Talkin’ 2011 MLB Draft Live

Updated 6:58pm CDT – Cubs Selected Javier Baez, SS from Arlington County Day School (Florida) with 9th pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft

The 2011 First-Year Player Draft begins Monday night at 6:00pm CDT. The MLB Network, MLB.com and XM Radio will carry the first round of the draft live from the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, NJ. The draft will continue Tuesday and conclude on Wednesday with the results from day two and day three streamed live on MLB.com.

The Cubs have the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft …

After the Cubs make the ninth selection, they will not pick again until the second round (68th overall). The Cubs have the 98th overall pick in the third round and the 129th in the fourth.

Randy Hundley will represent the Cubs’ organization at the MLB Network studios.

As for the first round selection, the Cubs have been connected to the following players:

  • Bubba Starling, OF from Gardner Edgerton High School (Kansas)
  • Mikie Mahtook, OF from LSU
  • George Springer, OF from University of Connecticut
  • Sonny Gray, RHP from Vanderbilt
  • Javier Baez, SS from Arlington County Day School (Florida)
  • Archie Bradley, RHP from Broken Arrow High School (Oklahoma)
  • Taylor Guerreri, RHP from Spring Valley High School (South Carolina)

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk MLB Draft …

Video of Javier Baez

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  • Ryno

    You forgot to mention the recent darkhorse Onelki Garcia Speck.  Cubs have been rumored recently to be very interested.  His asking price might force the Cubs to look else where though.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

       Speck is not subject to the draft … there are several other names, just wanted to mention a few.

      • Ryno

        According to Frankie Piliere and his sources Speck is subject to the draft. 

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          According to Keith Law and others, he’s not. This has all happened today. No one is 100% sure.

  • sedgy145

    I hope the Cubs don’t go with Speck this year.  It would be just like Simpson last year at 15th overall.  This draft is so deep and especially the top-15 players where the Cubs should just stick to these top-15 players.  If Bubba Starling is gone, then go with best player available.

  • Agustinrexach

    I’m ready for something extraordinary to happen tonight!

  • Kevinwickit

    I also heard that Matt Barnes maybe a pick.

  • Nathan

    Upset about the whole Whitenack tommy john surgery

  • MikeT_2008

    Ok I hate to say but I have no idea about any of these prospects other than Starling is the best of the mentioned above. Just wondering if anyone knows anything on the other guys

  • studio179

    Starling goes to KC. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Royals selected Bubba Starling with the fifth pick

  • cubtex

    Anthony Rendon might slip to them

    • cubtex

      Guess not

  • Brian

    And Bubba is off the board.

    Is Hendry going with childhood friend Paul Mainieri’s boy from LSU?  

    Or will it be Speck?  No one even knows if he is subject to the draft.  This is getting interesting.  

    Two of the first three picks were pitchers from a UCLA team that had a pedestrian 35-24 record.  Intriguing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Archie Bradley to the D’Backs with the 7th pick

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    You have got to be freaking kidding me. That is just horrible. I got an idea lets blow the first pick we have and reach for a ss/3rd tweener.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I guess I should be happy for the fact that this guy was atleast on peoples draft board.

    • Tedtop16

      The high school shortstop is drafted. Is this a question of who can we sign for fewer bucks? This is a question and not a complaint.

    • cubtex

      Richard….. He is an offensive minded middle infielder. I like drafting infielders earlier than outfielders! He looks pretty impressive on video!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      OK I took some time to calm down about the pick. I still think it is a reach but if the Gary Sheffield comparison holds we are in good shape. I just hope he gets to the bigs as quick as what Shef did.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs Select Javier Baez, SS from Arlington County Day School (Florida) with 9th pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft

    • JW

      I just pray he isn’t the next Luis Montanez – he was a young high school SS that could crush the ball and had tons of potential.

      • studio179

        Let’s hope not. But If he is like Montanez, he can go to other teams including the O’s and come back to the Cubs as a filler years later. Yikes!

      • Aaron

        Well…according to reports, he is indeed the next Montanez (my conclusion, not theirs specifically).

