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12/02/09 10:00 AM EST

Draft class showed experience

Cubs hopeful older players can move up system quickly

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we take a look at the early results of each club's 2009 Draft class: how their top picks did, late-round picks that fared well, which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

NL East

AL East

NL Central

AL Central

NL West

AL West

If things go according to plan, the 2009 Draft will be about providing quick help to the cause on Chicago's North side.

Of the 29 picks signed by the Cubs from the class, 25 came from the college or junior college ranks. Obviously, not all will beat a quick path to the big leagues, but there's no question the organization is hopeful that some, especially those taken in the early rounds, will do just that.

In the first six rounds, the Cubs took two college bats and two college left-handed pitchers. All had early pro success -- some more than others -- and at the outset, seem to be headed in the right direction as potential fast trackers.

Top five picks

1. Brett Jackson, OF: The Cal product split most of his time between Boise in the short-season Northwest League and full-season Peoria, finishing his summer by hitting .318/.418/.488 in 211 total at-bats. There were concerns about his strikeout totals as an amateur, and he did pick up 56 K's in 53 games, but he also drew 31 walks, had 17 extra-base hits and stole 13 bases.

2. D.J. LeMahieu, INF: LeMahieu dropped to the second round after an inconsistent junior season at LSU, but his pro debut was anything but. After a brief stop in the rookie-level Arizona League, LeMahieu went to Peoria and hit .316 with a .371 OBP over 38 games. He saw time at shortstop and second and could continue playing both positions as he moves up the ladder.

3. Austin Kirk, LHP: A high school lefty out of Oklahoma, Kirk signed at the end of July and got a chance to get a handful of pro innings under his belt. Starting in the Arizona League and finishing in the Northwest League, Kirk had a 3.95 ERA over 13 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits (.200 BAA) and seven walks while striking out 15.

4. Chris Rusin, LHP: A senior sign out of the University of Kentucky, Rusin spent most of his pro debut starting for Boise. He made eight starts spanning 31 innings, finishing with a 3.48 ERA, walking nine and striking out 27. With a funky delivery, a future role as a reliever might be in order.

5. Wes Darvill, SS: The Canadian high schooler went to the Arizona League and hit .223/.295/.231 over 34 games in his debut. He played both shortstop and second in the AZL, something not uncommon in the Cubs system. A left-handed hitter, some added bulk should help him tap into his raw potential.

Best of Rest

Left-hander Brooks Raley (6th round) was a two-way player at Texas A&M, but he will be a pitcher as a pro. His debut was brief, covering 10 2/3 innings, and he allowed just five hits (.139 batting average against) and three earned runs. ... 10th rounder and first baseman Charles Thomas was 21 in the rookie-level Arizona League, but nonetheless hit .306/.354/.431 over 45 games. ... After tearing up the AZL for 15 games, Robert Wagner still put up decent numbers in Boise. He's 23, but his .290/.361/.580 line leaves people wanting to see what he does in 2010. ... Between Arizona and Boise, right-hander Kenneth McNutt (32nd round) had a 0.96 ERA over 27 2/3 total innings. Hitters managed just a .143 average against him, and he struck out 28 batters.

Fast Risers

After making it to Peoria and handling himself well, it looks as if Jackson might be on the fast track. Another college bat such as LeMahieu could move quickly as well, as could advanced lefties such as Raley and Rusin.


The Cubs came to terms with their first 12 picks and 29 of their 50 picks overall. Chad Taylor, a high school shortstop from Tampa, Florida, taken in the 13th round, was the first not to sign. He went to South Florida instead. Keenyn Walker (16th round) was another high school athlete who opted for college -- Central Arizona Community College -- instead of joining the organization. Catcher Danny Sheppard was an interesting pick in round 30, but he went to develop his game at the University of Iowa.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.