MLB Draft Update: Arms ahead of bats early on but questions remain at the top

MLB Draft Update: Arms ahead of bats early on but questions remain at the top

We'll be doing our draft updates on Sunday nights this year, so look for them then.  The Cubs, of course, have the 4th pick in the draft and they're known as a BPA team, meaning they'll select the best player available.

This makes sense on many levels.  The first of which is prospect attrition.  You only need to go back and see how once top prospects like Corey Patterson, Mark Prior, Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson have faded to realize nobody is a sure thing.  Top prospects can get hurt or simply don't take that final step as consistent productive MLB players.  There is no such thing as too much depth when it comes to prospects.

It also makes sense when you take the perspective that teams should be building inventory and not trying to put future lineups or rotations together.  Prospects are assets that can either play the position at which they are picked, switch positions to fill a hole elsewhere, or get moved for a missing piece if necessary.  Maybe you think you absolutely need to pick an arm -- but you can also trade position player depth for pitching.  And if you are going to consider that route, it makes sense to take the most talented player available rather than reach for a lesser player to fill a need.

That said, most of the top talent and/or good performances this year  are coming from the mound.  The Cubs do lack a top of the rotation type and there are at least 4 arms who could fit that description this year.

The Arms

For the past 2+ seasons, it seems that Carlos Rodon has been a cinch for the top of the draft but one scout I talked to isn't 100% convinced and believes that he could be closer to the 4th best arm in the draft than at the very top.  It seems difficult to believe he'd drop to the Cubs as a lefty who is still hitting 94 and possesses a slider which is already a plus-plus pitch.

He's got the big body to be a durable pitcher at the top of a rotation.  There's a lot to like here even if he isn't as dominant as some had hoped he'd be.  He has been struggling with his command and perhaps becoming a little too dependent on that slider.

In his last outing, Rodon struck out 12 batters in 6.2 IP but he also walked 4 and gave up 2 runs.  He's been good this year but as mentioned, maybe not as dominant as expected, going 2-3 with a 2.45 ERA with 11 walk and 42 Ks in 36.2 IP.

Some feel that perhaps Tyler Beede has passed up Rodon as the best pitcher this season.  As we expected, he has improved his command this season and has gone 4-1 with a 0.84 ERA.  In 32.1 innings he has struck out 40 batters, but perhaps more importantly, has walked just 6.

Beede was recently locked up in an excellent pitcher's matchup with LSU's Aaron Nola, who statistically has been the best player in this draft.  Beede went 7.1 IP without giving up an earned run (one unearned), walking just one and striking out 7.  Nola matched and perhaps even surpassed that performance with 12Ks and just 2 walks in 6.2 innings.  Both pitchers got a no decision.

Nola is 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA this season in 33.2 innings.  He has walked just 4 batters and struck out 48.  But the question with Nola isn't his skill or even his stuff, which is plenty good enough to be at least a mid-rotation guy.  It's more about a low arm angle that scouts believe will make him susceptible to more advanced LH hitters.

Another pitcher on the rise is Florida State's Luke Weaver.  Weaver doesn't have the same kind of size or arm strength as Rodon or Beede -- or the next pitcher on this list, Jeff Hoffman, but Weaver can hit the mid 90s.  He sits more in low 90s and compliments that with a very good change-up.  There's some pitchability there and good athleticism, perhaps projecting as a Tim Hudson type pitcher if he reaches his ceiling.

Jeff Hoffman has struggled more than any pitcher projected to go at the top of the draft this year.  He's been tough to hit but he has struggled with his command this year, walking 15 batters in just 3` IP.  He has struck out 37.  Hoffman, however, has the kind of size and stuff you like at the top of the rotation, so it's hard to imagine him falling too far.  And it's not out of the question the Cubs would stop his slide at #4 if he does slide.  But as talented as he is, he has raised some questions.

Perhaps the best LHP in the draft is Hartford's Sean Newcomb, who is hitting 96 mph and has yet to give up an earned run (one run overall) in 24.2 innings.  Like Hoffman, however, he needs to throw more strikes to ensure going high in the draft.  He has walked 12 batters while striking out 31.

