Cubs go treasure hunting on Day 2 of Draft
Chicago finds local products, pitching talent on Tuesday
MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs have selected 18 pitchers, six infielders, four outfielders and two catchers in the first two days of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Who knows what they'll find.
Take Hunter Ackerman, for example. The left-handed pitcher was selected in the fourth round out of Louisburg College in North Carolina on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman from Midlothian, Va., was 8-1 with a 1.41 ERA in 11 games.
Ackerman struck out 92 over 57 2/3 innings while walking 24. His best pitch is his changeup, coach John Thomas said.
"There's a lot of guys who can throw hard, but Hunter has command," Thomas said on Tuesday. "That's what makes him effective."
Never heard of Louisburg? The 'Canes have won 25 conference championships, 10 district championships and made 10 appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association College World Series. In 2002, Louisburg was 51-11. Among the alumni to make it to the big leagues are Otis Nixon, Greg Briley and Chad Fonville.
Maybe Ackerman is next?
The third and final day of the Draft is Wednesday with rounds 31-50.
The Cubs selected outfielder Reggie Golden out of Wetumpka High School in Wetumpka, Ala., in the second round and catcher Micah Gibbs out of Louisiana State University in the third round. Golden was recommended by area scout Tom Clark, and Gibbs was recommended by area scout Jim Crawford, who also backed the Cubs' No. 1 pick, pitcher Hayden Simpson.
With the 11th-round pick, the Cubs selected Eric Jokisch out of Northwestern. The left-handed pitcher is from Virginia, Ill., and was originally drafted by the Indians in the 39th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign.
The Cubs selected additional local products in Algonquin, Ill., native Elliot Soto from Creighton in the 15th round and pitcher Ryan Hartman from Mt. Zion High School in the 16th round.
Cubs Day 2 Draft capsules:
Round 2: Reggie Golden, CF, Wetumpka (Ala.) High School
Golden is raw and toolsy high school outfielder with speed and power. He finished his high school career with 36 home runs, 156 RBIs and 146 runs. He did sign with the University of Alabama. More than 100 friends and family gathered at the Wetumpka Civic Center on Monday, thinking he might be picked in the first round. Baseball coach Ray Mullino, with the help of Mayor Jerry Willis, arranged the get-together. "The Draft is something you can't predict," Mullino told reporters Monday night.
Round 3: Micah Gibbs, C, LSU
Gibbs hit 100 points higher this year than last season and is an outstanding receiver. A switch-hitter, he hit .388 in 62 games (95-for-245), including 10 home runs, 14 doubles and had 60 RBIs. A native of Pflugerville, Texas, he credits his father, Ben, who was a catcher at Kansas State, with having the greatest influence on his athletic career.
Round 4: Hunter Ackerman, LHP, Louisburg College, N.C.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman from Midlothian, Va., was 8-1 with a 1.41 ERA in 11 games for Louisburg College. He struck out 92 over 57 2/3 innings while walking 24. His best pitch is his changeup.
Round 5: Matt Szczur, OF, Villanova
A two-sport star in baseball and football, Szczur is a five-tool player. He was the first .400 hitter for Villanova this season since 1997, batting .443 (77-for-174) to earn first-team All-Big East honors. His batting average was fourth highest in school history, and his .392 career average ranks fifth all time for the Wildcats. Baseball America ranked Szczur as the second-fastest runner among all college position players in the Draft and the 19th-best center fielder among all Draft-eligible players.
Round 6: Ivan De Jesus, CF, Cupeyville High School, Puerto Rico
De Jesus was part of a national sub-championship teams at both the 15-under and 16-under levels, batting .474 with 10 home runs as a high school sophomore and .390 with 12 home runs as a junior. His 15-under team qualified for the elite World Series in Kissimmee, Fla., where he hit .450. In his junior year, he also played in the wood-bat Palomino League (19-under), where he hit .377. He bats and throws right-handed and can play both infield and outfield. He is not related to Cubs first-base coach Ivan DeJesus.
Round 7: Benjamin Wells, RHP, Bryant (Ark.) High School
Wells has signed to pitch for Arkansas, getting a full scholarship. That could change. The right-hander led Bryant to its first state championship with a five-inning perfect game at the University of Arkansas' Baum Stadium. On Monday, he signed with the Razorbacks.
Round 8: Cameron Greathouse, LHP, Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College
Greathouse was 10-2 with a 3.06 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 88 innings. A sophomore from Columbus, Ga., he also hit .399 in 52 games with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs.
Round 9: Kevin Rhoderick, RHP, Oregon State
Rhoderick is coming off a junior season in which he was named All-Pac-10 Conference Honorable Mention. He was 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA, collecting four saves in 31 2/3 innings. Opponents batted .239 against him while he struck out 35. In three seasons, Rhoderick was 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA and has 25 saves, which ranks him second in school history. He has 100 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings.
Round 10: Aaron Kurcz, RHP, College of Southern Nevada
Yes, this is the same school as Bryce Harper, the first pick overall in the Draft. Kurcz was 3-3 with 10 saves and a 4.11 ERA in 24 games (one start). He struck out 52 in 35 innings. Opponents hit .225 against him.
Round 11: Eric Jokisch, LHP, Northwestern
The junior from Virginia, Ill., was a first-team All-Big Ten selection this year. He was 5-7 with a 4.39 ERA in 15 appearances, including 13 starts. Despite battling an injury early in the season, he finished with a team-high 92 1/3 innings, which ranks in the top 10 in school history. In three seasons at Northwestern, he was 17-16 with a 4.71 ERA.
Round 12: Austin Reed, RHP, Rancho Cucamonga High School (Calif.)
