Our annual Cubs-centric MLB Draft Preview`

Our annual Cubs-centric MLB Draft Preview`

The smoke usually starts to clear by this point and we have a pretty good idea of who is going where. But that isn't quite the case this year.  As one scout told me, a lot of the mock drafts this year are going to be wildly inaccurate, particularly as it gets beyond the top 5-10 picks.

Even those top 5-10 picks are anything but certain and if you check out those mock drafts, the Cubs pick seems to change from week to week.  That said, we have a pretty good idea of who will be there and what the Cubs are looking at, so we're going to sum it up here as best we can...

The Top MLB Draft Prospects

Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State

Rodon has rebounded from his "slow" start and is pitching like the Rodon that everybody thought would be a foregone conclusion as the top pick in the draft.  He's back up into the 97 mph range and he's once again spinning off top of the scouting scale sliders.  It seems like a long, long time ago that Keith Law was saying Rodon could slip all the way down to the Cubs at #4.  That seems highly unlikely right now.  The biggest concern with Rodon is that he's thrown a lot of pitches (over 130 in his last two starts) as North Carolina State makes it's late season push toward the playoffs.  The only other thing that can stop Rodon from going #1 overall is if the Houston Astros decide to once again save a little money for later in the draft.  Rodon isn't going to come cheap -- nor should he.  But even if he somehow slips past the Astros, he's now a long shot to get to the Cubs, though Chris Crawford of ESPN thinks the possibility still exists (insider only)

Tyler Kolek, RHP, H.S. (Texas)

No pitcher or player at any level has been better from start to finish than Tyler Kolek.  He's physically mature with a lightning bolt for a right arm, consistently sitting in the mid 90s with some reports having had him reach as high as 102.   But he's not just a thrower -- Kolek shows a surprising feel when it comes to pitching and has pitched with outstanding control, walking just 5 batters all year vs. 102 Ks.  What Kolek lacks now are plus secondaries -- his slider is average and he's only thrown a handful of changeups all season.  But the arm strength is there as well as some knowledge of the art of pitching.  He's most likely going in the top 2 and out of the Cubs reach, but the Cubs have been scouting him closely -- so you have to believe they believe there is at least a chance that he could fall to them.  It's a reflection of the uncertainty that exists in the 2014 draft.

Brady Aiken, LHP, H.S. (California)

The common perception is that the Cubs won't take a high school pitcher but sources tell me that they strongly considered taking another California prep LHP in Max Fried if Albert Almora had been picked.  As it were, the Padres, who have a similar drafting philosophy to the Cubs for obvious reasons, took Fried with the very next pick.    Aiken is a better prospect than Fried, in fact, some put him in that elite category. Keith Law thinks he's best overall prospect in the draft.  Like Kolek, the Cubs are still watching him closely so he remains a legitimate option for them.

Aiken went into the season known as a guy with good, but not great stuff, but also a polished pitcher who had an advanced feel.  This year has seen a jump in his velocity with some reports as high as 97 mph.  All agree he has sat consistently in the 92-94 range, generating that with a fluid, athletic delivery.   His secondaries are already considered above average and with time he could have 3 plus pitches. There is a lot to like here and although the Cubs front office prefers college players, Aiken is as advanced as any of the top college arms.  I think of him as something like the pitcher version of Albert Almora.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt

After a blistering start that had some whispering that he had a chance to go #1 overall, Beede has faded in his last few starts.   Beede is a mature kid with a fastball that sits 92-94 but can reach 96 mph.  The main question with him has been command.  When he pitches it with it, as he did early in the year, he looks like an ace.  When he doesn't have it, he looks more like a mid rotation guy at best.

The Cubs are known to like Beede although we don't know for certain if he's their preferred pick at this spot.  It may well depend on what happens with the three names above him on this list.  Beede is another top of the rotation type pitcher with the athleticism, makeup, and background to continue to make adjustments and improve his command.  He may not have the best combination of stuff and command right now, but a good coaching staff has an excellent chance to help him develop and reach his ceiling as a front line guy.

Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina

Hoffman has arguably the best stuff of any college arm in this draft but command questions, consistency, and a slow start had him slipping out of what was once a lock for the 2nd overall pick behind Rodon.  A couple of recent dominant outings have put him back in serious top 5 consideration with an excellent chance to once again go in the top 3.

What I've heard from scouts is that there is not a whole lot of concern about his recent arm soreness and the fact that he'll miss two starts.  I have a hard time dismissing it so easily, especially since I know of one scout who isn't exactly in love with is delivery.    But opinions do differ there and the stuff and recent dominance are hard to ignore.  Hoffman is a potential ace in an era when acquiring one from outside the draft is becoming increasingly difficult.  I expect Hoffman to go very high, possibly as high as the #3 overall pick.

Alex Jackson, OF, H.S. (California)

Jackson has had a very good year with the bat and some like him for the Cubs pick.  Jason McLeod himself has said he's a big fan of Jackson -- but here's the thing: I don't see the Cubs taking him with the 4th pick for a number of reasons.  While you really don't pick for need, the Cubs are loaded with RH hitters and unlike Kris Bryant last year, Jackson isn't a high floor player who is head and shoulders above the rest of the hitters in this class.  I don't see enough separation there, but some teams might.  He has the best bat speed in the class and he has a lot of added experience against top flight competition as a veteran of the showcase circuit, which he has participated in since he was a junior in high school.  From a physical standpoint, the question with Jackson is where he's going to play.  He has a bit of a thick build (which is probably why so many scouts wanted to see him try catcher) and while he's athletic with a very strong arm, it's difficult to see him being able to retain enough speed to play CF.  He's a corner OF'er, which puts a lot of burden on his bat, particularly the power tool.  I think he's a good fit for an AL team that focuses on offense and can find a place for him on defense.

Nick Gordon, SS, H.S. (Florida)

Gordon is one of the fastest risers in the draft and we know how much the Cubs love athletic, middle of the field players.  He replaces Trea Turner as the top player of that ilk in this draft, but the fact that he's a high school player with a questionable hit tool gives pause.  Gordon, however, has hit extremely well this season, batting over .500 vs. a high level of high school competition, so for many, those concerns have abated somewhat.  The tools are there for him to be a solid hitter as well, so he could end up being one of the better players in the draft.  Nobody really questions his defensive abilities or his athleticism and there are no concerns about his approach or feel for the game as the son of a former big league ballplayer.  Gordon is an all-around talent and if you believe in his bat, then he may well be the first position player taken in this draft.  I haven't heard the Cubs connected to him, but that doesn't mean they aren't.  They can be pretty sly when they want to be.

Others to watch: Grant Holmes, RHP, H.S. (South Carolina); Bradley Zimmer, OF, U. of San Francisco; Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State; Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU

I don't think any of these players are under serious consideration.  There are some who really like Grant Holmes but it's hard to justify picking picking him over the top 5 arms in this draft.  You'd have to be the team that saw something special in him that makes you believe he can be better than one or more of the top 5 pitching prospects -- there are those kinds of teams out there, but I don't know if the Cubs are one of them.  Zimmer has cooled off and was a long shot at #5 to begin with.  Turner opened the season as a legit top 5 candidate but a poor season with the bat makes his floor lower than the Cubs feel comfortable with at that spot.  Nola is a productive college pitcher who projects more as a #4 type at the MLB level.  He has a high floor, but not enough ceiling to justify a pick in the top 5 -- though I could see him going early to a team looking to get a sure thing and save money for later in the draft.  Personally, if I were going to go with an undersized SP prospect, I'd go with Florida State RHP Luke Weaver.

What I believe the top 5 teams in the draft are thinking...