        Baez is expected to be an outfielder eventually or corner IF
        *like Montanez

        He doesn’t have good speed
        *like Montanez

        He doesn’t have great plate discipline
        *like Montanez

        He has above average raw power
        *just as they said with Montanez

        He has decent, but not outstanding range at shortstop.
        *like Montanez

        • cubtex

          You act like this guy is a bust already?  He is rated as the 9th best player according to Baseball America and the Cubs had him as the 2nd best bat in draft. I much prefer taking infielders to outfielders early. I was hoping Rendon would slide to them but no such luck.

        • Brian

          I defer to your knowledge on this, but curious, did Montanez have the best bat speed in the draft?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          And I thought I was tough on the kid. Way to go Aaron I am not the worse hater on the board now.

        • PleaseStopLosing

          I feel like getting the 9th rated player in the draft with the 9th pick is very close to where we should be…

          I do enjoy you posts very much Aaron but you are negative about every single thing imaginable…. just once you could admit that Hendry may have done something OK…

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      Neil, another shortstop what is the Cubs thinking.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Wilken loves middle infielders

        • Kojak Osborne Jr.

          Thanks Neil , how much more picks those the Cubs have in the draft?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Next pick is not until the 2nd round, 68th overall

        • MikeT_2008

          So are they banking on free agency for the corners then, it just seems that there isn’t much in the system when it comes to the corners

  • studio179

    No suprise. Wilken drafts up the middle with Baez. Although, they do not project him at SS in the bigs. He lacks range and speed, but It looks more like a corner position (3B). Not the best plate discipline, but will hit for average and power. The ball jumps off his bat. Take the positives and negatives it for what they are worth, he has some Vitters qualities.

  • Brian

    Let the breakdown of Baez begin.

  • GrantJones7

    Not a terrible pick, i can warm up to it.
    None of the top 7 fell to the Cubs..
    Surprised Wilken passed on Gray

    • cubtex

      I am glad they went for a position player over a pitcher

      • MikeT_2008

        That’s true, it seems most of the system’s top pitchers were later round picks

  • MikeT_2008

    Good we needed another middle infielder in the system, I guess they’re thinking they can develop up the middle and use free agency for the corners

    • JW

      I can’t believe how many high schoolers are getting drafted this early. I’m glad the Cubs went with a position player. Good pitching can always be found in the later rounds. I just can’t understand why Baez the 18th overall ranked player went ahead of other players with more power potential, but I’m not Tim Wilken.

      • JW

        Here is the Buzz from Yahoo : The Cubs, as they have been known to do, go off the board with this pick grabbing Baez. The Cubs had been tied to many teams and they take Baez maybe a little early.

        Compared to George Springer : Springer is the best college athlete in the draft and is a great pick for the Astros, a team that reached on all three first-round picks last year. Springer can stay in center field and could develop into a perennial All-Star. He hits for average, moderate power, and can steal plenty of bases.

        The only knock on Springer is that he played at UConn, a northern state so stats might not exactly translate. He draws comparisons to Hunter Pence and Grady Sizemore which wouldn’t be too bad in any lineup. Unless Baez turns out to be the next Hanley Ramirez as he has been compared this will go down as another awful Cubs pick.

        • Tony_Hall

          Actually MLB had Baez in the Top 9 players.

  • JimBo_C

    This guy’s swing looks like Ryan Braun’s.

    Wish that dream could come true.

  • Tony_Hall

    This is the offensive Top SS in the draft.  I like drafting athletes who can hit, that play SS, out of HS.  If you have a corner IF/OF out of college that can hit great, otherwise, I like this pick.

    • JW

      I’m guessing the Cubs are looking at him as a future 3B with ~25 HR power potential, considering how young Castro is, assuming he sticks at SS.

      • Tony_Hall

        MLB announcers commented that he has the atheletic ability to stay at SS.  He is just out of HS, he’s not taking over SS at Wrigley for a few+ years.

        • studio179

          Actually, MLB.com says he will be moved to another position (maybe 3B) because of his lack of range.

          http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110606&content_id=20105778&vkey=draftcentral2011 

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually the announcers discussed that he was athletic enough to stay at SS.

            They are giving OPINIONS!

            If you hate the pick you will find bad things about him and vice versa.

          • studio179

            Easy. Maybe the team’s direction or struggles have you upset or you do not like being questioned. No one is happy with this team or direction right now. But no need for the all caps exclamation yelling.

