Cubs stock up on lefty arms on Day 2
Four of first five pitchers picked by Chicago are southpaws
HOUSTON -- The Cubs focused on adding some left-handers, some catchers and picked a few more high school players than in years past in the second day of the First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
Four of the first five pitchers the Cubs picked were left-handers, including Austin Kirk in the third round. They also chose southpaws Chris Rusin of the University of Kentucky in the fourth round, Brooks Raley of Texas A&M in the sixth round and John Mincone of Suffolk Community College in the 11th round.
Of the 30 picks taken, eight were high school players, including Kirk. The Cubs also selected right-handed pitcher Gerardo Esquivel of Chicago's De La Salle Institute in the 24th round and catcher Daniel Sheppard of Downers Grove (Ill.) North in the 30th round.
"We thought the opportunities were better this year than in the past," Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken said about drafting prep stars.
Among the 27 players taken on Wednesday were right-handed pitcher Robert Whitenack, taken in the eighth round out of SUNY-Old Westbury. He was named the 2009 ECAC Pitcher of the Year, and he is not only the first Panther to be drafted by a Major League team but also the first Division III player taken in the '09 Draft.
Here's a roundup of the second day of selections:
Round 4, Christopher Rusin, LHP, University of Kentucky: He went 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 12 starts, striking out 104 and walking only 25 over 86 1/3 innings. A 2008 First Team All-SEC selection, he threw quality starts in nine of his 13 starts his junior year. He was a 23rd-round Draft pick in 2008 by Oakland.
Round 5, Wesley Darvill, SS, Brookswood (Canada) High School: A member of the Canadian Junior National team this past spring, Darvill is a left-handed-hitting shortstop. A rangy guy, he has a good swing from the left side and a chance to be a true shortstop.
Round 6, Brooks Raley, LHP/OF, Texas A&M: A sophomore, he was a two-way player in high school and college. Raley went 7-3 with a 3.76 ERA and gave up 80 hits while striking out 95 over 93 1/3 innings in 15 starts. As an outfielder, he batted .304 with one homer and 26 RBIs. he played corner outfield for A&M but most likely would be a center fielder in the big leagues. He was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2008.
Round 7, Blair Springfield, CF/SS, MacArthur (Decatur, Ill.) High School: He has signed a national letter of intent to attend Illinois State. Springfield would be tested at a number of positions, including third and second. The Cubs like his bat.
Round 8, Robert Whitenack, RHP, SUNY-Old Westbury: He was named 2009 ECAC Pitcher of the Year. This year, he compiled a 2.81 ERA and struck out 79 over 67 1/3 innings, holding batters to a .190 average in his just-completed junior season. In the last three seasons, he's made 24 starts, including six complete games and three shutouts. On April 28, 2008, against Polytechnic Institute of NYC, he threw a 14-strikeout no-hitter in an 11-0 win. He is the school's all-time strikeout leader (179) and earned back-to-back Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year awards. In the 34-year history of the Draft, 25 Division III players have been selected in the first three rounds.
Round 9, Richard Jones, C, The Citadel: He led the Citadel with 17 home runs in his just-completed junior season, which tied the school's single-season home run record. He hit .378 with 69 RBIs, and his 95 hits tied teammate Bryan Altman for 12th in the nation. He's the second Bulldog selected by the Cubs (Matt Matulia, 24th round, 2006).
Cubs -- Top five selections
|31||CF||Brett Jackson||UC Berkeley|
|79||IF||David LeMahieu||Louisiana St U|
|109||LHP||Austin Kirk||Owasso HS|
|140||LHP||Christopher Rusin||U Kentucky|
|170||SS||Wesley Darvill||Brookswood SS|
|Complete Cubs Draft results >|
Round 10, Joseph Thomas, 3B, Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla.: He had two four-hit games and one four-RBI game vs. Voorhees College. A third baseman/first baseman, he also dabbles as a pitcher. He has some power with his bat and good arm strength.
Round 11, John Mincone, LHP, Suffolk Community College West, New York: A sophomore, he pitched in 27 games, totaling 91 strikeouts and 13 walks. He gave up 32 hits in 59 innings, and finished 6-1.
