Baseball America posted its draft report card for the Cubs and was very complimentary of the organization it thinks had the fourth best draft in the game.
According to Baseball America, “the Cubs executed a plan deftly, getting top bat [Kyle] Schwarber and saving enough to add million-dollar arms in [Jake] Stinnett, [Carson Sands], [Justin] Steele and [Dylan] Cease.”
The Cubs selected the best pure hitter and best power hitter in Kyle Schwarber. And the Indiana product did not disappoint at the plate in 72 games in pro ball while impressing the coaches and front office enough during fall instructs to move behind the plate.
Kyle Schwarber put together a .344/.428/.634 slash line with 18 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and a 1.061 OPS during his time with Boise, Kane County and Daytona. The front office loves his approach at the plate, not to mention he provides an impact bat from the left side.
Baseball America thinks Schwarber is the closest to the majors of any player taken by the Cubs in June’s draft and if he stayed as an outfielder, instead of moving to catcher on a full-time basis, he had a chance to make his big league debut during the 2015 season.
Kyle Schwarber will either begin the 2015 season at High-A Myrtle Beach or Double-A Tennessee.
Baseball America Cubs 2014 Draft Analysis
Fastest Runner : OF Calvin Graves – Graves has little to no power to speak of, but he can run. Graves has 60 speed, stole 92 bases at Franklin Pierce University and hit .265/.338/.324 with two doubles and a triple in 30 games between the Arizona Rookie League (15) and the Boise Hawks (15).
Best Defensive Player: 2B Andrew Ely – The Cubs selected Ely in the 32nd round of the draft and due the need at second base, Ely finished the year at Triple-A Iowa. Ely has sure hands, good range and instincts to spare according to Baseball America. Ely batted .298/.348/.479 in 34 games in the Cubs’ system with five doubles, a triple and five home runs. With Iowa, Ely hit .229/.317/.343 in nine games with a double and a home run.
Best Fastball: RHP James Norwood, RHP Jake Stinnett – Baseball America gave Norwood’s fastball a slight edge over Stinnett’s. Both touched 97 mph as starters and sat in the 92-95 mph range. Norwood, the Cubs’ seventh round pick, turns 21 in December and was 0-2 in 10 games, four starts, after he signed with a 7.65 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Jake Stinnett – Stinnett improved his feel for a hard, late slider that he throws in the 78-83 mph range. Stinnett pitched in five games, four starts and performed better with Boise than he did in Arizona. Stinnett ended up 0-1 in his first taste of pro ball with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
Best Pro Debut: C Kyle Schwarber, OF Kevonte Mitchell – Mitchell was rather impressive in the Arizona Rookie League. According to Baseball America, Mitchell showed a more advanced swing than expected and the 19-year old bated .294/.374/.371 in 39 games with three doubles, four triples, a .745 OPS and 19 stolen bases.
Best Athlete: OF Kevonte Mitchell – Mitchell is 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and has reminded some of Matt Kemp from a physical standpoint. Mitchell played 34 games in the field, 30 in center and four in left.
Best Late-Round Pick: RHP Jeremy Null – Null’s back problems in the spring hurt his draft stock. His velocity dropped to the mid-to-upper 80s but he had it back up into the low 90s (93 mph) after he signed with the Cubs with good downhill plane. The 6-foot-8, 230 pound right hander was 2-0 in five games, one start, with Boise (1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) and ended up 2-0 in seven games, one starts, between Arizona and Boise with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.