Nations top prep MLB Draft Prospects coming to Wrigley

Nations top prep MLB Draft Prospects coming to Wrigley

As you know, we cover the MLB Draft in-depth here and we do it just about year-round.  With the Cubs struggling this season and currently owning the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft, it's time to start getting familiar with some names.  The 3 players at the top of the draft are all college pitchers:  Mark Appel, whom we already know, Ryan Stanek who has gotten the most hype because of his two plus-plus pitches, and fast-rising LHP Sean Manea.

After that, things aren't quite as clear and even those names at the top may change by the time the draft rolls around.  There will be plenty of scouts and others from the baseball industry on hand to watch players from across the country perform at this showcase event across the country.  One of those games, the Under Armour All-America Baseball game is coming right here to Chicago at Wrigley Field.  I will be going, and, courtesty of the Baseball Factory, a scouting partner for Baseball America. I've already given away a couple dozen tickets to fans of this site who are particularly fond of the draft and amateur baseball in general.  For those of you interested who missed out the first time, the good news is I'll be getting more tickets soon!

The game will be played live on the MLB Network on August 18 at 12:30 PM CST at Wrigley Field.

Here are some of the elite prep players that will be at the event...

  • Austin Meadows, OF (GA): Meadows is an impressive combination of size, power and speed and is ranked by many as the best overall high school player in the draft.  He'd get legit consideration for the Cubs at #3 (or wherever they end up picking).
  • Clint Frazier, OF (GA) is from the same city as Meadows but goes to a rival high school.  He's a toolsy prospect in his own right but doesn't have the size that Meadows does.
  • The best pitcher available in the draft may be LHP Trey Ball (IN).  Ball is actually a two-way player who's a gifted CF with good speed, but on the mound, he has a projectable frame and sits in the low 90s already.
  • Orlando Mercado is the best SS in this draft, including the college kids.  He's a defensive standout who also has the potential to be a solid line drive hitter at the plate.
  • Justin Williams, OF (LA); Williams is a big athlete with average speeed but has big time LH power to profile well at the corner OF spots
  • Brett Morales, RHP, (FL): He's a fresh arm with limited miles but shows an effortless delivery and a good feel for pitching.
  • Dustin Driver is a RHP (WA):  Can touch 94 mph hour and is developing quality breaking stuff.
  • Joey Mantarano (ID) is a two sport athlete.  As a baseball player, he's an athletic OF'er with power, speed, and a good arm, but he's on a boom or bust path.  He's either going to get drafted and play baseball or he's going to Boise St., a football only school.  What he does in these showcase events could help determine his draft status and ultimately which path he chooses.
  • Dominic Smith (CA) is a two way player who is listed at 6'0, 195 lbs but he may have grown an inch and bulked up a bit since that measurement.  He can hit 92 mph on the mound and hit for average and power as a 1B.
  • Clinton Hollon (KY) may be undersized at 6'1, 190 lbs, but he can bring it upwards of 96 mph.  Keith Law compares him to Jeremy Jeffress for his stuff and delivery, but with better mental makeup.
  • Zach Collins (FL) and Nick Ciuffo (SC) is part of a standout group of prep catchers with the skills to stick.  High school catchers are one of the strongest groups in this year's draft class.  Collins, in particular, has stood out so far in the showcase circuit.
  • The top local product at the event will be Corey Ray, an athletic OF'er from Simeon H.S.  His speed, arm, and the energy level at which he plays makes him perhaps the top defensive CF in his class to go with a solid, LH bat.  He's committed to Louisville.

Those are just a few of the potential stars that will be there. For the rest of the roster, click here.

I hope to see some of you there, please e-mail me or notify me in the comments section if you are interested in going.  I have a limited number of tickets to give away.

Filed under: MLB Draft


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  • fb_avatar

    Given where the Cubs are likely to draft, and there is still some room to improve upon that position, it's hard to not see the Cubs getting a really good prospect no matter which direction they go.

    My guess is that Houston and San Diego would again pass on Appel, which would leave the Cubs with a decision to make. Given the lack of impact pitching in the system, it's hard to see the Cubs passing on him. Assuming Marquess doesn't abuse Appel's arm to the point of blowing it out, the Pirates' misfortune could end up being the Cubs fortune, and if Appel's arm should survive another year unscathed by one of the worst offenders of PAP the game has ever seen, maybe he really is a workhorse that can take the wear and tear and not break down.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Right now there are 4 prospects who stand out to me: Appel, Stanek, Manea, and Meadows. Hard to believe Cubs won't get one of them.

    Nice thing about Appel is he'll be ready very quickly.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I suspect Appel would go straight to Daytona or Tennessee, but you never know. You also can't count on what Appel and Scott Boras might do. They turned down $6M from Houston. The most Seattle, who had the third overall pick, could've spent on Appel without losing a draft pick was $5.2M. You have to figure the Cubs would have a number to spend somewhere around that, most likely a little higher. What if that ends up not being good enough again? You and I know Boras gave his client some really bad advice once when you throw in what arbitration and free agency would have meant to Appel's finances.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd take it because it's not a particularly strong draft and it'd give you another top pick in next years. Cubs have always had a decent relationship with Boras. I think they'd get it done.

