Scouting Report: Kris Bryant, 3B-OF, University of San Diego

Scouting Report: Kris Bryant, 3B-OF, University of San Diego

The 2013 MLB Draft is important for the Cubs.  They have the 2nd pick in the draft and they have to get this right.  Most have assumed they will select a college arm but history says that a college bat is your safest bet.  Kris Bryant is the cream of the crop this year.  He's hitting .386/.561/.986 with 12 HRs.  He has shown outstanding patience this year, walking 26 times in 98 PAs.  An advantage with Bryant is that he may not be as expensive as the top college arms, so it may leave room for over slot picks further down the draft.  That makes him a darkhorse at the very top of the draft.

With that in mind, here is the scouting report from Cubs Den contributor and aspiring scout, Kevin Gallo. You can check out more of his work at BigLeagueFutures.net.

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Scouting Report on Kris Bryant

by Kevin Gallo

Player’s Name:  Kris Bryant
Position: 3B
Junior at University of San Diego
HT: 6’5
WT: 215lbs
Bats/ Throws: R /R

Body:  Bryant has a long frame with rounded shoulders.  He has a strong young body with long limbs and could add some weight without losing too much agility.  He already has a mature frame but could continue to get stronger in the upcoming years.
Swing:  Bryant has a very wide but balanced stance with his hands at shoulder level and bat level over his shoulder.  He has a very low stride to the plate, a good weight shift and short backward hand draw.  He has a quick bat with plus bat speed. This, along with his short direct path to the ball swing and superior leverage give him plus power.  He also shows plus plate coverage and batting eye, which adds to him being an above average to plus batter.  His ability to get the head of the bat on the ball and the ball just explodes off of his bat like a cannon.  I recently watched him launch a 93 mph fastball that was tailing down and in on him 460 ft.  His approach is very good and he makes adjustment from at bat to at bat and pitch to pitch.  You put all that together and you have a great pure hitter.

Base running:  Bryant is far from being a plus runner but he also doesn’t clog the bases either.  He could be said to have average speed but it would be on the lower range of average bordering on below average.

Defense:  Bryant has made big strides in the field since the last time I saw him.  He is more agile than most people believe and he moves to his right extremely well.  I saw him make a very difficult backhanded grab down the line and just fire to first.  It is my belief that he can stay at 3B, but he is also athletic enough to handle a corner OF position.

Summary:   Bryant is the best pure bat in this year’s draft in my opinion.  He is a top 5 pick in the draft and has all the tools to be an elite hitter in MLB.  As for his ability to play 3B, I think he can stay there, but at the very least you stick him at 3B until he proves he can’t handle it.  Bryant will have a great future in the MLB and I have no doubt in that.

Here is a 2013 video of Bryant.

 

Filed under: Scouting Reports

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  • His swing has changed slightly since his Sophomore year..

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I couldn't find anything more recent, unfortunately. If you find something let me know.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I do but its too big to email I will youtube it and send you the link.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Thanks. I'll be stepping out for a while. Be back in about an hour r so.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'm not remotely a scout or qualified to judge swings, but his looks odd to me even after he loads up and gets into hitting position. Is it normal to have a back foot that far back? It looks like it's six inches too far behind his body. It makes my hamstring hurt watching it. It would seem hard to generate power like that, but obviously he can.

  • In reply to Kyle:

    His legs are long and his arms are long as well. His back foot is in the back of the batters box and his front foot is almost in front of the plate, it appears as though this will allow his bat to make contact with a ball as it crosses any portion of the plate for a strike.
    The wide stance has a benefit and a disadvantage, but the benefit out weights the disadvantage. The advantage of a wide stance is that he will have better balance and be less likely to lunge at off speed pitches preventing him from transferring weight to his front foot early. Having a wide stance will also increase his batting average. The disadvantage is that he will lose some power, but as big and strong as this guy is it doesn't appear to be a problem. In a few years he may choose to have a more closed stance to add more power, but he will lose a little on his batting average and his strike outs will go up, but he will hit more home runs

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'm not remotely a scout or qualified to judge swings, but his looks odd to me even after he loads up and gets into hitting position. Is it normal to have a back foot that far back? It looks like it's six inches too far behind his body. It makes my hamstring hurt watching it. It would seem hard to generate power like that, but obviously he can.

