While the Cubs may have need to come up with some extra funds to keep Illinois prep Bryan Hudson and Ohio speedster Darryl Wilson away from their college commits, the North Siders did collect an interesting of array of college arms with their next five picks, and capped off Day 2 with a shortstop—’Cubs Way’ Rule # 5—You can never have enough shortstops.
The 6-foot-8 Hudson was throwing in the mid-90s by season end and Wilson shows the potential as a speedy leadoff hitter with a knack for center field. The Cubs grabbed the best left-handed freshman college arm in 2013, the Division II Player and Pitcher of the year with a 14.3 K/9, the all-time NCAA leader in games pitched, and two pitchers who were instrumental in their teams playing this week in the College World Series. They ended Day 2 with a foreign-born player that Jed Hoyer drafted four years ago in San Diego.
Here’s a look at the eight players the Cubs selected:
Round 3 (#82)—Bryan Hudson, LHP
School: Alton HIgh School, Alton, Illinois
Weight: 235 pounds
Slot Limit: $731,000
Cubs President Theo Epstein was spotted in enemy territory scouting the Southern Illinois lefty with Player Development and Scouting Director Jason McLeod, and despite Hudson being a “die-hard Cardinal fan” used their first pick of Day 2 to take the 6-foot-8 prep from Alton HIgh School. Armed with a fastball that was hitting 93-95 late in the season, and a hammer curve in the low 80s, Hudson went 10-2 with a 0.50 ERA and fanned 150 hitters in 70.1 IP this spring. The Cubs should have plenty of money to lure the southpaw away from his commitment to the University of Missouri. “Once in a long coaching career you have some very talented kids and you can win a lot of games with,” Alton coach Todd Haug told the Belleville News-Democrat. “But that rare combination of physical tools and mound presence and the ability to focus, and also the professionalism to go about your business, it’s pretty rare. You throw all those intangibles together and that’s why I call him a once-in-a-coaching-career type of player.” Coming into the draft, Hudson was considered by some draft experts the best prep pitching prospect to come out of Illinois since 2010 when the Astros took Mike Foltynewicz in the first-round out of Minooka High School.
Round 4 (#113)—Darryl Wilson, OF
School: Canton South High School, Canton, Ohio
Weight: 177 pounds
Slot Limit: $503,100
The Cubs went back into the high school ranks for their second pick of the day, drafting the speedy left-handed bat most consider the top Ohio prep and the third outfielder in the top four picks. With a scholarship waiting at Vanderbilt if he decides not to turn pro, Wilson was a two-time All-Ohio State performer and help lead his high school to four straight district titles. The 17-year-old hit .545 with a 1.000 slugging percentage as a senior to go along with 30 steals and 30 RBI, Wilson got a first-hand look at Wrigley during a workout last week. His best tool is his speed and he projects as an above average center fielder with a decent glove combined with a good arm. Wilson hit .506 with 29 RBI and 22 stolen bases as a junior.
Round 5 (#143)—Ryan Kellogg. LHP
School: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (Jr.)
Slot Limit: $376,700
The Canadian native was a victim of his own success having a superb freshman season at ASU and despite putting up good numbers the next two seasons, never matched that magical freshman year when he tossed a no-hitter, earned all-american honors, and won his first 11 games. As a freshman, the former member of the Canadian Junior National team went 11-1 with a 3.15 ERA after being drafted in the 12th round by the Blue Jays in 2012. A three-time Pac-12 first-team performer, Kellogg went 9-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 115 innings and fanned a career-high 92 with 23 walks. The Cubs will likely give Kellogg a chance to be a starter after he signs but with a bunch of innings already under his belt this spring, may not get much work as he becomes accustomed to the rigors of pro ball.
Round 6 (#173)—David Berg, RHP
School: University of California at Los Angeles (Sr.)
