MLB Draft Update: Appel and Gray back on track; Theo/Jed watch Bryant; BA and Keith Law mock drafts and more...

MLB Draft Update: Appel and Gray back on track; Theo/Jed watch Bryant; BA and Keith Law mock drafts and more...

We're heading down the stretch run and the draft links are really starting to pour in.  As usual we'll run down the performance of the big 3 and hook you up with some good draft material to read as the big day approaches...

Updates on the Big 3...

  • Mark Appel: Appel had his second straight solid outing.  He was very good but wasn't quite as dominant as Gray today.  He went 8 innings, allowed just 3 hits and one run.  He walked 2 and struck out 9.
  • Jonathan Gray:  Gray bounced back with a reassuring complete game shutout and 12 strikeouts after scuffling a bit the last couple of starts.  The good news for Gray fans is that he's probably legit but the bad news is that it's looking more and more like the Astros will take him.  Appel fans, like myself, are okay with that -- but I'd prefer the Cubs get their choice, since they have more info on both pitchers than I have, obviously.  There is still a chance of that happening if the Astros take Bryant or Moran.
  • Kris Bryant:  Good test today for Bryant as he matched up against potential first round pitcher Alex Balog.  He went 1 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored, then HR'd late in the game.  His 31st.  He went into the game hitting .338/.502/.860 on the year.  Theo and Jed went to go see Bryant today and presumably they have met or will meet with him as well, so he's very much in the mix.  Word is at least one Cubs scout is pushing for him.

The wildcard pick...

  • Both the Cubs and Astros have scouted Colin Moran, the 3B from North Carolina, with the Astros the more likely to take him of the two teams, so I think he deserves some mention.  Moran went into the weekend hitting .373/.498/.610 with 13 HRs.  He's more of a possibility for Houston if they feel they can't sign any of the top 3 to an early, below slot deal.  He's a pure hitter with OBP skills who should stick at 3B, so his floor is pretty high..  The only question is power but he definitely has the size and makes hard contact, so perhaps it develops in time.

News and Notes...

  • Jim Callis came out with his mock draft today and it has some changes but not surprises at the top.  Callis has the Astros taking Jonathan Gray and the Cubs taking Mark Appel, so there are no surprises there.  There's still the outside chance that the Astros take a hitter, in which case the Cubs will have their choice of the two projected aces -- and Callis senses that the Cubs are pretty split between the two.
  • Baseball America has a Best Tools list out for the 2013 draftees.  BA listed the 3 best players by tools, making a separate list for college and high school players.  Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel are 1-2 when it comes to best fastball.  Somewhat suprisingly, Appel's breaking ball made the list at #3 but Gray's slider, whom some consider to be a 70 on the scouting scale, did not.  Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray were #1 and #2, respectively, when it comes to the closest to the majors.  Colin Moran was 3rd.  Kris Bryant ranked 1st in power and 3rd in strike zone judgement behind Colin Moran and DJ Peterson.
  • Jim Callis also had a draft chat and there are some interesting Cubs-related nuggets.  Among them: 1) The Astros and Cubs have scouted Colin Moran but he doesn't see him going 1 or 2 right now. 2) Callis has been told there is no clear consensus between Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray.  He's been told the Cubs prefer both names by different people.  At any rate, he thinks it's moot because he believes the Astros will take Gray. I concur. 3) In a separate question, however, he makes the choice between Appel, Gray -- and Bryant, a  much closer decision for the first pick.  He puts the percentages at: Gray 37%, Appel 35%, Bryant 28%, the field 0% to be the #1 overall pick.  Meanwhile in Keith Law's chat (see below), he gives Colin Moran at least a 25% chance, maybe more, of going #1.  Isn't this fun?  The whole chat is interesting if you're a fan of the draft overall.
  • Chris Crawford and Jason Churchill listed the needs and targets of teams in the NL Central.  In no surprise they listed Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel, and Kris Bryant as the Cubs main targets.  They said that both Gray and Appel would instantly become the Cubs top pitching prospects.  He lists the strength of the organization as bats with upside while it's weaknesses are catching and starting pitching.  That should not come as a surprise to any of you and it also shouldn't play too big a role in whom the Cubs pick, though it seems likely they intend to shore up pitching.  Part of that, however, is that I expect the BPAs in both rounds one and two to be pitchers.
  • Law also held a draft-heavy chat and talked much about Appel, Gray, and Bryant.  He also talked about Travis Wood, whom he called a league average starter and a #4.  I'll take that from him at his current cost.  There are a lot of questions about Mark Appel's leverage and Law does a good job answering them.  He also talks about Kris Bryant's floor.
  • May have found a weakness here with Mark Appel.  Dancing skills grade no better than a 40 on the 20-80 scale.  Not sure there's much upside there either.  In all seriousness, it says a lot about that he takes the time to spend some time entertaining kids at a children's hospital.