The top prep pitcher in the draft is still Tyler Kolek.  Already physically mature and a good athlete, I received a report that he hit 102 mph in his last outing.  While he doesn't project, he doesn't need to.  What he can do, however, is continue to improve his skills, such as the secondary stuff and the command, neither of which are particularly special at this point.  Still, you can't teach 102.

The Bats

It appears that Alex Jackson has emerged as the top bat in the draft.  He has the best bat speed in the draft and a plus plus arm that could play at C, 3B, or the OF, though there are some that believe Jackson prefers the OF.  He is a good athlete who handle a corner spot and should easily have the power to carry the position offensively.  He's experienced for a prep player, having started the showcase circuit as a junior in high school.  The Cubs tend to prefer college bats, but if they do go for  a high school bat, it'd be a guy like Jackson who has been tracked extensively and has more  experience vs. top competition than most people his age.

Jacob Gatewood can match Jackson in terms of power but there his a little bit more risk to his stock.  He is a SS now but will play 3B as he fills out.  He has tremendous power and the skills to be a good defender.  I don't see Gatewood as a Cubs type pick because of the added risk involved, but he could go as high as #3 to the White Sox.

Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State turned some heads early on with his performance to start the year but has since cooled off a bit, hitting
.302/.374/.410 with 3 HR.  On the plus side, he has excelled against tougher competition this year, which is something scouts like to see.  Worthy of a top 4 pick, though?  Probably not, but if he can finish strong and stick at catcher, he will go at least in the top 10.

Trea Turner has struggled with the bat of late, hitting just .231 in 6 conference games and dropping to a .316/.386/.382 line overall this season.  He  has shown a good approach this year and his usual good defense, but Turner's calling card will be his speed.  I have mixed feelings on Turner, I like what he can bring in terms of top of the order skills, but nagging doubts about his hit tool temper my enthusiasm for now.


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  • With some more pitchers climbing the ranks of Top 10 Caliber prospects, one would think the Cubs would be looking to draft a pitcher.

    I understand your thought on not drafting for a specific need as so much can happen during the development years, it is not as if the Cubs would be choosing between a particular position, they are choosing between Bat and Arm.

    On top of that, the hitters mentioned do not seem to be impact type bats, though Jackson does come close. Whereas the Pitchers appear to have 3-4 guys that could be TOR type guys, with a couple of them being capable of being in the majors in 2016.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    If the Cubs select a pitcher, it's because it'll be the best overall player available -- and because pitchers have higher risk, they're going to have to have significantly higher ceiling. That said, the best combo of floor and ceiling among bats is Jackson, while there are 4 pitchers who fit that description -- so the odds are pretty good it will be a pitcher when all is said and done. But if, for example, they like 3 of the pitchers and not the 4th guy and the first 3 are gone, they're not going to force taking the pitcher, they'll take the best guy. You can take that to the bank with this FO.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. So my question to you is do you feel that any of the positional guys are in the Top 4 players as of right now?

    (And I realize your opinion is based on some discussions with Scouts and not from Theo/Jeds mouth)

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Jackson is the most likely. Some like Turner, others not as much. Gatewood also has mixed opinion. Ceiling is as good as anyone but some bust potential.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    But that said, I like the 4 pitchers at this point.

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    Nice stuff as usual. While I'm leaning your way Turner, I do wonder if he will end up being mana from heaven to someone in the 7-10 pick range.

    I'm starting to really like Hoffman to the Cubs. If I were a betting man, I'd say Rodon, Beede, and Kolek are off the board when the Cubs pick, though the order is tough to call at the moment.

    Question on Jackson: if the Cubs do feel the bat is special enough to pick at number four regardless of eventual position, do they consider moving him to 3B or OF (similar to Wil Myers) to extend his career and keep the bat in the lineup 150+ games a year?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Turner didnt hit well when I went to see him for a couple of games, so even though it's just a small sample, it has stuck in my mind. So when I see him struggle, I worry a bit about the bat.

  • Could you see Houston taking Kolek or Jackson this year, since they didn't take Bryant or Gray last year and they don't like to pay full slot value?

