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Cubs System Sonogram And The Senior Signings

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Soon, the recently drafted Cubs selections will filter into locker rooms across the system. These are my thoughts on the first two days of selections.

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I really enjoy draft week. For many, the distance from Wrigley minimizes the importance. For me, however, that distance is a draw. Many of these guys will be lines on statistical pages I'll be examining for years. They might be playing in a game I will soon be attending. Failing that, they'll be hitting third, or warming in the pen, in a game I'm watching. Our scouts do a good job in locating talent, our execs do a good job in signing them, and the coaches keep improving their skills. It's a long path to success at Wrigley, and I enjoy the trip.

I haven't been particularly surprised by any moves yet, though I am a bit surprised that Donnie Dewees lasted until the Cubs second selection. As my draft prep and minor league assessments tend to butt heads on occasion, I'd mentioned the draft being solid in offense-first outfielder. The Cubs grabbed two out of the gate, taking the best available, as per their history. The third choice was a prep arm, which doesn't surprise me, either. That he was a Cardinals fan from Alton, Illinois (Bryan Hudson) is amusing.

The fourth choice was a center fielder with a Vanderbilt commitment. He will cost something above slot to sign, but I expect it to be finalized. Darryl Wilson is from Canton, Ohio. He was followed up by a lefty starting pitcher from Arizona State, in Ryan Kellogg. Solid as a freshman, he wasn't as good for the Sun Devils his last two years. Kellogg, as with the first two picks, should sign for at or below slot value.

Then, the Cubs took four seniors from college. These types rarely get much of a bonus at all, as they can't go back to school. Similarly, they are rarely prima-donna types, anyway. They have a full college history, and want to see how far baseball will take them. Normally, they will sign quickly, and see if playing minor league ball will lead them to a career. If not, they get on with the rest of their life.

I will start with the 10th choice, Vimael Machin. As I see it, Machin will have two jobs in his baseball career. When Gleyber Torres moves to Myrtle Beach soon, the South Bend Cubs will have a vacancy at shortstop. Machin will likely fill it. If he does it well, chances are strong that he will man the same post in Myrtle Beach next season. If he does those things adequately, he will have fulfilled his role in the Cubs system. For all the middle infielders the Cubs have had in bulk recently, after Torres, there appears to be a gap. Plugging in a player that makes the plays, and hits once in awhile, is what is needed until 'the next guy' is identified.

Tyler Peltzmeier (Fullerton State) and David Berg (UCLA) are relief pitchers. They aren't guys who will start as relievers, and then, after a few....... Naaaaaah, they are relievers. Peltzmeier is a lefty, and Berg is a submarine-style righthander. They will be relief hurlers, and they have little reason to spend much time in Eugene in the Northwest League. By the first of July, they should be in the Midwest League with the South Bend Cubs.

Neither shredded their arms with innings this season. Beyond that, they are relievers. And seniors. What they will do in the future, and any purported estimated times of arrival will be dependent on how they do as professional pitchers. If they shred through the Midwest League, they can go to Myrtle Beach. Two innings at a time, every two or three days. Berg will be particularly intriguing to watch, with his unorthodox delivery. Peltzmeier will do what lefty relievers do, for as long as he is successful at it.

Craig Brooks pitched and played third for Catawba College. He had very good numbers as a starter, so his innings figure to be a bit limited in the summer. Look for him to relieve for up to 20 innings between Mesa, Eugene, and maybe South Bend.

The other selection was Preston Morrison from TCU. He is a starter, and figures to get up to 20 in the lower levels, as well.

Through two days, it seems a bit shy on top-side production. Part of that is because neither of the top two were likely to be under slotted. The league is clamping down on the horrors of teams spending money on incoming talent. We've gone over that bridge too many times before.

I expect a few high school selections over the next 10. An intriguing Junior College option, like 2014 selection Isiah Gilliam, might also be possible. However, getting too many intriguing options through the draft becomes difficult from a later drafting position, especially without extra selections. Busting the salary cap might get an extra intriguing option or two, but it would forfeit a pair of first round selections. I doubt many of the available preps on the board would be likely to have better careers than Ian Happ.

Most teams figure to sign most, if not all, of their first 12 third-day selections. After that, roster management causes a few selections to be, largely, unsignable. The Cole Sands option is still in play, but only if it is mutually agreeable. Other than that, the third day signs figure to be more like Chesny Young, Jeremy Null, and others that might become far more familiar soon. At least, to fans of the affiliates.