Cubs Draft Report Card




QUICK TAKE
College bats Jackson and LeMahieu eventually could fill the two biggest holes in the Cubs' current big league lineup. Chicago also stocked up on lefties with solid stuff and good pitchability, adding Kirk, Rusin and Raley in the early rounds.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: SS D.J. LeMahieu (2) led College World Series champion Louisiana State with a .350 average, then hit .323 in his pro debut. The Cubs believe he's a late bloomer physically who will develop some pull power. SS/2B Wes Darvill (5) and 2B Blair Springfield (7) are two promising but raw high school bats. >> BEST POWER HITTER: OF Brett Jackson (1) has the most usable power and slugged .545 with seven homers in 26 games in low Class A. He found more consistent success in pro ball after he stopped trying to do too much at the plate. 1B Charles Thomas (10) and 3B/OF Bobby Wagner (38) have more raw power than Jackson. Wagner, who's already 23, played in semipro leagues for several years in Canada before heading to Panola (Texas) JC in 2008. >> FASTEST RUNNER: OF Cody Shields (15) has close to 80 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale, though he has yet to make his pro debut after having Tommy John surgery. OF Runey Davis (11) is a 70 runner, and LHP Brooks Raley 6) showed similar speed as a two-way player at Texas A&M. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Jackson covers the gaps well in center field and has an average arm. Darvill has a chance to be a good defender at shortstop.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: The Cubs spotted RHP Trey McNutt (32) when they saw him throwing 90-93 mph at the Junior College World Series. After signing for $115,000, he was up to 93-96 later in the summer. Thomas showed a 90-94 mph fastball as a two-way player in college. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: McNutt's power curveball gives him a potential second plus pitch. LHP Austin Kirk's (3) curveball and Raley's slider are solid breaking pitches.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Jackson hit .318/.418/.488 with 13 steals before tweaking his right wrist swinging a bat, which knocked him out of the low Class A Midwest League playoffs. McNutt posted a 0.98 ERA, .143 opponent average and 28 strikeouts in 28 innings. >> BEST ATHLETE: Jackson, though Darvill may push him once he fills out his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:: Unsigned 3B Joe Jocketty's (47) father Walt is general manager of the Reds. Springfield is a cousin of Jermaine Dye. Thomas is the first player ever drafted from Edward Waters (Fla.) College. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: The Cubs are seeking a center fielder, so Jackson could move quickly. Raley and Chris Rusin (4) are polished college lefthanders who could beat him to Wrigley Field. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: McNutt. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: SS Chad Taylor (13, now at South Florida) and OF Keenyn Walker (16, now at Central Arizona CC) were projectable high school athletes who opted for college.

ASSESSMENT

Jackson and LeMahieu were two of the better college position players in the draft and eventually could fill the two biggest holes in the Cubs' current big league lineup. Chicago also stocked up on lefties with solid stuff and good pitchability, adding Kirk, Rusin and Raley in the early rounds.