            Personally, I do not hate the pick. I was hoping they drafted a bat and not a pitcher. I heard the announcers, too. However, I was merely pointing out an MLB article that has the opinion that Baez’s lack of range will not find him at SS in the bigs.  

  • Zonk

    I bet we draft higher than 9th next year….

    • studio179

      …and with this regime in place, the Cubs will be drafting higher yearly.

    • Aaron

      Cubs will draft either 1 or 2 next year…I’m calling it.

      They are in a freefall right now, and if Zambrano’s words couldn’t light a fire under their asses, then NOTHING will. 

      In fact, since Hendry is in charge, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the team will NOT be blown up, which in turn, means that they won’t have an added boost that a youth movement would otherwise provide for them in all likelihood.

      Keep in mind that despite having Montanez, Campana, Snyder, and LeMahieu on the roster, Quade’s kept them on the bench (aside from Campana getting a few starts prior to getting in Quade’s doghouse for swinging at the first pitch in the 9th inning….LAUGHABLE)….but seriously, outside of maybe…..just maybe 1 start per week with those guys, they’re nothing but pinch hitters right now. 

      So a youth movement ain’t gonna happen under Hendry OR Quade, meaning that you’d have to get rid of them both to do it, and we all know the Cubs have a better shot at winning the World Series this year than the Ricketts actually doing what ALL of baseball is agreeing upon right now——that at the very least Hendry has to go.

      What does all of this mean? I’m thinking my 70-92 prediction was a bit off. I’m thinking it’ll be more along the lines of 62-100, or 60-102, and that is NOT a stretch.

      • studio179

        “Keep in mind that despite having Montanez, Campana, Snyder, and LeMahieu on the roster, Quade’s kept them on the bench…”

        This is true and a shame. Quade wants to be buddy-buddy with everyone and not manage the vets. I believe they have a bunch of role player types, but who knows. Besides, key role players are good to have, but you don’t want a roster full of them. It is hard to tell what they have if the ‘friend to all’ manager will not play kids consistently and find out. We were sold on Quade’s knowledge of the system and his strong fundamentals. Both are not happening. I did not believe it then and clearly not now.

        “Cubs will draft either 1 or 2 next year…I’m calling it.”

        Way to go way out and make bold predictions. lol!

  • Agustinrexach

    Relax, the dude has puertorican power!

  • paulcatanese

    Tony just watched the tape on Baez my honest opinion? He looks as though he is not used to a deep infield and has to wind up on throws, so it is hard to tell how good his arm really is. His throws sink to first base and in the hole he definatly has to wind up before he makes the throw. The balls hit to him were the general mid speed ground balls so he did have to wait on them. It’s really hard to tell.His best throws are to his left and he makes the trasition with his feet very well on that angle.
    When he throws overhand he “cups” the ball giving it a little sink. I wold like to see him grip the ball cross seam, it would give it a slight “rise” to first.

    His swing looks good and should have power again it was a batting practice session but he soes get the ball out in front and appears to be a pull hitter.
    He does have a lot of tools though and should develop. I think it will be as a
    hitter and probably second base will be his final position in the infield, outfield
    also. Bottom line,,You hit You Play.

    • cubtex

      Baez has a strong, square-shouldered build, but is a loose, agile athlete with plenty of quick-twitch ability. He has outstanding bat speed from the right side with an extended, aggressive swing with plenty of lift that enables him to drive balls up the alleys and over the fence to any part of the field. While Baez’ offensive potential intrigues scouts the most, he has impressive defensive tools, as well, that enable him to play a number of positions. He plays shortstop for his high-school team, but spent last summer primarily at third base due to his thicker build and 6.9-second speed in the 60. The temptation may exist for the team that drafts Baez to install him at third base, given the tremendous offensive contribution he could make at that position, but Baez has solid shortstop actions, good first-step quickness, nice balance on the run and plenty of arm strength. Another position that has intrigued scouts is catcher, and Baez tried his hand at there briefly at the East Coast Professional Showcase last August. He got passing reviews, considering his extreme lack of experience there. Perhaps more than any player in this draft class, Baez plays the game with a combination of Latin flair and competitive fire, which can be viewed positively or negatively, depending on the context each individual scout sees it shown.

