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MLB Draft Update: Appel, Gray dominant again

MLB Draft Update: Appel, Gray dominant again
Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma

With the holiday weekend upon us, many schools opened play a day early this week,, but Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray didn't miss a beat.  Meanwhile, in the high ranks, catcher Jonathan Denney continues to terrorize high school pitchers.

3/29/13

  • LHP Sean Manaea lost his duel with another solid prospect Nick Petree, going 7.1 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 runs.  He walked 3 and struck out 5.
  • Kris Bryant hit his 14th HR.

3/28/13

Some quick draft links...

  • In case you missed it, Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo wrote a scouting report on another fast-rising high schooler, Austin Meadows, here yesterday.
  • You may have seen some of Dan Kirby's work here, including our mock draft.  Here's his own latest mock and it's a good one.  He has Meadows going first and Appel going to the Cubs.
  • Echoing what we wrote here, Jason Churchill of ESPN writes that there is no consensus that Mark Appel will go first overall but scouts seem to believe that he is almost certain to go in the first two picks.
  • You may remember Patrick Mooney's piece from yesterday, in which Jason McLeod says, “If we go (the college pitching) route, hopefully our guy turns into that kind of guy (Justin Verlander). But if you look back at the draft, you’ll also see a lot of guys that went 1, 2, 3 that were pitchers and kind of just had mediocre careers. So pitching comes from everywhere. Typically, (with) your position players, the star guys come at the top of the draft.”  It's hard to gauge what McLeod is saying here since draft time in any sport is a time for some disinformation.  It could mean the Cubs have their eye on a college pitcher and are trying  not to show their hand, but I think there is some truth here as well.  It could be that if the Cubs don't get the arm they want, they'll go the safer route and take a hitter.  We talked about Meadows yesterday and we'll talk about a few more hitters in the update as well.  The Cubs say they have their eye on 4 different players for that 2nd pick.

Draft Update

College

  • Mark Appel was dominant once again going 9 shutout innings and allowing  just 4 hits.  He walked one and struck out 10 in only 110 pitches and it was the 5th straight game where he has struck out double digit batters.  He sustained 97 mph velocity from start to finish and also showed a plus slider and change, according to Perfect Game's Kendall Rogers.  Appel has pitched 47 innings this year and has walked 8 and struck out 64.  He has 4-2 record with a 0.96 ERA.  For those that were worried he's been too easy to hit, he's allowed batters to hit just .161 this season.
  • Jonathan Gray continues to match him start for start and his numbers overall this season are also very close.  Gray once again hit 100 mph on multiple occasions.  He went 9 innings and gave up one run on just two hits.  He didn't walk a batter and struck out twelve.  His improved command and physical fitness this year has been the difference.  He has walked just 2 batters in his last 34 innings and has been able to sustain velocity deep into games.  Overall on the season he is 5-1 with a 1.34 ERA.  In 53.2 innings, Gray has walked just 9 while striking out 63.
  • Kris Bryant continues to crush the baseball, going 3-5 with another HR.  He's hit 13 HRs this season, just one less than he hit all of last year and we're only about halfway through the season.  Overall Bryant is hitting .376/.540/1.204.  That's a 1.744 OPS.
  • Colin Moran was once considered a potential top 5 pick and a rival to Bryant for the best college bat in this draft, but a slow start had him falling out of the top 10.  He's starting to heat up a little bit and is hitting .488 with 4 doubles with 4 HRs in his last 10 games.  Even with his increased production, his draft status will depend on whether he can stay at 3B.

High school spotlight

  • Jonathan Denney, C, has been slugging his way into what now seems like a sure top 10 selection, perhaps even top 5.  He has 7 doubles, 4 triples, and 6 HRs over 13 games. 

 

 

Comments

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  • Thanks John for the update(s)! Pitching is like a proverbial black box to me. One of the bigger nagging concerns for me in regards to Appel is understanding why his pitching in 2013 versus last year appears so much more effective in "missing bats". I lean towards accepting the notion that he's finally put it all together but I lack sufficient understanding and experience in this area to feel comfortable w/ that conclusion. Thoughts?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    In the case of Appel, it's an improved approach. The stuff was always there but he'd do weird things like throw 5 changeups in a row. Stanford is a little unorthodox in how they do things. It's nice that he's developed that change, but he doesn't need to use it that often against college hitters -- or even pro hitters for that matter.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John!

