Looking Back at the Cubs’ 2015 Draft Class

draft 2016

Giving a grade to a draft class after one year is extremely hard. Most of the class is still in extended spring training this year waiting for a chance to play at Eugene. I still think there are some hidden gems in this class. There are several who are already having a good season at South Bend, while others will be finding their way in the Northwest League.

I divided this group into five categories to describe my one year evaluation of them.

As Expected

Ian Happ has been up and down in his less than one year in the Cubs system. He’s a pretty athletic player possessing both speed and power. His average has fluctuated greatly in his short tenure, but he always has a very high OBP as he is very selective with his swings. I really like his approach at the plate. His hands through the zone are magnificent when seen up close and personal. Here is some video I took of him last year in Beloit.


Donnie Dewees, PJ Higgins, Ian Rice, Dave Berg, Craig Brooks, Casey Bloomquist, Kyle Miller, Daniel Spingola, and John Williamson

Dewees is an RBI and triples machine at South Bend this year. He has only 1 HR and I am surprised about that. I thought he would have a bit more power. Craig Brooks has surprised me with his power and tenacity on the mound as have John Williamson and Casey Bloomquist, all relief pitchers. Dave Berg is now all the way at AA and is just beginning to get some work in after being promoted from Myrtle Beach. I got to see Kyle Miller pitch a couple of times and he has some nice movement and control on his pitches, although it is a small sample size, I think he bears watching the next month as he gets more work in. Ian Rice was Player of the Week in the Midwest League from 5/23-5/29 and he also made the Cubs Central All-Star team for May.


Ryan Kellogg, Preston Morrison, Scott Effross

At times, Kellogg and Morrison have been very good and at other times, they have not. Kellogg got off to a strong start in April this year with a  2.95 ERA in 4 starts. He struck out 18 in 21 innings. May was not kind to him, but June is looking great and let’s leave it at that. Morrison has been the opposite. Since May 2, he’s had a 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings. Now, Effross is on the upswing with 10 scoreless relief appearances in May and June. . His ERA is now 3.33 after a 9.00 in April. 

Still Waiting

wilson 82 2015Bryan Hudson, Darryl Wilson, Alex Bautista, Matt Rose, Tyler Peitzmeier, Vimael Machin, Michael Foster

These selections will get their first full season of baseball in starting next week. To me, Hudson might be the steal of this draft class. A 6’7″ LHP with a power curve, a developing changeup, a body that has some room to fill out might be the future. He has been very good at extending spring training. He’s not Randy Johnson, my friends, but I cannot wait to see what he becomes. 

Darryl Wilson is the one position player I cannot wait to see.  He is “The Flash” according to many reports. He also has shown some pop in fall instructs but it hasn’t transferred to gameplay in extended spring training. He plays CF and he should be a fun view when Eugene goes to Hillsboro in week one of the season.

Rose, has flashed some power at South Bend, but has also shown an inability to hit for average. However, he has hit the ball hard all year, just right at somebody in April (BABIP).  I think he has the ability to hit for average as he has great balance with his feet during his swing. I also think Alex Bautista could be the man. He has a nice combination of power and speed. The question is can he hit for average. Michael Foster should be a steady force in the Eugene lineup. He did very well last summer in Arizona.

No Clue

MT Minacci, Blake Headley, Jared Cheek, Sutton Whiting, Marcus Mastrobuoni, Tyler Payne

They all got some action in last year but not enough to sway my lack of an opinion. Minacci might be the steal of the bunch as he has been pretty good in extended spring training this year. Whiting has played all over the system as an injury replacement. Headley and Cheek saw some action at Eugene last year and are back for more. Payne and Mastrobuoni saw limited action in the Arizona Rookie League.

Rice 85 2016 sbInitial 1 Year Grade – B

Every class is going to be judged on its ability to produce players for the major leagues. This draft class, in particular, is going to take a lot of time. The Cubs selected a lot of college players that might be considered risks. Remember, a very good draft class contains 4 major leaguers. With the amount of college players selected in this class, some of them will flame out very quickly. The Cubs tend to have more patience with high school players and not so much with college players. One only need to look at the 2012 class from four years ago that only has 11 players left to see that fact supported. With the collection of pitchers the Cubs chose in the 2016 draft, they may spend a little more time on them.

The reason I gave this class a B so far is that it really doesn’t have that uber-elite player right now. Happ could be that guy, but right now, he is really streaky. Others could step up and be that elite player such as Hudson, Wilson, or Dewees play things out. I think there is a chance that several of these risks could pan out like Ryan Kellogg, Preston Morrison, Ian Rice, or PJ Higgins. 



One response to “Looking Back at the Cubs’ 2015 Draft Class”

  1. Fall Draft Preview – A Lot of Talent Could Be Headed the Cubs’ Way « Cubs Central Avatar

    […] strike zone (Zagunis and Young) along with some high profile prep arms they paid $1 MM apiece for. 2015 garnered Ian Happ and several experienced college starters and relievers. In 2016, the Cubs went […]


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