MLB Draft: Live Thread, Day Three

In MLB Draft by GW


The draft reconvenes at noon today, and will cover rounds 11-40. I believe day three is strictly the conference call. The link is here.

What to Expect

For the most part, day three is filled with future “Org. guys.” The exceptions tend to be at the beginning (rounds 11-13) and the end. At the beginning, teams that have some money saved from the first two days tend to take high schoolers who are on the fence about going to college. At the end, some high-schoolers who are strongly leaning towards more school are selected, because: what the hell? Maybe they will change their minds.

Bonus pools for teams cover only the first ten rounds, so any player drafted today that doesn’t ultimately sign will not cost the team anything in terms of their available pool. There are no slot values for today; the de facto slot is $100,000 for every pick. Any signing bonus agreed to above that amount comes out of a team’s pool for the first ten rounds. Any signing bonus below that has no effect on dollar amount available to the team as proscribed by the league.

One example of the type of thing that can happen today: last year, the Cubs picked well-thought-of high school righty Trevor Clifton in the 12th round, in what appears to have been a miscommunication between he and teams. Most thought he would attend Kentucky, but he didn’t have much interest in doing that. The Cubs were one of the first teams to realize that, and got him to sign for $375,000. All morning, most teams are working the phones to figure out if there are any cases like his out there.

Cubs Strategy

I expect the team to take at least one overslot candidate in the early rounds today, if not more. Dylan Cease is still a Vanderbilt commit, and those tend to be fairly strong, so expect the team to have a backup plan. His 6th round slot is only around $270k, so if he ultimately doesn’t sign (though I expect that he will), it won’t be a huge loss for the team’s bonus pool. And, in general, there were quite a few picks that project to be underslot from the first two days: most importantly Kyle Schwarber in the 1st, but also Stinnett in the 2nd, Zagunis in the third, and maybe all of Thorpe, Farris and Williams in the 8th-10th. So the Cubs may think they have extra money to work with even after signing Cease and 4th-rounder Carson Sands.

Also, the team is going to need more hitters in order to fill out a rookie-league roster. Last year they went heavy on catcher, just to enough warm bodies to catch all those arms. With Zagunis already in tow, I would expect at least two catchers today.

Players to Watch For

I’m going to be lazy and just quote Mike Axisa from CBS, who has a good roundup.

At this point, the best available players are all unsignable high school guys like Marshall, Schwarz, 3B Sean Bouchard (San Diego), RHP Jacob Bukauskus (Virginia), RHP Keaton McKinney (Iowa), OF Jeren Kendall (Wisconsin), RHP Bryce Montes de Oca (Kansas) and RHP Keith Weisenberg (Florida).

Among players are who figure to actually sign, the best available are Arkansas LHP Jalen Beeks, Fresno State RHP Jordan Brink, Hawaii HS C K.J. Harrison, College of Charleston SS Gunnar Heidt, Long Beach State OF Richard Prigatano, Oxnard JC RHP Patrick Weigel, Loyola Marymount RHP Colin Welmon and Western Illinois RHP Tyler Willman. All came into the draft likely to picked in the fourth through sixth rounds but fell as teams gobbled up cheap seniors. Brink was considered a second round talent a few months ago before losing some velocity this spring.

I will update this thread with scouting reports and video, though my participation is likely to be more sporadic than yesterday. Feel free to chime in with any info you can find.

In the 11th (#319) Cubs take RHP Jordan Brink…

…A junior from Fresno State.  BA has him at #164, Scout at #105, MLB at #102. Sounds like an overslot pick here.


Brink has an infielder’s body at a listed 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. He began his Fresno State career as a lefthanded hitter, playing outfield and the corner infield spots. He primarily played third base in the Alaska League in 2012 and was seen as a decent hitting prospect, but his arm earned him time on the mound as a sophomore. Though he gave up a walk-off home run to Stanford in his first college appearance, he progressed as a sophomore into a starting role, and the athletic, quick-armed righty has continued progressing as a junior. He threw from a low three-quarters arm slot in 2013 and reached 96 mph in the fall, but he’s thrown more from an over-the-top slot this spring. His fastball has backed up velocity-wise, sitting 91-93 mph early this year and dropping into the average range as he’s reached 76 innings, by far the most of his career. The higher slot also has aided Brink in throwing his power spike curveball, which at its best reaches the mid-80s. Brink remains raw thanks to his relative inexperience as a pitcher, but he’s athletic and has flashed two plus pitches. Some scouts dream on the combination and see him as a starter waiting to be molded in pro ball. Others would like to see him return to his lower slot, hoping for a return of the 96s and his previous breaking ball, a slider. His late velocity drop could hurt his draft position a bit, but he showed second-round talent at his best.


