Baseball America's top 100 H.S. list

Baseball America's top 100 H.S. list

Too soon?

Baseball geeks like me live for this sort of stuff.  Baseball America has come out with their early top 100 high school players for the 2013 draft.  It's actually a commitment list, but we'll think of it as a draft list.  At any rate, it gives us an excuse to talk about some of the players who may be available for the Cubs.

We're big followers of the draft here and this year we will continue to expand our coverage.  I had the great experience of attending the UA game where I got to meet several top talent evaluators and media members, as well as the chance to see many of the players on the list.  We also have Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo out west, evaluating players and talking to scouts, so we'll be all over the 2013 draft early and often.

I'm not going to give away the BA list because it is subscriber only content, but we can give you a few of the players.  If you're a fan of this draft, then you won't be surprised to learn that the top two guys are OFs Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, respectively.

We also have scouting reports from Kevin on 3 of the top 12 pitchers and 4 of the top 21, which we will publish in it's entirety at a later date.   Those pitchers are RHPs  Kohl Stewart (9), and Brett Morales (21), plus LHPs Robert Kaminsky (12), and Ian Clarkin (14). Right now it appears that the Cubs are leaning toward taking a college pitcher (RHPs Mark Appel, RHP Ryan Stanek, LHP Sean Manaea), or perhaps one of the high school outfielders, but a lot can change between now and the draft.  If a high school pitcher were to rise into the top 5, those 4 names would be good ones to keep an eye one.

The draft is also rich in high school catching.  The Cubs have two young catchers in Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger at the major league level, and they have several good "catch and throw" prospects in the minors, but the position is perhaps the weakest overall in the Cubs system, so I look for them to address that as well.  The Cubs won't select a catcher with their top pick, but many players with a chance to stick at catcher made BA's top 100 high school list.

  • Reese McGuire (4)
  • Jonathan Denney (10)
  • Nick Ciuffo (19)
  • Chris Okey (26)
  • Jeremy Martinez (31)
  • Zack Collins (42)
  • Tyler Alamo (48)
  • Bryan Navaretto (52)
  • Dom Nunez (55)
  • Corey Simpson (59)
  • Chris Rivera (70)
  • Tyler O'Neill (85)
  • Iolana Akau (97)

Suffice to say that the Cubs have a pretty good shot at landing a premium catcher next year to try and fill that void.

Connor Glassey had an interesting chat and one question puts the quality of next year's draft in perspective.  The top H.S. player this year, Austin Meadows would rank 7th if you would combine it with last year's draft.  Albert Almora ranked 3rd on that list.

Here's how Glassey ranked the 2012/2013 classes combined...

  1.  Byron Buxton, CF (Twins)
  2. Carlos Correa, SS-3B (Astros)
  3. Albert Almora, CF (Cubs)
  4. Lucas Giolito, RHP (Nats)
  5. Max Fried, LHP (Padres)
  6. David Dahl, OF (Rockies)
  7. Austin Meadows, OF
  8. Clint Frazier, OF
  9. Lance McCullers, RHP (Astros)
  10. Courtney Hawkins, OF (White Sox)

While it may not be a particularly strong draft, there is some depth as far as college pitching and high school catching, perhaps with a couple of nice high school arms depending on how things shake out this season.  With the 2nd pick and lots of money to spend, the Cubs have a good shot to maximize the amateur talent that will be available in 2013.


Filed under: MLB Draft



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  • john when do you think the cubs scouts will start to scout these players? Do you think they would take a position player with its first pick instead of a pitcher ? Because if a position player grades higher then I would think they would go with the position player. They still can get young pitching in the other rounds, international signing, and dead line trades.

  • In reply to seankl:

    Kevin Here. I know the Cubs have looked at these players, they are not an organization that are going to just focus on College pitchers and not look at the rest of the field. I have seen them at games over the fall and winter. They are looking.

  • In reply to seankl:

    As Kevin said, they're scouting them all the time. You can never have too much info. I believe they'll take the highest player on their board regardless of whether they are pitcher or position player, college or high school.

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    It is worth noting that Dylan Bundy, the first high school pitcher taken after 3 straight college arms, is looking like the best pick of the 2011 draft to end all drafts.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    In general, high school pitcher have been more likely to become impact starters. College arms are safer, of course, but you could almost argue that if you truly want an impact starter, the high school route is less risky.

    No high school pitcher right now though that is considered the equivalent of Bundy, or Giolitio for that matter.

  • I really liked Navaretto at the All-American Game. If the Cubs can nab him somewhere around the 3rd round, I'd be thrilled.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    As did I. Loved his athleticism behind the plate.

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    Good article........HS arms are always more of a crapshoot, because so much can go wrong. The attraction with a guy like Appel is that he has a very high floor.

    It's good that HS catcher is deep, because after a couple pitchers, we need to look for a catcher or two in rounds 3-6.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks. HS arms a crapshoot, but also historically more likely to make impact if they do make it.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    And agreed... I think this is a great year to gamble on a high school catcher.

