2014 MLB Draft Update: A new pitcher enters top 5 picture

2014 MLB Draft Update: A new pitcher enters top 5 picture
Erick Fedde

Last summer, you may remember me talking about a pitcher who surprised me at the USA Baseball exhibition game in Geneva, IL.  I picked him as a sleeper to watch. His name is Erick Fedde, a tall RHP from UNLV.  Here is what I said then,

The biggest surprise in the two games was Fedde .  He flew in from the Cape Cod League, where he'd been pitching well, and put on a uniform so new that they didn't even have time to sew his name on it yet.  Fedde is long, lean and projectable at 6'4", 175 lbs -- but he showed plenty of present stuff, including a 93 mph fastball and a tight slider that looks like it has plus potential.  He commanded both pitches well.  He got a few hitters to chase on the slider, pitching 3 no-hit, no-walk innings and striking out 5.

At the time I wrote this, Fedde was considered a late 1st round pick at best, but things have changed. In Keith Law's most recent MLB Draft article, he names Fedde as one of the pitchers in the mix for the top 5.

 It's hard for me to imagine that he's (Tyler Beede) not a top-five pick, with only Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek clearly ahead of him at this point, assuming (and hoping) everyone stays healthy. Beede should be in every team's mix from pick No. 3 on, in the same decision set as East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman, whom I saw last week, and UNLV's Erick Fedde, who has come out very strongly this spring.

Law's article is primarily about Beede, as the paragraph implies, but I was very excited to see Fedde's name included at the top of the draft.  He was the most impressive pitcher I saw on that particular pair of days -- Beede included.

Another pitcher on the rise is LSU's Aaron Nola, who doesn't wow you with his stuff or size, and he has a lower arm slot than you would like,  but he has looked great early on.  I have to admit I'm one of those skeptical on Nola, but there is no question he seems to know how to get hitters out.  He's more than just a finesse pitcher too.  His stuff is solid to good -- maybe not top of the rotation good, but a legit #3 starter seems plausible.  In an article by ESPN's Chris Crawford, one NL East scout agrees,

"The only reason he's not considered a lock to start is because of that [low arm] slot," an NL East scout said. "You just don't see a lot of starters work from that low, left- or right-handed. It's not a question of his stuff, he could be a solid No. 4; maybe a No. 3 based on his arsenal.

"It's just going to take one team to think he's a starter to see him go early on day one. He's always shown he can throw strikes, but if he can show the kind of command he did (Friday)? He's certainly got a shot."

Crawford thinks that Nola will be a mid first rounder.

It's time to keep an eye on these guys and we'll update you every week.  We'll look at risers and fallers.  Right now there looks like there are more risers into the top 5-10 discussion, which is a good thing for the Cubs.

Friday's results

Carlos Rodon

Rodon went 7 innings and walked 3 while striking out 8.    He also hit 2 batters. He did limit the damage, however, with just 3 hits allowed, leading to two runs, though only one was earned.  He did take the loss and fell to 1-2, but he does have a good 2.14 ERA in 23 IP so far.  He has 23 Ks and 6 BBs.

Tyler Beede

Beede is off to the best statistical start at 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA.  Hitters have hit just .085 against him.  He has walked 5 and struck out 24 in 18 innings so far.

Jeff Hoffman

Hoffman is 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA but has similar walk/strikeout numbers to Rodon at 6BB/26Ks in 21.1 IP.

Trea Turner

Turner is off to a solid start, hitting .368 with a .422 OBP.  He has yet to hit for much power, slugging .395 on only one extra base hit (a double) all season.  Turner's greatest tool is his speed, and he has used it thus far to steal 7 bases in 9 attempts.

Erick Fedde

Fedde has just one start so far but it was an impressive one.  He went 7 innings and allowed 4 hits and just one run while walking 3 and striking out 7.