There have been some interesting pitching prospects in recent Drafts who came late to full-time pitching, including first-rounders Braden Shipley in 2013 and Kyle Zimmer in 2012. While Brink isn’t quite that high-profile, he has the chance to do well now that he’s focused only on the mound. An outfielder for his first two years at Fresno State, Brink split time between playing that position and pitching as a sophomore then turned to pitching full-time in 2014. He’s athletic, if a bit undersized, with the makings of two plus pitches in his fastball and spike curveball, which looks like a hard slider at times. He’s working on developing his changeup. The jury is still out on whether Brink can start long-term — sometimes a bias against undersized right-handers — or he’ll end up in the bullpen. Either way, his arm looks like it has a shot to pitch at the highest level.

Looks very over the top, with a nice downward plane. Not very many K’s, a lot of walks.

In the 12th (#349) Cubs take RHP Tanner Griggs…

…From Angelina College (JC). #425 for BA.

Griggs had a strong spring, going 6-2, 2.09 for Angelina (Texas) JC, though he did have one of his tougher outings on a day there was a large scouting contingent on hand. He has a nice pitcher’s build and consistently works at 91-92 mph while touching as high as 95. His slider has been his go-to secondary pitch, his repertoire also featuring a workable changeup and a rudimentary curveball. It’s a deep enough mix to give him a chance to stick as a starter in pro ball, though he may end up in middle relief. Command has been an issue at times but he made some positive strides this year. He’s committed to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

In the 13th (#379) Cubs take 3B Kevonte Mitchell…

…From a Missouri high school. Have to have some players to play the field. No scouting reports from the usual suspects.

This may or may not be him playing hoops

In the 14th (#409) Cubs take 2B Chesny Young…

… From Mercer. He makes Kiley’s top 748, but the ranking isn’t specified.

There’s a video of him in the Northwest League on youtube, but evidently it’s subscriber-only, which I hadn’t seen before. Stats here. On-base machine, indeed.
Evidently he was NWL all-star. And a So-Cal League top prospect.

In the 15th (#439) Cubs take RHP Jeremy Null…

… From Western Carolina. He’s 6’7″ and 225lbs. If his nickname isn’t “The Big Hypothesis,” then our educational system has failed us. BA has him at #441.

Null contributed from the moment he reached the Western Carolina campus as an unsigned 37th-round pick out of high school and has the fourth-highest strikeout total (265) in program history. He began the season strong and was a potential top-five-round pick, but injuries and reduced stuff caused him to finish the year slowly. Early on, Null was 90-92 mph and touched 93 while working downhill. But he was 85-88 down the stretch amid back troubles. While his slider showed plus potential early, it backed up closer to average with the reduced velocity. Some scouts say he throws his slider too frequently and believe it sapped his velocity. He rarely uses his changeup. Null is athletic for his 6-foot-8, 230-pound frame and throws a steady diet of strikes. He has a stiff, upright delivery with a short stride and arm action that puts stress on his shoulder and elbow. The total package should add up to a future reliever.

In the 16th (#469) Cubs take SS Jason Vosler…

…A junior from Northeastern. He’s big for a shortstop at 6’2″, 195, and he hits lefty. Stats are here. No easy to find scouting reports.

In the 17th (#499) Cubs take RHP Michael Knighton…

… from Central Alabama CC. He’s 6’2″, 190 lbs. The web doesn’t know much about him, but evidently his team was pretty successful, and he is due to transfer to Troy.

In the 18th (#529) the Cubs take RHP Austyn Willis…

… from Barstow High School in California. 6’6″, 205 lbs. Another big righty, and this one comes with creative vowel usage. This appears to be him, and he’s reportedly from the same high school as Toronto prospect Aaron Sanchez. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

In the 19th (#559) the Cubs take RHP Brad Markey…

… A senior from Virginia Tech. He’s only 5’10”, 185 lbs. A starter in college who will probably end up in the bullpen. Lots of interviews on youtube. Also, this:

In the 20th (#589) the Cubs take SS John (Alex) Tomasovich…

…A senior from Charleston Southern. Another tall, senior shortstop. Tomasovich is 6’3″, 185 lbs. His name looks like it’s actually Alex. There’s another Tomasovich at CSU, but he’s not John, either. Alex’s stats are here.

In the 21st (#619) the Cubs take CF Charles White…

… A junior outfielder from Maryland. Hey, look: an outfielder! Looks like he’s from Naperville. Decent plate approach. Nice grab, Charlie:

In the 22nd (#649) the Cubs take 3B Joey Martarano…

..A freshman third baseman from Boise State. Kiley McDaniel has him listed as a football player, and he looks the part. He’s listed at 6’4″, 235 lbs.