      Paul, I found this write up on Baez from a MLB scouting service. He is a 6.9 60 guy(same time I had in college) His strength is his bat but he looks to me like he has soft hands and nice defensive skills. Outfielders to me are a dime a dozen and I am glad they took another infielder. Even the Rays…..who have Tim Beckham and Hak Ju Lee took a shortstop in the first round as well.

      • paulcatanese

        I simply looked at the tape and went from there,I had no stats to refer to.In the opinion of those who watched him. When a shortstop goes into the hole and has to take a hop to get the ball to first, in my eyes his arm is suspect, and when the angle of the ball thrown to first sinks it tells me he is throwing TO the base when in fact a strong arm would be aimed at the first basemans knees and rise to waist or letter high in other words THRU the first baseman. On the run what I had seen was maybe a good throw, but the camera did not show the end result. The second throw on coming in on the ball siled up the first base side by a wide margin. He reminds me of a Theriot arm.
        As a hitter I had no questions, he looked good. Sorry about what I wrote, but that is what I saw in the Video. Playing short myself for a good many years I never had to do that in the hole, just plant the right leg and throw. If I had to take steps from there I would just eat the ball as chances that deep and taking steps would have been futile. Idid have a very strong arm before losing it in an
        injury,very strong, and simply looked at it that way.

        • paulcatanese

          On one more note,I would have supplied written testimony on the strentgh of my arm, but unfortunatly their all dead now. My arm is what got me signed and decent speed but the bat was just not there, but did have a cup of coffee. When I moved around the infield I found that arm strentgh had to be more at 2b, on pivots you had to have the arm, because the throw to first on DPs was almost all arm. Maybe the crituiqe was a little hard, but given the Cub mentality it called for a little doubt. I wish the kid well.

  • Aaron

    Well, both the other players I wanted the Cubs to take in the 2nd round if available are now off the board….

    Dwight Smith Jr. (Jays)
    Dante Bichette Jr. (Yankees)

    Baez will likely go down as one of the worst selections in Cubs history given how high he was selected. 

    In my opinion, I would’ve rather them taken Springer (who I’m not even that high on), Mahtook, Swihart, or Nimmo if they were that bound and determined to take a bat. Otherwise, I would’ve gone with Guererri the high school pitcher, or Alex Meyer, 6’9″ righty out of Kentucky.

    But Baez? EVERYONE had the Cubs linked to Lindor as a middle infielder, and hardly anyone had them taking Baez. There would be absolutely no reason to be bluffing their pick (meaning wanting Baez at 9), because he wasn’t even projected that high.

    My guess is they were dead set on selecting a middle infielder, as both Fleita and Wilken collect them like they’re going out of style, and once Lindor, the top rated middle infielder went ahead of them, they were left scrambling, and took the best available middle infielder which was Baez.

    That’s unfortunate, because Mahtook, Cron, and even Springer (who, as I mentioned I don’t even like) are more polished hitters.

    So, some might say that I’m just being negative with my perception, and that’s a  fair assessment….I can certainly understand, as I have been highly critical of this team….

    But understand this….

    2006-Colvin
    2007-Vitters
    2008-Cashner
    2009-Jackson
    2010-Simpson

    Colvin was Wilken’s first draft choice. He was a reach at that pick, and was questionable, even at that time (NOT revisionist history btw). They said he lacked plate discipline, and was a fringe 4th-5th OF at the MLB level at best. Notables selected after him:
    Snider, Drabek, Kennedy, Bard, Conger

    Vitters I can’t really complain about. His ceiling was really high, and still is in my opinion if he can stay healthy and add more muscle. The Cubs were clearly drafting for a replacement at 3B for ARAM, which is why they…………ORIGINALLY TARGETED MOUSTAKAS. Make no mistake about this one. Had the Royals not snagged Moustakas ahead of the Cubs…they would’ve taken him EASILY over Vitters. In my opinion, the Cubs telegraphed their intentions, which is why the Royals snagged him. The Cubs ended up settling for the next best 3B in that draft, which was Vitters…Again, I had no problem with it at the time, but it brings back a flashforward to 2011 with Baez. Lindor was their guy, but the Indians snagged him, so they settled for Baez, rather than a more polished player. 
    Notables selected after him:
    Wieters
    LaPorta
    Parker
    Bumgarner
    Heyward
    Arencibia
    Porcello

