This Wilkins interview gives a very nice overview of the Cubs' draft strategy, and provides some encouraging insight into the team's player development strategy. Gotta love this part:
"I think you go where you think the strength is. There were pitchers, but as the prognosticators say, there was velocity. There wasn't pitching ability. Maples, I believe, has pretty good pitching ability. I just didn't see the style of pitcher we were looking for. There were more velocity guys in there than anything. That said, we went after the hitters, and we went after what we termed in the higher picks to be a little bit more intelligent at the plate, guys that have a chance to have a pretty good OBP. They're selective, they want to work the pitcher hard. Sometimes that doesn't always result in walks, but what it does is it results in high counts, which gets the pitcher out of the quicker.
Two things: one, it explains why the Cubs passed on a lot of pitching early in the draft. Strange since it went against the conventional wisdom that the draft was stacked with pitching, but I like the fact that they focused on the guy they felt was the best all around pitcher they could nab. Second, gotta love the pursuit of patient batters who have a chance to develop good on base numbers and work deep counts.