6/7/2013 9:58 P.M. ET
Cubs select Kent righty Skulina in fourth round
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
The Cubs continued to take college players with their fourth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, selecting right-hander Tyler Skulina out of Kent State with the 108th overall pick.
Skulina was the ace of the surprising Golden Flashes squad that made it to the College World Series in 2012. Although Kent State didn't have as successful a season in 2013, Skulina impressed, going 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA and a .209 average against. He struck out 102 batters and issued 34 walks in 93 2/3 innings.
The righty has a fastball that sits in the low 90s while sometimes hitting 96 mph, and a good curveball that projects as Major League average. If the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder can refine his changeup, he projects as a No. 2 or 3 Major League starter.
Skulina was previously drafted by the A's in 2010 (46th round), but went to the University of Virginia before transferring to Kent State.
Cubs load up on college arms on Day 2 of Draft
CHICAGO -- The Cubs continued to stockpile pitching -- specifically college arms -- on Friday in the club's second First-Year Player Draft under the Theo Epstein regime.
After taking two college players on Thursday -- third baseman Kris Bryant (No. 2) and left-hander Rob Zastryzny (No. 41) -- the Cubs used seven of their eight Day 2 picks on players out of the college ranks, including a string of five straight collegiate pitchers.
Overall, the Cubs chose six pitchers on Day 2. Five were right-handed.
Adding organizational pitching depth has been a priority since Epstein, Chicago's president of baseball operations, general manager Jed Hoyer and vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod came to Chicago in October 2011.
The Cubs opened Friday by taking one of their two position players selected on Day 2, Brigham Young center fielder Jacob Hannemann (No. 75 overall).
Then it was almost all pitching. The Cubs appear to have gotten value in two arms in particular.
Chicago's fifth-round pick was Texas Tech right-hander Trey Masek (No. 138), while the Cubs nabbed Pepperdine right-hander Scott Frazier in the sixth round (No. 168). Masek and Frazier were ranked No. 67 and 77, respectively, among MLB.com's Top 100 Draft Prospects.
Masek put up strong numbers at Texas Tech, going 5-2 with a 1.82 ERA in 11 starts and tossing three complete games. He missed time because of a rotator cuff injury, however, which might have dropped his stock. Masek told SB Nation last week the injury is not an issue.
"There's been no soreness since I got over that so if any team has asked, I've been very open about it," Masek said. "I'm just looking forward to getting out and to showing that I'm healthy and ready to go."
Inconsistency kept Frazier on the board later than expected. The big right-hander -- he stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 215 pounds -- was seen as a potential first- or second-round talent with a fastball sitting 91-94 mph. But his numbers as a junior at Pepperdine -- 5-5, 4.06 ERA, 83 strikeouts and 40 walks in 88 2/3 innings -- didn't stand out.
Fourth-round pick Tyler Skulina (No. 108) was the ace of the Kent State team that advanced to last season's College World Series. The right-hander was 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 15 starts this season, striking out 102 batters in 93 2/3 innings.
The Cubs got a pair of power arms in the seventh and eighth rounds, taking Michigan State right-hander David Garner (No. 198) and Lamar (Colo.) Community College lefty Sam Wilson (No. 228).
Despite being 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Gardner racked up 192 strikeouts in 217 2/3 career innings at Michigan State thanks to a fastball that's reached 95 mph. Wilson, a former two-way player, fanned 109 in 87 2/3 innings this past season.
The Cubs took high school center fielder Charcer Burks in the ninth round (No. 258) and closed Day 2 by taking Tennessee senior right-hander Zack Godley in the 10th round (No. 288).
Chicago's first player taken on the day, Hannemann, is a 22-year-old freshman who went on his Mormon mission before attending Brigham Young University on a football scholarship. He was listed as the backup cornerback on the Cougars' spring depth chart, but his tools on the diamond will lead him into the Cubs organization.
"It's exactly what I wanted," said Hannemann, adding that he and the Cubs will begin negotiations next week. "The opportunity's there, so it's a much better road. BYU was a great opportunity to play both sports I love, but now I'm able to be a professional. I'm a baseball guy now, and I'm a Chicago Cub. I'm real, real excited for it."
He struggled to open the season -- batting only .111/.179/.139/ in his first 40 plate appearances -- but finished .344/.415/.553 with five home runs and seven triples en route to garnering West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.
Hannemann also was 14-for-15 on the basepaths and is hopeful to be part of a young group of players that changes the Cubs' fortunes.
"I'm just real stoked and blessed to be one of those players," Hannemann said of being drafted by Epstein. "I'm going to work hard. Nothing's done yet. I haven't arrived. I don't think I'll ever arrive -- that's my mind-set. I hope I progress through the Minors and sometime help the Cubs have a great season."
Day 3 of the Draft continues with Rounds 11-40 streamed live on MLB.com on Saturday, starting at noon CT.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
In the Pipeline
Friday's selections, combined with Thursday's picks of Bryant and Zastryzny, add to a rapidly improving Cubs farm system.