  • How would you grade out his tools on the 20/80 scale with the information you have.

  • In reply to CubFan Paul:

    I will give it a shot for future projection.

    Hit: 60
    Power: 70
    Arm: 65
    Speed: 35
    Glove :50
    Base Running: 55

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Change the speed to a 50.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    70 power? that's up there in the Baez/Soler/Vogelbomb turf. If your projections are accurate(and they have been so far) Mr Bryant would be an excellent addition to our lineup of top tier minor league talent.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    For comparison's sake Jim Callis just offered the following grades on Bryant:

    55 bat,
    65 power,
    60 arm,
    45 run,
    40 defender at 3B, 50 defender in RF

  • john one thing I like about the report is that he has good plate coverage, some times that gets overlooked. One guy I think of is frank thomas, He had great plate coverage. Another is starlin castro, as much as I can't stand hawk harrelson he said castro has the best plate coverage he has seen since frank thomas. I think if bryant keep this up and if his makeup checks out good then he could be a dark horse going in.

  • In reply to seankl:

    His makeup is off the charts. One of the hardest workers on the field the first on at the field last one to leave.

  • In reply to seankl:

    Agreed. Great that Bryant has that sill -- especially when you combine it with the kind of discipline that he has.

  • Not sure he's BPA at #2. I realize that the "safe" bet is a college bat. But he gets mixed reviews about his ability to stick at third where we need him. We have a plethora of OF's, which is where he goes if he can't stick where we need him the most. Plus, Theo/Jed are known to place a big positional value to up the middle players.

    The intriguing thing for me is that he would likely arrive in Wrigley at the same time as Baez, Soler, & Almora..... Throw in Castro and we have a very right handed dominate line-up...

    The question then becomes, who has the higher ceiling? him, Frazier, or Meadows?

    I think I'm still leaning towards a top of the rotation starter....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    "Where we need him" is in some ways irrelevant. Under the assumption that the Cubs will be in contending position within 2-3 years, one can reasonably assume that TJ will make a major deal to obtain a high-end, established ML player to fill a position of need (see for example the deals for Halladay or Lee or Toronto's deals this winter). A stud prospect like Bryant will be just as valuable as a necessary trading chip (either as himself or another stud prospect who Bryant can "replace") in such a deal.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Yes I know. But there is a premium placed on players who can play up the middle. Which he clearly can not. So his future trade value is entirely dependent on his hit tool, if he doesn't stick at 3B. Kevin "thinks" he can, but not everyone does. Nothing against Bryant, but I can't see him as BPA @ #2. He might be the closest to being MLB ready position player, but that doesn't make him BPA.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I am not the only one trust me. See my comment below.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Bryant played SS in HS so he is a little more developed and now knows where the he should be.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Safe bet maybe but great player too boot. He is a great bat with the attitude that he wants to get better all the time. That is why his glove has improved so much this year.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's my concern as well. To me Meadows has the highest ceiling of the hitters.

  • btw Kevin & John, I appreciate all your work on all the draft stuff... Good stuff!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    No problem labor of love.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You're welcome. Much thanks to Kevin for the report and video.

  • Kevin, would Bryant have to stick at 3rd for him to be worthy of the #2 pick, or is his bat big enough justify the pick even if he is a corner OF? Also, Law seems to think Bryant is merely a good bat in a bad class, that doesn't seem to be your opinion. How does he compare to bats from some recent drafts?

  • In reply to CubsML:

    he is an elite that has a really good chance of staying at third base.if you look a little higher up I put in what is Scout rating would be as far as I see them.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    I have a lot of disagreements with Law so I really font even look his stuff.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    All these 'bad hitting' classes 'co-incide' with the new truer bats. Teams don't all have hitters with 20 plus homers or .370 BA, but that doesn't make the hitters worse.