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  • Bryant just Hit 31 most HRs since switching to BBCOR.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Very cool. Also saw that Jed and Theo were there. Pretty significant that they went to see him this late in the season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Bush was for the 31HR. I can't confirm if Theo was there.

  • John great article.

    Where would you rank each of the Big 3 (Appel,Gray & Bryant) in MLB Top prospects ?

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    That is a very interesting question.

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    Thanks. You mean overall? I'd say they're all top 20-25 candidates right off the bat.

  • Is 104.99% all Appel can get? What leverage does Boras have?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yes, but he won't get that much.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    My understanding is that he can get more than that, if the Cubs choose to sign players under-slot in later rounds. For example, I'll take $500 to be the Cubs 2nd round pick; they can then use the rest of my slot money, about $1 mil, to pay Appel if they choose.

    Probably won't happen though, but Boras may choose to wait to see if extra money shakes out from the later rounds

    Appel should be signable this time; last time, he had an option of going back to school, and my understanding is that he comes from a well to do family, and isn't desperate for the money

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Appel will sign and I think he'll get market value but it will be something less than slot. Boras is no dummy. He knows Appel can be up as soon as next season and get his service time clock running. He'll negotiate the best deal possible and it will take time, but he'll want him to get some innings this year and a shot to make the team next year. He'll make the real money once he starts playing in the bigs and getting into his arb years.

  • kgallo, are you still going to have a man crush on bryant when the cubs don't draft him?

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Yes. If he gets drafted by Rockies you will see some major fireworks which will be very fun to watch. If you go to WCC site and watch USD vs BYU from yesterday. Go to the top of the 4th inning and you will see why I truly believe he can stay at 3B.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I don't doubt he can stay at 3b, but with the ridiculous floor stats you gave for him the other day, you seem to think he is the next comimg of mike schmidt. if that would be the case, there would be no discussion about who is the number 1 pick. He definetly is no Strasburg or Harper.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    I have to repeat those aren't just my grades. I originally graded him lower until I talked to some scouts. I had him 45/60 hit took but the 80 power is pretty much consonance for everyone.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    I am with you Josh. Been debating it with Kevin at BleacherNation. Their scouting report essentially has Bryant as Giancarlo Stanton that can play 3B...not ceiling, but NOW.

    I'll be fine if the Cubs draft him, cuz that just means the Front Office believes he's BPA.

  • In reply to Norm:

    I am one who doesn't believe in taking pitching in the first round, way more risk involved. If he is the 3B Giancarlo Stanton, then i for sure hope the Cubs take him! Long as he is the 3B Stanton for his offense, not the Stanton that is always injured.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    He will be on ESPNU tonight so why doesn't everyone see for themselves.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I have set my DVR to record the game!

  • In reply to Norm:

    I know for a fact the Cubs have not ranked the top 3 in any order yet. Do you guys even know how much of a span 50 and covers? It ranges 265 to 285. Where 60 only covers 290 to 305.

  • Interesting chat with Law- he thinks Denney could fall past #30. If we could someone do a deal with KC and get their CB pick at 34(?), would that be an option over a pitcher?