 

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  • Beede might be passing Hoffman up here if he keeps it up. Either way I'm sure the Cubs will get another impact talent caliber guy in the system and possibly another piece added to the so called "Core Four"

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    It look like Cubs will get a good pitcher no matter what. My guess is still Beede but Hoffman still possible. If they're not excited with either, than Turner isn't a bad fallback. They're in a good spot.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They could be in a position to choose from Hoffman, Beede or now Fedde. Then again, Hoffman and Beede could go 2 and 3

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I favot Beede, mostly because hes a pitcher with TOR type stuff, Turner is impressive defensively, he needs more at least gap power before Im sold on him, My personal order is Beede, Hoffman, Turmer and Kolek.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I like this!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i like sean newcomb. i know he doesnt fit in the top 4 yet, but big
    lefty that throws in mid 90's and strikes out a bunch. there is plenty of baseball between now and the june draft. either way after rondon their are a lot of good options to draft a starting pitcher.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am not much of a judge of pitching talent in baseball. But if Beede is TOR for sure, I hope the CUBS get him. Maybe Hoffman. But I will not be sad about Turner or Beede. And I think whichever one it is, if between them, they will be core 5 for sure "Javier Bryant".

    I just hope Alcantara pushes his way into that elite league this year!

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    In reply to Javier Bryant:

    Basing this entirely on Twitter chatter, the knock on Hoffman his first two starts was that the curveball -- which is supposed to be a second plus to plus plus pitch for him -- was inconsistent. It was back to old self on Friday and he dominated with 14 strikeouts in 8 innings. (5H 1BB) If the curve stays roughly there for the rest of the season, Hoffman will be just fine.

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    As of now, I will be so bummed if the Cubs draft Turner at #4 overall. Elite speed and plus-hit tool with below average power and only above average defense does not a #4 overall pick make.

    Hoffman, Beede, Kolek, Fredde, and Nola are all looking quite promising.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I don't know if his power will stay below average. He has shown good pop in the past. I'll take above average defense at SS too if he can hit, run, and show average pop. that's an all-star.

    That said, plenty of good arms at the top. Looks like Cubs will have a shot at either Hoffman or Beede and that seems hard to pass up.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Very good points. I'm just not sold on his potential offense.

    But we agree that either Hoffman or Beede would be too good to pass up.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And I know you think of this as well John, but Turner is a true lead-off hitter, not caulk in a hole as the Cubs have always done.

    Does anyone think Nola, and maybe Fedde will be drafted #4. I think Kolek would go first to the Cubs because the Cubs will draft on projection and ceiling, not this high a pick on a "maybe". After this year they will only have one more this high!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I really think this year will be our last "high" pick for quite a while.

  • In reply to John57:

    i agree and I think that a starter is the way to go (only 1-2 non pitchers in top 8 or 9). I dont think we will get a chance to draft in the top 5 for a while (maybe in 2015?). So lets go get this potential TOR
    and cross our fingers.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I couldn't agree more. A true leadoff man would be nice. The pitcher that should slide to them and that I want is Kolek.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I'm quickly entering your camp. I'll rip the band-aid off the wound: other than power, he gives you everything Starlin does and then some. Better defense. Much better speed. He doesn't have Starlin's plate coverage, but the discipline and willingness to take walks plays up the hit tool. Starlin can be a leadoff hitter, but Turner can be the best leadoff hitter in the league.

    I want him at short to build the team around, and then we can worry about moving Starlin, Baez, Olt, or Alcantara in a deal to bring in a pitcher.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sorry, misread you, we completely disagree...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like your words, "Turner can be the best leadoff hitter in the league." I remember Kevin Gallo describing Turner as a slick fielding GG caliber SS. He has a high average and will take a walk too. With his OBP and speed on the base paths, he will get into the heads of the opposing pitchers. And we all know that the Cubs will have some big boppers after him in the line up. It would be nice to have 2 high OBP guys with speed at the top of the line up. Everyone doesn't need to hit 25 HRs. We just need to keep the line moving. But if Turner is taken already, Hoffman or Beede would be great too.

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    In reply to John57:

    Essentially, the way I see it working ideally is Turner leading off and Alcantara -- switch hitting -- behind him. Then one of Baez/Bryant/Almora is 3 and Rizzo/Vogey 4. Turner and Alcantara will wreak havoc on the bases and distract the pitcher when hanging a curveball to Bryant/Rizzo means crooked number.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    EXACTAMUNDO!! That is what I want too. For the 3 hole I would put Bryant, Rizzo in clean up spot and Baez in 5th. What pitcher is going to want to face that?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    we need pitching more. Winning 10-8 games is great, but wonr happen in Ocrtober.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    This I cheer! Hoping for Alcantara to advance well! I just want the FO to draft the sure thing, impact player, #1-2 starter or Turner.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "IF" Alcantara can make it... he is still behind both Castro & Baez in terms of defensive ability & offense (assuming 2011 Castro is back). Baez can play anywhere, but to me Alcantara (and I like him) is a trade candidate because I don;t see this FO jettising away Almora, Castro, or Baez to keep Alcantara. You make the argument for his speed & switch hitting ability if you want... but no GM will keep a lesser player over an AS Calibur player simply because he's a switch hitter...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Here's where it gets interesting: if Almora (or any of the other right handers) can be traded for a comparable all-star who happens to hit left handed, are you better off with Almora and whatever you get for Alcantara in the lineup or Alcantara and the all-star left hander?

    Further: if your lineup includes Bryant, Castro, Castillo, Almora, and Baez, that's five righties right there. Forget Soler and Olt in that. The other 3 positions absolutely have to be lefty or switch hitters. I think the idea lineup is roughly a 50-50 split (Theo's old Boston lineups suggest he agrees with that.) In that case, one of them has to go.

    Having said that, we would definitely be very lucky if Baez and Bryant were all stars and the other two didn't make it. In that case, we can put Alcantara at second, Baez at third, Bryant in right, and lefties in center and left field.

    That gets all of them in the lineup.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Meh. I think you're putting far too much emphasis in righty/lefty. There are plenty of right handed hitters that hit righties well. I think being a slave to lefty/righty balance increases the chances of making a decision that is harmful to the overall team. Give me the best players and I'll worry about the righty/lefty thing later.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I disagree pretty strongly here. First of all: find me a World Series winner that DIDN'T have a strong left-right balance. I'll give you a hint: it's impossible. In fact, if you're looking for a World Series champion that won with 3 right hitting outfielders, you have to go all the way back to the '91 twins, who made up for that with strong lefties at first, third, and DH. (That last one isn't an option for us, obviously.)

    Second, look at the teams Theo built in Boston. Every one of them had an extremely strong left-right balance in the starting lineup. That isn't something that just happens. It is clearly important to the man.

    I believe, on top of that, that lefty right balance makes life miserable for the opposing manager. If the lineup is out of balance, it makes bullpen decisions easy for the opponent.. Say, for example, that our lineup went like this: Turner SS, Castro 2B, Baez 3B, Bryant RF, Soler LF, Rizzo 1B, Almora CF, Castillo C. If you bring in one righty, reliever, and flip him out for Rizzo, it makes bullpen management easy and every single player is going to be at a disadvantage.

    Now, suppose we trade Castro for pitching and Soler as part of a package for, say, Gregory Polanco. Then the lineup is: Turner SS, Alcantara 2B, Baez 3B, Rizzo 1B, Bryant RF, Polanco LF, Almora CF, Castillo C. There are not enough relievers in the bullpen to guarantee every player gets an advantageous matchup. In the late innings, you guarantee that one of your best players has an advantageous matchup. Over the course of a season, that's worth a handful of wins. For the best teams, those handful of wins are the difference between playing in October and watching in October.

    You're assuming that I want to move Soler for spare parts. I'm talking about big, big trades like Soler for Gregory Polanco. The only way to get quality back is by giving up quality. No one is going to trade us a LH the caliber of the big 4 for spare parts.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Mike I think you are spot on IF Baez,Almora & Bryant make it you still need one left handed outfield bat (that could preferrably hit #3 or #4. Along with a left handed second baseman, which is an easier option with Alcantera or Bonaficio or someone outside the organization. You will still need that left handed power bat though.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'll second Tulane's point. I understand where you're coming from Mike. And I like Alcantara and hope he hits his ceiling... I really do.

    Everything else being EQUAL, everyone would prefer an even split of LH/RH.... But you don't sacrifice quality for the LH/RH balance... Alcantara is not EQUAL to Castro/Baez/Almora, (Assuming they hit their ceilings too) therefore unless one of them is seriously injured, Alcantara is effectively blocked, in our organization. So he becomes trade bait, not someone you build the top of your line-up card around.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Sounds like a good thesis for an EconoBall article!

