Name: Craig Brooks, RHP
Drafted: Round 7, 203 overall
School: Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina (Sr.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Slot Limit: $211,300
Signing Bonus: $5,000
From Catawba College to the pro baseball. That’s the path Craig Brooks will take after signing with the Cubs.
The 7th round pick on Day 2 of the 2015 draft was Division II’s most decorated player, earning Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year honors. The senior signed for a reported $5,000 bonus, way below the $211,300 slot limit, which is not uncommon for college seniors drafted on the second day.
A four-year starter for the Indians, the North Carolina native broke through in 2014, reaping second-team All-American honors as well as being named all-conference as a pitcher and third baseman. His senior year was even better.
The 22-year-old went 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He led Division II with 158 strikeouts and his 14.36 K/9 topped the nation. He tossed a no-hitter against Brevard and helped pitch the Indians into the D II championship game with a two-inning save (5 K) in the semi-finals.
When he wasn’t shutting down the opponent from the mound, he was hitting .300/.366/.478 with 6 HR and 43 RBI. Brooks was the winner of both the Brett Tomko and Josh Willingham awards, Division II honors for performance on and off the field.
If he wasn’t 5-foot-10, he wouldn’t have lasted until the 7th round with his 14.36 K/9, 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. Brooks will start in Mesa but the athletic right-hander may not spend much time in the Arizona heat.