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View Full Version : Reds Take Chance on Former Cubs First-Rounder



westofyou
05-26-2009, 11:41 AM
http://cubs.scout.com/2/867523.html


Former Cubs first-round draft pick Mark Pawelek is back in affiliated baseball. The left-hander, who had been pitching for the Golden Baseball League’s St. George Roadrunners in Utah after being released by the Cubs this spring, was sold to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.

The Golden Baseball League was founded in 2004 and is a non-affiliated independent league based out of Dublin, Cali. Pawelek, 22, made the Roadrunners roster but did not see any official game action. According to the team’s website, he was noticed by a Reds scout after tossing four innings during an exhibition game against Southern Utah University on May 18.

Pawelek was the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2005 draft (20th overall) out of Springville High School in Utah. In four seasons in Chicago’s farm system, he never made it past short-season ball and was 6-12 with a 3.80 ERA and 147 strikeouts and 79 walks in 149 1/3 innings.

He spent 2008 at Class Low-A Boise and was 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA in 13 appearances

RedsManRick
05-26-2009, 11:45 AM
Not a bad risk. A 6'3" lefty who can miss bats and keep the ball in the yard. Anybody have the latest scouting info? His 2005 scouting report indicates a low to mid 90's fastball with a curve and a change. As a pro, his bugaboo has been very poor control. Thoughts?

Homer Bailey
05-26-2009, 11:46 AM
Another flyer at the Cubs's expense (Thanks for Hamilton btw). I'll take it!

UKFlounder
05-26-2009, 11:49 AM
Low cost/risk, with some possible reward. Maybe we can get lucky, but, if not, no big deal.

lollipopcurve
05-26-2009, 12:08 PM
www.stgeorgeroadrunners.com/news.cfm?id=35

Looks like some nice scouting by the Reds.

As I recall, this guy was a late riser in the year he was a first round choice out of high school. He's got a top-notch arm, so maybe this is a diamond they've plucked -- if not from the rough, from a storm drain outside Wrigley Field.

tripleaaaron
05-26-2009, 12:33 PM
Very good signing. Pawelek started off his career nicely and then he broke his arm and struggled. Now Pawelek is apparently throwing the ball very well again and Walt pounced before anyone could scout him in a game. Very nice work.

KoryMac5
05-26-2009, 12:47 PM
22 years old, and the Cubs already gave up on him, it just goes to show what pressure some kids are under to produce.

Tom Servo
05-26-2009, 12:51 PM
Only 22, sounds like a fine gamble to me.

KoryMac5
05-26-2009, 12:56 PM
Some insight on this kid from Cub Reporter:


The Cubs selected Mark Pawelek with their #1 pick (#20 overall) in the 2005 Rule 4 (June) draft. He was the 4th HS pitcher selected in the '05 draft, but he almost certainly would have gone higher if it wasn't for the fact that he had Scott Boras as an "advisor" (unofficial agent) and that he had signed a Natioal Letter of Intent to attend Arizona State. But the Cubs were able to sign him, and he reported initially to the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park.

I saw Mark Pawelek in his first pro season at AZL Mesa (2005), and I can tell you he was as good as advertised (94 MPH fastball, plus-curve, plus-slider, and plus-change). Then he went to the AZ Instructional League post-2005, and the Cubs coaches apparently started tinkering with his pitch selections, delivery, arm slot, release point, etc (probably with the intention of trying to prevent an arm injury), and he gradually just lost confidence.

The Pawelek Family is very unusual, in that the dad fancies himself a pitching coach, and is very involved in Mark's career. His dad pitches for a top senior team, and he really knows his stuff. But he's kind of like Mike Marshall, in that he has a somewhat different approach than do most minor league pitching coaches.

Mark and his older brother Dennis (who was drafted by the White Sox, but chose to play college football instead) had a special work-out regimen back home in Utah, where their dad had them throw every day, and where Mark and Dennis were taught a particular philosophy of pitch selection.

Unfortunately, the Cubs have only one way for everybody, and Mark was forced to conform to the Cubs Way (especially when it came to side sessions and pitch selection), and apparently it messed him up.