So, there you go. Maybe he’ll get hurt playing football.

In the 23rd (#679) the Cubs take OF Isiah Gilliam…

… A high school outfielder, who sounds interesting. He’s ranked #132 by BA, and #114 by, which probably means he won’t sign, though it’s just a JC commitment.

The Parkview High pipeline of talent looked primed to produce another prospect for the 2015 draft, as Gilliam caught scouts’ eyes, but that changed in March when he was ruled eligible for the 2014 draft shortly before the National High School Invitational. That gave high-level decision-makers a key look at Gilliam, whom they had little history with. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft and is not yet 18. A switch-hitting, 6-foot-2, 215-pounder with broad shoulders and a strong build that has drawn physical comparisons to Bobby Bonilla, Gilliam’s meal ticket is his bat. He has above-average bat speed with an easy stroke and plus raw power to all fields. He puts on an impressive display in batting practice and has made solid contact in games. His approach has a ways to come, as do his swing mechanics because he does not use his legs effectively from an upright, open stance. He occasionally reverts back to his natural right side in same-side matchups. A below-average runner, he played third base until this season before moving to first, where he likely fits best in the long term. He moves well for the position and runs enough to try the corner outfield and has average arm strength. Gilliam is committed to Chipola (Fla.) JC and is something of a wild card, but his pure talent warrants consideration in the top three rounds.


Just a few months ago, Gilliam was classified as a junior and a member of the 2015 Draft class. But because he began high school in 2010 and his eligibility is set to expire, he was able to move up his graduation to 2014 and become eligible for this year’s Draft. The change left scouts scrambling to see him late this spring. Gilliam is a switch-hitter and uses his quick, compact swing to generate good bat speed. He produces solid power and drives balls well from both sides of the plate. Gilliam plays mostly first base now, but he is athletic enough to play in an outfield corner, despite his below-average speed.

In the 24th (#709) the Cubs take CF Daniel Spignola…

… A junior CF from Georgia Tech who bats lefty. Stats are here.

In the 25th (#739) the Cubs take C Tyler Pearson…

…A senior from Texas State. It appears he’s a Rice transfer.

In the 26th (#769) the Cubs take RHP Zach Hedges

… from Azusa Pacific, a Junior. 6’4″ 195 lbs. Azusa is a Div II School. 85 innings, 76 hits, 75 K’s, 26 bb’s this year, with a 2.74 ERA.

In the 27th (#799) the Cubs take CF Calvin Graves

…A senior from Franklin Pierce in New Hampshire. 5’9″, 170 lbs. Another lower-level school. Hit .319/.380/.386 this season.

In the 28th (#829) the Cubs take Jacob Niggemeyer …

…A high school righty from Olentangy Liberty in Ohio. I’m just going to leave all that alone. 6’5″, 205 lbs. Kiley had him listed in his top 748. He’s apparently an Ohio State signee.

In the 29th (#859) the Cubs take RHP Gianni Zayas

… From Seminole State Junior College. 6’2″, 200 lbs.

In the 30th (#889) the Cubs take C Michael Cantu…

…from Foy. H. Moody HS in Texas. He’s a UT signee.
MLB (#139):

The position-player crop in Texas is exceptionally thin in 2014, from the colleges down through the high schools. The Lone State State may not have a hitter taken in the top three rounds for the first time since 1981. The best candidate is Cantu, who offers intriguing power potential and raw arm strength. Cantu can put on a batting-practice show that rivals anyone’s in this year’s high school class, though his long all-or-nothing swing leads to swings and misses in game action. He has a strong arm, but he often records fringy pop times because his footwork and transfer are slow. Scouts love Cantu’s makeup and leadership skills, which were also on display when he quarterbacked the Moody football team, coached by his father Mike. While he has two captivating tools, there are enough questions about his bat and his agility that he may not get drafted high enough to lure him away from a commitment to Texas.

BA (#161):

Cantu stands out in a light year for Texas. He played with 2012 first-rounder Courtney Hawkins at Carroll High in Corpus Christi before transferring to Moody High when his father, a former minor leaguer who is now a football coach, changed schools. He played quarterback on the football team and brings that approach to the baseball field, and scouts rave about his work ethic, makeup and leadership. At a strong 6-foot-3, 233 pounds, Cantu looks the part in a uniform and his carrying tool is plus raw power. It doesn’t always play in game action because of the length in his stroke and swing-and-miss tendencies. Scouts are unsure about his ability to remain behind the plate because of his receiving and size, with first base being his most likely destination because he is a heavy-footed, well below-average runner. Although Cantu has average arm strength, it does not consistently play at that level in game action because of a long release and transfer. A team that buys him out of his Texas commitment is betting on his raw power, makeup and intelligence.