  • fb_avatar

    I like Bryant a lot, as I like Frazier and co. as well but I just don't see a scenario right now where we don't take one of these college arms. As I said before, acquiring young, top-of-the-rotation-type arms is nearly impossible in todays game without giving up substantial value. Look at what KC had to give up for 2yrs of a 31yr old James Shields......

    Though still a risk, I'd rather take my chances on developing in-house front-line guys but right now were extremely thin on pitchers with that kind of potential. 1 of 2 guys who fit that profile will be right there for the taking. You just can't pass up on that when it's such a glaring need.

  • Take best player/talent
    Take best pitcher
    Take best hitter even if we already have a top prospect at that position

    Hard choice to make, lets hope they use all their brain power to
    make the right (not safe) choice

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    That's the encouraging thing. The BPA might turn out to be at a position we need the most help in(SP).

    IMO lets say, there's an OF or something and he's 1A(BPA) but there's a pitcher that's a tick lower(say 1B). When the talent gap is that small between 1 and 2 then I think you can branch off a bit into a decision of need. If Frazier, Bryant etc are only 3% better than Appel or Manaea, Cubs go pitcher.

    There's no Strasburg/Harper-level standout in this draft so if the top 5 guys are about equal in talent "take the BPA" goes out the window.

    Take the guy you need the most.

  • fb_avatar

    Kevin, I'm almost sold, but it won't shock me if Houston likes him enough to take him number one overall.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I was thinking the same thing. Could see them picking him as a safe pick and saving some money.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    If Bryant goes number one overall, the Cubs are likely looking at taking a pitcher: Appel, Manaea or Gray. I don't know that Frazier or Meadows are really better bets than any of those three at this point. If the draft were tomorrow, it was my decision to make and Houston took Bryant, I think I'd take Gray. He would seem to me to have more upside than Appel, while still having a higher floor than Manaea.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    BTW, Grays' adviser is Jay Franklin, brother of Ryan Franklin. That he is not a Scott Boras client will make him more attractive to some teams, maybe even the Astros.

  • OK I am just going do a cover all for some of these people that say he can't stay st 3B. A lot of this people that covet the draft see players maybe 2 or 3 games over the courses of 2 years. I have seen Bryant at least 7 times over the last year. Only since this season was he my focus but I always left feeling he was best player on the field. But I have seen him progress greatly defensively and he is getting better. It would be easy to say he can't handle 3b if you only seem a couple times, but if you see him there a number of times he changes your mind.

    There is also a thought process saying he is just too big, people already count that against him before he takes the field. So any mistakes that would be over looked on other players amplified for Bryant.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I respect your opinion Kevin. But, if he doesn't stick at 3B, would you agree his value drops?

    Going off of your description, he sounds like a great kid. But do you think he is the BPA @ #2?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yes he is an elite bat and I know a few scouts that agree with me on him being able to stay at 3B. So its not just my opinion. My hit tool score my be conservative, if that helps.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    And by a few I mean all I have talked too.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    As far as position value, yes, it would fall. But you could also look at it as a safety net. His ability to play the outfield gives him a higher floor than last year, when some thought he'd end up at 1B.

  • Seems like this draft is shaping up very nicely for the Cubs, in terms of having 4-5 players who are more-or-less even in terms of deserving to be the No. 1 pick.

    I know the MLB Draft is all about Best Player Available. But what does that even mean? Is Kris Bryant better than Mark Appel? I don't know, and that doesn't have anything to do with projection, because the question is just as tough if you're talking about established major leaguers. Is Justin Verlander better than Miguel Cabrera? It all depends how you define "best" and one of those factors has to be the position he plays, which determines how he fits on your team.

    The Cubs have some very exciting middle-of-the-order hitters in their system. They have virtually no pitchers who have true ace potential. And it's awfully hard to trade for one or to sign one in free agency. That's why I think the Cubs are going to take a pitcher, Appel or Gray. You have a bunch of elites in that top 5 - 7, but the position is the tiebreaker.

