Cubs finished off the draft on Saturday, ending the three-day event with 21 pitchers, six catchers, seven infielders and six outfielders with their 40 picks. How many of those 40 they sign, remains to be seen. Last year the Cubs inked deals with 22 of their top 24 picks but only added two more, including none of the last nine.
While the Cubs draft allotment is less than last year, they may actually have more money to spend on day three selections after reported under slot deals with their first- and third-round picks. Some of that money will be used to sign the three high school arms they drafted with picks 4-5-6 as well as seventh-round pick James Norwood. It should also be noted that not every high schooler is ready for the grind of pro ball and benefit from going to school.
Round 11—Jordan Brink, RHP, Fresno State (Jr.), Throws: Right; Bats: Right. The 21-year-old was one of the top rated college arms on the board at the start of the third day and the Cubs wasted no time selecting the Fresno, Calif., native. "It's an honor and a true blessing to be picked by a very historic organization," said Brink. "I'd like to thank everyone that has shared this journey with me, teammates, coaches and friends." Brink turned his attention strictly to the mound in 2014 after being used as a utility player his freshman and sophomore seasons. The right-hander led the Bulldogs with a team-best 2.87 ERA (No. 4 in the Mountain West) in 13 starts with a 5-3 record in 84.2 innings pitched this season. He only threw 59.2 innings as a sophomore and for his career, Brink has made 92 starts and played in 105 games as a position player. Ranked #105 by Scout.com, Brink features a decent fastball and breaking ball but due to his size is projected by many for the bullpen. Like I said before, the Cubs will give their prospects every chance to remain a starter until they prove otherwise. As you can tell by the quote, its sounds like Brink plans on signing and not return for his senior season. He could be pitching in Boise by the end the summer.
Round 12— Tanner Griggs, RHP, Angelina College (J2). Throws: Right, Bats: Right The Houston native comes to the Cubs organization without many innings on his right arm that brings a fastball at 90-93. He went 6-2 for the Texas junior college this spring with 2.09 ERA and a 7.24 K/9. He logged 73.1 innings and tossed six complete games. He finished his freshman season as AC's leading pitcher, posting a 1.64 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. Griggs entered the season as a top five junior-college prospect, according to Baseball America, and was considered a possible day two pick by Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel. The 20-year-old will likely spend the summer in Mesa as the former Texas prep star will be brought along slowly. He seems exited about being a Cub as he tweeted a picture of himself at the mall in a brand spanking new Cubs hat.
Round 13—Kevonte Mitchell, 3B, Kennett High School Mo., Throws: Right, Bats: Right After working out at Wrigley Field on June 2, the Cubs must have like what they saw as they took the 18-year-old high school product with their third pick on Saturday. Also a standout on the hardwood, Mitchell has a scholarship to Southeast Missouri. "Kevonte is a very gifted high school athlete," SMU head coach Steve Bieser said. "In baseball, he is what we call a five-tool player. As a coaching staff, we are very excited to get Kevonte in our program and begin working with him to help maximize his potential." At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Mitchell will begin the road back to the cages at Wrigley in Mesa if the Cubs can get him to sign.
Round 14— Chesny Young, 2B, Mercer University (Jr.), Throws: Right, Bats: Right Young spent the season at third base and was impressive at the plate, hitting .348/.430/.456 and was considered a day two pick by McDaniel. Young had 71 hits to go along with 32 runs, 10 doubles, 4 HR and 37 RBI; and also tied for the team lead with 20 multi-hit games while committing only five errors at third. The 2013 A-Sun Conference Player of the Year, Young hit .401 as a sophomore and was second in the nation with 105 hits. He was named a freshman All-American and A-Sun freshman of the year in 2012 after leading his high school team to back-to-back state tittles in 2010-11. The Cubs drafted the 21-year-old as a second baseman as the Cubs value power hitters for the corner infield spots. Young could find himself starting at second in Boise before the end of July and I'm rather excited to see how his game plays at the pro level.
