Not much happening on the national scene, but some hope for the future and a bit of news from the staff here at Cubs Den...
UPDATE: Pierce Johnson has "hamstring soreness" and while I'm never excited about any injury, at least it's not his arm. Some of you may remember that Johnson did have some forearm issues as an amateur but they have not developed into anything more serious.
Per Jason McLeod, the injury may cause him to skip a start but it isn't serious enough for him not to open the season on Tennessee's roster.
Baseball America lauds Cubs 2013 IFA class
Catch up on the Cubs outstanding 2013 IFA class here with Ben Badler. You may know most of the names but Badler talks about a few we haven't mentioned much here, including catcher Yohan Matos and SS Jesus Gonzalez. Absent from the list is 3B Wladimir Galindo.
No team landed more potential impact talent on the international amateur market last year than the Cubs, although it didn’t all go as planned and they will have to face spending restrictions during the next signing period for going well beyond their bonus pool.
There are good, length write-ups here on 7 Cubs signees: Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres, Jefferson Mejia, Erling Moreno, Jen-Ho Tseng, Matos, and Gonzalez. The Cubs signed 27 players overall not including Galindo.
MLB Draft Update: Will Cubs consider a high school prospect?
Have heard reports that the Cubs have actively scouted Texas prep fireballer Tyler Kolek. Drafting a high school pitcher this early would be a departure from what many observers expect , but if Carlos Rodon, Jeff Hoffman, and Tyler Beede all go in the first 3 picks, the Cubs may go with arguably the highest upside arm in the draft.
Some reports circulating that Jason McLeod is high on prep catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson. One source I talked to that if this is true, then much has changed since November. I have heard the White Sox have also shown a great deal of interest in Jackson, though they've been vocal about drafting a pitcher publicly. For what it's worth, Chris Crawford of MLB Draft Insider also has the Cubs in on Alex Jackson. He has them selecting him in his mock draft over both Tyler Beede and Trea Turner.
Though both players are high schoolers, both have been on scouts radars for a long time now and if the Cubs were to draft a high school player, it would almost certainly be a guy with some polish and an established track record. Both Kolek and Jackson fit that description.
BP Prospect Gathering a Success
In case you missed it, Baseball Prospectus held a gathering and I was honored to be among the guests to talk prospects. It was a good time and I was able to meet quite a few Cubs Den readers in person as well as run into some old friends and meet some writers in person. Here I am talking prospects with Kane County announcer Wayne Randazzo. Wayne told me he's excited about the arms that will be starting the year at Kane County this season.
Picture from WrigleyvilleNation.com
You can read more about the event here.
Other News and Notes:
- There will be a slight delay with our weekly prospect list. Due up are prospects #21 through #25. We're getting up to date video on one of the top prospects, so we think it's worth the wait.
- Mauricio will be at Mesa and we should soon get in-person reports here. Looking forward to it.
- Pierce Johnson is on "limited activity" at the minor league camp. No reason is known at this time. We'll try and find out more specifics if we can, but getting specific injury news has proven difficult in the past.
- Lake CF
- Schierholtz DH
- Ruggiano LF
- Rizzo 1B
- Castillo C
- Sweeney RF
- Murphy 2B
- Valbuena 3B
- Barney SS
What to Watch:
- Lake is in the leadoff spot. It's a curious place for him considering his lack of patience, but Lake can be a factor on the bases once he does get on.
- Apparently Sweeney's injury was a minor one, he's back in the lineup and in the field todayl.
- Lots of role players in the lineup looking to impress and steal some extra ABs during the season. So far, nobody has made a better case for that than newcomer Justin Ruggiano.
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