The club's Top 20 Prospects list is headed by three impact position players -- shortstop Javier Baez and outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Solar, ranked by MLB.com in that order -- and a power-hitting first baseman Dan Vogelbach (No. 11).
The additions of the eight pitchers thus far add to the depth Epstein and Co. have tried to implement since coming to Chicago. Right-handers Arodys Vizcaino (No. 5, out for season with arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow), Dillon Maples (No. 6) and Pierce Johnson (No. 7) are all considered Top 10 prospects by MLB.com, while last year's second-round pick, righty Duane Underwood (No. 15), is an intriguing raw talent.
Cubs take right-hander Masek in fifth round
CHICAGO -- Arm soreness late in the season dropped Trey Masek to the fifth round in Friday's First-Year Player Draft, but it appears the Cubs got a potential first-day talent in the Texas Tech right-hander.
Masek was 5-2 with a 1.82 ERA in 11 starts, three of which were complete games, in his junior season. He also posted 69 strikeouts and 22 walks in 79 innings, while holding opponents to a .206 average. He did not allow a home run all season.
"I'm just blessed to be able to get picked up by such a great organization," Masek said Friday on Double T 104.3 FM Radio in Lubbock, Texas. "The Cubs, they're a great organization and a great city. To be able to get picked up by the Chicago Cubs is a blessing."
Slightly undersized at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Masek can run his fastball up to 94 mph, and he possesses a solid curveball and good feel for his sinking changeup.
Masek, MLB.com's 67th-ranked prospect heading into the Draft, was hindered by a rotator cuff injury this spring, but he recently told SB Nation that it's no longer a concern.
"No, I'm definitely past that," said Masek, who was still throwing mid- to low-90s after the injury. "There's been no soreness since I got over that, so if any team has asked, I've been very open about it. I'm just looking forward to getting out and to showing that I'm healthy and ready to go."
One pick after Masek, Cubs nab Frazier
CHICAGO -- Another high-profile, high-upside college arm fell to the Cubs on the second day of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, when they selected right-hander Scott Frazier in the sixth round (No. 168 overall) -- one round after they took Trey Masek in the fifth.
Frazier, out of Pepperdine University, was ranked as MLB.com's 77th-best prospect heading into the Draft.
The big right-hander -- 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds -- was a bit inconsistent in his junior season, going 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 13 starts. He struck out 83 batters in 88 2/3 innings, issuing 40 walks. He held opponents to a .237 average.
His fastball, which sits at 91-94 mph, is backed by a curve and changeup, and he has shown gradual improvement throughout his collegiate career. He was previously selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2010 Draft.
Among Frazier's top baseball memories, according to his Pepperdine bio, was once striking out Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
Cubs happy to take undersized righty Garner
CHICAGO -- Small but overpowering.
That's the report on Michigan State right-hander David Garner, who was chosen by the Cubs in the seventh round (No. 198 overall) of Friday's First-Year Player Draft.
Garner only stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 180 pounds, but he has a power fastball that can reach 95 mph. He struck out 192 in 217 2/3 innings in his three-year career at Michigan State and was dominant in the Cape Cod League each of the past two summers. He was named to the 2012 West Division All-Star Team after posting a 3.12 ERA and striking out 41 in 43 1/3 innings.
He projects as a reliever.
Cubs add lefty Wilson in eighth round
CHICAGO -- The Cubs added a potential impact arm in Friday's eighth round of the First-Year Player Draft when they selected college left-hander Sam Wilson with the 228th overall pick.
Wilson, out of Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colo., was 11-2 with a 1.33 ERA in 19 appearances for the Runnin' Lopes. He started six times this season, completing each game.
The 6-foot-1 and 205-pound southpaw fanned 109 batters in 87 2/3 innings, walking 43. His fastball sits around 90 mph but has touched 94, while his curveball and changeup have the potential to be Major League average.
A two-way player in college, Wilson was selected in the 20th round of the 2010 Draft by the Rangers before going to New Mexico. He landed at Lamar after academic issues forced him to redshirt and ultimately transfer.
Burks is first high schooler taken by Cubs
CHICAGO -- The Cubs broke a string of taking eight straight college players in the ninth round of Friday's First-Year Player Draft, selecting prep center fielder Charcer Burks with the 258th overall pick.
Burks, from William B. Travis High School in Austin, Texas, also played shortstop, but the Cubs prefer him in the outfield.
The 6-foot, 170-pounder was one of the better high school athletes in Texas this spring. His speed is his best tool, and he's an above-average runner. Offensively, he has a line-drive swing and makes consistent contact.
Godley the seventh pitcher taken in Cubs' Draft
CHICAGO -- The Cubs closed the second day of the First-Year Player Draft by selecting Tennessee workhorse Zack Godley with their 10th-round pick (No. 288 overall).
Godley, a right-hander, led the Southeastern Conference in innings pitched (108 1/3) and complete games (six) while twirling two shutouts in his senior season in Knoxville. He posted a 5-7 record with a 3.49 ERA, striking out 98 -- with 13 coming in his final collegiate start.
He's a big body -- standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 235 pounds -- with a fastball that sits between 88-92 mph and a power breaking ball that's more of a slurve.