Final signings are in: Cubs invest big in 2011 draft
Whether Javier Baez sticks at shortstop or moves to third base, he possesses one of the best hit tools in the 2011 draft class. (Photo courtesy of Aflac All-American)
After this season’s First-Year Player Draft, the future of the Cubs is the most promising it’s been in years.
The Cubs agreed to terms with 34 of their 50 selections by the Aug. 15 deadline, including each of their first seven picks: IF Javier Baez, IF Daniel Vogelbach, OF Zeke DeVoss, RHP Tony Zych, RHP Tayler Scott, C Neftali Rosario and IF Trevor Gretzky.
“This is one of the most talented draft classes I’ve ever seen signed by an organization,” said Tim Wilken, Cubs scouting director.
This investment marks a franchise-record for the Cubs, with their financial commitments totaling more this season than the past two years combined.
“This commitment to the draft is significant in a couple of ways, both in terms of financial investment, which was substantial, and the quality of players that are joining our organization,” said Wilken.
The official press release had more to say about some of the new Cubs:
Baez, 18, was named by Baseball America as the best pure hitter among all high school eligible players in the draft. The infielder was also ranked by Baseball America as the seventh-best overall position player and the fifth-best high school position player in the 2011 draft class.
Vogelbach, 18, batted .459 (39-for-85) with six doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 50 RBI and 40 runs scored in 32 games in 2011 for Bishop Verot High School in Florida. The first baseman was named by Baseball America as the third-best power hitter among all high school eligible players in the draft. The six-foot, 250-pounder is a 2011 Rawlings First Team Preseason All-American and a 2011 Rawlings First Team Florida All-Region selection.
Zych, 21, was selected out of the University of Louisville and Scott, 19, was drafted out of Notre Dame Prep High School in Arizona. Both are right-handed pitchers. Shawon Dunston, an 18-year-old outfielder and son of former Cub Shawon Dunston, was selected out of Valley Christian High School in California.
Dillon Maples, 19, was named the 2011 Gatorade North Carolina High School Player of the Year after going 9-1 with a 0.93 ERA for Pinecrest High School this season. He had 143 strikeouts in 68.2 innings and also posted a 431 batting average with seven home runs and 31 RBI. Maples was also named to the high school post-season First-Team All-America squad by Baseball America.