McLeod happy with draft results

June, 8, 2013
6/08/13
8:24
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs left their draft room confident they had made some significant moves toward winning in the future.

"You always feel good, no matter what," vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said. "It doesn't matter if you go young, high-school projection draft. You feel good because you can dream on them.

"We definitely wanted to have a pitching-heavy draft again this year. After the (first 10 rounds ) Theo (Epstein) and I were sitting there looking at the board and I felt really good about it."

The Cubs took 19 pitchers -- 16 right handers and three left-handers -- seven infielders, eight outfielders and six catchers. Of the team's first 10 picks, seven were pitchers.

"We felt good because they are college pitchers that we really liked," McLeod said. "These were guys who really performed and guys we evaluated to have stuff.

"The draft really fit the criteria that we liked. At the end of the day we were really happy to look at our board with the college pitchers we really liked."

All seven of the Cubs pitching selections in the first 10 rounds were from college. This type of selection process gives the appearance of a franchise that wants to compete within the next couple of seasons rather than giving in to a long-term player development mode that could take five to seven years to see results.

"We talked a lot about needing some starting pitching in the organization and we felt we needed to take guys that were a little bit more advanced," he said. "We wanted to infuse the system with guys who fit the criteria of what we felt could be starting pitchers and that was reflected in the top 5 or 6 rounds."

After choosing Kris Bryant -- the top position player in the country -- the Cubs went a little out of the box selecting LHP Rob Zastryzny out of the University of Missouri as their No. 2 pick. The 21-year-old pitcher played on a below average team. His overall record of 2-9 meant little to McLeod and his scouts after seeing him throw on numerous occasions. Many scouts compare his stuff to mark Mark Buehrle at a singular development stage.

"He works very quick," McLeod said. "We all were watching the draft TV coverage and they called Zastryzny a finesse college lefty. Hey this guy works 91-94 MPH, when did that become finesse? He is a strong physical guy that had some inconsistent delivery and command. All of us in the room liked him a lot and were happy to get him there."

The Cubs' third pick -- outfielder Jacob Hannemann -- missed two years of development going on a Mormon mission.

"We went a little bit off the board with his selection," McLeod said. "We are really excited about his upside and potential as well. He was a guy we felt we just had to have with his athleticism and his strength. We feel he has tremendous upside even though he is already 22 with only one year of baseball under his belt."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
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OTHER LEADERS
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RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
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ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167