  • In reply to Taft:

    If you look at any mock right now you will see a number a high ceiling arm going into 2nd and 3rd rounds and some surprised later then that. Trust me I just did a 100 on Bigleaguefutures.net that will be up soon. There were some players I really liked that I had to keep off.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Very true. It means different things for different teams. But the Cubs are a BPA team, which for them means they will take the player with the best combination of high floor and high ceiling. If they grade Bryant out the highest, they'll take him regardless of needs in their system. Baseball in general doesn't lend itself well to drafting for need.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The only reason, with the 2nd pick, they would draft a pitcher is
    because of need. If so,is this the right choice?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    But what you are saying is they need a pitcher? Isn't that out of need too.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Why can't a pitcher be the best player available? This year, many think the best player is Mark Appel.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    No, it could be both. What if they believe the BPA is a pitcher? Many people think the best player is Mark Appel.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Obviously positional value factors into BPA. i.e., many think Meadows will stick at CF, vs Frazier some do not so they choose Meadows, etc... So where does a top of the rotation starting pitcher factor into that?... I would think higher than SS or C, etc... regardless of need.

    If Appel, Gray, and Manea continue their dominance... how could we NOT select one of them?.. Regardless of what Bryant/Frazier/Medows do...

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Id agree if Appel was missing more bats, John. He still has a tendency to have too many balls put in play for his stuff, though I haven't been following him this year.

  • Kevin, thanks for the research and analysis. You have pretty much addressed my questions about his glove and his attitude.
    But one question about his bat: I read a report (can't remember which scouting service) that said he has excellent power, but too often he misses hittable pitches. Have you seen any evidence of that / or do you see that as a concern?

  • Kevin, thanks for the research and analysis. You have pretty much addressed my questions about his glove and his attitude.
    But one question about his bat: I read a report (can't remember which scouting service) that said he has excellent power, but too often he misses hittable pitches. Have you seen any evidence of that / or do you see that as a concern?

  • fb_avatar

    cubsden2 still looking for a few more fantasy baseball players. we have 9 right now. this is an auction draft. drafting online next wed night. rotisserie style. categories runs, hr rbi tb bb avg nsb wins netsaves holds k's era whip. should be fun! anyone welcome to join

    League Name CubsDen2
    Id number 126268
    password arguello

  • Kevin, thanks for the research and analysis on Bryant. You have pretty much answered my questions about his glove and his attitude.
    Two things: 1) Is he seeing top-flight college pitching in his league at USD, and in his offseason play?
    2) One scouting service (can't remember which) said Bryant has excellent power, but too often misses hittable pitches. Have you seen evidence of this?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Everyone swings and misses. His ability to adjust from pitch to pitch and at bat to at bat is what sets him apart. He has face a pitcher that had hit triple digits on the gun in his first weekend. He faces quality pitching. He will see Oregon state next week.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    One thing, Kevin-is USD where Tony Gwynn coaches or was that San Diego St?

  • fb_avatar

    cubsden2 still lcoking for a few more fantasy players we have 9 right now. This is an auction draft, rotisserie style
    on yahoo
    League Name CubsDen2
    ID 126268
    password arguello

  • Sorry for the double post. Twitchy keyboard tonight.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think it may be the site. I was having some problems too.

  • What's up with his back leg? I'm not even remotely a scout nor am I qualified to evaluate swings, but it looks awkward. Even after he loads up and gets into hitting position, it looks a good six inches behind where it'd normally be. My hamstring hurt just watching him swing like that. Seems like it'd be hard to generate power that way, though obviously not for him.

  • In reply to Kyle:

    Its not a great angle I have another one that is more recent I am waiting to load on YouTube.

  • Did anyone else see that Levine has backed off his guarantee that Marmol will be traded before the season starts? He claims it's because of injuries to the pitching staff. I seriously doubt that was a factor one way or the other. Rather, Levine just had bad sources. Because it's hard to imagine anyone high up in this front office picking such an arbitrary deadline for trading a player. The bottom line is that the Cubs are going to deal Marmol when there's an attractive package on the table, whether that's March or July.

