Cubs sign Draft-and-Follow's

With the 2007 draft less than one month away, the Cubs have signed two draft-and-follow players from their 2006 class along with one fifth-year senior.

One such draft-and-follow that has been signed is INF Jovan Rosa, the Cubs' 22nd-round selection from Lake City (Fla.) Community College.

Rosa, 19, was named the 2007 Mid-Florida Conference Player of the Year. He batted .359 with nine home runs, 16 doubles and 56 RBIs in 55 games.

"Jovan Rosa has got good action, good hands, and an average to maybe above average arm with a chance to play third base," Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken said of Rosa, who spent his final college season at shortstop.

Offensively, "He's got some power, so we're excited about that," Wilken said. "There's a chance he may break with the Boise club. He's a good-sized guy, about 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds."

The Cubs have also signed RHP Jordan Latham, their 29th-round selection from the College of Southern Idaho in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

Latham, 20, made 12 starts for Southern Idaho in 2007 and was 9-2 with a 1.84 ERA. In 73 1/3 innings, he struck out 66, walked 19, and tossed six complete games.

"His fastball can go anywhere from 88 to 93 (mph)," Wilken said of Latham. "He's got a power slider when he gets it right. Hopefully, we can get him to where his delivery is consistent and you can see that slider even more. We are still up in the air about whether he's going to be a starter or a reliever."

Additionally, the Cubs have signed one fifth-year senior in pitcher John Muller of St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York.

Muller spent much of his college career as an infielder, where he batted .367 in 40 games during his final season with St. Thomas Aquinas.

He also pitched in relief, which is where the Cubs plan to use him.

"He's going to pitch," Wilken said of Muller, a right-hander. "There's not a lot of innings there, but he showed an average fastball with a chance for an average breaking ball. Our area scout, Billy Blitzer, really liked that."

Under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, the draft-and-follow process has been eliminated beginning with the 2007 draft.

With the exception of college seniors, all drafted players must be signed by Aug. 15. The 2007 MLB Draft is scheduled to begin June 7.

(Photo courtesy of Coach Tom Clark)


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