The Chicago Cubs drafted Kris Bryant in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. This is the second year in a row that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have selected players of the future for the team.
Bryant is a 6’5”/ 215 lb third baseman, who has hit 31 home runs in 62 games with the University of San Diego. In his current state he has out-homered a majority of the NCAA Division I teams. Bryant is the embodiment of a power hitter. He has raw hitting power to all sides of the field, loose wrists and hands, great bat speed and reaction time, and impressive control of the strike zone.
Many fans worry about hitters transitioning from an aluminum bat to a wooden bat, so how will the transition affect the #2 overall pick?
Bryant has great numbers against inferior pitching. With great bat speed and strength to handle velocity pitching, his contact rate and strikeout percentage will likely increase. Nothing can be determined for sure about a batter until a wooden bat is placed in his hands. For all we know he might be more comfortable at the plate with a wooden bat opposed to an aluminum one. With the raw power and bat speed he posses, I feel he should be able to transition just fine.
The other two position players the Cubs have selected are Jacob Hannemann and Charcer Burke. Hannemann is a 6’1”/ 195 lb center fielder. He had a slow start at the plate at the beginning of the season but his numbers have recently spiked, including a .631 slugging percentage. After a few years in the minor leagues, he is projected to be a complete all-around player. Charcer Burke is another player the Cubs acquired that fills the same position as Hannemann. Burke is the up the middle type of player that Theo and Jed like. He has great reaction speed both on the field and at the plate. He will probably be in the minors for awhile but it’s still a clever draft pick.
The biggest problem the Cubs have faced this season is a lack of production from their bullpen. Many believed the Cubs should have gone after pitching in the draft. Did the organization miss a good chance at acquiring a good pitcher?
Even though the Cubs didn’t go after a pitcher with their first pick, they did still acquire some top notch pitchers who could move up in the organization fairly quickly. Once the first 10 rounds were over, the Cubs had acquired seven pitchers which should make many Cubs fans happy. In the second round the Cubs picked right-hander Rob Zastryzny from Missouri. Zastryzny has room for improvement, but out of all the pitchers selected by the Cubs, he is the one who is the most likely to be a starter. Currently the Cubs have an outstanding starting pitching lineup, so this is good news for the bullpen. Other pitchers the Cubs picked were Tyler Skulina,RHP, Kent State; Trey Masek, RHP; Scott Frazier, RHP, Pepperdine; David Garner, RHP, Michigan State; Sam Wilson, LHP, Lamar CC; Zach Godfrey, RHP, Tennessee.
The draft still has 30 more rounds left which should lead to more hope for Chicago fans. Who knows, maybe Theo and Jed have selected another rookie sensation like Bryce Harper when they picked Kris Bryant. Maybe they have selected someone who will break out of their minor league teams and join the club next year. Only time will tell.