  • In reply to Cleme:

    I think barring injury, Rodon still goes first.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And if he doesn't go in the top couple of picks I wouldn't be surprised he does like Appel and not sign and try to improve and go #1 next year.

  • This is really good news in terms of how things are shaking out so far. At worst, you've got Beede, Rodon, Hoffman, Kolek and (it increasingly looks like) Nola at the top of the board. So the Cubs are guaranteed a TOR prospect at #4, it's only a matter of which one. And frankly, I could live with ANY of them given our current evidence, with preference for Beede and Rodon.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I don't think Nola is a TOR prospect. In fact, there's a lot of people that have projected him as a future #4.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I think both Nola and Weaver could go in top half of the draft, but top 5 for either is a stretch, in my opinion. Nola is more of a mid-rotation ceiling if the arm angle doesn't become an issue.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, I think he's probably worked his way into that mid-rotation projection. Can't remember where I saw it, but even with his performance I've seen people put a mid-1st round.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I like everything I have read so far about Beede,..... which probably means he will be off the board by the #4 pick.

  • Really hoping one of Beede/Rodon/Hoffman are there at #4.

    None of the position players (especially Turner) do anything for me. And while Kolek looks intriguing, I'm scared of HS pitchers this high in the draft. A lot of risk there.

  • If Rodon falls to the Cubs, do have enough slot money to sign him? Maybe another Appel situation?

  • In reply to JoelH641:

    Rodon will be a tough sign if he falls to 4th, but unless he's injured in a minor way (like Manaea) I just don't see it happening.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You sort of answered this question, but wanted to get your thoughts on a slightly different scenario. If Rondon does fall, is there any chance the. Cubs pass on him due to the signing risk? Anything change if a Beede or Hoffman were still available?

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    I think the Cubs would take him and find a way to sign him -- of course, they'd probably research this in advance as they likely did with Appel 2 years ago.

  • John: When I look at the MLB 2014 Prospect Watch by position, one of the areas that seems like a "good not great' list is left handed pitching. Even at the major league level, a TOR southpaw is a pretty rare thing. Have to believe the Marlins and White Sox are licking their chops at the possibility of Rodon slipping-just can't see him falling to the Cubs. With that said, what do you know about this Aiken kid from the west coast? I don't see any 70 or 80 ratings, but he seems like a consistent pitcher skill wise across the board with size(6'3" 210 lbs). Does this high school player have enough ceiling to ultimately be in the discussion for teams in the # 4-6 range?

  • With .500 pitchers making 10-12 million a year, It is best to
    develop our own.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It is, but does that mean you go 4th overall? This year I think the answer is likely yes, which is fortunate for them.

  • I agree John. I think right now Rodon goes 1, Kolek goes 2 and Jackson or Beede go 3. We will be left with Jackson or Beede and Hoffman. In this scenario, who do you think that we pick?

  • In reply to Gladiator:

    I think if Beede is there they'll take him. I still think they'll go Hoffman over Jackson if that is the choice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think that Jackson is the only bat that they would consider. How about Kolek or Jackson if the three college arms go 1,2,3?

  • In reply to Gladiator:

    They've scouted both. I get the feeling they're pretty close, but I think they'll go Kolek.

  • Assuming Beede and Rodon are the first two picks, who are the next two? The Sox have their spark plug in Eaton, so I don't see them going Turner, and they've said they are looking at pitching, but if Hoffman slides, will they go Kolek, or will they look at Jackson, or Gatewood? If the first three picks are Beede, Rodon and Hoffman in no particular order, the Cubs have their work cut out for them. It would be interesting to know which of the projected Top 10 picks are represented by Boras. They could likely be eliminated for consideration at No. 3 given the acrimony between Boras and the Sox.

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    In reply to Cleme:

    I think they'll take Kolek and thank the baseball gods for the luck.

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    I still have what one anonymous ALE scout told MLBNR's Grant Paulsen several week back about Turner's makeup. Paulsen said he was told that Turner's makeup was off the charts and compared it to Derek Jeter's makeup.

    I'm not worried about whether or not we draft a pitcher. You always take BPA regardless in the first round, and if Beede, Rodon and Hoffman are gone when its the Cubs turn to pick, Trea Turner is that player for me.