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    Is there a difference between Appel and Gray in terms of movement on the fastball?

    Kris Bryant -- just wow. I don't think he's the pick, but it is going to be very hard to pass up on a bat like that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Bryant just might be plan B. Remember that McLeod fell in love with a college bat two years ago and took Cory Spangenberg quite a few spots earlier than he was projected. That hasn't worked out yet for the Padres, but he wasn't as advanced as Bryant is.

    Not much difference in terms of movement, not that you need much when you have that kind of velocity and can complement with two other average to plus pitches.

    Biggest difference for me between the two is just that Appel is more proven, not just on the field, but in terms of physical conditioning.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for that. I noticed in the mock draft you have linked, Appel's change is listed as plus whereas Gray's is above average. If that's a general feeling, that might also differentiate them a bit.

    There really are so many good options available to the Cubs. At this point, I think you could make a decent case for any of the top 5. Glad it's Theo, Jed, Jason, and Tim that need to make the call and not me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Gray still has movement at 100 which is very unusual and Appel flatness out at around 97.

  • Mark Appel vs. Washington State 03/28
    IN H R R BB K
    9 4 0 0 1 10

    Johnathon Gray vs. Kansas 03/28
    IN H R ER BB K
    9 2 1 1 0 12

    Washington State and Kansas are pretty parallel in records.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I should have read this whole post before posting these stats. I had some computer nerd viciously harassing me over my laptop not being up to his gaming standards and didn't read the stats above. I offered nothing new!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Haha, it's in a nice linear format, though, and much easier to scan quickly!

  • Wow! Appel & Gray are pitching lights out! Seems like Manaea is starting to heat up too. Bryan, Meadows, and Frazier are seeing the ball like it's a grapefruit in slow motion.... I'm starting to like the Cubs spot more and more now.

    Thanks again for providing me with my fix John.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You're welcome. Will try and update these guys weekly.

  • I think its pretty hard for a disinformation program to work correctly when there's only 1 pick before yours.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    If you want one guy in particular it can.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Especially if that one guy is represented by Boras and you're trying to convince him his client will drop in the draft once again. I'm not sure a team with the 2nd pick is technically allowed to talk contract with players before they are drafted, but I'm sure teams do that anyway. This could just be the Cubs indirectly sending Boras a message through the media about passing on Appel if his demands are too high (again).

  • "His improved command and physical fitness this year has been the difference" Answered my question. Man this site is good. Early on i was more sold on a stud bat. Changed over to wanting Appel. I really like the idea that he is more ML ready. But now Gray is coming on fast. My question. Is Gray as close to being ML ready as Appel?

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    I don't think it will take Gray long, but Appel can probably pitch this year in the majors.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think he could be in the Majors in 2013 as a power arm out of the pen like Sales did for the White Sox.

  • Is anybody else worried about the "Boras Factor" with Appel? I know the Cubs have had good working relations with him in the past but I don't like that it always takes so long to complete. Personally, I'm leaning toward Bryant, what many consider to be the best bat in the draft and also plays a position of need. Two birds with one stone perhaps? Who knows, but as Mr. Moody states, glad I'm not the guy pulling the trigger this year. Cubs are really in a no-lose situation, for this year anyhow. Thanks for the great articles John.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    It's never comfortable working with Boras even if you are on good terms and even if you know the guy is going to sign. Cubs fans experienced that with Almora last year.

    That said, that should not dissuade you if you think Appel is the best player available.

  • I'm really liking Jonathan Gray and I wouldn't be surprised if he passes Appel... Especially when you consider the Boras factor lol.

  • Another fine article, John!

    I think / hope Appel is Cubs plan 1A and Gray is Cubs plan 1B.

    Why?