  • I am interested in going!

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    How many you need Curtis? I can mail them to you or I can meet you at the game or at a bar...whichever is easiest for you.

  • If they get to many lucky breaks (errors, walks, etc.) they could
    end up with the 10th pick. Let's hope luck is on their side
    (not that type of luck)

  • I'm interested and out of curiosity where would the seats be ?

  • In reply to Chicago Cubs Fan 24:

    It's all general admission, though I'm sure scouts and MLB people will have assigned seats.

    Let me know how many and email me where to send (my email addresse is in the About section of the menu on the main page)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ill take a couple tickets if there available..=)....general question about Appel thou, did Houston really offer him 6 Million or was that what Boras was asking for before the astros "settled" for coriea at 4.5 Million

  • I've got to be honest, I am not particularly excited about the prospect of drafting Appel. A high mileage arm that finds too many bats seems like a lot of risk for a top 5 pick. It'd be nice to fill a hole in the rotation is short order, but I just don't seem him as a difference maker long term.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    I think he started to grow on a lot of scouts toward the end. Started missing more bats, commanding his stuff better. The other guys behind him have more warts right now.

  • fb_avatar

    Theo Jed and McLeod are probably licking there chops at this.. And if I don't have work Id definitely be interested in going

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Let me know when you can, I still have a few left.

  • Sent u an email about tickets John

  • In reply to Chicago Cubs Fan 24:

    Got it, you should get it hopefully by the end of the week depending on when the tickets get here.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I'm a long time lurker but first time poster. Love the site. I am a draft nut and would also be interested in two tickets to the game. Can I email you my mailing address?

  • Off topic , but with Garza hitting the DL , is it time for the return of the Lendy off the rehab wagon? They have been stretching Him out, He needs to be activated soon anyway. What have You heard John of the Cubs plan for him? Thanks in advance.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    He's up to about 4+ innings right now and he has time for at least one more start, perhaps two. 30 days will be up on Aug. 11th or thereabouts.

    I haven't heard what they're planning, but I'd love to see him start. If he's been able to develop a quality 3rd pitch...and more stamina, then I think he has a shot.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He has been dominate in his time in the minors since converting from a bat. I cannot see many better options in our system. I would love to see what his time on the DL/cough cough instructional time has done for his developement. One thing You cannot teach and He has already is the make up and more importantly the lack of fear on the mound. Watching the bullpen this year no way He doesnt have more upside than most on the roster.

  • Thanks

  • i really hope that the cubs dont draft appel. i think hes got a great arm and hes definitely (as of right now) a top 3 talent in this draft, but there are just so many negatives and question marks that come with him.
    boras is his adviser, which isnt good short term or long term. the stanford pitching coach seems to want to keep him in games no matter where his pitch counts at. hes certainly not gonna sign under slot. i just think he could potentially create a lot of issues for the team that drafts him, and i really dont want that team to be the cubs.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Maybe, but if he ends up being the best talent available when the Cubs pick, then that's who I want.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i agree, taking the bpa is the best philosophy, im just hoping that hes either taken before us or that theres someone better available when the cubs pick.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'd be okay with that. I just don't think there's anyone better at this point unless he has a bad year or someone steps up.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I hate waste a pick, but given the new CBA rules, if you were going to waste a pick on a player with signability issues, 3rd would be a good place to do it. The worst that happens is you are guaranteed the 4th overall pick in 2014, which mean the Cubs likely end up with 2 top 5 picks and an expanded pool. Any way it goes, the Cubs are going to have a lot of options, but make no mistake about what Scott Boras' objective is here. He wants a team to lose a draft pick over his client. My guess is the Cubs won't do that, and they will look elsewhere unless Appel agrees to sign for a certain number before the draft. If they were willing to lose a future draft pick, why not take Appel instead of Almora back in June of this year.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    They're not willing to lose a draft pick. It's just leverage in this case where Scott Boras has very little. He'll take the max the Cubs can give him and start his pro career. If he doesn't sign now, his career will be put at a huge disadvantage. Boras wins because he'll get more money than he could have gotten from the Pirates. It's all just a game here. Image is everything with agents.

  • Awesome as always! Hey, any idea what's ailing soler? Just curious, no biggie.

  • In reply to MikeyB:

    Thanks Mikey! I wish I knew on Soler. As soon as I find out, I'll post something.

  • Hey John- long time reader, big fan of the site.

    At this point, and I know it is early, would you take Appel over Stanek if both are there when Cubs pick?

  • In reply to Martin86:

    Thanks Martin86!

    I would simply because though Stanek may have the best breaking pitch, Appel also has excellent stuff and the more complete repertoire right now. Provided they don't put too many miles on that arm, he's the safer bet, closer to the bigs, and the stuff is comparable.

    Now...I'd be pretty ecstatic with Stanek too. And things could change by the end of the year, but I don't see Stanek developing a 3rd pitch simply because he doesn't need to right now. It'll be interesting to watch. Right now it looks like the Cubs will wind up with a top college arm but plenty of time between now and June.

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