Bears

Cubs Day 3 Draft Roundup

716992.png

Cubs Day 3 Draft Roundup

With the start of Day 3 of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs picked up right where they left off, selecting pitchers with the first two picks.

Here's the full rundown on Rounds 16-40.

Rd. 16, Pick No. 494 -- Michael Hamann, RHP

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound right-hander has started 14 games (through May 30) for Toledo this spring, compiling a 5.80 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. He started nine games last season and fared much better, with a 1.96 ERA and 0.92 WHIP and 51 Ks in 59.2 innings.

Rd. 17, Pick No. 524 -- Nathan Dorris, LHP

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound lefty is a Marian, Ill., native and appeared in 16 games (14 starts) for Southern Illinois-Carbondale through May 30, posting a 4.17 ERA and 1.61 WHIP with 80 Ks in 82 innings.

Rd. 18, Pick No. 554 -- David Bote, SS

Bote has prototypical size for a young shortstop (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) and is coming off his freshman season at Neosho County Community College. Bote stole 20 bases in 21 attempts and scored 62 runs in 60 games while putting up a .419 average and .475 on-base percentage.

Rd. 19, Pick No. 584 -- Damek Tomscha, 3B

Tomscha who is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, is very familiar with the MLB Draft. He was selected by the Phillies in the 50th round of the 2010 Draft and by the Marlins in the 36th round of the '11 Draft. He didn't sign either time. The 20-year-old from Sioux City, Iowa played at Iowa Western Community College last season and hit .438 with a .522 OBP to go with 64 RBI, 72 runs and 23 doubles in 61 games.
Rd. 20, Pick No. 614 -- Blake Hickman, C

Simeon Career Academy isn't just a basketball powerhouse. The Chicago school that produced Derrick Rose and now boasts Jabari Parker, the top basketball player in the country. But they also produced the Cubs' 20th round draft pick. Hickman is a big kid (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) and was committed to play at Iowa next season. Hickman said he models his game after Twins star Joe Mauer and has been called a good leader with high character, something the new Cubs regime is looking for.

Rd. 21, Pick No. 644 -- Stephen Perakslis, RHP

The 6-foot, 185-pound righty put up unbelievable numbers his senior season at Abington High School in Massachusetts with a ridiculous 0.25 ERA and a 13-0 record with four saves. He was a two-time player of the year and South Shore League MVP. Perakslis just finished his junior season at the University of Maine and put up a 3.81 ERA, but had just 48 strikeouts in 87.1 innings and a .318 batting average against.
Rd. 22, Pick No. 674 -- Eduardo Orozco, RHP

The Cubs just keep padding their pitching, selecting the 6-foot-4 Orozco out of the University of California. The 23-year-old started 14 games for UC-Riverside through May 30 and had a 2.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 106 Ks in 98.1 innings.
Rd. 23, Pick No. 704 -- Jake Drossner, LHP

Drossner, a lefty coming in at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, attended Council Rock High School North in Pennsylvania and reportedly throws his fastball at 91 mph. He was named to the 2012 Rawlings 3rd Team All-American as well as the Atlantic-All Region 1st Team.
Rd. 24, Pick No. 734 -- Jameson Fisher, C

Fisher (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) is out of Zachary High School in Louisiana and was verbally committed to play at Southeaster Louisiana University.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

burton-1014.jpg
USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

wendell.png
AP

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

Don't tell Wendell Carter Jr. the center position is a dying breed.

The 19-year-old rookie hasn't exactly been able to ease into the NBA, finding himself up against a handful of All-Stars and powerful frontcourts just five days into his career.

It culminated Monday night with a date against Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, and once again the seventh overall pick held his own. It was much of the same as it was against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Detroit's Andre Drummond last week (and Nikola Jokic in the preseason finale): some good, some bad, plenty of poise and zero backing down. The NBA is unforgiving, but this could very well be the toughest stretch Carter faces all season.

"He’s playing against top level centers now," Fred Hoiberg said before Monday's game. "It’s a great experience for him. He’s going to learn and get better and he plays within himself, we will continue to look for him to be more aggressive."

He was as aggressive as the Bulls have seen him against Jordan and the Mavericks. He blew by the 20 and 18 minutes he played in the first two games of the year, totalling 32 minutes. His final line won't tell the story - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block - of a Carter who defended well at the rim, picking and choosing his spots on when to attack shots and when to simply use his verticality.

He wasn't credited for a block but he contested a Jordan dunk that turned into a Bobby Portis dunk on the other end. Plus-minus isn't always a good indicator of a player's worth, but Carter was a +5 in a 14-point Bulls loss. He even attempted a corner 3-pointer early in the shot clock, showing no hesitation. Carter's had his moments, but it's also apparent he's got a 19-year-old body going up against veterans each night. That'll come with time in the weight room. For now the experience is 

"I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early in my career," Carter said after the loss to the Pistons. "What I need to work on is I have to get stronger; that’s the first thing I recognize; just being up against the best. I love the competition. It’s always a great feeling going against the best."

What the Bulls are finding out is they have a player mature beyond his years. As he progresses he'll continue to get more difficult assignments. He had his rookie moment late in Monday's loss, committing a turnover in the backcourt after the Bulls had cut the deficit to five with 35 seconds left. The fouls are also an issue, as Carter has committed 10 in three games (after committing 17 in five preseason games).

That doesn't necessarily seem important for a Lottery-bound team, but considering the continued struggles of Robin Lopez (and Cristiano Felicio is entirely out of the rotation) it is. Lopez had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes while committing five personal fouls. In three games he has 11 personal fouls and 11 points, and also has more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four). If the Bulls are going to compete until Lauri Markkanen returns, Carter will need to hover around the 32 minutes he played Monday.

He'll get a much easier test on Wednesday when the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town. Cody Zeller doesn't exactly have the credentials of a Jokic or Embiid, meaning Carter may have a little more room to work. 

The Bulls know they have something in Carter. It'll be abother month until they can deploy him alongside Markkanen, but if the first three games are any indication, Carter won't have any problems matching up with some of the league's best.