Round 15—Jeremy Null, RHP, Western Carolina (Jr.), Throws: Right, Bats: Right Another pitcher McDaniel had rated as a possible day two selection, the 6-foot-7, 225-pounder made 15 starts and threw a career-high 101 innings with 93 K and a 2.94 ERA for the Catamounts. Null threw 91 innings with 109 Ks as a sophomore and made 14 starts as a freshman. He had plenty of accolades coming into the season after his sophomore year and a summer on the Cape, ranked as one of the top prospects in the Southern Conference and a pick for player of the year. With a fastball in the low 90s, the Cubs could be able add a few ticks to his fastball and develop him into what many thought could be a major league arm. Null may need some education at Mesa for a few innings but could be part of the Boise staff. Cubs will keep an eye on him with 100 innings already on the arm this spring.
Round 16— Jason Vosler, SS, Northeastern University (Jr.), Throws: Right, Bats: Left A second-team all-conference performer his junior season, the 20-year-old hit . 322/.419/.417 in 55 starts at short, his second season at the position after earning CAA Freshman of the Year honors as a second baseman. Had a BB/K ratio of 32:20 in 211 at-bats from the left-side of the plate. Not much speed as the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder only stole one base and ended the year with a fielding percentage of .953. Vosler provides organizational depth in the middle infield.
Round 17— Michael Knighton, Central Alabama Community College, RHP, (J2). Throws: Right, Bats: Right The 20-year-old has a decision to make, take his two years of junior college experience and head to Troy University to continue his college career, or get better at one of the best baseball facilities on earth. Knighton was one of four junior college arms the Cubs drafted and the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder made 13 starts his sophomore season, logging 80 punchouts in 84.2 innings. Knighton only walked 16 and had a 2.02 ERA for the 26-25 Trojans. Cubs signed all their top 20 picks last year except one (failed physical), so there's a good chance Knighton turns pro. With his age and innings, he should get very familiar with Mesa in the coming months.
Round 18— Austyn Willis, RHP, Barstow High School, Barstow, CA. Throws: Right, Bats: Right The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder committed to UC Santa Barbara back in November after earning Desert Sky Player of the Year honors as a junior. Here's what Gauchos head coach Andre Checketts had to say about Willis, "Austyn has an impressive, projectable frame. He has made tremendous strides this year with his velocity and secondary pitches. He has solid fastball command and his velocity will continue to go up with strength and maturity. We expect big things from him as he develops into a prospect at UCSB." The 17-year-old (turns 18 on June 13) was the first of four high school hurlers selected on the final day. If he does decide to turn pro, he'll spend his first summer in Mesa.
Round 19— Brad Markey, RHP, Virginia Tech, (Sr.). Throws: Right, Bats: Right The 22-year-old will have a familiar face 60 feet away in Cubs camp as the North Siders drafted Marker's battery mate, Mark Zagunis, in the third round. The senior right-hander made 12 starts for the Hokies, tossed two complete games and recorded two saves. He finished the year throwing 82.1 innings, with 57 K and 19 BB. He logged 100 innings as a junior, making 15 stars with 75 K. Commanding a fastball in the low 90s with a curve and change, Markey was drafted by the Mets in the 35th round after a season at Sante Fe College in 2012. The Maryland native started his college career at Georgia Tech. Has a shot at making the rotation in Boise but once again it will depend on his inning limit.
Round 20— Alex Tomasovich, SS, Charleston Southern University (Sr.). Throws: Right, Bats: Right John "Alex" Tomasovich compiled an impressive resume in his four years of college. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder had the nation's longest hitting streak at 25 games,and leaves as the career record-holder in doubles with 53 and is second with 253 career hits. He finished his CSU career with 151 consecutive starts, was named the Big South Player of the Week three times this season, and voted First Team All-Big South as an infielder. He was in the top five in the Big South in average (.357), hits (82), runs (50), RBI (44), and doubles (21), which led the conference. Tomasovich graduated from CSU with honors in December and is already enrolled in CSU's M.B.A. Program. He provides depth in the middle infield for the organization.