What the Kris Bryant Draft Means for The Cubs

Kris

Thursday, at the Major League Baseball draft, the Chicago Cubs made a surprising move by not drafting the power arm of Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma after the Houston Astros chose Mark Appel from Stanford with their first overall pick. It was assumed by many that they would pick whomever the Astros would not take. They instead chose Kris Bryant from San Diego with their second pick.

I like them taking Bryant once Appel was off the board. While Gray is a great power arm that hits 100 mph with his fastball, Bryant has huge power and out homered a majority of the other Division I colleges by himself as he hit 31 home runs in only 228 ABs that will have an immediate impact in the middle of the lineup when his time is to be in Chicago.

It’s no secret the Cubs need some better arms in the organization. They’ve made some pretty picks in the last two years with Pierce Johnson and Duane Underwood last year and Dillon Maples in 2011. If you take out Maples couple of real bad starts, both he and Johnson have been pitching well. Underwood will be pitching for the short season Boise Hawks later this summer. It should be known that after the Bryant pick they did pick up pitchers with 19 of their draft picks this year. I haven’t had a lot of time to delve into those picks yet to see if there were any good arms in those picks, though it is worth noting a lot of these kids are college pitchers rather than kids being drafted out of high school. I like this move too.

What does this move mean for the Cubs? Continue reading

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How Little-Known Bill Mueller Became a Beloved Player for the Boston Red Sox

Mueller

The impact of becoming a beloved player for the Boston Red Sox can’t be personified any better than Bill Mueller.

Mueller, a switch-hitting third baseman, is a native of Missouri. He attended Southwest Missouri State and graduated as perhaps their best player of all time, leaving as the school leader in hits, runs and stolen bases among a number of categories. He played both third and shortstop during his tenure and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2004. Continue reading

NL Central Players To Watch

BillyH

Dan Marino continues his trek through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.

Now, in part four of six, he brings you the National League Central:

Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.

Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.

Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.

Chicago Cubs Continue reading

Chicago Cubs’ James Pugliese: Dominant Closer to Starting Pitching Prospect

Pugliese

Most top baseball pitching prospects starred as their high school ace before being drafted; no matter what role they ultimate assume in pro ball. Not James Pugliese.

The right-hander grew up in New Jersey and attended Steinert High School. Instead of starting, he was the team’s dominant closer.

Following graduation, Pugliese enrolled at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. His talent was so apparent that the team decided to convert him into a starter. It turned out to be a great decision for everyone involved.

Pugliese spent just one season with Mercer, but it was one for the ages. He went 6-2 in 65.2 innings with a 1.51 ERA in 2011. He also struck out 77 batters while walking 25. He seemed to get stronger as the season went on, as during one 40.1 inning stretch, he allowed just 16 hits and three earned runs.

Pugliese’s college repertoire included a low-90s fastball, changeup, slider and, surprisingly, a knuckleball. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for January 21, 2013

HartGamel

With just three weeks until pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training locations, the baseball offseason is winding down, but it’s not ending with a whimper. This has been one of the more eventful offseasons in recent memory, with constant activity, surprises, and even some quality free agents like Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn still available at this late date.

If the 2013 season can be half as eventful as this winter has been, fans should be in for quite a treat.

Unfortunately, this past week ended with some truly sad news about two baseball legends; considerably darkening this installment of notes. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for January 7, 2013

Berkman

It’s now less than two months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. We’ve finally gotten to the point of the offseason where teams are starting to scramble to fill the final holes on their rosters. Because the majority of the big-name free agents have already signed, the depths of the available player pool are starting to be plumbed. This makes the weeks leading up to spring training some of the most interesting to watch for diehard baseball fans.

***The Texas Rangers added another bat to their lineup by agreeing to a one-year contract with free-agent first baseman Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter will be 37 before the start of the season and played in only 32 games last year with the St. Louis Cardinals because of injuries. Continue reading

Angels Trade Dan Haren to Cubs for Carlos Marmol

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly acquired starting pitcher Dan Haren from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for relief pitcher Carlos Marmol.

Haren comes with a price tag of $15.5M but Marmol, who had to waive his no-trade clause, relieves the Cubs of $9.1M in the final year of his contract. Continue reading