    From everything you've written, we've got a plethora of position players in the pipeline but our top-projecting starting pitchers are still light years away. Top-of-the-line FA pitchers (Sabathia, Lee, Greizke, ... ) are way too expensive and too much of a crap-shoot. So, I've got to go with the top draft starting pitcher who might be coming up with the 2015 wave of position players - and that leaves Appel and Gray

    Have a nice Easter weekend!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Thanks DTP! Remember, though, that the Cubs are a pretty strict BPA team. They're not going to pick on organizational need with the first pick. Maybe with the 2nd, 3rd, etc. but you got to make sure you get the best player possible with that top pick if you're a BPA team like the Cubs.

  • With the salaries being paid to top pitchers maybe the Cubs
    should just use their first 2 picks on the best pitchers.

  • What I am wondering, since these two are going toe to toe, what is their projection if any according to scouts? Have they both reached their peak in physical development and pitch development, or is there room to grow?

  • John, another reader asked this earlier this week, but do you know what leverage Appel (and Boros) have this year? Are his choices limited to :

    a) sign
    b) pitch for $600 a week in an Independent league?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    he could sign in Japan too

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    You've got to figure he'll sign. The question is how much will he hold up the rest of your draft strategy by drawing out negotiations. Boras will never look at an offer as fair and just sign. He'll look at it as a starting point to negotiate from, and those negotiations inevitably take time.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I wrote it up in the article linked above (3rd bullet, 1st link), but he does have some leverage. If you think he's the best player in draft -- and better than all but maybe one player in the next draft -- which many teams do, that's still some oretty good leverage by itself.

  • fb_avatar

    Love the draft updates, John and especially the season stats for Gray and Appel.

    I don't doubt at all the Cubs might want a position player if Houston takes Appel, but if Gray stays consistent though the rest of the season it has got to make that decision really REALLY tough.

    I mean, even if they are in absolute love with Meadows as a plan B right now, with Gray damn near matching Appel stats for stat, while pitching against good competition (not to mention 100 mph) it'll be a ridiculously tough choice.

    I really hope Manaea improves as well. The winter has been particularly long, maybe he'll heat up with the weather.

    I like Bryant and Meadows a lot, but I'd be happier if the FO likes a pitcher enough to take the chance that McLeod talked about.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You're welcome. I'll probably update this piece later once Manaea pitches (plus Bryant will play again tonight, I think).

    I know what you mean too., I understand the hitter philosophy, but I do hope that the best player available winds up being a pitcher.

  • Great stuff John!

    I have to say that I'm sitting at Appel if he is there. If the Astros take him I'm leaning to Bryant.

    To me they are the top two players in this draft looking at the floor ceiling combo. Both have put up very good numbers before this year and now are proving they are just a different class of player.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Thanks. I'm still an Appel guy and they say they have 3 other guys they like. For me that's Bryant, Gray, and Meadows...but it's a tough choice. Bryant's the safest bet as a college bat and the other two may be the highest upside pitcher and hitter in the entire draft.

  • fb_avatar

    If Appel is considered to be MLB ready in 2014, any idea when Gray would be MLB ready?

  • In reply to cajunteacher:

    I could see him taking the same route as someone like Gausman, who should be up sometime in the middle of 2014 or by 2015 -- if he's for real and so far it looks like he is.

  • fb_avatar

    Verlander just signed an extension that gives him ownership of the entire Detroit area. I think the Cubs need to go for a pitcher, they are just too hard to find and teams would much rather give up postion prospects.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Sounds like a lousy deal to me. Of what value is the entire Detroit area?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    Touche!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Well played, sir.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Demarrer:

    That deal only underscores how important it is to home-grow our own ace, because they aren't going to go to free agency.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Oh, and Jeff Samardzija just got really expensive to resign between that deal and Adam Wainwright's.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That depends on many things. Wainwright has been pretty solid over the past three seasons minus the year he missed. . Even in '08 when he lost time to injury he was pretty good. Samardzija would really need a break out year to command those dollars. Honestly i am not sure what the Cardinals are thinking. I don't think Wainwright deserved that kind of contract.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wild Bill:

    In my opinion, Sarmadzija already had his breakout year. He just has to match it this season -- and his performance in spring training suggests he can. Given spring training stats aren't important, but he hasn't been walking people (6 in 25.2 innings pitched). If he just pounds the strike zone with his fastball, he's going to be very successful this season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I understand what you are saying. Yes certainly to some extent last year was his coming out party. SInce he ditched the curveball and started pounding the zone, yes he has been pretty dang good. Well come Monday we will start to see if he will continue his progression. As a Cub fan, we all are rooting for him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    i agree, however anthony rizzo will come on the cheap because of the deal that goldschmidt jsut signed with the dbacks for 5 years/32 mil, so thats something to be excited about.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jshmoran:

    Rizzo won't be a free agent until 2018. A lot can happen in those 5 years.