In the 31st (#919) the Cubs take RHP Brad Depperman..

…from East Lake HS in Florida. He’s a North Florida signee.
BA has him at #192:

In a deep year for Florida high school pitching, the athletic Depperman was late to the scene, drawing considerable attention after a strong showcase outing in Jupiter, Fla., last fall when he was still uncommitted. He has since committed to North Florida, and while he has present stuff and strike-throwing ability, as an undersized righthander he might end up in college. Depperman has maintained 89-92 mph velocity all spring, touching 94 with late life from an easy delivery, though his fastball can be somewhat flat because of a lack of plane. He has multiple breaking balls, a slider that can touch 85 mph and a mid-70s curveball, with his slider flashing above-average. He also mixes in a changeup and is a strike-thrower with the potential for average control. The right team might be willing to look past his height because of his stuff and buy him out of college.

In the 32nd (#949) the Cubs take 2B Andrew Ely

…a lefty-hitting junior from the University of Washington.

In the 33rd (#979) the Cubs take RHP Brad Bass…

…from Lincoln-Way Central, a Notre Dame commit. He’s 6’6, 215 lbs. Kylie has him at #229. has him at #165:

Scouts were excited about Bass’ projectability and gave him a chance to pitch his way into the top three rounds this spring. He hasn’t lived up to those hopes, however, as he played basketball during the winter and wasn’t in peak baseball shape when the spring began. It’s still easy to dream on Bass, but whether he’ll go high enough in the Draft to be lured away from a Notre Dame scholarship remains to be seen. He’s lean and athletic, with plenty of room to add strength in the future. He’ll show a 91-mph fastball early in games, though his velocity tapers off to the mid-80s in later innings. Bass’ slider has the potential to become an out pitch. It has some bite and reaches the low 80s at times, and he commands it well. His changeup needs a lot of work, and some scouts aren’t enamored of his delivery.

Video scouting report here. Also,

In the 34th (#1009) the Cubs take RHP Steven Kane

… from Cypress College (JC). He’s 6’4, 205 lbs.

In the 35th (#1039) the Cubs take LHP Jordan Minch

… a sophomore from Purdue. 6’4″, 205 lbs.

In the 36th (#1069) the Cubs take OF D.J. Peters…

… from Glendora HS in California. He’s right-handed, 6’5″, 210 lbs, and a Cal-State Fullerton commit.Scout has him at #170, BA at #196.

Peters stands out for his 6-foot-4, 214-pound frame and big-time power potential. A big name from the showcase circuit, his stock has dropped due to poor performance this spring. Peters has plus or better raw power in his righthanded swing, which is fairly stiff and can get long, raising swing-and-miss concerns and drawing Dave Kingman comparisons. Questions about his hit tool could make him fall into the back half of the top 10 rounds, though scouts expect some club to sign him away from a Cal State Fullerton commitment. Peters plays center field for his high school team but is no better than a 45 runner. He does not have great defensive instincts and profiles better at a corner, where his 55 arm will play. He is a good athlete for his size, but scout scouts have expressed concerns about his aptitude.

In the 37th (#1099) the Cubs take C Riley Adams…

…from Canyon Crest High School in California. He’s 6’3″, 175 lbs, and a switch-hitter.
BA has him at #154:

Lean and angular at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Adams is athletic and projectable. He’s also big for a catcher, and his receiving is raw at this stage, but his hands work, giving him a chance to stick behind the plate. He has slightly above-average to plus arm strength, but below-average accuracy. Offensively, Adams has shown the ability to drive the opposite gap in the past, but he has shown more of a pull approach this spring and is hard on his front side. He had bat speed, but he’ll need to prove he can make more consistent contact. Adams could grow into average or slightly better power, but he remains a work in progress. He is a San Diego commit who is considered a tough sign outside the top three rounds.

In the 38th (#1129) the Cubs take C Daniel Wasinger…

…from Eastlake HS in Texas. He’s 5’11, 170 lbs, and evidently a switch-hitter.

In the 39th (#1159) the Cubs take C David Petrino…

… from Central Arizona College (JC). He’s 5’11”, 200 lbs.

In the 40th (#1189) the Cubs take CF Diamond Johnson…

… from Hillsborough HS in Florida. He’s 5’11”, 165 lbs.

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