Everyone thought the Chicago Cubs would focus on pitching, or at least go Pitcher first in the 2015 MLB Draft, but the opposite happened. The Cubs grabbed outfielder Donnie Dewees out of the University of North Florida in the second round. This was on the heels of drafting Ian Happ (more on him here), who was taken in the first round with the ninth overall pick.Follow paulmbanks
Welcome to the party Ian Happ. Like Obi-wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker, “congratulations, you’ve just taken your first step, into a larger world.”
Happ now joins an exclusive club- the next HUGE THING in Cubdom. Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Addison Russell are already here. Javy Baez blew his first chance, but he’s waiting in the wings. Behind him is Albert Almora, Daniel Vogelbach, Kyle Schwarber, well, you get the point already.
Let’s get to the Ian Happ dossier.Follow paulmbanks
Welcome to the final version of our 2015 MLB Mock Draft. The 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, round one, is tonight. I’m not sure if there’s another independently owned and managed site that does a mock draft for baseball, basketball, football and hockey like we do.
Maybe there is another “mom and pop” shop out there that does a mock for these four professional sports, but I’m not aware of it; as of yet.Follow paulmbanks
Superstar athletes are supposed to only make news by what they do on the field; never with what they say. That’s an unwritten rule of major league sports, and at some clubs it’s probably actually a written rule.Follow paulmbanks
Lost in the shuffle of all the Kris Bryant hoopla, #Krismas, is that the Chicago Cubs already have a superstar in first baseman Anthony Rizzo. He was an All-Star last season, and with an up to the minute slash line of .315/.440/.565, he’s likely to return to this Midsummer Classic.
He’s also leading the Major Leagues in hit by pitches; and perhaps in Tweets referencing Britney Spears lyrics as well.Follow paulmbanks
Since starting the season at AAA Iowa following an extended bereavement absence, Chicago Cubs prospect 2B/SS Javier Baez is exhibiting a more patient and cerebral batting approach that augurs well for his future. This improvement is a welcome development following a disastrous late-season stint with the Cubs.Follow paulmbanks
The first wave of Chicago Cubs youngsters has served notice to the rest of baseball, but a second wave, brimming with talent, is climbing fast and might even eclipse the impact of the first wave.
Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein’s pleas for patience over the cacophony of myopic instant-gratification Cubs fans are sounding increasingly prescient. From the day he joined the Cubs, Epstein assured a restless fan base he would build the team with a young core of players largely acquired through the draft and supplemented with trades and International signings.Follow paulmbanks
Knowing what I know of a good chunk of Chicago Cubs fans, it won’t be long before we see “Pitch to Kris Bryant” signs at Wrigley Field. There are a lot of Cubs fans who live their entire lives in social media mode; they amplify everything, good or bad, all the time. After all the second wave of Cubs super-prospects is actually supposed to be better than the first.
Even offline, there are many Cubs fans who react to everything in public as if they’re hiding behind the anonymity of the keyboard. So the next Kris Bryant overreaction is imminent. Especially since this next one is rooted in fact.Follow paulmbanks
There has been much hand-wringing about the Chicago Cubs recent pitching woes, as the club dropped to .500 yesterday. Yet through Sunday, the Cubs pitching staff was the third stingiest in yielding walks (2.5/9) in the National League and the seventh most restrictive in allowing home runs (0.87/9).
Cubs pitchers were also striking out the third most batters per nine innings (8.39).Follow paulmbanks
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, but the Chicago Cubs are putting that cliche to the test. By calling up their top two prospects within the same week early this season, the organization is hoping to catch “lightning in a bottle” not once but twice.Follow paulmbanks
Chicago Cubs fans didn’t need Nostradamus to predict that Kris Bryant was going to be a good player when he was finally called up to the majors. It took exactly 13 days/8 games into the 2015 season for the Cubs to call up their best prospect since Ronald Reagan was acting in movies.
Kris Bryant clubbed his first career homer, and his teammates… disappeared. Check out the video of it here, as his teammates gave him the “silent treatment.”Follow paulmbanks
Wrigley Field bleachers will be open this season. The Chicago Cubs will actually meet their secondary target on this one. The bleachers in left and center field remain on track to open for occupancy May 11, so in less than a week.
The new bleachers also include new video boards and signage that feature a mix of game and player stats, video replays, historical Cubs footage and interviews with the team (done by the team itself, so you know what to expect there), as well as baseball content from around the league (filtered through and approved by Major League Baseball first, of course).Follow paulmbanks