    If he's the best 1B in the league at that time, you van probably just forget about getting him cheap.
    That would be a really great problem to have.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Haha! I saw that., Could go over 200M with incentives.

  • fb_avatar

    First time poster...long time reader. Thanks for the awesome job!

  • In reply to cajunteacher:

    Thank you cajun teacher!

  • its getting really hard to imagine a scenario that we don't take Appel with the second pick (if he's available). Our scouting is so good and I have so much faith in the front office that it wouldn't surprise me if we signed somebody under slot in that two spot.

    John, if we saved 500k what kind of an impact could that have on the options/ strength of our second round pick?

  • In reply to northside disciple:

    It is March 29th. What could happen in the next two months? Their seasons have just begun. Oklahoma is likely to go to the CWS, maybe Stanford too. And what if Indiana State got in? What would we see then? Meadows and Frazier have about 60 ABs or something? Things can change a lot, but it is fun to follow the trends.

  • In reply to northside disciple:

    I think it can mean the difference between signing someone and not signing them. Remember, too that the Cubs can also save money on the 6-10 rounds like they did last year and reallocate that to a higher pick.

  • I understand all the risks with pitchers and I love Bryan. However, you don't get many chances to get an ace and if you want to win a WS you need an ace, so I would take Appel. John, thanks for this great web site. In past years I would read Baseball America on the draft and only really had a small picture of the potential picks. You have opened up a whole new world with the in depth articles, discussions, etc. Thanks.

  • So true. It is nice to have the knowledge of the comings and goings of the draft. I came upon this site via another Cubs blog site about six weeks ago. Most impressive site this is.

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Sorry meant as a reply to cubman

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Thanks Wild Bill!

  • fb_avatar

    What exactly is it about Appel that makes scouts think he can't be a number 1 starter?

    Even if he ends up as a 2 starter, though, I'd still be thrilled if the Cubs could get him in June. He seems like a pretty safe bet, and he probably won't need much time in the minors.

  • Is there PED testing in college? Always skeptical of guys who all of a sudden can throw high 90's for an entire outing.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I am skeptical with testing.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Appel was always able to do that. Gray is in much better shape this year. He was kind of soft last year. He could always throw hard, now he's just doing it from innings 1-9.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    They do test in NCAA but its still pretty easy to sneak in a cycle of winstrall or d-ball in the offseason. Its still pretty rampant in JC too. I doubt high profile guys like Appel and Gray would risk it. The guys that are more likely to cycle up are the guys with no grades who went to a JC and are trying to get drafted in the 5-15th rounds. Do a cycle in late summer....lift hard....play a season in JC...clean as a whistle when the next draft rolls around in June. Works like a charm! Pro ball is littered with guys like that.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    To me, Bryant is the guy most likely to have done it (of all the Cubs' candidates). Big time talents who don't play for big time programs usually raise some red flags in that department. Not passing judgement on him though. Just part of the game. He's probably clean. Right now anyway.

  • If I was in Jed/Theo's shoes, I'd be drinking right now. Do you buy a lottery ticket on a pitcher, or open a hotdog stand with a position player? Ultimately it's all kind of an educated guess lottery, I suppose.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    It's a tough choice. Would like to see them come to a consensus like they did last year with Almora.

    Hot dog stands do extremely well in Chicago, by the way ;)

  • Thanks for these updates, John! So many interesting options for the Cubs!

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    You're welcome!

  • The fact that we're going to get one of Appel, Gray and Bryant has me pretty thrilled. I still like them all in that order, but they're separated by the thinnest of margins.

    In my view, the way those three players have dominated college competition gives them a very slight edge over the three high schoolers who have entered the top 5 derby (Frazier, Meadows, Denney). To draft one of those HS players is to place a bet that he *might* progress the way that the three elite college players already have.