The Cubs claimed Pawelek came to Minor League Camp in 2006 "out of shape," but he wasn't overweight or anything, he was just "messed up" mentally and his mechanics were out of whack, to where his velocity was down into the mid-80's and he couldn't throw any of his "hard" pitches (fastball and slider) for strikes. And he kept hitting batters. How much of that stemmed from his work in the AZ Instructional League after the 2005 season, I don't know, but his confidence was clearly adversely affected and he couldn't get back to where he was at AZL Cubs in 2005.

There is nothing wrong with Mark Pawelek's arm. His problems have all been related to messed-up mechanics that caused his velocity to drop into the mid-80's and his command to go haywire (where he started hitting batters with regularity), and then (with the drop in velocity and loss of command) a confidence issue ensued.

I talked to a scout from another organization last year, and he said his club is just waiting for the Cubs to give up on Pawelek so that his club can get him and "pick up the pieces." (The Cubs minor league pitching coaches are not held in real high esteem by some of the other organizations, BTW).

From what I can see, Pawelek at least appears to be getting his confidence and enthusiasm back, and he's once again relying on his innate talent and just cutting the ball loose and then whatever happens, happens. While he might continue to struggle some with command (and what 21-year old hard-throwing left-hander doesn't?), if he's got his confidence and enthusiasm back, that's half the battle.

Looks like a combination of bad coaching and immaturity hopefully the Reds have better luck with him. We don't have a great track record when it comes to developing pitchers either.

OnBaseMachine
05-26-2009, 01:21 PM
Nice pickup. I like seeing the Reds sign former top prospects are who are still young (Nix, Bankston). You never know when one might figure things out.

Caveat Emperor
05-26-2009, 02:17 PM
Nice pickup. I like seeing the Reds sign former top prospects are who are still young (Nix, Bankston). You never know when one might figure things out.

You can add Brandon Phillips to that list too.

Dumpster diving is a proud tradition for this franchise -- at least now they're diving for high-upside guys with the potential for good years in front of them as opposed to constantly running through reclamation projects whose best years are usually far behind them.

Homer Bailey
05-26-2009, 02:23 PM
You can add Brandon Phillips to that list too.

Dumpster diving is a proud tradition for this franchise -- at least now they're diving for high-upside guys with the potential for good years in front of them as opposed to constantly running through reclamation projects whose best years are usually far behind them.

How about that Hamilton guy? He's gotta be on that last right.

Rojo
05-26-2009, 05:20 PM
Get him out of St. George before he starts to glow.

westofyou
05-26-2009, 05:21 PM
Get him out of St. George before he starts to glow.

I broke down there once... spookier than Lincoln Nebraska it is.

redsmetz
05-26-2009, 05:46 PM
I broke down there once... spookier than Lincoln Nebraska it is.

That's saying a lot because Lincoln seemed like it was in a time warp.

schroomytunes
05-26-2009, 07:19 PM
Actually was in St.George last year, it's a nice town, golfing was excellant, and 2 national parks are close by! Also Vegas is only about an hour away, I'm 36 now but it definitly made my list of places to consider for retirement in 20 years! As for the pickup, sure why not he's 22, lefty, and may need to be coached differently.

redsmetz
05-26-2009, 07:22 PM
I wonder if the Reds were the organization that said they were waiting for the Cubs to drop him?

Gallen5862
05-26-2009, 11:22 PM
When does he have to be protected from the Rule V draft? How many option years does he have left?

RED VAN HOT
05-27-2009, 12:26 AM
another question...

Do organizations attempt to be consistent in the way players are coached at every level? It may be coincidence or just good talent, but it seems to me that Reds coaches at all levels are doing an excellent job with the pitchers this year.

I really like the signing. Along with the international forays and drafting and signing pitchers other clubs believed were confirmed for college, this organization is alert and aggressive.

Reds/Flyers Fan
05-27-2009, 12:56 AM
I spent an entire summer in St. George once. Weather can't possibly be any nicer, close to Zion and Bryce national parks, Vegas close, Mesquite, Nevada is closer, and the weather is unmatched.

WVPacman
05-27-2009, 12:56 AM
22 years old, and the Cubs already gave up on him, it just goes to show what pressure some kids are under to produce.

When you can throw money to all the big name players and have a high payroll and don't have to worry about it like the Cubs do.. You can let players go