    I don't see this FO taking Kolek. It's not their way of doing things to take a high school pitcher in the first round.

    The great thing about this draft is that it is so deep in college pitching. Getting projectable arms with high upside isn't going to be an issue in this draft. Ole Miss RHP Chris Ellis and Evansville LHP Kyle Freeland are two to keep an eye on.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    We do know the Cubs value makeup very highly. But that being said, Brett Jackson has tremendous makeup -- but the hit tool may be his demise. I get mixed opinion on Turner and I'm hoping the more optimistic reports are correct.

  • The Cubs are going to get high-impact talent with the 1.4 pick. Without question. After Almora and Bryant I have complete faith that the #4 overall pick is going to become a top 5 talent in the Cubs system and it's just way too early to speculate exactly who it's going to be - if for no other reason than just because it depends on who isn't taken by the first three picks.

    What I'm more interested in is what the Cubs can do with the 2.4 pick because the #45 overall pick (approximately - depending where Morales and Drew sign) should still have some big talent available. My early picks for names to watch out for are Matt Imhof / LHP / Cal Poly - I really hope he lasts until the second round - and Aramis Garcia / c / Florida Int'l - who has been crushing it this season and a catcher would always look nice in the Cubs farm system.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    We are doing round 2 next week and yes, Imhof is a guy to watch.

  • Hmm...I thought I read the Marlins really like Kolek and think he might sign for less than slot which is important to them. Has anyone else read the same thing?

  • In reply to Deacon:

    I've heard the Marlins do like him. But if Houston has any doubts about Rodon, getting the local kid at less than slot could be very appealing to them.

  • I think barring injury, the only player that Houston might take ahead of Rodon would be Kolek. I really think that Rodon and Kolek go 1, 2. It looks like we will be getting Beede, Hoffman or Jackson. The wildcard could be Sean Newcomb, the lefty from Hartford. I really want no part of Turner or Gatewood. I also only want Jackson if we think that he stays at catcher. We do not need another right handed hitting outfielder.

  • In reply to Gladiator:

    I'd agree with that. I just don't see Beede going 1st or even 2nd. I think top for him is 3rd.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm hoping he slides to 4th, and the Cubs snap him up.

    Unless (of course) somebody looks better by June.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Given the Sox historic dislike of giving extensions to pitchers, is it possible at all that their draft philosophy follows that same course? I looked back at their last 7 first round picks (and while only one of those fell in the top 10), only two of those players were pitchers (Chris Sale among those). I just wonder if they are a BPA team or more apt to avoid a pitcher that high in the draft due to Reinsdorf's historic concerns about paying big money to pitchers.

    Also, there is no chance in hell that the Sox draft Rodon if he slips past 2, since his ask is going to be overslot, for sure.

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    A little perspective on Newcombe: walking 12 batters in 24 innings is high, but he's striking out about 11.5K/9 and SO to BB ratio is 2.5:1 - those numbers ain't bad, overall.

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    John, with the Detroit injuries could they be possibly interested in Schierholtz and Barney to temporarily fill their holes and what do they have to trade that could help us? I think that Barney could do a decent job at short with their lineup.

  • In reply to rvt13:

    It's possible but it's hard to imagine the Cubs getting much back for it. They'd have to want to make the deal to open up roster and/or starter spots for guys like Bonifacio and Kalish.

  • John:
    1). Who would YOU take if the draft was held tomorrow?
    2). Will you have a contest to correctly guess the top 5-10 players taken in June?
    3). When do the players sign with their respective agents i.e. Bor-ass?

  • Hey John,

    great postings as always on the draft and minor league system. I still think C. Rodon goes #1 and really it would take alot for him to fall to the Cubs at 4. I would gladly take him even if some scouts are a little down on him at he moment.

    Right now I think the Cubs preference is:

    1. C. Rodon
    2. T. Beede
    3. J. Hoffman
    4. T. Kolek/A. Jackson
    5. B. Aiken???

    I don't think they would select a player like J. Gatewood at 4 because like you said there is too much risk. I think they really are hoping T. Beede will fall to them. I think that's their guy because A.) they've probably heard good things about him from Minor League Pitching Coordinator D. Johnson B.) his control/command is improving C.) he can advance quickly through the system.