    Cashner I also can’t disagree with, though others behind him have had good success at the MLB level already, and some are on their way.
    Notables selected after him:
    Schlereth
    Chisenhall
    Cole (the Yankees couldn’t sign him, went #1 this year)
    Kelly
    Montgomery (supplemental)

    Jackson I can’t complain about, but some on here might recall that I was not impressed by Jackson’s reports and video, and I thought Wheeler was the better pick. Not to toot my horn, but if you look at his stats….it looks like I was onto something, even though Jackson has a better overall average and OBP, Wheeler has the better stats of the two of them at AA: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=wheele002tim
    *it’s really too early to be listing notables, but here’s a few I thought they could’ve drafted:
    Wheeler
    Brothers
    Paxton

    I think if there’s one thing we all can agree with on here…it was that Simpson was an extreme reach for the Cubs in 2010. I thought the Cubs should’ve drafted:
    Cox-http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=cox—001zac
    Cowart-http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=cowart001kal
    Vitek-http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=vitek-001kol
    O’Conner-http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=oconne001jus
    *Cox just got promoted to AA, and the others, sans O’Conner who struggled at rookie ball at 18 yrs old, have looked really good. Meanwhile, Simpson had mono, missed the last few months of the season last year, and Instructs, and has gotten lit up so far at Peoria. Is it due to the loss of strength from illness, or is he really nothing more than a 3rd round talent at best according to 99% of scouts at the time of the draft? Seems to me it was an extreme reach.

    Am I overly harsh, or just a realist that happens to be accurate? You be the judge….but I can tell you this, I’ve been right on with my predictions, assessments, etc. more often than not with this team.

    I am sorry if that rubs some people the wrong way, I just see there is so much wrong with this franchise, and with this blind faith in management from ownership that I cannot understand at all. 

    Outside of Mark Prior ’03, Garland ’05 (traded, never played for Cubs) and Kerry Wood ’03, ’08, there is not a single All-Star the Cubs have selected in the first round, in a span of over 25 years, with Palmeiro being the previous one.

    So while regimes have changed over the years, some things never do…..The Cubs, which are synonymous with ineptitude.

    The closest the Cubs came to changing things was in 1981 when the Tribune took over, and immediately chose a baseball man in Dallas Green to run the franchise. He made his presence felt immediately hiring coaches and scouts away from the Phillies, and transformed the Cubs into a winning program in just 3 full seasons when they were an absolute disaster prior to that. In fact, his slogan was “Building a New Tradition” which was a jab at previous ownership that was largely responsible for a losing tradition.

    I contend that the Cubs should go back to the Phillies for 2 guys….Pat Gillick and Ryne Sandberg, the latter of which will re-energize a mostly apathetic fan base at this point.

    And while the Cubs farm system has certainly improved from where it was prior to Wilken taking over, one must question first and foremost what they are comparing it to. The fact is, ANY amount of young players called-up would be considered a success , as they weren’t developing ANYONE up to that point. 

    Compare them to other teams. How many top 50….top 100 prospects do the Cubs even have? I think Jackson was the only one in the top 100, and McNutt was fringe if I recall correctly. MLB has 30 teams. That means if it were evenly divided (which it’s obviously not), each team would have 3 top 100 prospects on average, making the Cubs below average in a non-scientific measurement.

    Anyway….whatever….I’m so jaded right now

    • cubtex

      Cmon Aaron. You don’t honestly believe an organization(even the Cubs) plays out different scenarios for a draft. If this player is gone we will go here etc. They were not scrambling on who to pick when Lindor went before them. I guarantee you they had this scenario planned out. Even Harold Reynolds said the Cubs will pick Baez right before the pick. He said the Cubs were very high on him and he called the pick. Obviously, they targeted Baez.

  • Cheryl

    Baez may be an extremely good pick for the future in 2013, that is assuming he signs. It will be interesting to see who the cubs take next. Certainly they’ll get pitching somewhere along the line. My guess is they’ll also draft a catcher.

  • Aaron

    more on Baez with stats….impressive stats, no matter what league you’re in:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-0607-brite-cubs-reds-chicago–20110606,0,460996.story