  • If they trade for some young pitching prospects before the draft,
    then I would sign an everyday player. As far as later rounds they must sign all of their top 5 picks no matter what. There is still the
    international draft to try to sign a top pitching prospect.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    My thoughts on this is that you always select whomever you think is the best player regardless of position. If the Cubs acquire pitching prospects and they think one of the college arms are the BPAs, I'd go for that player. MLB draft is too far removed to draft for need.

  • There is a nice LHP named Chris Kohler who is a 2nd rnd pick. John I believe has his scouting report.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    I believe I do but if I don't, I'll let you know.

  • My personal favorite High School Pitcher is Brett Morales. He has 3 pitches that are above average to plus pitches and has a fresh arm because he has only been pitching since his junior yr.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    You've liked that guy for a while. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the best of him at the UA game. Had some nice velo, 93 or so, but he was wild.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Again you saw him at the end of a very long season of pitching and I talked to him had a tired arm.

  • Cubs have until the 20th to turn in their of 40-roster, What do
    you see happening between now and then. Is it better to wait
    until after that date to make a move (i.e.,sign another FA)

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'll write my thoughts on that soon. If they have a chance to make an acquisition before that date, they will. If they have a chance to get someone they like, they're not going to let the 39th or 40th man on the roster stop them.

  • Can't wait until Baseball America comes out with their list of 100 Top Peewee League players.......that kid from Sweetwater, Texas sure can throw a mean fastball for being 8.......

    Give me a break on these drafts.....high school baseball has not started yet....MLB should really promote these kids to go to college for min of one year.... .....getting out of high school and playing in some town in Idaho could be a cultural shock and affect a kid's future.......begin with college and take it from there.....

    as for kids from D.R., they are put through academy's.....they learn baseball and getting educated, feed and housed.....I would promote that through the entire league.....

    How many high school players from these "100 top players" lists made into MLB since 2004?......I be surprise if more than 20 a year made to the MLB and stayed beyond a year..........

    I bet the owners of Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Orioles will give Marlins owner an earful at the owners meetings.......

    If the Giants traded Posey, Cain, Sandoval, Libcecum, Santiago and Romo to the Cubs for Vitters, Campana, Castillo, Rusin, Coleman, Dolis, Raley and Chapman....we would hear from Selig to block that trade so he would protect his Brewers.

    I dealt with kids who were promise the world to play baseball , football or basketball ........they thought they didn't need college.......not one became a professional player........sports teams need to promote education with these kids than being drafted.


  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Scouting is so sophisticated and so all-encompassing that there is a very good idea who will be first rounders, even guys who will be top 10, so nothing wrong with covering it early.

    MLB teams would rather get top talent early where they can mold them with their own coaching and philosophy.

    And I certainly don't buy this "kids need to go to college" business. Colleges make money off these kids. Education is an afterthought. Ask the Miami coach (forgot his name) who got fired despite having what I believe was the highest graduation rate in Divison 1. Unfortunately, his team wasn't good enough on the field. As for the kids themselves, some will take their education seriously, but for most it's about baseball, football, etc. And many use college as a negotiating ploy.

    And if someone offered me $1M-$8M, I'm taking it. I can always go back to college. In fact, most of these higher picks get their college aid for on top of their bonus.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I had this conversation recently with a nationally prominent writer for BA, who happens to belong to my church. He also has a son who plays HS baseball, though he isn't a prospect. He talks to ALOT of kids in that position; HS or college?

    He said Good kids from good families, don't need to go to college right away with that kind of bonus money available. In his case, even though he is educated and expects his kids to go to college, for $1-2 mil, he would bank some of that and hit college later. But to give up a full ride for $50, Bad idea. Basically, a college scholarship is worth around $150K to $200K, so around there is the dividing line (and MLB does give scholarship money, though he also said alot of kids don't take full advantage of that).

    So, high draftees should ditch college and take the money, I agree. But if you are past the first couple rounds....I would take the scholarship. No guarantees in baseball.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I did mean the higher profile guys who get paid a decent bonus (and often get college tuition as art of their deal). I agree it doesn't necessarily apply for that 30th round pick whom the team is really picking up as an organizational player.

  • Hear, hear John!! This whole , "kids need to go to college" thing is crap. Whether it be basketball, baseball or football it 's all money for college. If there is a high school kid with superstar stuff, what does he gain going to college to play baseball? The whole life experience thing?....please, don't make me laugh. College sports is a business period, you can almost detach it from the college itself, especially the big three sports ( football, basketball and baseball) .

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed. If a kid has talent, let it breathe. Making a kid go to college gives money to the university. It doesn't foster education. What classes does a Freshman take anyways. It's not mindbending stuff! By the time one finishes high school, they are able to join the army and defend their country. Yet there is a debate over whether they can throw a fastball (or dribble) or be forced into college? Everybody should have a fallback in case what they are doing doesn't pan out. But those with the God given talent to earn millions on their skills need to be able to do that.

  • John, thanks for the work and the analysis, and the same to Kevin too.
    Please tell me what a "commitment list" is in this context (first paragraph). Does it have to do with these kids signing with colleges?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    That's exactly it. Austin Meadows, for example, has committed to Clemson University.

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