Reed, 18, recently graduated. He was the Cougars' ace and best hitter, batting .416 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs. Originally a third baseman, he posted a 3.24 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings this season. He had six complete games in 12 starts. The right-hander has added a slider and changeup to his repertoire.
Round 13: Pierre LePage, 2B, University of Connecticut
A junior from Wolcott, Conn., LePage batted .327 in 56 games with three homers, 20 doubles and 57 RBIs. The Huskies finished the season 48-16. LePage finished one hit shy of teammate Mike Nemeth's career hits record of 237.
Round 14: Colin Richardson, RHP, Winter Haven (Fla.) High School
Richardson signed a letter of intent with Santa Fe Community College in January, saying he wanted to go someplace where he could make an impact right away. His plans may change. Richardson was 8-0 last season with two no-hitters and a 1.48 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 47 innings.
Round 15: Elliot Soto, SS, Creighton
Soto, from Algonquin, Ill., went to Dundee Crown High School. He batted .297 in 51 games, with three home runs, 10 doubles and four triples while driving in 28.
Round 16: Ryan Hartman, RHP, Mt. Zion (Ill.) High School
Hartman had interest from at least 17 Major League teams besides the Cubs. He did commit to Eastern Illinois and wanted to see where he was drafted before deciding if he'd go to college. He struck out 17 in one game. Hartman was named to the first team of the All-Apollo Conference.
Round 17: CF Steven Brooks, Wake Forest
Brooks started every game in center and finished second on the team with a .349 average. He hit six homers and drove in 39 runs. He also stole a team-high 23 bases, which tied for second in the ACC. He finished the year with a 12-game hitting streak. In three seasons with the Demon Deacons, he compiled a .299 batting average, 13 homers, 86 RBIs and 49 stolen bases.
Round 18: RHP Ronald "Brooks" Pinckard, Baylor
Pinckard had 12 saves and 2.45 ERA in 23 games, pitching only in relief. He struck out 17 in 33 innings. The right-hander features a heavy, sinking fastball, the kind that should break some bats when facing wood. According to reports, his slider is developing and he works quickly. Sometimes he speeds up too much when he gets into trouble, but he's much improved from last year, when he was a one-pitch pitcher. A two-way player who runs well as an outfielder, his future is on the mound. He missed some time earlier this season with a leg stress fracture. He could show more improvement once he's focusing on pitching and could be a good setup type down the road. He hit .305 in 48 games with two homers and 28 RBIs.
Round 19: Dustin Fitzgerald, RHP, Hill (Texas) Junior College
Fitzgerald tuned up for the Draft by pitching in the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League, and finished second in the league there with 54 strikeouts in 44 innings. His fastball then was consistently in the 88-91-mph range and he has a slider and changeup.
Round 20: Ryan Cuneo, 1B, University of Delaware
Cuneo, a senior tri-captain for the Blue Hens, finished his college career with 40 home runs. That's the highest total by a left-handed hitter in school history. He batted .321 with 200 hits, 173 RBIs and 136 runs scored in his college career. He earned third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors. This season, he hit .350 with 65 RBIs and 16 home runs.
Round 21: Cody Cox, RHP, Grassfield (Va.) High School
Cox signed a letter of intent to play at Old Dominion. In his junior season, he was 7-2 with 78 strikeouts in 44 innings. He pitched a perfect game that season against Oscar Smith High School, striking out 12 in five innings.
Round 22: Jeff Vigurs, C, Bryant University
Vigurs batted .333 in 56 games with four homers, 13 doubles and 41 RBIs. He played catcher and first base. The left-handed hitter was named second team All-NEC and second team All-New England. He ranked second on the team with 24 multihit games, including five three-hit games and three four-hit games. He's the school's all-time career doubles leader with 61.
Round 23: Matthew Loosen, RHP, Jacksonville University
Loosen was 3-4 with one save and a 5.88 ERA in 17 games (14 starts) for the Dolphins. He struck out 86 in 82 2/3 innings. He was one of three players to receive a unanimous vote to the A-Sun preseason all-conference team.
Round 24: Dustin Geiger, RF, Merritt Island (Fla.) High School
Geiger, who signed a letter of intent with the University of Central Florida, batted .534 with seven homers and 33 RBIs. He helped the Mustangs post a 24-3 record and reach the Class 4A regional semifinals. He was named Florida Today's 2010 Baseball Player of the Year.
Round 25: Eric Rice, RHP, Palm Beach (Fla.) Community College
He was named "Fireman of the Year" and received the strikeout king award, leading the county with 109 K's his senior year.
Round 26: Danny Muno, SS, Fresno State
Muno batted .329 in 63 games with seven homers, 17 doubles and 33 RBIs for Fresno State, which posted a 38-25 record (16-8 in the WAC). He also made 18 errors, getting 180 assists.
Round 27: Bryan Harper, LHP, College of Southern Nevada
This is the other Harper, who sometimes gets to pitch to his brother, Bryce. While he's not quite the prospect his younger brother is, he's making a name for himself on the mound. Tall, lanky lefties who can hit 92 mph aren't that common, and Harper also has a pretty good feel for his breaking ball and changeup. He'll need to cut down on his walk rate a lot, but there's also room for growth in his frame.
Round 28: Joseph Zeller, RHP, The Master's College (Calif.)
Zeller played second base and batted .320 in 51 games with a team-high nine homers, 14 doubles and 52 RBIs. But the Cubs are interested in his arm. He went 5-7 with a 5.24 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 87 in 91 innings.
Round 29: Casey Harman, LHP, Clemson
Harman was 7-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 16 starts, including one complete game. He struck out 86 over 100 1/3 innings. Opponents batted .239 against him.
Round 30: Karsten Strieby, 1B, Arizona Western College
In his freshman year, the Brier, Wash., native batted .316 with 10 doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs in 54 games.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.