Day Two Live Blog: Cubs Have 8 Picks to Make Today

By Todd Johnson

 

5:35: Tenth and final round for today

Luke Reynolds – 3B – Southern Mississippi – 6’1″ 195 lbs Bats Left Throws Right

He was a hitting machine this year. But his OBP was .551! Wowzers! Likely to play first base as a pro. The NCAA made him actually sit out two years after transferring from Mississippi State and he responded. Amazing! He is very disciplined and can hit to all fields. He is the sleeper of this class so far.

4:55 Ninth Round

Derek Casey – LHP – University of Virginia – 6’2″ and 190 lbs. Throws Right
Missed all of 2016 with TJS but has rebounded well the past two years. He has a nice K/BB ratio of 4 to 1. Had a 3.79 ERA in 2017 and 3.48 this year. I like this pick because he’s solid. He could relieve, he could start, but I am leaning starter first in 2019. I like this pick. His experience will add to his pitchability.

4:15 Eighth Round

Zach Mort – RHP – George Mason University – 6’1″ 2015 lbs. Throws Right

Whiffed 108 in 105 IP. Only walked 13. Wow! Jim Callis said he is ultra-competitive. Made 15 starts this year with 3 complete games. That’s impressive! He had a 2.48 ERA this year.

 

3:30 Seventh Round

DJ Artis – OF – Liberty University – 5’9″ 165 lbs. Bats Left Throws Left
DJ Artis was slated as a late first round pick at the beginning of the year. He took a step back this year after being named the Conference player of the year. He can hit for average, he has amazing speed, and he was probably pitched around a bit this year. More than likely, he has second round talent. This is a bit of a steal, to be honest. He was ranked 136 by MLB Pipeline and and 145 by BA.

Pipeline said this of Artis:

He’s proven he can really hit, albeit from an unorthodox crouch from the left side of the plate. There is some raw power, but he doesn’t tap into it consistently, focusing on line-drive contact and drawing a lot more walks than strikeouts. He’s a plus runner who can handle center field with below-average arm strength, one who could one day hit near the top of a big league lineup.

3:17 Again with the waiting….

At some point I have to tune out the broadcast for a bit. Now, I have The Smithereens playing in the background while I do stuff. I love 80s pop/rock bands with jangly guitars and snazzy hooks.

2:52 6th Round

Kohl Franklin – RHP – Broken Arrow, Oklahoma HS – 6’4″ 190 lbs.

I love this pick! He was injured for part of the year (seems to be a theme this year) but he has big game pedigree, a nice projectable frame, good life on his fastball up to 93, and also throws a slider and a change.

2:39 – While we wait….

Four Smokies named Southern League All-Stars: Trevor Clifton (second year in a row), Thomas Hatch, Jeffrey Baez, and Dakota Mekkes.

  

2:31 Promotion Commotion

It started last night and continues today. One more roster announcement should be coming at SOuth Bend.
-LHP Jordan Minch has been assigned to Double-A Tennessee
-RHP Matt Swarmer has been assigned to Double-A Tennessee
-LHP Jose Paulino has been activated from DL
-RHP Cory Abbott has been assigned to Myrtle Beach

2:05 – Fifth Round

Andy Weber – 2B – Virginia – 6’1″ 190 – Bats Left, Throws Right
Hit first, but is a decent defender. 3 year starter.
He was not listed on any top lists. However, he hit .344 with a .415 OBP and drove in 49 in 54 games. Very impressive. His K rate this year was about 15% while he walked about 12% of the time. He did OK in the Northwoods League (a wooden bat league) over two summers hitting .280 and .309.

1:50 – Roberts Video

Take a look at his breaker

1:25 – 4th Round Pick

Ethan Roberts – RHR – Tennessee Tech – 5’11” 170 lbs. Throws Right
Misses a lot of bats. 96 Ks in 71 IP this year. 2.41 ERA in 26 games.
He was not in BA’s top 500 or MLB Top 200, as most closers are not. Yesterday, he started for the first time against Mississippi State in the CWS and went 7.2 IP before giving up 4 runs in the 8th. Cubs fans should get to see him in some capacity this weekend in the Super Regional. Still trying to find a scouting reports on his arsenal. He has not played summer leagues, so his arm is still pretty fresh. It will interesting to see if he starts or relieves in 2019. For this year, expect to see him in Eugene.

1:10

I am not starting see a lot of positives about Herron’s experience on the Cape last summer. However, 3 of the 5 picks the Cubs have taken were injured for part of this year.

12:55

All of the aforementioned picks at the beginning of the post, about half are still available.

12:45 – Third Round Pick

Jimmy Herron – OF – Duke – 6’1” 195 – Bats R, Throws L

He hit well on the Cape last summer and gained a lot of praise, but was injured most of this year at Duke. Excellent makeup and top of the order kind of guy. Projects as a top of the order kind of guy. Should begin his career at Eugene.

12:24

Morfa hit a second HR on the day and is now up to .583…sheesh! 17 years old.

The pick can come in anytime.

12:15
As I’m waiting for the pick to come in, I checked the MiLB scoreboard, I noticed the DSL was playing. I checked in on Carlos Morfa who has had two big games already. Today, he hit his second HR and has driven in 3 while hitting .545 in 3 games. I don’t know much about him until I found his DPL profile. He has some good size and plays in the outfield. I should probably keep an eye on him.

11:45
Draft Grades the day of the draft are a bit silly. I usually wait a year before I start analyzing a draft class and that continues over several years.

Here are some comments from yesterday from around baseball. Here is Sports Illustrated thoughts on Hoerner:

Not gifted with extraordinary tools and inhabiting a somewhat thick body, Hoerner has produced offensively at Stanford this spring. The Cubs figure to use Hoerner in the same fashion they use Ben Zobrist: play multiple positions with the ability to hit at several different spots in the lineup.

That’s one way of looking at the pick.

11:30 AM
After going to get some groceries and putting them away this morning, I am finally settling into the Internet. I have done some reading to see what others think of the Cubs selections from last night. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline wrote this intriguing snippet:

I’m a little surprised the Cubs passed on a couple of the college arms that were available here, but Hoerner is an offensive-minded middle infielder with a track record of hitting in college. Those are hard to find, and he should continue to hit at the next level, with good power for his position. A lot of scouts see Hoerner more as a second baseman than a shortstop, but he should definitely be able to stay up the middle.

I will have some other analysis like that throughout the day.

11:15 AM
In less than an hour, round three of the MLB Draft fires up. I am excited. The day flows at a nice pace. NOt too slow, not too fast.

I am still spinning from last night. Not so much about the draft, but more about the promotions of Trevor Clifton and Dakota Mekkes.

Some Top Remaining Picks. The number is their ranking on MLB Pipeline. Any one of these would be a good selection for the Cubs as they have the 20th pick in the round.
19. Cole Wilcox, RHP, HS (Ga.)
23. Kumar Rocker, RHP, HS (Ga.)
35. Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford
40. Mike Siani, OF, HS (Pa.)
43. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, HS (Texas)
48. Blaine Knight, RHP, Arkansas
51. Tristan Pompey, OF, Kentucky
55. Nander De Sedas, SS, HS (Fla.)
60. Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State
63. Slade Cecconi, RHP, HS (Fla.)

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