  • In reply to Paulson:

    It might be. But there's a reason he's falling. More people think he can't stick at catcher, which could mean 1B for him and the pressure on the bat goes up. Denney was a great hitting catcher, not necessarily a great hitting 1B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He is having problems handle FB over 87mph. So its the bat that is starting to get questions marks now.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Well, I read somewhere he's struggling with both but the defense had more to do with his footwork on throws. Think it was BA. Footwork is fixable, though. Bigger question was with his bat speed -- which goes along with what you're saying.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    His receiving skills are very good and that was what I was talking about. His blocking skill are also very good. Footwork is very easy to fix and it is very rare a HS catcher had great footwork.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I don't think he drops that far but he has dropped. He has problems with hard FBs but he defense is very good.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I've heard he's struggled this year on defense.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    His bat is showing some serious weaken against FB over 87. He has been getting tied up by anything higher then that. That's why you have to be careful with HS stats.

  • John's been busy tonight. Thanks for feeding our addiction.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Ha! And the posting isn't the half of it. Crazy day. Still trying to wind down.

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    I really think the Astros take Bryant or Moran.

    As well as Gray has pitched for basically all year, I have trouble believing that he wouldn't demand over-slot money, even for #! overall.

    I'm sure he believes 100% that he's better in every way to Appel, and deserves the most money, so I cannot see the Astros taking him with their draft strategy.
    Especially since, as a junior he can always threaten to play his senior season like Appel did. Gray has all the leverage to get max money.

    So I think Bryant or Moran are more likely for the Astros.
    And even thouh Bryant is represented by Boras, I'm not positive that's a dealbreaker. Right now Bryant is rated #3 in his class by everyone in the world behind Appel and Gray. The Astros could pick him first and sign him for under-slot but he would still get more money than if he was picked #3. A possible win for both sides.

    And I doubt Bryant would balk at the idea because if he refuses, and the Astros go with Moran, then Bryant is drafted #4 overall at the earliest, and maybe even lower because who knows what the teams below the rockies decide. The Twins pick #4. If they decide they don't want Bryant because Sano is the future, who knows how far Bryant could drop?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    The more I hear the more I think Gray is more flexible about money. I think they pick Gray and then the ball is in the Cubs court. I really don't believe they have made a decision yet ranking the draftees yet.

  • I'd really like to have Bryant's power in the Cubs line-up, but it doesn't seem like his ML ETA won't be until 2015 or so. From what I'm reading Appel will be ML ready by the beginning of 2014 and has the potential of being a TOR starter. Not many 22 yr. olds have that upside as pitchers, so I'm hoping the Astros take Gray/Bryant and the Cubs get MA.

  • Bryant will be on ESPNU tomorrow at 9pm ct for those of you that are interested.

  • Well my interest in the MLB draft is the past has been zero. But, since I found this site about 3 months ago and given the fact that the Cubs are rebuilding, this years draft has really got me interested. And will continue to improve my knowledge of MLB draftees. Perhaps as much as the NFL. I appreciate all the info and knowledge that everyone has provided.

    John and Gallo or anyone else who contributes with informed opinions, since I have fairly new what are your backgrounds? Just long time Cub fans/ guys interested in the Minors?

    Keep up the great work. My picks
    #1 Moran (cost control for the rest of draft)
    #2 Gray (best upside)
    #3 Bryant (Coors is calling his name and the Rockies haven't had a 3B since Vinny)

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    In reply to Buzz:

    The Rockies just called up Nolan Arenado, one of the top 3B prospects in baseball. No way they pass on Appel. With their rotation he could be a starter by the end of the season.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    Well, Kevin and I are both amateurs when it comes to scouting. Kevin sees a lot more amateur ball then I do and is aspiring to work professionally in the field. We both have contacts we bounce our opinions off of, and I also use info from guys like Callis, Law, Crawford, and others to try and get the widest range of opinion possible.

    We are huge into the minors and that's where I see a ton of games. In fact, I'm going to go check out Iowa this weekend. Same stuff applies in that I do some scouting myself and also have contacts to talk to. We do a daily minor league recap everyday and an occasional feature on player or players.

