Cubs hope to find late-round gems at Draft
Righty Wells has found success as a 38th-round pick in 2002
HOUSTON -- Can the Cubs find another Randy Wells in the next phase of the First-Year Player Draft? Maybe there's another Reed Johnson out there.
After 111 picks on Day 1 -- including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B -- the Draft will resume with the Fourth Round at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday and will be tentatively scheduled to go through the 30th round. The Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT.
Wells, who has thrown five straight quality starts, was selected in the 38th round of the 2002 Draft, the 1,143rd player taken overall. At the time, he was a catcher at Southwestern Illinois Community College. Now, he's a big league pitcher.
Johnson was the Toronto Blue Jays' 17th-round selection in 1999, coincidentally drafted by current Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken. No. 523 overall out of Cal State Fullerton, Johnson was in the big leagues in four years and batting .294 in 114 games in 2003 for the Blue Jays.
Kevin Gregg was the 435th player taken overall in 1996. He was pitching then for Corvallis (Ore.) High School and selected in the 15th round. Gregg didn't get to the big leagues until a cup of coffee with Anaheim in 2003.
Ted Lilly was No. 688 in the 1996 Draft, selected in the 23rd round by the Dodgers. The lefty was traded to the Montreal Expos in '98, and he was pitching in the big leagues the next year.
Sean Marshall was the Cubs' sixth-round pick in 2001, No. 163 overall, and in the big leagues in '06.
The quickest climb among recent Cubs picks was Jeff Samardzija, taken in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, the 149th player taken overall. He was in the big leagues last year, and contributing out of the bullpen.
MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.
Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.
The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.
In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.