  • i watched video of Gray pitching against NW State and He looked just plain filthy , Really good fastball and a wipeout bb. Impressive performance

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Agreed. Change isn't bad either.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    He's also NOT a Scott Boras client.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That's always a plus, though he did used to work for him.

  • I have recieved a little more info that would change my opinion on Bryant as a runner. I was told his last few 60 times were in between 6.8 and 7.0 which would put him as a solid average runner and a 55 to 50 on the scouting scale.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That is starting to warm me up to Mr. Bryant at the second pick. Better speed than previously expected will greatly improve his defense outfield and infield. Any info on how good his instincts are in the field? How quick that first step is?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That's about what Baez ran.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Baez has instincts, aggressiveness, and great anticipation on the bases. He has the potential to be a 30/30 guy.

    With the original video you had posted, Bryant didn't look as bad of a runner as some people were saying. But no way would I consider him the running/stealing threat that Baez is.

    P.S. I know you weren't saying he was... just sayin' lol

    Speed is only relative when it's applied to game situations. Kind of like 40 times at the NFL combine. Scouts drool over those times, but it has very little to do with a players actual success. For me, I want the guy to use his speed to effectively field his position, steal bases, and stretch singles into doubles, doubles into triples, etc... While Bryant will never be confused with Campana, he didn't look like a liability out there either.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I offer one three words-Darius Heyward-Bey, fastest 40 times since none other than Mr Devon Hester. Couldn't run routes any better than Hester could, basically proved to be a wasted draft pick for a 1st rounder. Tony C will ever amount to anything until he learns to drive the ball , or at least hit line drives.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I could see him get 10 SB in a year. I don't see Baez as a 30/30 in the Majors maybe a 30hr+ 20SB+ guy.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Maybe, and certainly they are better at stopping the running game at the majors than what he's faced so far... But he was 24 for 29 in SB attempts in 80 games. From what I've seen of him, I think he can be. Probably more importantly, he thinks he can a 40/40 kind of guy.

  • I find it very difficult to compare pitchers and position players in order to rank them vs one another. How do scouts think that through. Considering the failure rate couldn't any of the first ten or so talents picked end up being the best major leaguer?

  • If there is anybody here... Here's an update of the minor league roster by Phil... It seems Vogelbach is in Daytona right now and Javier Baez in AA?? I'm sure that's just for now.

    http://www.thecubreporter.com/03192013/2013-cubs-minor-league-camp-rosters-updated-319

  • In reply to Caps:

    Probably just for now until the get the final 25 established. I wouldn't be surprised to see some adjustments at that time. Thanks for posting that, Caps.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Yeah, that is very likely just for now. When more guys get dropped from major league camp, we'll see where players really stand within the organization.

    What's nice about it is these guys will get a chance to work with and against players at a slightly higher level and see how they do.

    And so will the Cubs...

  • I see the Cubs as taking the BPA.

    For sake of discussion, let's just say a SP and a Position Player are deemed exactly equal this year at the #2 overall pick for the Cubs. Let's just pick Appel (SP) and Bryant (3B-OF)...

    Do you think there is a better chance in 2 years (when they could be available to play in the MLB/Cubs are closer/contending) that they could acquire a SP or a 3B?

    That is the question that I'm having difficulty with. Sure, a top of the rotation SP can be very difficult to get, but so can a 3B. What top SP/3B will be available within the next 1-2 years that the Cubs could get to fill that spot?

    Do you hope that C. Villanueva can become a + defender at the hot corner and be respectable at the plate...then you draft Appel. If you feel that they can get a #1 SP in a trade (assuming it doesn't cost the farm) or FA, then you maybe go after Bryant.

    At this time...I just don't see any 3B that are going to be FAs in the next 2 years that the Cubs could go after (please correct me if I am missing something). Then again, Bryant may not end up sticking at 3B so that idea could be shot.

    That is what makes this exciting...nothing is set in stone. Curious to see what you guys all think, looking at it through that lens.

  • fb_avatar

    After reading through the post I'd like to see the cubs grab Bryant, if he is there. Bats are generally harder to find later in the draft compared to pitching.

