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...
- Byron Buxton, CF (Twins)
- Carlos Correa, SS-3B (Astros)
- Albert Almora, CF (Cubs)
- Lucas Giolito, RHP (Nats)
- Max Fried, LHP (Padres)
- David Dahl, OF (Rockies)
- Austin Meadows, OF
- Clint Frazier, OF
- Lance McCullers, RHP (Astros)
- 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