Cubs Draft Report Card

Analyzing Chicago's 2008 draft class




QUICK TAKE
The Cubs believe Andrew Cashner will develop as a starter. In RHP Aaron Shafer (2) and Carpenter, they added two more arms who projected as first-rounders before having elbow problems. Flaherty and Cerda have the potential for premium bats at premium positions.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: SS Ryan Flaherty (1s) or C Matt Cerda (4). Flaherty earned short-season Northwest League all-star honors by hitting .297 in his debut. Cerda hit .253 in Rookie ball, where his focus was on making the transition from shortstop to behind the plate.  >>  BEST POWER HITTER: 1B Rebel Ridling (25) slugged 14 homers and reached low Class A. He's the strongest hitter Chicago drafted, though Flaherty may have more usable power in the long run.  >>  FASTEST RUNNER: OF Tony Campana (13) can run the 60-yard dash in 6.3 seconds. He set the single-game (six), season (60) and career (104) stolen-base records at Cincinnati, and swiped 22 bags in 25 pro games.  >>  BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: C Luis Flores (7) threw out 49 percent of basestealers in his debut. Campana's speed gives him exceptional range in center field.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: Though RHP Andrew Cashner (1) struggled this summer, he did reach 99 mph and was unhittable in the high Class A Florida State League playoffs. He gets good run on his fastball, which sat at 96-98 when he relieved at Texas Christian. RHP Chris Carpenter (3), a Tommy John surgery alumnus, pitches at 92-95 mph and can touch 97.  >>  BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Cashner's mid-80s slider has so much break that it looks like a power curveball at times.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: RHP Jay Jackson (9) went 4-2, 2.88 with a 72-13 K-BB ratio in 50 innings, capping his season with a playoff victory to help Daytona win the FSL title. He throws a low-90s fastball, a hard slider, an average curveball and feel for a changeup.  >>  BEST ATHLETE: 2B Logan Watkins (21) swings the bat well, runs a 6.6-second 60-yard dash and can play second base, shortstop or center field. He also was an all-state quarterback and defensive back in Kansas.  >>  MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: C Michael Brenly (36) is the son of Cubs broadcaster Bob, a former big league all-star and manager. RHP Joe Coleman's (15) grandfather and father (both named Joe) were both all-star pitchers. 2B Josh Harrison's (6) uncle John Shelby, 1B Ryan Keedy's father (16) Pat and unsigned RHP Dylan Moseley's (48, back at Louisiana Tech) brother Dustin all played in the majors.  >>  CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Cashner would be the obvious candidate if the Cubs weren't going to develop him as a starter. Don't be surprised if it's RHP David Cales (24), who has a plus slider and moxie.  >>  BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Watkins, who signed for $500,000.  >>  THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: RHPs Alex Wilson (10) and Sonny Gray (27) had first-round potential but injury questions and seven-figure price tags. Wilson missed the spring at Texas A&M while recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Gray broke his ankle in mid-April and was intent on attending Vanderbilt anyway.