    We feel when it comes to Cubs related draft and minors info, we are second to none.

    As for the Cubs pick, the vibe I get is that the Cubs prefer Appel because his upside isn't much lower than Gray's -- if at all, they both have ceilings of #1 starter but Appel's floor is higher than Gray's. It seems Appel will fall no lower than two this year.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    I am a former HS coach but I do have some scouting training. I was taught by a former scout Ed Durkin formerly of the Brewers and a cross checker with the Nationals. He is the scout that signed Gary Sheffield. He is retired in Fla now. I go to a ton of amateur game and have had many one on one conversions with front office people and scouts in various organizations.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Great and thanks for the info. And yes this site is 2nd to none. I think I have a good eye for baseball, unfortunately I never took the same path as you two have. Keep up the great work and look forward to many future articles.

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    There is some talk Manaea might fall into the second round. Regardless what the Cubs do in the first round, if he were still there at 41 overall, I think you'd have to give him strong consideration.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    If by "strong consideration", you mean "easy decision."

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    That all depends on "if" his medicals say he has a chance to regain the velocity he showed in 2012. "If" being a small word with large meaning and all.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It would definitely be a gamble. He's had injury concerns and some people have compared him to Oliver Perez mechanically(which isn't good). He could also go back to school. It's high risk but the reward would be getting a top 5 talent in the 2nd round,

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think the Astros would grab him if he's available at 40. If he slips and the Cubs think he's signable, I could see a draft day deal for a competitive balance pick. (Talk about *needing* to sign him if you do that, though.)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    There's talk that Kohl Stewart might freefall if picked outside of the top 5 and that Houston would pick him up in a heartbeat and sign him overslot if he does. There are a lot of pinpoint variables involved but i've learned to never say never.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Not that easy because of signability. There's a good chance the Cubs will select a Boras client in the 1st round (Appel or Bryant) and there are already rumblings Manaea could go back to school if he doesn't get big money.

    A team with multiple 1st round picks are candidates to take him before the Cubs, as are the Astros. If it happens, I'll be thrilled (and worried they'll be able to actually sign him).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't want to sound like signability isn't a concern at all, but with Theo running things, I really am not concerned about the draft one bit.

    I trust Theo and Jed to get things done pertaining to the draft, without much doubt that it'll get screwed up.

    And I forgot to say it, but I'm basically hoping the Cubs get a deal done with the Royals for their CB pick. If he's still there at that point I'm sure he won't last much longer.

    And as long as they aren't worried about long -term health issues, I'd be willing to bet that they'd be ok with sacrificing the ability to sign a few mid-round guys to get someone like Manea with a CB pick.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I don't think it's a concern because Cubs wouldn't spend. They certainly would spend if they had to. I think it's a concern because other teams will have more pool money to play with than the Cubs and they all pick before the Cubs. And if it did come to the Cubs, I'm not sure they'll have enough to talk Manaea out of going back to school and, as long as he's healthy, he'll be a top 5 pick in what is expected to be a weak draft next year.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Depends on how much you have to spend. He's a good candidate to go back to school the same way Appel did. I think that he'll get taken before the 2nd round by an opportunistic team who has pool money to play with.

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    I definitely consider myself an Appel fan and for me it's not even close. There's just too much in his favor.

    Last year the Cubs took Almora over more talented guys like Giolito because they loved the track record and his high ceiling/high floor combo. If they take that same strategy Appel is the pick. Point, blank, period.

    We have all agreed that the Cubs "can't miss" on this pick. Well Appel is about as can't miss as you'll find. Gray is still relatively unproven compared to Mark so you're gambling for a slightly higher ceiling and a lower floor? Not worth it. Take Mark Appel.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I have to agree. If they decide to go pitcher and they have a choice, Appel is the way to go. I just wish Appel didn't play for Stanford and Coach Marques. The track record of him abusing his pitchers makes me nervous.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    That's pretty much my stance -- not enough difference in ceiling to justify larger difference when it comes to floor.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Here is what I got told by a scout last year who's team picked higher then the Nationals about Giollito. Risk what risk? We know we can fix elbows its shoulders that are the problem.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Theo/Jed seem to be of this mind set as well. They don't hesitate to grab a guy recovering from TJS but don't seem to gamble with shoulders...