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Thanks, Matt. EconoBall is taking a bit of a hiatus while I work through getting my job market paper ready to go and find funding for next year. Both of those are full time jobs by themselves. ;-)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I personally like Turner the most in this year's draft class. If they pass on him, I'll be a little bit upset but at the same time it probably means someone better fell on our laps and I'd be happy with any of Turner, Beede, Hoffman.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Baez is going nowhere! Only if he was an average 2B or 3B with 20HR power.

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    In reply to Quasimodo:

    We don't fully know what he is. He would be my personal last choice. But if Bryant and Rizzo establish themselves as lineup forces, and Baez remains strikeout prone, the Cubs may decide getting a huge haul for Baez (think 25-year old TOR starter huge) is better for the team than losing Castro's contact.

    Again, my last choice, but hard decisions are going to have to be made here. It's one of the few bad parts of having a stocked farm system.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I am not in disagreement, but this issue for me has a timeline, and NOW I don't think Baez is tradable from the cubs perspective. If when he gets to the big leagues he is a 20hr .250 hitter, then I think that will change. Cross our fingers. But I believe Baez will go to 3B. I think Bryant will go to RF or LF. I think Almora will be a better hitter than Castro. I hope Castro keeps it up. And unless we choose Turner in the draft, I think Castro stays. Some said here Alcantara isn't the offensive player Castro is and eluded something that seemed to insinuate him going to SS. I think SS is over for him. I also think he may have two assets over Castro though, that being speed and extra base pop! We will see. If Alcantara hits .280 with 25 SB and a little more pop, with switch-hit ability, I think that may push him over Castro's value, at say 2B. Where does Castro go? Traded for that TOR, with perhaps another prospect.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I agree Quasi, Alcantara may be more valuable than Castro in the long run and maybe now too. Last year he beat Castro in AVG, OBP, slugging, OPS, doubles, triples, HRs, RBI, BBs, and SBs. Of course he was in AA and Castro was in the majors but it is definitely possible Alcantara out produces Castro. And he can hit left handed and has speed which are huge team needs.

  • Inverted W?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Was thinking the same thing. That and the build (and potentially the stuff) make you think Chris Sale, which has positives and negatives.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I saw Strasburg with a slight build, but the Sale comp is an easy one as well. Kid looks like he'd weigh 90 pounds sopping wet.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Glad I saw your posts before I put mine up. In was thinking the same thing as you two

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I see Chris Sale as a TJ surgery waiting to happen, considering his mechanics make me cringe. Where are the pitchers like Maddux or Dave Stieb anymore, with the exact correct pitching motion?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Would you throw Mark Prior in that group as well?

  • In reply to Mike:

    Prior didn't have terrible mechanics, just a loose rotator cuff. I do not coach baseball, but I coach fastpitch softball internationally. We have less shoulder injuries, but when we do? One major issue is an arm built up in one hemisphere of the rotation more than the others, so you have a strong front-side to the shoulder and weak back-side or top. The ball moves around too much and cartilage is torn. I harp this constantly with the National Team coaches. That was Prior!

  • In reply to Mike:

    No, I wouldnt. Prior was the poster child for the inverted W motion. Seems anyone associated with Tom House eventually ran into arm problems.

  • Thanks for doing this John. If I remember correctly, didn't Rodon start out slowly last year too? Some guys just aren't 100% until a month or so into the season...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'm not going to worry about Rodon. A slow start for him is still better than 98% of the guys out there. He'll be fine. I'll be surprised if he isn't the #1 pick.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I'm calling a game tomorrow night that has a big RHP prospect (Sean Reid-Foley) playing. Well his HS team is playing anyways, not sure if he's pitching. Someone told he didn't pitch Friday and this is their last game for 2 weeks so I'm speculating he'll be on the mound anyways. Right now he projects anywhere from mid-1st to early 2nd depending on who you ask... I'll pass along my thoughts/impressions.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I know of Foley. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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    Also interesting: Law considers Kolek a top 2. If the Marlins feel the same way -- and they think they can save money on him -- life gets interesting. To go a step further, if the White Sox really do fall in love with a HS bat, the Cubs are in a great spot. (The only danger -- a guy like Beede or Hoffman may elect to turn down the offer to return for his senior year, a la Mark Appel.)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think Kolek is a closer in the making. Husky pitchers without a third pitch usually become closers. Now, I think he'd be a beast as a closer. He reminds me of Joba in the video I've seen. Maybe he grows out of some of that baby fat. Maybe he doesn't. I don't think he is a SP however. I'm no scout though.