    Personally, I'm all about upside and ceiling. I really really like T. Kolek and think he can become a TOR monster in a few years. That velocity is incredible and I believe he still has a good body that can become more toned/stronger with professional instruction. That doesn't mean I think he'll add more velocity because you really can't once you're throwing that hard, but I do think he can learn how to pace himself and keep his velocity through 6-7 innings consistently. I'm not afraid of taking a prep arm anymore. Look at A. Bradley, J. Taillon and J. Fernandez and other special arms that have been taken recently out of high school.

    I fully trust the Cubs pitching staff to bring him along slowly and limit his innings early on. I also believe they can improve his secondary pitches which lag behind his fastball.

    I think if we can't get T. Beede or C. Rodon it'll fall between J. Hoffman or T. Kolek. Maybe A. Jackson...

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    I could see that order. I don't know about Aiken at this point, but I think Rodon, Beede, Hoffman, Kolek, Jackson is a solid top 5. I'm not ready to rule out Turner yet. It's still early and he has many of the qualities the Cubs look for -- but they have to believe in the hit tool for it to matter.

  • For me, where it really gets interesting is if the big 3 college arms (Rodon, Hoffman, & Beede) are gone when we pick at 1.4. Since they all 3 seem to be MLB-TOR SP's in 3yrs time, those are the obvious choices. But if they're gone, are they intrigued enough with Kolek to take a HS pitcher this high? this doesn't fir their M.O. Will Turner hit enough to justify a 1.4 pick? Will one of the HS position players raise their floor enough to warrant 1.4?

    We're in an a precarious spot. We could get a top 2 talent fall to us, and we could just as easily see our guy or all 3 college arms go right before us...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think part of what makes Kolek appealing is there is less risk because no projection is required. He's already hitting triple digits, he's filled out physically, and he's a good athlete who should be able to maintain ability while improving secondary skills. That said, I think he'll be gone in the top 3.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think in the case of Kolek, it's the opposite of projection. He's already the size of a house so they're "projecting" what impact their routines will have on his conditioning/stamina, etc... Like you said he's already hitting 100mph, the real risks are can he maintain his velocity, develop his secondaries, and stay healthy.

    I guess my point was/is Epstoyer and Co don't typically draft HS arms in the 1st round. I assume that's mostly because of the lower floors/increased risk. Is Kolek special enough to move ahead of the likes of Turner/Jackson, etc if the 3 college arms are gone? I realize his ceiling is high, but where's his floor? His pitchability isn't really advanced enough to be higher than any other HS arm, is he?

    Then again, Kolek may be gone when we pick so...

  • OT but, Badler has some recent video and write-up on Tseng out of ST. I still say this kid flies through our lower minors and jumps into top prospect rankings after 2014....

  • If Kolek falls to 4, I'd be ecstatic. You can't teach 100 mph.

  • There doesn't seem to be many mentioning Newcombe. He is 6"5' LH SP who can hit 96 mph and hasn't given up a earned run yet in 24 inning s pitched. I would add him to Rodon, Beede, Hoffman and Kolek for my top 5 pitchers right now. Turner and Jackson are my top 2 hitters. I would be happy with getting any one of those seven.

  • john57, I am with you on Newcombe, big strong lefty who is a TOR potential. You cant teach the lefty factor. My top 3 picks right now would be: 1. Rondon 2. Newcombe 3. Kolek (I hope one of those 3 fall to #4). With Beede and Hoffman as additional options I think the Cubs will be getting a potential ace in this draft. Hopefully they pan out.

  • My monday morning brain thinking about the future starting rotation.

    Max Scherzer or Justin Masterson with leftover Tanka money.
    2014 1st Pick: [Hoffman, Beede, Kolek, Rodon]
    Travis Wood extension. Ideally your #4 pitcher

    Shark: stays or traded

    Edwards, Vizcaino, Johnson, Hendricks, Blackburn, Zastryzny, etc

    Get a top 10 protected pick

  • 2015 rotation options of: Scherzer,Shark,Wood with back end options of: Edwards,Johnson,Hendricks,Grimm, draft pick of (Beede,Newcombe) then Jokisch, Vizcaino or Ramirez. That gives you 9 solid options for 2 slots in 2015.

