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Cubs fan: Trevor Gretzky signs with Chicago for $375,000
The Chicago Cubs and Trevor Gretzky have agreed to what's supposed to be a $375,000 contract. The Cubs selected Gretzky with their seventh-round selection and are hoping that he'll give a jump start to a depleted farm system. Trevor is the son of former hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
A $375,000 contract for a seventh-round pick that many projected to go in rounds 20 to 30? Yowzers. Not a bad gig for a young kid. Get a good paycheck while traveling around the nation. Gretzky should still have money to pursue college if it doesn't work out in the long run and have more wisdom from visiting different places and networking with different people.
Should Cubs enthusiasts expect much out of Gretzky or will he only receive media attention because of his father's famed hockey career?
Gretzky was a first baseman at Oaks Christian High School in 2011. He had a .393 batting average with a home run and 27 RBIs in 31 games. He stands at 6 foot 4 inches and 180 pounds.
Let's compare Gretzky to Cubs first-round selection (ninth overall) Javier Baez. Baez is an 18-year-old who had a .771 average and hit 22 home runs, 20 doubles, six triples, and 52 RBIs in 115 plate appearances in the National Association of Christian Athletics. He also scored 46 runs, had 28 steals, and had a BB/K ratio of 32/3.
There's no guarantee that Baez will have a successful MLB career (or even have one; just look at Joshua Vitters so far). Admittedly, I don't follow baseball below the MLB level other than occasionally seeing how some farm prospects are doing. I do have to wonder if Gretzky wasn't drafted so highly because of his father's name and the potential marketing effect he'd have if he did advance through the minors.
I mean, Tayler Scott (fifth-round pick) signed for $279,950. The seventh-round pick signs for $375,000?
Should we expect much from someone with one home run and a .393 batting average in high school? Maybe high school competition is just that much better where Gretzky played in California then where Baez played in Texas.
Gretzky will have to increase his power if he's going to play first base in MLB. First basemen are primarily power hitters. He also probably needs to add about 20-30 pounds of muscle but that shouldn't be difficult as he's a teenager. It'd be hard to mold him into a player based on what position they currently need, because I don't see him being ready for at least five years. Things change greatly in that time frame.
This won't be like Mike Trout(notes) or Bryce Harper(notes) reaching the 25-man roster at 19 years old. I'm not expecting this kid to reach the 25-man roster in the foreseeable future, if he ever does. He'll be a work in progress. The Cubs have more time with Gretzky since he's coming out of high school. They'll be able to mold him into what they want and not let another collegiate club get a head start.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid 1990s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months.
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