Thomas Hatch (round 3) is a six foot tall right-hander, who missed all of last year with an elbow issue that did not require surgery. He is similar to Oakland A's comp round A pick Daulton Jefferies, in that both are smaller right-handers without big velocity, who profile as back-end starters due to excellent command and control and three average pitches. The Cubs have shown zero aversion to smaller pitchers for the past few years, so Hatch made a lot of sense. The physical opposite of Hatch would be Duncan Robinson (round 9), the right-hander from Dartmouth, although he is a very similar pitcher to Hatch in terms of his profile. Robinson is a command control pitcher, despite being 6'5''. He had a walk rate per nine under one this year as a senior, walking just seven batters all year.
The Cubs did take a few big names in the top-10, although they were all relievers or players I project as relievers: Bailey Clark (round 5), Chad Hockin (round 6), and Dakota Mekkes (round 10). Clark excelled in his first few starts for Duke this year before hitting a wall. He has the size to start at 6’4”. I think he projects as a reliever long term, based on his performance this year. There is a chance he could rebound back to the pitcher who many thought would be a possible first-round starter earlier in the year.
Hockin has never been a starter, not in high school or college. He did start two games his first two years in school, but even though he had his best statistical season this year, he did not get a chance to start. This was very unfortunate for him and his draft value. His brother was a second round pick for the Cleveland Indians and his grandfather is Harmon Killebrew. The bloodlines and the production are there to make him an interesting selection.
Mekkes closed a few games for Michigan State this year. He had the highest strikeout rates in the country, at 15.16 per nine, but also had a walk rate of nearly seven. He is a big guy but doesn’t throw hard. As a 10th-rounder, Mekkes is a good gamble as a pitcher whose strikeout rate was off the charts this year.
My favorite pick after the 10th was Trey Cobb (round 12), another undersized right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma State. The Cubs' area scout was able to land the top two pitchers this year from the Cowboys. Cobb posted a strikeout per nine over 11, with a walk per nine under four. There is a chance he will have to go to the bullpen. Cobb's numbers actually intrigue me more than Hatch’s, although Hatch has much stronger command and control and a workable third pitch. The Cubs won’t worry about Cobb's size, and I expect they will give Cobb a chance to start in the minors.
http://www.scout.com/mlb/scouting/story ... tral?s=321