    The key is getting someone like Scherzer at the top of the rotation,
    then everything falls into place.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    oops, I forgot about Arrieta as well.

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    In reply to bleachercreature:

    Wood IS a back end option.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    based on what? last years performance? his stuff?
    No I think Wood is a solid #3 on a contending team.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Shark is the one who still hasnt proven he is anywhere near a #2 on a perennial contender. His stuff is there but this year I think will determine what kind of pitcher shark really is. Can he be a guy in the playoffs that you have a very good chance of winning when he pitches or will he have that bad inning that cost you the playoffs?

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    Medlen, Beachey, Corbin, Jarrod Parker, John Niese....all good pitchers last year, and all headed for a visit to Dr. Andrews, followed by season-ending TJS. This on top of Matt Harvey and alot of others from last year.

    My point? IMO, good pitching beats good hitting (see: Giants WS teams), but good hitting is more reliable year in and year out (see: Giants).

    I think the Cubs have approached it the right way; start with a base of hitters, then get pitching, and get VOLUMES of pitching, because no matter how many you get, injuries will factor and you'll need everybody. There's no such thing as surplus pitching.

    Also, great article from Fangraphs on pitching injuries. Moral of the story: DO NOT PITCH THROUGH PAIN. Report immediately to your team:

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    In reply to Zonk:

    St Louis had BY FAR the better rotation AND overall bullpen than Boston did last year.

    A team is a team.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    I think the pitching/hitting dichotomy gets overplayed a bit with this front office. They have expressed a belief that it's easier to get pitchers later in the draft than pitchers. However, after they say that, they seem to have had Appel on top of their wish list going into the draft last year.

    I think they really do spend their early rounds taking best player available in order to build up, as Theo calls it, assets. Here their belief that mid round pitching outperforms mid round hitting comes into play, although they broke that by taking Hannemann in the 3rd round last year. These asset of the player is not unlike a stock in a new company. It's eventual value will be based on how strong a performer he ends up being. In this context, "floor" and "ceiling" are guides as to that value. Kind of similar to market saturation and operating cash flow for the new company. When the asset's final value is realized, Theo can then either play them or trade them for an equally valued asset.

    So, if Theo thinks that Alex Jackson will be the most valuable asset in 4 years time, it makes sense to grab him when the pick comes around. If that day comes and the offense is stacked and we still need pitching, Jackson can be shipped out and will bring back equal value which, if Theo is right, will be greater than any pitcher he could have taken in that slot.*

    I realize there's a lot of "if Theo is right" in that but, essentially, that is what he's paid for. If he's wrong, we'll find someone better capable of evaluating assets.

    *That's not completely accurate but close enough. A full answer would speak of different levels of performance and expected chance to reach that level.

  • In my opinion, the wisest move by Epstein and Hoyer during their time with the Cubs was the aggressive signing of international free agents last year. The Cubs now have a second and third wave of offensive players in their system with all star potential. I think the system depth provided by these prospects gives the Cubs the luxury of taking a risk and drafting a pitcher in the first round this year.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    They have got some IFA pitching prospects too; Tseng, Paniagua, Mejia, Moreno. But yes I definitely agree with you that is was wise to aggressively sign IFA prospects. And I don't think they will stop any time soon. Of course they will be limited to spending 250 K per prospect next season. Imagine the volume they will accumulate.

  • Very fine article John. I believe the cubs will take Jackson, and would be very reluctant to draft any of the pitchers at #4.
    This week is a great example of the high risk of young pitchers.
    The front office has shown a strategy of getting high ceiling position players early, and not investing large amounts of money on pitching. Instead get a lot of good arms, and kill them with quantity.

  • You could be right there, Ron. That wouldn't shock me. The talent is on the mound but there's all kinds of risk at the top.

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    Law wrote a remarkably glowing scouting of Brady Aiken today.

    He thinks he can go #1 overall.

    Say what you will about Law, but he's maintained no one was even close to Rod on for awhile now, so that's pretty high praise.

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