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Cubs Pick Johnson
by alex ciepley
As projected by Baseball America last week, the Cubs have picked Notre Dame righthander Grant Johnson with their first pick of the 2004 Draft, at pick number 66. There was some speculation that the Yankees were going to pick Johnson in the first round, but he fell to the Cubs on draft day. What's that saying about never having too much pitching?
[UPDATE:] 3rd round: Cubs pick catcher Mark Reed, brother of White Sox prospect Jeremy Reed. Baseball America says, "he's expected to demand a large bonus to prevent him from following his brother's footsteps and attending Long Beach State."
[ANOTHER UPDATE:] 8th round: We got another Patterson to boo! Eric Patterson, Corey's younger brother, was selected by the Cubs in the eighth round. He supposedly fell primarily due to contract demands. The scouting reports on him (from Baseball America) may sound familiar: "A 60 runner on the 20-80 scale who consistently gets to first base in 4.0-4.1 seconds, Patterson still doesn't trust his hands to produce his power, so he strikes out too much, hits too many fly balls and flies open trying to pull the ball. He has made more consistent contact since getting rid of his toe tap. Clubs that think he can adjust will get a good runner, average defensive second baseman and potential leadoff threat."
Oh, and speaking of speed, the Cubs snagged the player considered the fastest in the draft in the fifth round, Puerto Rican Adrian Ortiz. BA says, "Scouts compare his tools to those of Marlins center fielder Juan Pierre. He has excellent center-field range but a below-average arm. Lean and skinny, he has no power."