    By the same token, since Houston's a few years behind us, I can imagine how the Astros' scouting dept could fall in love with one of the prep players and make him their No. 1 pick, especially when you look at their track record for trying to superslot later in the draft. I have a hunch they'll go with Meadows, locking in another premium bat at a premium position.

  • fb_avatar

    If there's a pitcher who's 1-2 years away from MLB ready, you just have to pick him. As someone posted above, thd price of decent pitching is going through the roof - not just in dollars but in trade pieces. If you chose a position player with the expectation that you can always trade him for a pitcher like Appel later, it ain't gonna happen - very few teams have the luxury of trading away a good young pitcher, and when they do it might cost you the best parts of 2-3 of your recent drafts. Go with Appel or gray this year.

  • fb_avatar

    Hey John,

    I was just looking at the 2013 draft order and see Detroit @ #20. What are the chances we trade Marmol to Detroit before the draft for that #20 pick? And if that happens, who might be available? Do you think Jonathan Denney might be there?

    That would be some kinda great draft! We take Appel or Bryant with the #2 choice and Jonathan Denney with #20.

    A guy can dream! lol

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Unfortunately can't trade for any draft picks yet. You can trade competitive lottery picks, which are between rounds 1 and 2 or rounds 2 and 3. Detroit does have one of those to trade, but Denney won't last that long. I don't think he'll last to #20 anyway.

  • John,

    Do you think Appel is "Stausberg like" in the fact that he could be the long term ace of the staff along with his velocity, pitches and makeup? People are paying a lot of money with these extensions the past couple of days.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BobMiller146:

    Appel is not Strasburg.

    He would have never made it past the #1 pick LAST year if he was even remotely comparable.

  • The draft the last 3 years has produced 3 or 4 great rookies that
    may happen again for a long ime. Lets hope Theo/Jeb prove
    me wrong.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Three years?

    are you talking about the Cubs or the draft in general?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Draft in general

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    eh, Last year was kind of a garbage draft year. Especially considering Appel didn't sign.
    Zunino and Gausman were the only guys ahead of Almora I think will really make it.
    Gioloto could be interesting and I think the red sox might've hit on Marrero.

    But in years past all of those names would've been picked way further down the list that they were drafted in 12.

  • Samardzija and his agent will be looking for $100 million plus deal as we see these other pitchers getting large contracts...............is Jeff worth it if he wins 15 games this season?

    or should we get some pitching prospects ready to step in if we can get the right deal for him?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The Cubs still own him for 3? years, we should give him 1 year
    to prove himself.

  • They have more money to spend, but they also pick 2nd in each
    round which means it will take more money to sign them. But
    "In Theo I trust"

  • Instead of debating this lets just wait until the day before the
    draft go to Baseball America and see what the experts have
    to say

  • The funny thing is that people were calling this a weak draft but I am see more talent in the 1st few rounds then I did last year. I think its a good year to have an early pick.

  • I have always hoped that the Cubs would draft an ace, but Bryant is really getting my attention. I'm still leaning towards a pitcher (Gray) but Bryant is right behind him.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    Bryant's numbers certainly grab your attention. The key for me is how he figures defensively. If he was viewed as a lock to stick at 3B and be at least average with the glove, I think I'd be leaning toward selecting Bryant over Appel or Gray and getting an everyday player, at a position of need in fact, rather than gambling on a pitcher with their top pick.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    Its a tough call but while stats are interesting I think its what the FO projects for them in the future. I think Appel is the pick on this board and it may be the right pick. I like Frazier because I think he'll wind up to be the best hitter in the draft. I also like his makeup the best. Hes a tough as nails and gives a 100% effort.

  • You know one thing to consider is mechanics. And I mean mechanics that allow gaudy numbers in HS or College, that would project as very flawed when it comes to either long term health, in respect to a pitcher, or long term success in the major leagues. Bryant can get it done perhaps against "A" ball pitchers, but does he have holes in his swing, sufficient extension in his swing, or other issues that would project either a re-tooling or failure at higher levels. The same can be said of the pitchers, in particular in regards to long term health, or arm slots that permit effective off-speed stuff. Perhaps John is privy to this information, but I am not! And some of us may be disappointed that Theo and Jed ignored our pleas for that very reason.

