DeVoss' Approach Impresses Cubs
CHICAGO—The free-swinging Cubs may have found a man to turn the tide.
Zeke DeVoss, a switch-hitting outfielder taken in the third round of June's draft out of Miami, was an on-base and baserunning sensation in his introduction to pro baseball. He batted .309/.449/.386 in 42 games, mostly with short-season Boise.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts was in attendance at Boise on Aug. 15 when the 5-foot-10, 171-pound DeVoss drew three walks and knocked the ball loose from the catcher in a violent collision at home plate.
"You should have seen Tom's eyes," Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken said. "He was really excited. He couldn't stop talking about how Zeke just blew up the catcher."
DeVoss stood out for the Cubs in the draft because of his speed (he was 16-for-20 in stolen bases this season) and his patience at the plate.
"Tom really is big on that," Wilken said. "He talked to us about the draft about keeping an eye out for guys who can draw walks and work the pitcher. We think we got some guys like this, and DeVoss is on the top of that list."
A shortstop in high school, DeVoss moved around the field at Miami, mostly playing the outfield corners. The Cubs believe he can play center and left field but are taking a look at him at second base. He struggled there at Boise, making 13 errors in 28 games, and the Cubs face a decision on him next season.
• While the search for a new general manager went on, Ricketts told Wilken he will remain as scouting director in 2012. Ricketts previously signed farm director Oneri Fleita to a four-year extension, tying the new GM to two members of the old regime. Gary Hughes, one of the organization's top scouts, told the club he will not return next season.
• The Cubs named Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP Bryan LaHair and lefthanded reliever Jeff Beliveau as their minor league player and pitcher of the year. Beliveau, an 18th-round pick in 2008 from Florida Atlantic, was 6-2, 1.57 in 53 appearances between high Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. He had 89 strikeouts and just 50 hits allowed in 74 innings.