Tuesday, June 06, 2006

draft day

the cubs drafted clemson outfielder tyler colvin with the 13th overall pick in what was thought to be one of the weakest drafts in a generation.

the cubs didn't pick again until the fifth round -- having lost the 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks in compensation for having signed jacque jones, scott eyre and bob howry -- but then took jeff samardzija, a righthander (and wide receiver) from notre dame.

colvin is an interesting pick, to say the least, especially for being the first of the tim wilken era. his college performance at clemson, for whom he played left field though he is projected as a professional centerfielder, was decidedly substandard until this year, which has put him on the professional radar. colvin entered the ncaa tournament leading his club in average (.360), doubles (21) and stolen bases (21), and is second among the tigers with 12 homers and 63 rbi, though plate discipline is reputedly a problem. (sigh.) he's listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds and left-handed.

his coach at clemson said this for his bio (hat tip to commenter bj):

"Tyler was one of our most improved players in the fall, and he has gotten a lot stronger. He has a chance to hit for more power this year, but his game is really as a slash hitter and hitting the ball into the gaps along with running aggressively on the bases. He's an excellent defensive player, and he has a good feel for the bunt game. He has the total package, and we look for him to have a great year."

samardzija, for his part, was accomodated by the cubs to play his senior season of football, a stumbling block that caused baseball america's 37th-ranked college prospect to slide to the 149th pick. his three-year career line for the irish: 21-6, 3.82 era in 50 appearances (31 starts), 240 innings, 236 hits, 159 strikeouts and 84 walks. his junior year line: 15 starts, 8-2, 4.33 era, 97.2 ip, 101 h, 61 k, 37 bb. no fifth-rounder has an easy path to the majors, and samardzija (a likely first-round draft pick in football) claims to want to play in both the majors and the nfl -- a split task likely to decrease his odds of success in both endeavors. if forced to pick one over the other... well, this is a man who says no amount of money can sway him from returning to the football field this fall. and this writer hopes you can pardon him, dear reader, when he says that samardzija was probably the fourth-best starting pitcher for the irish this season, much less the cubs, and has no real chance of making the majors in any capacity. if he's going to play in chicago, it's going to be in soldier field.

here's the house organ blurb. arizona phil over at cub reporter has more.

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