  • Gray's performance was on DirecTV last night. Very impressive. You can catch a replay here: http://www.soonersports.tv/video/play.jsp?content_id=25807017

  • In reply to jkcutback:

    Thanks JK.

  • fb_avatar

    My whole thing is this, if the Cubs do what they did last year and draft the best position player, then make a run on arms I would be much happier..Position players give you a shot daily to win, pitchers once or twice a week...Also, if you look back on previous drafts over the last decade or so, most of the elite pitchers were not taken this early in the draft, Verlander and Strassburg being the major exceptions and most of the pitchers taken in the first round ended up being Noah Lowry and Gavin Floyd types..Greg Maddux was a second rounder if anyone remembers and the 2 previous Cubs high first rounders at the time were arms, Jackie Davidson and Drew Hall both sucked *Davidson due to injuries)...Get me the best position player and solidify the line up and then run amok with arms and a catcher or 2 thrown in

  • fb_avatar

    As much as I'd love to see them draft Bryant, this team has a gaping hole with SP prospects. They drafted a few last year but it will be a couple of years at the earliest before any show signs they will reach the majors. It's crazy for the Cubs, in their situation, to pass up on an almost ready MLB starting pitcher with that 2nd pick.

    If they don't start adding some good young SP's the rebuild isn't going to be doing much in 2015. We'll just be signing more guys like Feldman, Villareal, etc. every year and rolling the dice, or handing out insane contracts in the unlikely event a true ace hits the open market. Draft one of the college pitchers if they are on par talent wise with the other top prospects, which everyone seems to feel Appel and Gray are.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    It's ideal if they think the BPA is a pitcher. But you can tell they're wary of drafting them early because so many turn out to be mediocre or worse. That's why I think it's Appel or nothing because of his high floor. If he's not there, they may well go with a position player instead.

  • Some Ex-Cubs news......

    Chris Volstad made the Rockies team.....

    Tyler Colvin was sent to the minors....

    Marlon Byrd made the Mets roster....so did LaTroy Hawkins...

    Koyie Hill signed with the Marlins farm team.

    Adam Greenberg got released by the Orioles.

  • While Epstein was with Boston 6 of their 7 1st round picks were position players.

  • John

    Is this draft year looking so good because of the top-flight talent or is it because YOU've given us more information and analysis than we've ever had before? I suspect it's the latter and I thank you.

  • fb_avatar

    For me. If Appel is there Cubs take him, no doubt about it. Highest floor/ceiling combo in the draft.
    The only question for me is if he's not there. At that point were still in a great position with our choice of Gray, Frazier, Meadows, Bryant, Manaea, etc. Either way were coming out of this draft with a potential impact bat or frontline starter which is why im not worried at all.

    Again though, I think Cubs would be foolish to pass on Appel. If he's not there go position player.

  • The D-Train just got derailed.

  • fb_avatar

    Two other notable cuts today:
    Michael Brenly is gone.
    And, biggest of all, Cubs officially give up on 2010 first round pick Hayden Simpson. That one sucks -- but we all knew it was coming.

  • fb_avatar

    wow.
    Y'know before I saw this I didn't put too much stock into Gray hitting 100mph multiple times a game, I was more interested in his going stat for stat with Appel against excellent competition.

    But this makes you think.
    Olney posted this in an article about the Verlander/Posey contracts today:

    Most 100-plus mph pitches in last four seasons, among starting pitchers (including playoffs)
    Justin Verlander -- 170
    Ubaldo Jimenez -- 51
    Stephen Strasburg -- 18
    Andrew Cashner -- 18
    Note: Eight others have combined for 22

    Now, obviously one could argue that, outside of being robbed of a no-no, Ubaldo Jimenez doesn't belong in the same conversation as Verlander, but as far as Gray goes- 100mph is certainly not all he has to offer.

    I realized 100mph was rare at the MLB level but I didn't know THIS rare.
    If he continues to put up the stats he has while maintaining the low BB% he has, I"m starting to lean Gray over Appel.

    I realize Appel maintains 97mph and before I wouldn't have thought 3mph would be that much of a difference, but it gives ya pause.

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