Cubs Talk About Selecting Tyler Colvin

Cubs Director of Scouting Tim Wilken met with members of the media following the organization's selection of Clemson OF Tyler Colvin with their first-round pick in Tuesday's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Here are his comments.

This seemed like a surprise to some of the so-called experts. What did you see in this kid?
Tim Wilken: Well, it was a combination of things. I think Tyler is probably one of those guys that is late-maturing, not only in the success he's had this year at Clemson. He's a slender guy physically that has a frame with some projections. I don't know if we're seeing the full Tyler Colvin yet. He's a good baseball player and an excellent outfielder in left field. There are some thoughts that we may put him in center field. He's an average runner, but a very good baserunner who leads his league in steals. And we like his ability to be a hitter naturally first of all.

He converted to outfield kind of late, didn't he?
Tim Wilken: I'm not sure if he played some first earlier. He may have pitched some in high school. I'm not really sure. We've seen him as an outfielder here in the last two years at Clemson.

Did you go into the draft looking at a position player like Tyler because the organization tends to emphasize pitching, but seems to also need to regenerate the position players coming out of the system?
Tim Wilken: I went into it with an open mind. Basically, we're looking at the best player available, which a lot of [teams] will probably say. At the same time, I was very open-minded. There were some scenarios that let us get to Tyler and I'm thrilled. I think he has a chance to be a very good baseball player.

He is literally 170th in Baseball America's prospectus. Why was he picked over guys who were rated higher?
Tim Wilken: My evaluation, I asked myself and our people that kept seeing and hearing things like [Cubs scout] Antonio Grissom and also Sam Hughes, and they were all on board. I really believe in this guy's abilities. I think you can see it in his numbers the gradual increases. I think there's more to come from this player. I can't answer for why [Baseball America] has him where they have him, but if you want to go back to some history in the past – and I'm not comparing this guy to him – but Vernon Wells was lower on their board. It's one of those things where it's in the eye of the beholder and I hope the Chicago Cubs are the beholders of a solid major league baseball player.

Is there a time frame that we can expect Tyler some place in the majors?
Tim Wilken: Not ideally. You'd like to see him as fast as possible, but I think this is going to be a normal progression. There's no really pressure to push him at this point. We'll just see how it plays out. I don't have a certain timetable for him to get to the big leagues as we pass him off to player development once we hopefully get to sign him. He'll just go through the normal progression. Now, if he's mature and coming along, he may push the envelope a little bit. We'll see how that plays out, but we don't have a timetable for him at this time.

He was the MVP in the ACC tournaments, right?
Tim Wilken: I had seen him the week before and prior to that. He just seems to be coming on quite a bit and showing a pretty good progression the last part of May. I just feel like there's more in his tank and I like his hitting ability as a solid baseball player.

Did you see him during that weekend against – who was it, Wake Forest? – where he went crazy and was like 11-for-13?
Tim Wilken: I got to see him on that Friday. They played Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I was there Friday when I think he was 4-for-4. He was 3-for-3 off left-handers and had a homer off a right-hander. But he swung the bat really well in the ACC against some pretty good pitching.

Do you project this kid as more of a power hitter or an average hitter? What kind of bat does he have?
Tim Wilken: Probably more of an average hitter versus power. I think you can see there's a fair amount of extra base hits and I think that equates to power. I guess he had close to 40-45 extra base hits for the year. I think people look past the power observations, but if you have a guy who can swing the bat and provide extra base hits for you, those are very useful players in the big leagues.

Is there anybody in the system from a recent Cubs draft that you can compare this kid to?
Tim Wilken: No, I just got here in January. I did get here for a week at Spring Training in Mesa. I am going to see all of our club's this summer, but I did not have a lot of knowledge of what was inside the system. I could give you more of an answer on that in August.

The fact that you don't have a 2, 3, and 4 pick, is that kind of tough?
Tim Wilken: Yeah, you'd love to have them. I think we've got a chance to be a much better club for having Mr. Jones, Eyre and Howry and I think they've proven that. Anytime you can help yourself that way, we'll take that one. Hopefully, we can get a little more creative from Round 5 on and find some big leaguers and make this a successful draft despite the fitness of it. Hopefully, we can look back on this draft four, five or six years from now and say we did the best with the cards that were dealt. Top Stories