  1. Houston Astros: Carlos Rodon seems like the slam dunk pick as the guy with the best combination of ceiling and floor in this draft but pitch counts and draft strategy make this far less than a 100% certainty.  If the Astros do not take Rodon, then it becomes a choice between home state fireballer Tyler Kolek and the fast rising Brady Aiken.  I don't think any other player is in play here.
  2. Miami Marlins:  I hear them most connected with Tyler Kolek and after success with their last hard throwing right-handed prep schooler -- Jose Fernandez -- as well as the last time they went with a Texas flamethrower (Josh Beckett) it's hard to argue with them. I think if the Astros take Rodon, this pick is a lock for Kolek.  If the Astros take Aiken, then the Marlins will have a choice between Rodon, who holds additional appeal because of his Hispanic background, and Kolek.
  3. Chicago White Sox: The White Sox are hard to figure out, but we can put a few pieces together.  They're more inclined to take athletic prep players so you can't rule out Alex Jackson or even Nick Gordon, though the Sox did take an athletic SS in the last draft in Tim Anderson, so I'd lean Jackson between the two.  If they go pitching, the word I hear is that they want someone who can contribute sooner rather than later because they're not inclined to go through a longer term rebuilding process (not KW's style) -- and because of that they're leaning college arm if they opt for pitching.  Early reports had them connected to Jeff Hoffman, but it's uncertain how much the arm soreness has affected their decision.  If he's healthy, I think he's a good bet.  If not, then they could go with Tyler Beede.
  4. Chicago Cubs:  I think the Cubs are leaning college pitcher here but as mentioned, they're still scouting the high school arms.  The front office has said they'd take a prep pitcher if he is a once in a decade talent and you could make the argument that both Tyler Kolek and Brady Aiken could fit that description.  They've long been fans of Tyler Beede and there is the connection with minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson, but I don't think that comes into play here.  The Cubs are going to take the pitcher they believe has the best chance at succeeding and I get the feeling they prefer Beede over Hoffman, though that is purely my speculation -- no inside source there.  If the Cubs surprise and go for a position player, I don't expect it to be Alex Jackson.  I think Gordon is a better fit because of their preference for athletic, middle of the field players (and it doesn't hurt that he hits LH), but I think questions on his hit tool make his floor a little lower than they're comfortable with in this spot.
  5. Minnesota Twins:  The Twins get one of the last premium picks in the draft because they'll still get their choice of at least 3 very good players.  The Twins likely prefer a college pitcher in this spot and I believe they'll take Jeff Hoffman or Tyler Beede if one is still available.  If they are not, then they may end up with a shot at their choice between Nick Gordon and Alex Jackson, which isn't a bad consolation prize.

One way I can see this going is that if the Astros take Rodon, then the Marlins will go Kolek.  The White Sox then will choose between the two remaining college arms (Beede, Hoffman) or prep OF'er Alex Jackson.  That leaves the Cubs with their choice of Aiken and one or both of the college arms.

If the Astros go Kolek, then the Marlins have to take Rodon and we're back at the same scenario as above.

If the Astros go Aiken, it'll be interesting to see what happens at #2. Marlins love Kolek but do they pass on Rodon?  And I certainly don't think Rodon gets by the White Sox if Marlins stick with Kolek.  That would once again leave Hoffman or Beede for the Cubs -- and there's a chance Kolek may even drop to the Cubs if the Astros take Rodoon -- that would be interesting to say the least.

With every player having at least some questions and the gap between the top 6-7 players being smaller than most drafts, it's not the worst year to have that 4th pick.  One thing is certain, the Cubs are sure to get a very good player with the 4th pick -- and this draft has a bit more drama at the top then the last couple under Epstein and Hoyer.

 

 

Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft

Comments

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  • I'm assuming that the money at #4 would be enough incentive for the HSers to forgo college. Any risk there?

  • In reply to xhooper:

    I think it's really difficult to pass up top 4 money and risk injury or regression in college. I don't see an issue there.

  • Very interesting. Enjoyed the post. I prefer Aiken and Beede if they go pitching and Gordon if they do decide to go with a position player

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    I think Beede and Aiken are my favorites as well. I think one will be available.

  • John, I would respectively have to disagree on which college arm the Cubs would choose. Hoffman's upside is a clear tick or two above Beede. Although Hoffman's risk of getting to that success is higher, I still see him as the BPA.