  • John, thanks for all the info, including that Appel spends time helping kids in the hospital. Law addressed Appel's "outside issues" as well in his chat:

    David (Bethlehem, PA)
    Why have scouts (through BA) mentioned Appel's "character concerns?" Does graduating from Stanford and having the best agent mean you have character concerns?

    Klaw (1:24 PM)
    There are no character concerns whatsoever on Appel. If some scout actually said that, he should be ashamed of himself for being so petty.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I have to agree with Law there. There's no personality reasons as to why Appel has bad makeup. If someone is saying that, it's probably because he didn't want to sign for under value. Some would call that good business.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Are you saying he HAS bad makeup-- but not for personality reasons? That would be a shocker to me.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Not saying that at all. I think some people just don't like him because he didn't want to sign for below value with the Pirates. I don't blame him at all. He got screwed, obviously believed in his ability, and is going to make himself more money. That to me speaks to his confidenc -- if anything, that makes me like his makeup even more.

    I've heard his makeup is off the charts good. He's in that Matt Szczur, Pierce Johnson, Albert Almora zone.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good to hear. I don't care if he WEARS makeup, if he can be a standup ace for the Cubs.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Haha! Went over my head before -- I'm going on 3 hours sleep :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Never heard what the "make-up concerns" with Appel. If it's just because he didn't sign with PIT last year, I don't see that as an issue.

    Seriously, that is less of an issue to me than Baez swinging through the take sign in Rookie Ball or Soler wielding his bat in Daytona and both of those are completely forgiven in my mind....

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Dude is a college senior and spends time with sick kids at a hospital. I'm sold.

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    The Cubs have actually been relatively lucky of late (Olt deal falling through, Delgado deal falling through, Pierce Johnson slipping). I'm hoping that keeps up. I'd be ecstatic if Appel dropped to us -- I think he's the most complete player in the draft -- but I also want the Cubs to get the guy they like the most.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Don't forget getting anything of substance for Soto, Byrd, and Campana

    - Having the Tigers outbid us on Sanchez I consider lucky. 75mil for what some consider a glorified #4 would have been bad in the long run. 88mil was absurd and i'm glad the Cubs didn't match.

    - opting for Anthony Rizzo over Fielder and Pujols on 10yr deals.

    - Dillon Maples, Reggie Golden, and Ben Wells all staying healthy so far is a miracle in itself.

    Were also lucky in that Appel is one of the BPA but he just happens to be the guy that fits a glaring need so you get best of both worlds.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    This might cause trouble: but also the ball bouncing against us so often this year, giving us one more good draft pick even as the team improves.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Don't forget Jeff Baker!... We got a decent looking A level SP with #3/4 upside. Or at least he was at the time. Not sure what happened to Carreno. Still, anything over a used McDonalds wrapper was a bonus!

    I'd also add that "if" the FO decides Bryant is the BPA, he fills a glaring need as well. Even if he doesn't stick at 3B (which he hope he will). Could you imagine a corner OF duo more devastating than Soler & Bryant?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I strongly disagree with your second statement. Id much rather have sanchez right now who has been at least a #3 the last 3 years. He also currently leads the league in WAR.

    The Jackson Deal has been a big disappoint so far.

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    In reply to Mitchener:

    You're disagreeing with a statement I didn't make. I never questioned Sanchez' stats or if he'd be a good pickup. I just said 88mil for a mid-rotation starter is absurd. It's highly unlikely he keeps up that WAR. He'd be struggling mightily in the month of May before the 1-hitter last night.

