Joe Simokaitis Draft Capsule

With their 10th round pick in the 2005 Draft on Tuesday, the Cubs chose University of Nebraska shortstop Joe Simokaitis.

Honors & Awards

2004 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2003 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2003 Dairy Queen Classic All-Tournament Team

2005 Outlook: Shortstop Joe Simokaitis is one of two three-year starters returning to the Husker lineup in 2005 • Already ranks among the top defensive players in school history, ranking fourth on NU's career assist list with 472 entering his senior campaign • Considered by the Husker coaches as one of the best defensive infielders in the Big 12, as he cut his error total in half in 2004 • Can be used in a number of ways offensively, as he is effective in moving runners and has good speed • Has worked hard to add strength, which will keep him from wearing down late in the season • Is 18th in NCAA history with 32 sacrifice bunts and is six away from breaking into the top-10 list • Spent last summer in the Cape Cod League, playing for the Bourne Braves • Hit .169 with 10 RBIs in 41 games against many of the top players in the country • Has shown the potential to be an effective offensive player, hitting nearly 50 points above his season average with runners in scoring position in 2004 • Is a career .500 hitter in bases-loaded situations.

2004: Simokaitis continued to be one of the best shortstops in the league, earning honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors for the second straight year • Started 56 of NU's 59 games, batting .278 with a homer, 33 RBIs and 31 runs scored • Was second on the team with nine stolen bases, while ranking third in doubles (14) and fourth in sacrifices (eight) • Proved to be one of the top defensive shortstops in the league, committing 10 errors and posting a .960 fielding percentage, as Nebraska set a school record with a .975 fielding percentage • Finished with 14 multi-hit games, including a career-high four hits against Kent State on Feb. 22 and Creighton on May 18 • Was the only Husker to record multiple four-hit games in 2004 • Batted .231 with a homer and 11 RBIs and committed just three errors in 123 chances while starting all 27 league games • Recorded his first career four-hit game against Kent State, going 4-for-4 with a then career-best three RBIs • Hit .400 during the Rice Invitational, driving in a pair of runs in a win over North Carolina on Feb. 29 • Continued his early-season success at the Dairy Queen Classic, going 5-for-13 with three runs scored in three games at the Metrodome • Had his best series of the year in the sweep over Boston College, going 8-for-12, including a pair of three-hit games • Had three hits off of first-round pick Chris Lambert, including a game-tying ninth-inning single on March 20 • Followed up his second three-hit day of the weekend and drove in a career-high four runs in the series finale on March 21 • Had his best Big 12 series at top-ranked Texas, going 4-for-10, including a pair of hits in the finale • Consistently delivered timely hits late in the year, picking up all three of his game-winning RBIs in the final month of the season • Delivered a game-winning, two-run single in the ninth in a 4-3 win over Northern Colorado on April 28 • Provided one of the year's most memorable moments with a three-run homer off Texas A&M ace Jason Meyer to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning in a 4-1 win over the No. 10 Aggies on April 30 • Broke a scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the 11th with a game-winning RBI single in a 1-0 win over No. 18 Oklahoma on May 22 • Went 2-for-11 with an RBI at the Big 12 Tournament in Arlington.

2003: Simokaitis moved into the starting shortstop role on a full-time basis, hitting .293 with a homer and 39 RBIs in a team-high 62 contests • Topped NU with 16 sacrifices and was second with nine stolen bases • Also ranked among team leaders in hits (70, third), runs (53, third) and walks (22, fourth) • Broke NU's single-season record with 194 assists, breaking Bryan Schmidt's mark of 185 set in 1997 • Played his best defense down the stretch, committing two errors in his final 19 games, including one in the postseason, when he posted a .980 fielding percentage • Got out of the gate quickly, hitting .400 with 15 RBIs in his first 10 contests, including three-hit efforts at Louisiana Tech on Feb. 22 and against Minnesota on March 2 • Selected to the Dairy Queen Classic all-tournament team, batting .500 (6-for-12) with four RBIs and four runs scored over three games, including wins over nationally ranked Wake Forest and Notre Dame • Went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored in a win over Minnesota • Enjoyed the longest hitting streak of his career, a 10-game streak from Feb. 22 to March 15 where he hit .405 • Started all 27 conference tilts, batting .271 with 11 RBIs • Had his best conference series against seventh-ranked Texas, hitting .363 (4-for-11) with a pair of multi-hit games • Sparked NU's sweep of Oklahoma State by going 5-for-14 with four runs scored • Belted his first career homer against Texas Tech, his first in 293 career at-bats • Went 3-for-16 during the Big 12 Tournament before hitting .261 with five RBIs during the NCAA Regional, including a 3-for-5 effort with three RBIs against Southwest Missouri State to advance to the regional title game.

2002: Simokaitis was one of two freshmen to break into the everyday lineup on NU's College World Series squad • Started 41 games at shortstop, batting .236 with 16 RBIs • Ranked sixth on the team with 41 runs scored and led NU with nine sacrifice bunts • Was a stabilizer on defense, finishing the year with a .941 fielding percentage, committing 12 errors in over 200 total chances • Sparked the Huskers' run down the stretch, starting the majority of Nebraska's games during the second half of the year • Recorded his first three-hit game against Creighton on April 16, going 3-for-4 and driving in the game-winning run, a ninth-inning single in a wild 6-5 win • Hit .152 with four RBIs in league games, but played excellent defense, committing one error in 16 contests • Went hitless in five at-bats during the Big 12 Tournament, but drew three walks and had three sacrifices to help NU reach the title game • Was one of the unsung heros of NU's postseason success, hitting .333 (9-for-27) with nine runs scored and an on-base percentage of .438 during the NCAA Tournament • Broke out of an 0-for-24 slump against Southwest Missouri State in the NCAA Regional title game, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs, against the Bears • Led the Huskers with a .400 average against Richmond, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored in the decisive contest • Continued his hot hitting during the College World Series, going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored in Omaha.

St. Mary's High School: Simokaitis enjoyed a stellar career for Coach Dave Wessels at St. Mary's High School in St. Louis • Was a two-time first-team all-state selection by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association • Led St. Mary's to a third-place finish in the state as a senior, batting .386 with two homers, 19 RBIs and 24 runs scored, while striking out four times in 87 plate appearances • Was considered the top high school prospect in the state by Baseball America • Tabbed a two-time All-South Metro St. Louis and four-time Archdiocesan Athletic Association honoree, as he hit .420 with seven homers and 43 RBIs as a junior • Earned a total of 12 letters (four each in football, basketball and baseball) • Starred in football, where he was a two-time all-district selection and conference player of the year as a senior • Totaled 1,200 all-purpose yards as a senior, while making 56 tackles and picking off six passes on defense • Selected NU over St. Louis, Wichita State, Southwest Missouri State, Florida and Missouri in baseball, while also being recruited by Missouri and Illinois in football.

Personal: Born on Dec. 27, 1982, in St. Louis, Mo. • Parents are Anthony and Judy Simokaitis • Has three brothers (Tony, Nick and David) and four sisters (Angie, Liz, Amy and Kate) • Majors in communication studies at Nebraska • Comes from an athletic family as his father (Anthony) played football at Missouri while his older brother (Nick) played baseball at Northwestern State under former NU Coach Dave Van Horn.

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