Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cubs in Love with Radar-Gun Readings

With the 19th pick in the draft the Chicago Cubs take:

24 ANDREW CASHNER, RHP, Texas Christian

For a while, it appeared that the state of Texas might get shut out of the draft’s first round for the first time since 1977. That’s unlikely to happen now, thanks to Cashner, the hottest pitching prospect to come out of Angelina (Texas) JC since Clay Buchholz. Cashner turned down opportunities last year to sign with the Rockies (as a draft-and-follow) and the Cubs (as a 29th-rounder), opting instead to transfer to Texas Christian. A starter at Angelina, Cashner has excelled as a reliever for the Horned Frogs. No college pitcher in this draft can match his consistent 96-98 mph velocity, the product of outstanding whip in his 6-foot-6, 180-pound frame, and overmatched opponents have hit just .104 against him. Cashner has armside run on his fastball, and he backs it up with an 84-85 mph slider that can be electric. The slider is much better than the mediocre curveball he threw in the past, though it’s not always consistent. Neither is his command, which may prevent him from becoming an effective starter, but some clubs are interested in returning him to that role in pro ball. A team in love with radar-gun readings could take Cashner as high as the middle of the first round.

Ranking and scouting report from Baseball America


Smiff said...

Phillies took dis guy:

Kevin Goldstein (1:26:43 PM PT): 24. Phillies - Anthony Hewitt.

This is TOTALLY awesome, as I was told this morning that the Phillies were NOT going to take an athlete, and yet they took the biggest athlete in the draft. Look, this is a total lottery ticket, but the potential payout is unmatched in the draft.

22. Anthony Hewitt, SS, The Salisbury School (CT)
What He Is: On a pure tools level, he’s the best athlete in this year’s draft, maybe the past several years.
What He’s Not: A baseball player.
In A Perfect World He Becomes: An absolute monster.
Backup Plan: You want fries with that? All kidding aside, he’s a bright kid who’ll go to a good school and end up just fine if this whole baseball thing doesn’t work out.
Open Issues: His risk/reward balance is so thrown off that people have a hard time coming up with a good valuation; like many East Coast prep kids, he’s a year older than most high schoolers.

Corms said...

Did Goldstein mention that he was writing that from his century and a half old farm house in DeKalb that he and his girlfriend bought? If he didn't then it really isn't Goldstein.

Smiff said...

is he still going on about that?

anyway, his last chat had several Hewitt questions...

Shane (Denver): Kevin, As far as drafting goes, you always preach 'tools'. Is Hewitt arguably the best 'tools' guy in the draft? How can scouts be so polarized on what he develops into based on those tools?

Kevin Goldstein: Hewitt is easily the best tools guy in the draft. He's the issue. He can't really hit. It's just such a massive risk, really. It's like finding the best athlete in Sweden or Turkey or Ceylon or something and then saying you're going to turn him into a baseball player because he's such a ridiculous athlete.

me again:

Seems like the Phillies drafted one of these guys once, Jeff Jackson (from Chicago). He never did learn to hit. They could have picked Frank Thomas.

Corms said...

The cubs just made their pick in the supplemental round Flaherty, the SS from Vanderbilt. Has the arm but not the range for short which of course means he'll be a
3rd baseman or nothing at all. They already have an All-Star caliber 3B locked up for 5 years and their top pick last year was a 3B. So basically with the 41st pick in the draft they're going for organizational depth. Brilliant.

Smiff said...

Well, i guess the Phillies are making better picks than the Cubs, based on upside alone. More tools:

34. Phillies, Zach Collier, of, Chino Hills HS (CA)

Phillies are thrilled, they wanted this guy in the first. But man o man, are they betting on tools. That's back to back very high risk, very high reward guys.

Steven Goldman (2:21:59 PM PT): Zach Collier = Jeff Jackson-type pick?

Kevin Goldstein (2:30:28 PM PT): 41. Ryan Flaherty, ss, Vanderbilt

Very solid college shortstop -- big but not especially athletic, but not a great shortstop.

42. Padres, Jeff Decker, Sunrise Mt. HS

Kinda a strange pick. He's a high schooler, but he's kind of bat only. Not great tools, esp. for a teenager. Known as "Sarge."