For the second year in a row under Scouting Director Tim Wilken, the Cubs drafted a position player with their first pick in the First-Year Player Draft, selecting 17-year-old third baseman Josh Vitters from Cypress High School in Anaheim.
(A somewhat queasy-looking Vitters and his parents are pictured here. Do you think the shot was taken before or after he learned he had been selected by the Chicago Cubs?)
According to the scouting report available at mlb.com, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Vitters was “one of the most polished high school hitters in the draft class,” with “the potential to hit for average and power.” He is slow-footed, and his defense is “a touch below average, but mostly because he hasn’t worked on it as much as he has his hitting.” With work, “he should be an average third baseman.” If he can’t learn to play third, “he’ll hit enough to man a corner outfield spot.”
Last year's #1 pick, outfielder Tyler Colvin from Clemson, is currently playing at Class "A" Daytona, where he's hitting .297 with 4 HR and 41 RBI in 209 AB. In eight of 11 years before last season, the Cubs' #1 pick had been a pitcher.
The draft was broadcast for the first time ever, on ESPN. The production format generally followed the network's NFL coverage with a spider web of graphics on the screen at all times, showing which team was on the clock, who was next up, which players had already been selected, etc., etc. It was fun to see the baseball draft get that kind of coverage.
I just hope the Cubs aren't picking third next year.