The Cubs used the second overall pick in the 2013 draft to select University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, the 6-foot-5 power hitter who led the NCAA with 31 home runs and hit .329 with an OBP of .493.
“I was ecstatic,“ the 21-year-old told MLB Network when asked what his reaction was he when drafted. “You work your whole life for this, best day for me and my family.”
The Cubs lack pitching in their minor leagues but they couldn’t pass up Bryant’s bat and Cubs Director of Scouting/Player Development Jason McLeod, told reporters the Cubs took the best available player. He said they had Appel ranked # 1 and Jonathan Gray’s recent drug test had noting to do with not taking him. Bryant was scouted by Alex Lontoya.
McLeod said they selected Bryant because he provides the most long-term impact for the team and can fit into the lineup for many years. He said there are no plans to move him to the outfield and plan to play him at third base. That suits the Cubs first-round pick just fine. “They want me at third and that’s where I want to play. I’m up for the challenge.”
Scouts and draft experts ranked Bryant’s power the best in the draft class and some rank his power at 80, the highest grade a hitter can get. Bryant had a tremendous junior season with 75 hits in 62 games to go along with 66 walks and 62 RBI. He scored 80 runs and slugged .820. Bryant said he changed his approach this season and concentrated on hitting balls that went over the “white of the plate”.
With their second round pick, #41 overall, the Cubs selected Rob Zastryzny a left-hander from the University of Missouri. Zastryzny, 21, features a fastball that tops out at 94 mph with late action as well as a changeup and slider. The Friday night starter at Missouri went 2-9 with a 3.38 ERA in his junior season as the Tigers averaged 2.5 runs per game in his 13 starts. He tossed 90.2 innings with 92 strikeouts with three complete games and 24 walks.
Born in Canada, Zastryzny was the 2010 All-South Texas Pitcher of the Year going 17-1 with a 0.20 ERA and 198 strikeouts as a senior at Calallen HIgh School. He went undrafted. He made 15 starts his freshman year for the Tigers and earned All-Big 12 freshman team honors going 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA. As a sophomore, he was Missouri top pitcher going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA with 76 punchouts in 109 innings.