  • My fav time of year with all the write-ups. Thanks as always for the college updates and forecasts. Who has the inverted W? No thanks to that SP, way too much strain on the arm.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    It looks to me from that photo that Fedde has an inverted W. I'm no scout and that's just one pic, from the front, but look at the position his elbows are in during his stride. Looks like an inverted W to me.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    When that back elbow drops he will be powering it forward as well. It means the ball of the humerus is going to be turning in the cuff along two planes (top to bottom rotation like in a circle, and equatorially). That is extra wear and tear. Maybe John can weigh in. I am not a baseball coach.

  • I think one name to keep an eye on is Keegan Thompson from Auburn. I saw him yesterday--complete game shutout and gave up one hit. He is a freshman. He was considered a top draft pick but wanted the college experience. He has played on many USA teams and is very mature for 18. He has a good fastball and can control it. He also throws a slider, change and curve. In addition, he is slick fielding 1b and has a great bat--just hasn't shown it yet!

  • Great blog John. No love for Max Pentecost? 1st post

  • In reply to Joel641:

    Thank Joel. I like Pentecost. I don't think he's top 5 worthy, but he has a chance to get there. We'll follow him and touch on new players every week.

  • How is Newcombe doing?

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    In reply to John57:

    10.2 IP. Good news: 15K. Bad news: 6BB. Their schedule doesn't really get going until next week, though.

  • I'm still hoping for Beede or Hoffman to make it to 1.4, but if Turner is the worst case scenario, I'm still happy. He's got an elite tool, a skillset not found in the Cubs farm system, and he's another up-the-middle asset to add to the collection. I've got no problem with that.

    I can see why people want to dream on Kolek, but I want no part of the prep bats. An advanced college player will fit in the timeline for the next wave of talent nicely.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I think you mean prep arms in regards to Kolek. I agree with you, but it would be pretty nice to pick up the next Texas power pitcher. He is a BIG kid and looks like he has elite talent, so I am sure someone will be tempted by him. I am just glad the picking isn't up to me because he would be a little tempting.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    I know he's a pitcher, I was just trying to say that I don't want a prep player, but I would understand why people would be intrigued by Kolek. He's got the body type I love in a SP prospect, but a prep player probably doesn't help until 2018 at the earliest. I'd prefer an advanced college player who could be up in 2016 right around the same time as Almora/Edwards etc.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Pitchers can move much more quickly through a system if talented.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Too many assets mean trade bait! A TOR starter with some talent someday.

  • My hope is that Rodon goes to Houston, Turner goes to Miami, and Kolek goes to the White Sox. That would leave us with our choice of Beade and Hoffman.

  • I hear a lot about Turner's speed, but I am wondering just how good it really is. Are we talking like Reyes speed? From what I hear, it sounds like he has a high baseball IQ and if he has Reyes speed to compliment, then I would definitely be happy with him at #4.

    On a side note, if Reyes wasn't constantly plagued with injuries throughout his career, I think he would have been a first ballot HOFer. Not only did he have tremendous speed, but he had a good understanding of what the pitcher was trying to do and how to get on base. I remember a Mets v Cubs game early in his career and I don't think I have ever seen a pitcher more uncomfortable when he was on first base. He would be a fun player to have a the top of a lineup.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    MLB Mayo rates his speed on the scale of 20 to 80 as an 80. Can't get any better than that.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    I think Jose Reyes is a realistic ceiling for Turner.

  • I'm completely fine with Turner at 1.4. I mentioned this the other day and Mike today, Turner and Alcantara at the top, followed by the power behind them, nice. The big 5 are coming.

  • This is almost like a drama series. What's going to happen next? This draft and the outcome of Olt at 3rd add to the intrigue.

    - We draft our hopeful TOR starter and Olt proves out
    - We draft our hopeful TOR starter and Olt bombs
    - We draft Turner and Olt proves out
    - We draft Turner and Olt bombs

    What we do next in any of the above scenarios will be quite interesting, and it isn't that far away.

