College talent makes up bulk of Cubs' picks
CHICAGO -- The Cubs concluded the 2015 MLB Draft on Wednesday, with 29 of their 40 selections coming from the college ranks.
The team has historically loaded up on pitching in the later rounds under president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of player development Jason McLeod, but only 18 of the team's 40 selections were pitchers. Chicago took 11 right-handers and seven lefties, though six of the first nine picks were pitchers.
The Cubs also took 10 infielders, eight outfielders and four catchers.
Of the college arms taken in the middle rounds, two had standout collegiate careers.
Left-hander Ryan Kellogg, the Cubs' fifth-round pick (No. 143) out of Arizona State, is just one of eight players in school history to be a three-time First-Team All-Pac-12 selection. He also issued only 62 walks in 321 career innings.
In the following round, the Cubs took UCLA's David Berg, a submarine right-hander who is arguably the best reliever in NCAA baseball history. He posted a 1.26 career ERA in 132 appearances and helped lead the Bruins to two College World Series appearances, including the 2013 national championship.
The Cubs opened the Draft by taking two impact hitters, which also has become custom under Epstein and Co.
The Cubs took outfielder Ian Happ with the ninth overall pick. Happ, from Cincinnati, hit .369/.492/.672 with 14 home runs as a junior.
"We really feel he was one of the top, if not the best college hitter in this year's Draft," McLeod said. "We feel really confident in that."
Chicago's second-round pick was Donnie Dewees, a speedy outfielder who hit .422/.483/.749 this season for the University of North Florida.
Notable late-round selections include:
• Kyle Twomey, a 13th-round pick from USC, was also a third-round pick out of high school by the A's in 2012. The lefty was 8-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts in 2015.
• Right-handers Jake Kelzer (14th round) and Scott Effross (15th): Kelzer, a 6-foot-8, 230-pounder, struck out 44 in 31 2/3 innings this season, and he also competed on Indiana's swimming team. Effross posted a 1.98 ERA as a sophomore in 2013.
• Jared Padgett, who went in the 26th round, is a Florida high school left-hander the Cubs tried to agree to terms with in the earlier rounds. Padgett will likely honor his commitment with Mississippi State.
• The Cubs took two highly ranked high schoolers who likely will opt for college: right-hander Fitz Sadler (32nd) and shortstop Al Jones (36th). Sadler is committed to Arizona State, while Jones is heading to Vanderbilt.