to spell Samardzija, Bibens-Dirkx and Szczur, the Cubs drop Ben Klafczunski on me. Too bad we’ll never get to hear Ron Santo try to rattle off some of those names. On the other hand, if Szczur and Klafczunski both make it to Wrigley, the Cubs will likely lead the league in the number of z’s in the outfield. That should give Pat Hughes something to talk about.