  • Is it completely un possible that the Cubs draft the HS catcher with the good bat (Jackson)? I mean, Lord knows it's a position of need for the Cubs, and if he has a strong spring, could you really pass that up? Turner has an interesting tool set, but he's yet ANOTHER middle infielder, we have plenty. The pitchers are always valuable, but it's not like we don't have ANY that project to #3 quality or better.

    But at catcher, the Cubs have Castillo and........nothing.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    My understanding is that its very unlikely.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    The FO says it does not draft on need, but on talent. I think this is a 5%'er. If they are lacking in 2 years, they will trade other talent. Think of it like money in the bank. You have bags of dimes, and a few dollars. The total value is $100. You tell me we don't have enough $, so now we pass up on a bag of dimes worth $2 for $1. What have you gained? You lost! And that is how the front office will approach this!

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    One thing with Turner-not only what do we do with Castro/Baez, but what about someone like Glieber Torres? Scouts seem to think he can stick as a SS.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Torres probably won't be up for 3 to 5 years. We can worry about him then. You always want talent coming in the pipeline. It is a good thing.

  • Great shape! Hopefully two or three more guys emerge and make the decision really difficult!

    I grew up in Raleigh and my parents went to State. So, needless to say I love Rodon and Turner. I'm all about the middle of the diamond athlete, best player available theory. If Turner is the choice, I'll be pumped so don't get me wrong. However, if he didn't happen to play for the Pack I would not be on board with the BPA theory this year. Personally, I'd hate to pass on the pitcher at the top of two straight drafts. If for no other reason than just to possess the commodity for a few years. Maybe said pitcher flames out. Maybe he gets traded. I like Kolek as well as a potential choice. I would prefer the polished college arm from the big conference and good competition but how happy would we all be if we had a Lucas Giolito in the system?? A lot of basic similarities there. Could be Kolek in two years. At any rate, I think a pitcher there would add more value to the franchise.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I hope it's a pitcher, but only if the Cubs truly think he's the BPA. I don't believe in taking a lesser player under any circumstance.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    hear, hear!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I know it's used often, but I feel like BPA is almost too simplistic. Or at least doesn't do justice to the amount of detail to take into account when looking at 2 players. There are just so many factors for each player. What's his ceiling? What's his floor? What's his injury risk? What kind of player is he right now? How easily can he improve his weaknesses? And on and on and on.

    I think that injury part is so huge and why you see the Cubs take those position players so early. If you have 2 guys, one of which the Cubs expect to be a 20 WAR player if healthy but has a 30% chance of having a career threatening injury, the other an 18 WAR player with a 5% chance of a career threatening injury. My guess is most don't think of that injury factor for BPA and take door #1. My guess is the Cubs take door #2.

  • If you look at hit rate of picks, i.e. Bryant over Gray last year, do the Cubs go college position player since the pick is so high? Is that Turner? Is that Derek Fisher from UVA? I don't think you can discount Kolek number 1 to the Astros

  • In reply to Gator:

    Whoa! Never thought of the "Texas" angle! I wonder if Nolan Ryan will have an opinion?

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Right now Kolek based on Youtube videos is high school effectively wild. He is built like Sabathia. He has good leg drive but his arm slot wavers. This all seems correctable but without a boatload of talent in front of him here, he is 3 years away at a minimum. The Astros and Marlins have far more pitching talent at the upper levels of the minors to be able to wait on Kolek than the Cubs do. But if you had a chance at drafting the next Sabathia, you do it. So this is how one of the top college arms fall to the Cubs. You know the White Sox will be drafting a college pitcher.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Yes, agreed!

  • John,

    It is great to see Fedde getting some love. I am not sure if you remember, but that same day you saw Fedde play in the USA exhibition game, I tweeted you asking to see how he did in your eyes. I played against him in high school and I go to UNLV with him as well. I look forward to watching him pitch this year. Kid can really play.

  • The last speedy, lead off type batter we took with a first round choice was the infamous Ty Griffin back in '88. Lots of fanfare and expectations, but he topped out with a .232 AA BA.

    Obviously a different era and a different development strategy now, but what in Trea Turner's makeup and skill set leads you to believe he won't be the second coming of Ty Griffin?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Ty Griffin and Robin Ventura were both on an International/Olympic team that year. The coach of that team said that if he had to choose one player who will become a sure thing, a superstar in the big leagues, it would be Ty Griffin. Unbelievable!

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