No game previews on Sundays because of the Daily Minor League Recap, Anarchist's Brunch, and MLB Draft Update but one quick note: The Cubs have sent Chris Rusin back down and have recalled Blake Parker. Brian Schlitter remains in Iowa for now. You can use this space for a game thread as well.
Here is your draft date...
Carlos Rodon back in form
One thing that seemed set in stone as we headed in the 2014 draft is that Carlos Rodon was going to go #1. But things don't always go as planned. Rodon has gotten off to a sluggish starts and talk gradually turned toward other candidates for the #1 pick
But the old, dominant Rodon returned this week, putting up a line of 7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K -- but more importantly, showing his customary mid 90s velocity and reaching 98.
According to Aaron Fitt of BA:
Reports of Rodon's demise greatly exaggerated: sitting 94-96, up to 98, slider 87-89, cutter 90-91 both filthy.
Another scout said he changed his approach in a positive way. Multiple scouts reported he looked outstanding.
So if this Rodon is the one we see for the rest of the year, does he once again become a serious candidate to go #1?
He most certainly will go ahead of the other college arms and only Brady Aiken and perhaps Tyler Kolek would present a challenge for that spot if Rodon proves that his last outing was indicative of what's to come.
Cubs top executives scout Kolek
The Cubs top executives have been out to see Tyler Kolek recently and we know they've also seen Brady Aiken, Tyler Beede, and Jeff Hoffman in the past. We've also read that Jason McLeod was very impressed by Alex Jackson, perhaps the only position player with a chance to go in the top 5.
Video on Brady Aiken:
This video is from the previous week but if you want to gain some understanding of why scouts have suddenly gone gaga over Aiken, this video will help. Aiken has always been a polished pitcher with a good approach, advanced pitchability and command, and a starter's repertoire. That alone made him a candidate for the first half of the first round, but this year Aiken's velocity has risen into the mid 90s with some reports of him hitting 97.
Weekend performances and updates:
- With his last performance, Carlos Rodon now has a 2.29 ERA on the year with 21 walks and 72 strikeouts in 63 innings.
- Another rough outing for Tyler Beede and I think at this point we have to consider him out as far as #1 pick consideration. Beede went 5 innings and allowed 9 hits and 7 runs 4 earned). He walked 4 and struck out 4.
- Jeff Hoffman was better, but still not showing the dominance that people expect from his stuff. The best news is that he did not walk a batter, but the rest of his line was solid but not special: 6.1 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 4 Ks. Below is some video of Hoffman
- Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs are in the process of putting together their final top 25 for their draft board. In case you are wondering why 25 when they have the 4th pick, remember that Pierce Johnson was well within their top 25 two years ago and wound up getting him with their 2nd pick.
- Dan Kirby of TTFB profiles 10 high school players on the rise.
- Big League Futures' Matt Grabowski profiles Jeff Hoffman.
- ESPN's Chris Crawford talks about some pitchers moving up draft boards. Nick Burdi, Jordan Foley and Michael Cederoth are two bullpen arms who could reach the majors quickly. (Insider Only)
Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft