The hitting coach in Cubs manager Dale Sveum was sure to like the organization's No. 1 draft pick.
Sveum talked enthusiastically Friday about third baseman Kris Bryant, taken with the second pick overall Thursday.
"We got the best hitter in the draft," Sveum said. "An athlete, 6-5, great body, can run, throw. Obviously, we know about his power. Watching all of video of him, I love his mechanics hitting, and obviously his strength and ability to hit the ball out to center field and right-center field is a plus. Whenever you get the best hitter in the draft, the one thing they usually do, knock on wood, is hit in the big leagues."
The Cubs must sign Bryant; the recommended slot price for that pick is $6.7, million. The longer-term question may become whether Bryant stays at third base or moves to the outfield.
"He's a good athlete that runs really well," Sveum said. "He can throw from all angles for a big guy. Like I said, his foot speed and the way he moves is everything that should have all the makings of a guy who should be able to do it."
During his conference call with reporters Thursday night, Bryant expressed confidence he could play in the big leagues now after hitting 31 home runs this season for the University of San Diego.
"I was looking for a flight manifest to see if we can get him in the lineup today," Sveum joked.
But seriously, Sveum said Bryant's mechanics could be the key to his success.
"It's pretty good mechanics that usually last and usually play well in the big leagues," he said. "It's always nice to have a guy that outhomered 200 major college teams."
Drafty in here:
The Cubs took left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny out of Missouri with their second pick. Zastryzny, 21, posted a 3.38 ERA with 3 complete games, 1 shutout and a 2-9 record for Missouri in his junior year.
"Talking to the scouts and Jason (scouting and player-development chief McLeod) about him, I know he finished up really well," Dale Sveum said. "If you can get to 94 (mph) and he's at 91 with four pitches ... real good competitor. Obviously, the record he had doesn't show because the team he was on. I think the more impressive thing was how he got better each year and really finished this season really, really strong, a guy that gets on the mound and competes with his fastball."
The Cubs' third pick was center fielder Jacob Hannemann, a 22-year-old freshman out of BYU. Hannemann, also a football player, went on his Mormon mission before college. He had a line of .344/.415/.553 with 16 doubles, 7 triples and 5 homers.
After that, the Cubs went with college pitching. They took Kent State right-hander Tyler Skulina, Texas Tech righty Trey Masek, Pepperdine right-hander Scott Frazier, Michigan State righty David Garner and lefty Sam Wilson out of Lamar Community College (Colo.)
They finished Friday's ninth and 10 rounds by taking center fielder Charcer Burks, a Texas high schooler before going with University of Tennessee righty Zachary Godley.
The draft ends Saturday with rounds 11-40.
Meet me at 3:
The Cubs have announced four Friday afternoon games will start at 3:05 p.m. The four are: July 5 vs. Pittsburgh, July 12 vs. St. Louis, Aug. 2 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers and Aug. 16 vs. St. Louis.