  • Goin, goin, gone......omg, where did it land? Is Kris Bryant another Dave Kingman, who was drafted in the 1st round twice, once by Orioles, then by the Giants out of USC as a third baseman/pitcher? Anyone? And don't forget King Kong had a long and very interesting career, lol. Does anyone remember his time with the Cubs? That was a fun time! In 1979, he hit 48 home runs for the Cubbies and every fly ball out to left field was an adventure!

  • In reply to shalin:

    Dave was a HS baseball/basketball and American Legion teammate of mine. He was a pitcher and 1B who was just learning his power stroke at the time. Even then he was quiet.
    I think his dad was Cubs' Traveling Secretary for a while.

  • In reply to shalin:

    Kingman did much better after he widened his stance. He had so much power that there wasn't much need for him to stride. So he hit it 500 feet instead of 550 feet. It's still over 500 feet and waaay outta here.

    If you've never seen the 23-22 game, he put on quite a show.
    His 3rd bomb is still the longest HR I've ever seen.

  • I remember Dave "Kong" Kingman. 442 career HRs, 94 as a Cub.

  • When Kingman was with the Giants I told my dad if he ever got on the Cubs he'd hit 50 HR.

    He got pretty dang close!

  • Chicago newspaper reporters loved Kingman, never a dull moment.
    Wikipedia: Following the season, Kingman signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs. One of Kingman's career days at the plate occurred in Los Angeles on May 14, 1978, when he again hit three home runs against the Dodgers, including a three run shot in the top of the 15th inning that gave the Cubs a 10-7 victory. Eight of the Cubs' ten runs were driven in by Kingman.[7] Following the game, radio reporter Paul Olden (now the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium) asked Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda his opinion of Kingman's performance that day, inspiring an oft-replayed (and censored) obscenity laced tirade.[8]
    In 1980, Kingman's enigmatic personality (which former Mets teammate John Stearns once compared to a tree trunk)[11] began to assert itself, as he dumped ice water on a reporter's head during Spring training. Kingman claimed he was often misquoted, and he began appearing regularly in the Chicago Tribune, as the nominal author of a ghost-written column. Mike Royko, then writing for the rival Chicago Sun-Times, parodied Kingman's column with a series said to be written by "Dave Dingdong."[12] Kingman eventually quarreled with his own ghostwriter. The series came to an end, and so did Kingman's days with the Cubs.

  • In reply to shalin:

    Didn't Kong live on a boat docked at a Chicago harbor during the season? I seem to remember that.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Yes, I think he had a boat there. Loved to fish too and was quite the fisherman, very serious about it

  • Hey John, have you heard anything about Josh Conway? He was a top 50 in the draft, but got injured, Cubs picked him in the 4th round... Last I remember he has a 90-2 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph with good late movement, his slider and change up have potential... Smooth delivery with quick actions, needs to work on his command and control.

    He projected as a mid to bottom of the rotation starter before his injury, the Cubs drafted him and paid for his surgery, like they did with Arturo Maltos-Garcia... But I haven't heard how Conway is coming along or when he'll be back.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Wow, speaking of that... I just found out the Cubs released 5 minor leaguers... Arturo Maltos-Garcia, Austin Urban, Hung-Wen Chen, Tony York and Kyle Sheppard.

  • I would really, really like to have Bryant, but I feel their greatest need is an ace. Aces don't come along very often, and you have to grab a potential one when you have a chance. I didn't count, but I think there are probably only 12 -15 in all of baseball.

  • In reply to cubman:

    I agree that we need a potential ace, although, IMO, we should just get the best talent available.

    I'll just use a simple example... In 2005 Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury were drafted... But also Chris Volstad... In fact, the only thing closer to an ace drafted in that round was Matt Garza... And of course, with all of those great names, the Cubs drafted Pawelek and passed on Ellsbury, despite being linked to him.

    So, if you see a position player that you think is the best talent available, would you pass on him to pick a lesser player because pitching is your number 1 need? That would be, IMHO, like passing on Ellsbury to pick Pawelek or any of those other position players in that first round that year.

    All that said, Appel could still be the best talent available by the time the Cubs get to pick.

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