Chicago Cubs: Re-hashing some of Theo Epstein’s recent draft picks

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: 2015 1st round – No.9 overall SP Walker Buehler

Following a better but still disheartening 2014 season, Epstein and the Cubs found themselves once again in the top ten for the draft. At number nine overall, Chicago selected Ian Happ, a multifaceted talent, as a way to add to the depth of the outfield.

Fast forward fifteen picks, and you have Walker Buehler finding himself in Dodger blue. The right-hander had previously been selected in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Choosing at the time not to sign, Buehler instead attended Vanderbilt University to join their vaunted baseball program.

Happ, meanwhile, attended the University of Cincinnati for two years before the draft. He immediately signed with Chicago. Happ put up near-identical slash lines as a Bearcat, hitting .322 in each of his two seasons. Buehler was equally impressive in his college career. He finished three seasons with the Commodores, posting a career 2.87 ERA in the process.

To the Cubs’ credit, at the time, they needed outfield depth. The 2014 trio of Chris Coghlan, Arismendy Alcantara and Nate Schierholtz were not cutting it. Also, Happ has not been terrible. In his first season in Chicago, he hit 24 home runs in 115 games and posted a 114 wRC+. In the time since Happ has struggled. This season he did bounce back in a big way, which is great to see.

Buehler meanwhile has become the new king for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Within a year, Buehler was in the major leagues. His first stint was less than ideal; however, within the last two seasons, Buehler has carried a 2.98 ERA in 53 starts. Yeah, pretty good. The Cubs signed Lester the year before, so that is probably why Happ ended up being the pick. Still, thinking about Walker Buehler in Cubbie blue is a dream come true.