After two solid picks in the first two rounds of the draft, the Cubs look to improve their depth on day 2. Generally speaking, the first three or four rounds are where most of the MLB talent is taken, and anything after that is seen as a bonus. As we get deeper in the draft, the information will get quite scarce to non-existent. I’ll see what I can find for each one though.
Third Round Pick: Jacob Hannemann, CF BYU L/L
Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis said Hannemann played football for the Cougras as well as baseball. They said he is an athletic player with plus speed and a below average arm. He is a little older than some other players because he went on a mission trip for two years and obviously hasn’t been able to fully dedicate himself to playing baseball because of it and football, but played well regardless. Mayo wondered how much better he could be since, should he sign, he’ll be able to focus on baseball and start to develop those tools. Callis compared him to Patrick Kevlehan, a pick of the Seattle Mariners last year, in terms of his path to baseball thus far.
Mayo wrote the following about Hannemann on the draft tracker…
Hannemann is only a freshman, but don’t let that fool you. The two-sport standout went on his Mormon mission before heading to college, making him 22 years old. Also a football player, Hannemann has some athletic tools to work with, even if they are a bit raw. The WCC Freshman of the Year hit well in his first taste of college ball, impressive considering he hadn’t played in two years. He has the chance to hit and run well and could be a solid center field prospect for a team willing to be patient.
Hannemann is going to be a tricky prospect to follow because of how far behind he is in terms of just playing the game. A 22-year-old player in Low A doesn’t exactly pop off the screen, but this is the kind of player teams need to have in their system. Think about how much players like Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter have contributed to the Cardinals despite being older prospects. It’s nice to see the hit tool mentioned as well.
Keith Law mentioned Hannemann in his chat and had this to say…
Great athlete, can run, limited experience, and oh he’s a 22-year-old freshman because he went on a mission (he’s Mormon). He’s 18 months older than Bryce Harper.
That certainly puts the age into context. He also mentioned the other two Cubs picks later…
Skulina’s got a huge arm, good value at that round. Masek was on my top 100, future reliever but a solid one.
Sounds like Law has no problem with the picks, which is good to hear. Now to hit those two with more detail…
Fourth Round Pick: Tyler Skulina, RHP Kent State
Mayo and Callis mentioned that Skulina was a big reason Kent State went on their College World Series run last year. He transfered to Kent State from Virginia and is a tall right hander who throws 91-96. Callis said he actually played against the Cubs’ first round pick Kris Bryant earlier in the year. He added that Bryant has a good fastball and curveball, and has (and it is very important to read carefully here) the looks of a number 2 or 3 starter in the majors. Mayo seemed a little less optimistic about Skulina, noting that his change-up needs work, but agreeing that the size and arm strength are there. He tagged him as a fourth starter.
Here’s some video of Skulina from last year. I couldn’t find anything newer, unfortunately.
Mayo wrote the following about Skulina on the draft tracker…
Skulina played a key role in Kent State’s Cinderella run to the 2012 College World Series and has taken on an even bigger role this spring as the Golden Flashes ace. He relies on his fastball-curveball combination to attack hitters and isn’t afraid to challenge them. Skulina’s fastball sits in the low-90s and runs in on right-handers. His curveball has good break and should be a Major League average offering. He uses his 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame to create a good downhill plane for both pitches. Skulina needs to develop his changeup to reach his potential.
It’s nice to hear that he has some movement on his fastball. It’s clear that there’s something to dream on with Skulina, and it should take him some time to crack the majors. A couple years working on refining the curveball and the change-up should be enough for the Cubs’ fourth college player.
Fifth Round Pick: Trey Masek, RHP Texas Tech
Yet another college player! The Cubs have yet to pick a player out of the high school ranks in this draft and are once again going pitcher heavy. Mayo and Callis said he is a high upside arm with durability concerns. Callis said he played in the Cape Cod league and did well there and carried that success into the regular season until some rotator cuff issues caused him to miss several starts, but did pitch near the end of the season. Callis said Masek smoothed out his delivery this season with the help of his pitching coach. Unlike the other two pitchers the Cubs drafted this season, Masek was actually Texas Tech’s Saturday starter (in other words, not their staff ace).
It’s obvious from the video that he doesn’t have the height you want out of a right handed starter, but there’s always hope that he can be an exception. Jonathan Mayo wrote the following about him on the draft tracker…
Masek had a very strong summer in the Cape Cod League and it was carrying over as Texas Tech’s Saturday starter, though some arm soreness in late March kept him out of action for a spell. Assuming health, the slightly undersized right-hander will show three pretty good pitches. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph, throws a solid curveball and has a good feel for a sinking changeup. His funky delivery adds deception to his stuff, though his command can be inconsistent. He gets high marks for his aggressiveness and poise on the mound. That, plus Masek’s size and injury history, have some thinking his future might be in a big league bullpen.
It’s not surprising to hear about a future in the bullpen. Starters that can’t stay healthy often go there. If that’s what the Cubs are getting with their fifth round pick, they will be more than happy. Until that happens, it’s nice to see that he can dial it up to 94 and has two solid pitches to complement it.
Remember that Hoyer talked about growing bullpens organically, guys like Masek have SP stuff, but if doesn’t make it, he can be power RP arm
— John Arguello (@CubsDen) June 7, 2013
The Cubs’ pick is the first one today that is included in Keith Law’s top 100 list, so there’s actually a scouting report for him on ESPN (Insider required). Law said Masek’s arsenal is starter quality and saw a “so-so” slider from him to go along with the curve. He adds that Masek is a strike thrower who should be pushed as a starter and moved to the pen if things don’t work out in the rotation.