Round 12, Burundi Davis, OF, Howard College, Texas: Davis was part of the Howard College team which won the JUCO National Championship. He won the NJCAA/Easton Division I Baseball Defensive Player of the Year award. He played center field for the Hawks, making 53 putouts with zero errors and batted .381 with seven homers, 39 RBIs and 34 stolen bases. He runs well and has a chance to be a center fielder.
Round 13, Chad Taylor, SS, Jefferson High School, Tampa, Fla.: A wiry shortstop, he has a chance to be a good ballplayer. A right-handed hitter, he's 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds.
Round 14, Daniel Keefe, RHP, Tampa: Went 4-5 with a 4.13 ERA in 20 games, including five starts. He struck out 70 over 65 1/3 innings and walked 19. A late developing prospect, he has a fastball that's been clocked at 90-93 mph.
Round 15, Bryan Shields, CF, Auburn University: At 6-foot 4 inches, he's a plus runner with a better-than-average arm. He's a true center fielder.
Round 16, Keenyn Walker, CF, Judge Memorial Catholic (Utah) High School: A good defensive player with potential plus range, he also has a football scholarship to Utah to play defensive back.
Round 17, Barrett Dail, RHP, Mt. Olive College: Dail has an average fastball, average slider. He transferred from North Carolina to Mt. Olive, and went 7-0 with a 2.97 ERA. In 63 2/3 innings, he gave up 43 hits, struck out 64 and walked 18 batters. Opposing hitters were batting .188 off him.
Round 18, Matthew Williams, C, Duke University: A study catcher, he has an above-average arm. A contact line-drive hitter, he struck out 20 times in 265 plate appearances.
Round 19, Sergio Burruel, C, Trevor G. Browne (Arizona) High School: Burruel transferred from Mexico to the Arizona high school and hit 17 homers in 25 games. He has a big body and is a good catch-and-throw guy. Burruel is similar physically to catchers Mark Salas and Rod Barajas.
Round 20, Eric Erickson, LHP, University of Miami: He was Miami's No. 1-2 starter as a freshman and sophomore, but underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and was rehabbing at this point. He did not pitch this year for the school.
Round 21, Greg Rohan, 1B, Kent State: He finished his collegiate career ranked second in school history in home runs (48), second in RBIs (182), sixth in putouts, ninth in runs (165) and ninth in hits (232). He batted .321 in his career with a slugging percentage of .605. In 2008, he was named MAC Player of the Year and led the league in home runs and slugging percentage.
Round 22, Derrick Fitzgerald, 2B, Dyersburg State Community College: Fitzgerald is a right-handed hitter from Tennessee. His Eagles finished second in the NJCAA tournament.
Round 23, Jeffrey Pruitt, CF, Cal State Northridge: Pruitt will be moved around to different positions. He's a guy who can run, totaling 24 steals.
Round 24, Gerardo Esquivel, RHP, De La Salle Institute, Chicago: The slender 6-1, 170-pound right-hander is similar in physique to former Cubs pitcher Juan Cruz. In April, he threw a one-hitter against Kenwood, striking out 13.
Round 25, Justin Bour, 1B, George Mason University: He batted .339, with 14 doubles, 17 home runs and 66 RBIs this season.
Round 26, Steve Grife, RHP, Mercyhurst College (Pa.): A slender right-handed pitcher, Grife was 5-1 and totaled 67 innings, giving up 62 hits, striking out 73 and walking 33. He finished with a 3.24 ERA.
Round 27, Corey Martin, RHP, Western Carolina University: He has an average fastball and slider and consistently hit 90-plus mph on the radar gun. A converted reliever during his sophomore season, he won 14 games for WCU, including a career-high seven his senior season. He finished his career with 153 strikeouts in his 70 appearances. He was named Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week in mid-April last season after throwing nine innings in two appearances. He limited Georgia Southern to one unearned run on six hits in those two games.
Round 28, Jordan Petraitis, 3B, Miami University (Ohio): This is the second time the Cubs drafted Petraitis after chosing him in the 41st round last year. A good ballplayer, he had 14 doubles, eight home runs, 54 RBIs and batted .364 this season.
Round 29, Timothy Clubb, RHP, Missouri State: A right-hander, he was 4-5 with two complete games, one save and 74 strikeouts over 88 innings. In 2008, he was named Missouri Valley Conference pitcher of the year.
Round 30, Daniel Sheppard, C, Downers Grove North High School: An 18-year-old, he has good arm strength behind the plate and has a chance to be a good defensive catcher.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.