    At the end of the day he's a decent #3/good #4. Not worth 90mil. Jackson had similar statistics the last 3 years with the benefit of having a healthier career. It was smarter at the time to get Jackson for 4/52 than Sanchez on 5/90. You are just saying you'd rather have Sanchez because Jackson has struggled. I'm sure if he was pitching lights out we wouldn't be having this conversation :)

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    The obvious compromise solution is to not sign any free agents, ever and just draft our way to success. :-D (Was that felzzy's head I heard exploding?)

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    The statement about him being a glorified #4 was what i didnt like. He's much better than you portray. He's not a thrower like jackson. When he got traded to the tigers he was lights out and great in the post season.

  • I've seen a few mocks with the cubs taking Ryan Boldt in the second round. Seems like that would be a major steal to get him

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    I would be in shock if he was there in the 2nd round. The injury was too minor for it to effect his draft status that much. If he was there I have no doubt that the Cubs would take him in a heart beat.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    The issue now is more signability. If he slips even to late 1st round or supplemental, he may feel he can get more money going back to school. That in turn could cause him to slide. On pure ability he's a mid-first rounder but there are more factors involved than ability with Boldt. That said, a team with extra pool money will get him signed, in my opinion.

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    I have my mock coming out Monday. I think he's a tough sign but I have someone else taking him.

  • This is just a great site. I love it. I think Astros select Gray and the Cubs take Appel. From everything I've read I'd take Gray. Appel has thrown a lot of pitches and to me Gray has a little better pure stuff. In any event I be interested in what the Cubs would do if the Astros take anyone else but Appel or Gray.
    Why would the Astros take Gray over Appel??

  • In reply to rockyje:

    I believe (haven't verified though) that Gray has thrown far more pitches this year than Appel. As of about a month ago, Gray had more starts. I'll look it up today if anyone's interested.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    If you could find that out, that'd be cool. Would be interesting just to settle some fears about Appel. My guess is that there isn't much difference.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    OK, this isn't complete because 1 Gray start and 2 Appel starts don't have pitch counts.

    Gray: 15 starts, 1541 pitches in 14 games = 110 per game. 2 games over 120 pitches

    Appel: 14 starts, 1351 pitches in 12 games - 113 per game (112.58). 3 games over 120 pitches.

    Basically a wash.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Thanks!

    A few reasons why they may take Gray 1) they like his upside better, 2) he may be willing to sign a pre-draft deal, 3) he's younger and the Astros have a longer timetable than the Cubs

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    Kevin Gallo, what are your thoughts on Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I have to admit I am a little bias about Turner. I have a personal connection with the Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Bianco. I think he has an above average bat and is very solid behind the plate.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I'm thinking he goes between rounds 4 and 6.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I would agree with that.

  • I really want Appel to be the first round pick. Everyone is saying that another college pitcher will be taken for the second pick but i really want a high school pitcher with huge upside. I know the college pitchers are a safer bet but if we get appel i would feel comfortable getting a high school pitcher with the second pick

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    I agree. Drafting Appel gives you some leeway to shoot for upside because you have one of the surest bets in the draft. Cubs can always get 4th 5th starter types later. Go for a guy who projects and could end up being a steal in the second round. I have a name in my mind that I like -- not sure he'll be available, but he's a high risk high reward type that the Cubs should consider. That will be out on Monday in my mo9ck.

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    There is a lot of routes they can good in the 1st four rounds that would help them a lot. The 5th round and beyond is where it starts getting tricky.

  • I heard a lot about casey shane earlier this year but not a lot now. What happened to him?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    I am not sure what happened to him. There have been a couple that has happen to also. I really haven't gotten a straight answer through. Jonah Wesely is going through that too. I am trying to find out but scouts are becoming more tight lipped about players now.

  • Anyone know players like Manaea that dropped due to any signability issues, were signed for extra slot $$, and succeeded? Seems to me many of these guys fall for a reason and don't end up being worth the extra money going to them in later rounds or just choose to stay in school.