Slot Limit: $281,900
The Cubs made it two straight Pac-12 All-Americans taking the UCLA record-setting reliever with the side-arm delivery. A two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, Berg holds the NCAA record with 175 appearances and had a NCAA-high 43 appearances with 65 K and 8 BB in 66.2 innings in ’15. He set the UCLA record with 24 saves in 2014 and was just four saves shy of the NCAA career record. He combined with Jams Kaprielian on May 15 for the first no-hitter in UCLA history and is only the third player in conference history to earn all-conference honors all four years. He spent two summers with the USA National Collegiate team and was drafted in the 17th round by the Rangers last year but went back to UCLA for his senior season. Berg had an uncanny knack of getting hitters out in college and it will be interesting to see if his success carries over to the pro ranks.
Round 7 (#203)—Craig Brooks, RHP
School: Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina (Sr.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Slot Limit: $211,300
If you think Berg had an impressive college resume wait until you get done with the Cubs 7th round pick. Craig Brooks was not only the Division II Pitcher of the Year, and why not, 158 strikeouts in 99 innings with three shutouts, including a no-hitter, he also took home the Most Valuable Player award because when he wasn’t shutting down the opponent he was hitting .300/.366/.478 with 6 HR and 43 RBI at third base. The winner of both the Brett Tomko and Josh Willingham awards, Brooks help lead Catawba College to a second-place finish at the DII National Championships and was a consensus first-team All-American, going 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. I’m interested to see Brooks as a pro because if he wasn’t 5-foot-10 and put up 14.36 K/9, he wouldn’t have lasted until the 7th round, no matter what division he played in, especially with a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and ability to throw a cutter and curveball.
Round 8 (#233)— Preston Morrison, RHP
School: Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, (Sr.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Slot Limit: $174,200
TCU has a long list of pitchers that have advanced to the majors, Morrison is leaving with a pile of the school’s records. The only player in school history that can boast of being a four-time, first-team all conference selection, the right-hander has been a workhorse in the rotation and is the all-time TCU leader in innings with 462.1 and 60 games started. He’s 36-12 in 72 career appearances with a 1.85 ERA and nine complete games, including six shutouts. The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2014, he earned Player of the Week honors eight times during his career and went 11-3 with a 2.55 ERA to help the Horned Frogs back to the College World Series. Morrison sits in the high 80s and has plus command of multiple pitches, including a good sinking fastball.
Round 9 (#263)— Tyler Peitzmeier, LHP
School: Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton, California (Sr.)
Slot Limit: $162,800
The Cubs grabbed another one of the nation’s top college relievers as Peitzmeier has helped pitch the Titans to their first College World Series appearance since 2009. In three post-season games, the left-hander has logged 13 innings, including a pair of five-inning outings, and won all three games. He’s 5-3 and sports a 2.20 ERA with 16 saves, and 58 K in 57.1 innings (30 games). During his four-year tenure on the mound, Peitzmeier sits with a 9-3 record and 1.90 ERA in 97 appearances, making three starts. He’s tallied 17 career saves, which is ninth most in program history. Peitzmeier struck out 112 batters in 123.2 innings with only 29 walks. His fastball sits 87-90 and has ability to miss bats.
Round 10 (#293)—Vimeal Machin, SS
School: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, (Sr.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Slot Limit: $152,000
Cubs front office has a history with Machin as Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod drafted the Puerto Rican native back in 2011 when they were with the San Diego Padres. Instead of turning pro, he enrolled at a Division I school, got his college degree and help lead the Rams into the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history this spring, earning MVP honors at the Dallas Baptist NCAA Regional. The Puerto Rico native hit .339/.401/.441 and drove in 53 runs his senior season. He leaves VCU ranked fifth all-time in games played and at-bats and seventh all-time in hits and RBI. "Congratulations to Vimael, nobody deserves this more and nobody has worked harder for it than he has," said VCU head coach Shawn Stiffler. "With the way he played the last three weeks of the season, I think a lot of people were able to see him as the kind of player that we always knew he was. The Chicago Cubs are getting a fantastic player on the field and an ever better young man off of it."