Sixth Round Pick: Scott Frazier, RHP Pepperdine
Mayo and Callis initially missed the pick in the fury that apparently is the sixth round, but Callis came back to Frazier and said this was a buy-low opportunity for the Cubs. He said Frazier had a bad season but has a good arm.
Frazier listed at 6’7″.Three pitch mix, but a little inconsistent.
— Luke Blaize (@ltblaize) June 7, 2013
The Cubs continue to draft projectable college arms. Three pitches with a big frame and a good arm is something to dream on. Mayo wrote on the draft tracker about Frazier…
The big right-hander served as Pepperdine’s Saturday starter in 2012, then moved into the Friday slot as a junior, continuing to show the big arm that has always intrigued scouts. His fastball sits in the 91-94 mph range, and he backs it up with a curve and changeup. He’s shown gradual improvement over time with the Waves and while his results as a junior have been up and down, he’s the kind of college arm that could sneak into the back end of the first round. After his sophomore season, Frazier pitched in the Cape Cod League to cap off 2012. Even with his uneven performances, his size and arm strength were still getting a lot of interest as the Draft approached.
Wow. That’s what you want to hear. Getting a guy Mayo thought could slip into the first round in the sixth is a steal. This is great news. Now let’s just hope the pick works out.
Frazier was also in Keith Law’s top 100 (Insider required). He mentions that Frazier was actually taken in the fifth round in the 2010 draft and is probably looking for a big bonus (think somewhere between $500,000 to $1 million, his draft slot amount is $267,600) in this year’s draft. It’s a low risk at this point of the draft, and I wonder if some of their picks (I’m thinking Hannemann) were part of the plan to get a guy like Frazier.
Law calls the delivery ugly, but doesn’t seem to hold that against him too much as he says the stuff looks good. He said the fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and touches 98(!) but lacks control of it. He also has a curve and change-up, and Law sees him as a project. Hopefully the Cubs can swing the money and get him into their system to make the needed changes.
Seventh Round Pick: David Garner, RHP Michigan State
That’s seven-for-seven in terms of college players. Mayo and Callis both said they liked the idea of putting Garner in the pen right away and moving him quickly through the minors. They said he’s not a big guy, but has a nice arm and threw well in the Cape Cod League. He has a hard slider that should work well in the bullpen and Callis said his mechanics can get away from him at times. At this point of the draft, a guy like this is a nice pick.
Mayo wrote a ton about Garner in his draft tracker write-up of Garner…
His slight frame is not an indication of the power the right-hander possesses. Garner owns a fastball that can touch 95 mph, while his hard-breaking slider is his primary out-pitch. He has a free delivery and aggressive approach, and his electric stuff has led to 192 strikeouts in 217 2/3 innings pitched for Michigan State during his three years in East Lansing. At times, Garner can lose his control, as he walked 27 batters this year, while also hitting six and throwing 10 wild pitches. In his first two seasons at Michigan State, Garner was in and out of the rotation, but he made all 14 appearances as a starter during his junior year. He went 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA, lifting his career numbers to 15-12 and 3.97, respectively. Garner stood out in the Cape Cod League each of the past two summers, especially in 2012, when he was named to the West Division All-Star Team. In 43 1/3 innings for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, Garner registered 41 strikeouts and a 3.12 ERA, both of which were good for top 20 in the league.
You know who this kind of sounds like? Carlos Marmol! C’mon! You loved Carlos when he would strike out everyone while walking two batters an inning! Bring it back! Bring it back!
I thought there was a chance Garner was a senior (he’s not) because of the bullpen projection, which would allow the Cubs to funnel more money towards guys like Frazier. They still may be able to, but not as much as they would if Garner was a senior sign.
Eigth Round Pick: Sam Wilson, LHP Lamar CC (CO)
Wilson is yet another college pitcher (junior college, but still) who has had some issues in the past. Mayo and Callis said he moved around a bit, initially attending the University of New Mexico, but had to red shirt due to academic issues. Mayo said he’s been a two way player his whole career, plaing in the outfield as well as pitching, but said his future is most certainly on the mound. Callis said he’s thrown 93-94 on the fastball, but was only hitting 88-91 this spring with a curve and change to go with it. The hope, as both mentioned, is that his stuff plays up with uninterrupted time on the mound.
Mayo wrote about Wilson on the draft tracker…
Wilson was drafted by the Rangers in the 20th round in 2010, but he chose to attend New Mexico. He was a two-way player as a freshman, but academic issues forced him to redshirt last season and he ultimately transferred to Lamar Community College this year. Wilson has continued as a two-way player for the Runnin’ Lopes, but his professional future is on the mound. He throws his fastball around 90 mph and he has touched 94 mph in the past. He also throws a curveball and a changeup, both of which have the potential to be Major League-average offerings. Wilson is athletic, has good size (he’s listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds) and repeats his delivery well.
It’s nice to hear the Cubs are still finding projectable three pitch guys at this point in the draft. There’s obviously a bit of a knock against him for the academic issues, but if the guy loves baseball and is willing to work hard at it, that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s hard to see what the issue is that put him this late in the draft given the size and his ability to repeat his delivery. I would have thought a guy like this would have gone a couple rounds earlier.
Ninth Round Pick: Charcer Burks, CF William B. Travis HS R/R
The Cubs finally take a high school player in the ninth round of the draft. Callis said during the draft cast that Burks is one of the better athletes in the Houston area and is an above average runner. He played shortstop in high school, but it looks like the Cubs will move him to center. Callis said Burks didn’t have the actions teams look for in a shortstop, so this is an aggressive move to put him in the outfield instead of developing him at short and then moving him. His bat has a way to go and hopefully he can hit enough for a center fielder.