In the second round the Cubs started what is expected to be a run on pitch, selecting right-hander Jake Stinnett, a senior from the University of Maryland. Stinnett features a fastball in the mid-90s and a plus slider that keeps getting better. He also uses a change-up and was able to drastically improved his commandant swing-and-miss his final college season.
According to Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel Stinnett is a fastball/slider/change-up arm that sits 91-94 and has hit 96. He worked both above and below that range this spring as he's still new to pitching. His slider is above average, sometimes flashing plus, sometimes just average and it follows his velo, and his changeup is solid-average. Stinnett is a good athlete with surprisingly good feel for someone new to pitching. He's a 3/4 starter or late-inning reliever depending on how his development goes.
He might be a senior but there's not much wear on his arm, beginning his college career at third base. He played 40 games at third as a freshman and the split time between first, outfield and the mound as a sophomore. In his first two years, he only pitched 19 innings.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder started his junior season as the team's closer but joined the rotation, making nine starts. He finished 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA, second on the team and 13th in the ACC. The California prep threw 63.2 innings with 24 BB, 48 K and a team-low .204 BAA. He earned All-ACC Academic honors and was selected in the 29th round of last year's draft by the Pirates.
After returning for his senior season, Stinnett thrived as the Friday night starter, earning second-team All-ACC honors and helping the Terps to their first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance this weekend against Virginia. Stinnett led the ACC with four complete games and 112 innings pitched, and became the seventh hurler in program history to throw a no-hitter when he tossed the gem in the first game of a March 1 doubleheader against Massachusetts.
The 22-year-old posted a 2.65 ERA and a 7-6 record in 16 games, all but one in a starting role, for Maryland this season in his senior year. He struck out a school single-season record and ACC-high 130 batters, good for an average of 10.4 K/9, and walked just 27. He earned ACC player of the week honors four times.
I would expect Stinnett to head to Boise after he signs and even though he's a senior, shouldn't go cruising through the Cubs minors due to his inexperience on the mound. Will be interesting to see what the Cubs do the final two days as they should be able to sign both of their top two picks under slot.
Recent second round selections include: 2013—Rob Zastryzny P; 2012—Duane Underwood P; 2011—Dan Vogelbach 1B; 2010—Reggie Golden OF; 2009—D.J. LeMahieu; 2008—Aaron Shafer P; 2007—No pick; 2006—No pick; 2005—Donald Veal P; 2004—Grant Johnson, P,
McDaniel said Stinnett's talent is about where he was picked but felt that since he was a senior would sign below the $1.25 million slot value of the 45th pick. He feels the Cubs have about $1.5 million to use the rest of the draft. He added the Cubs will concentrate their efforts on pitching with Zech Lemond, Austin DeCarr, Carson Sands, Dylan Cease, Michael Cederoth, Bryce Montes De Oca and Pat Connaughton all possibilities to over slot.
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