  • Personally, John has swayed me towards Appel for the higher floor as my first choice. I've always liked MA for what he is... but I'm naturally more of a gambler though. I think we need to focus as much on the floor as we do the upside with at least our first pick. Apparently thats how Theo/Jed roll as evidenced by picking Almora then pouncing on guys like Johnson, Underwood, etc...

    Anyways, I like what Gray brings to the table too. The fact that he has two plus pitches and that he's matched MA pitch for pitch this year suggests his floor may be higher than what we give him credit for. So I'm okay if he's the pick too.

    Kevins man-crush on Bryant hasn't gone unnoticed by me. I respect & value his opinion, plus It's hard not to fall for that power. And while I think Kevin may have over-stated his floor... There's no question his floor is worthy of a top pick. John did some stats that clearly show a college bat to be the safest bet. So I'm okay if Bryant is our pick too.

    Mostly, I'm just giddy that I have complete confidence that our FO will be more thorough than anything we've ever experienced and will make the best selection for us regardless of what HOU does. This is actually kind of exciting! So while my preference would be 1). Appel, 2). Bryant 3). Gray... I will celebrate whatever they deem as BPA. It also helps that whether it's an ACE SP or a Slugging 3B/LF'r, both are definite needs!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    My last 3 prospect crushes over the last 3 years have been Mitch Moreland (who has 10 HRs this year already), Paul Goldschmidt, and Anthony Rizzo (that was he was with the Red Sox). O think my track is pretty good. My crush last year was Max Fried and he as already throw a no no.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    OK Kevin, I saw Bryant tonight and can see why you're so high on him. San Fran was pitching him tough and he still managed a 2 for 4 with a hustle base hit and a double that was a real nice piece of hitting on a low pitch. If Gray goes to Houston the Cubs will have a tough choice between Appel & Bryant.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    That was one of the worst games I have seen him play. His adjustment in his final was what I like about him the most. That was the same pitch and locate that got him out in his 1st 2 ABs.

  • John, is there anyway that you could stop teasing us with your mock draft that comes out on Mon, and maybe post it today?

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Haha! I'm on vacation. I suppose I could, but promise it will be up very early Monday morning.

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    Not really Cubs news but if you're a baseball fan, you gotta love this!

    Com'on Miggy. MAKE HISTORY!!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/9310721/miguel-cabrera-just-keeps-getting-better

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    I'm not sure he's going to keep those numbers up over the course of a season -- even Cabrera has got to hit a slump at some point -- but its the numbers Cabrera has put up throughout his career that make me think Kris Benson should be a serious consideration. Imagine if we had Cabrera hitting between Castro and Rizzo.

  • Question: How long does a team have to wait before they can give a extension to a draft pick? Say they only have 5 million for the slot. Could the give him that and then say we'll give you 10 million in a year? I'm sure there is a rule against this but I just hadn't heard about it.

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    Good question. But wouldn't that have to be in the writing of the original contract? I mean would you trust management to give you another $10 million on a wink and a handshake? And if it needed to be in the contract, then I'm sure you couldn't get that by the folks looking to fine the parent club for spending more than their allotment....

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    At this rate, Almora won't be in Kane County by the time John has a chance to see him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    What an unbelievable start for the kid, eh? Almora has star written all over him already. I'm wondering if he wasn't a bit tired @ Boise last year after having graduated h.s. and all, along with the wrist giving him some trouble. Seen someone on another site say his swing reminds him of Nomar- how's that for a comp?

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    In reply to Paulson:

    I think Almora is a bit more sound mechanically. Nomar had a lot of moving parts going on and his swing always seemed unbalanced but he made it work. But hey, if Almora could put up numbers close to Nomar's while playing a GG CF then we've got ourselves a star.

    The comps i've seen the most are Adam Jones and a poor-man's Matt Kemp. Also seen Austin Jackson thrown around. Let's just hope he's not Cameron Maybin.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Bernie Williams is who He reminds me of.

  • I'm an idiot. I drove from LA this weekend into Stockton and didn't realize that Kris Bryant was going to be playing about 5 minutes away.

  • Appel !! Take the smart one !! He will figure out!!

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