  • In reply to NilesNorth:

    I disagree, when Beede has his release point, he is as dominant as any pitcher their is. Also the above velocity is only partly correct, I have watched ALOT of Beede, and his 4-seamer sits 94-95 with 97 max, and his 2-seamer is the pitch that is 92-94. Both are plus pitches. To me the secondaries is what separates the two (Hoffman & Beede) and Beede's Curve and Change both are plus with plus-plus potential...it all depends on him consistently hitting his release point, hich he is plenty athletic enough to do consistently , but needs someone like DJ to make it easier for him mentally. Beede could move VERY quickly.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    So are you saying Beede has the potential for 4 plus pitches? That would be insane.

  • In reply to NilesNorth:

    It really depends on how you define BPA -- if you go by ceiling, then it's Hoffman. But his floor may be lower and his injury risk higher, so for me, you have to factor all that in as well when you calculate BPA. His ceiling isn't so far above Beede's that he's worth that extra risk -- and I know some who think Beede may have the better ceiling anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hi. I'm dumb. I keep looking up BPA and finding Baseball Players Association and Band Partnership Agreement. Pretty sure it's not either of those. Help? Thank you! (If it is "Band Partnership Agreement" that'd be wicked cool. And totally confusing).

  • In reply to kissitgoodbye:

    Best Player Available :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ha. Thank you, John.

  • John, any idea which of the prep arms have the heaviest workload (pitch-wise) so far?

    I know the college arms are really getting abused this year (especially guys like Rodon), but do you think any of those top college guys have had an average pitch count type of year?

    Thanks!

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Pseudo-John, but Beede has been used relatively well. Some of that, of course, has to do with his own struggles.

    Not sure on the prep arms.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Also, remember that college guys only pitch once every seven days.

  • I don't get to see any of these outside of a few odd clips from the web, and my brief glimpse at some of the HS kids from the UA game last year, so all of the coverage you do on this is much appreciated John.

    But despite my limited knowledge of these guys here are my two cents anyway:

    Rodon and Kolek seem very likely to go 1-2 and unfortunately there isn't much chance they reach the Cubs at 4. I've resigned myself for the past month or so that the Cubs will be picking from the Hoffman, Aiken, Beede group. From everything I've read and the little I've seen Hoffman and Aiken have the higher upside so I will be very happy with either one of them and would settle for Beede in the event one of them has a medical issue. The Cubs seem to be in a good situation to just take which ever of the 4 fall to them.

    If the Cubs do go off the board for a HS kid outside the big 2, I was very impressed with Gordon and Holmes. I would take either before Jackson. I think Jackson is going to have to play a corner OF spot eventually and that puts a huge burden on his bat that I'm not sure he can overcome. I think he can be good, just not great.

  • This is setting up like the 2011 draft where pitchers were taken with the first four picks, the first three college arms (Cole, Hultzen, Bauer) and the fourth a H.S. arm (Bundy). Two of the four have had season ending surgeries (Hultzen and Bundy), while Bauer seems to be scuffling in AAA. On the plus side we know what No. 1 pick Cole is doing for the Pirates. A mixed bag to say the least and kind of scary. Yet the 14th pick -- and out of out of HS no less (Fernandez) -- may very well pitch in this year's All Star game.

    Its such a crap shoot. And it also shows how, with a little luck, a .500 team can get the best player with the 14th pick.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Bauer struggled last season but has actually gotten off to a strong start in so far in 2014.

    In four starts in AAA, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 25 2/3 innings. He has struck out 28 and allowed just 18 hits to go along with seven walks.

    In his lone start with the Indians this season, he went six innings and allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out eight.

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    In reply to John Kerth:

    I'm fairly sure it isn't happening, but I've started to really like Nick Gordon. One of the reasons is that we've already seen that people are willing to trade Trevor Bauer for a legit major league shortstop -- and Gordon could be a lot more highly regarded than Didi Gregorius.

  • In reply to John Kerth:

    Bauer looked awfully good in his 1 MLB start this year. Looks like he might be turning a corner, theyve certainly cut down on his head movement and consequently he throwing in the mid 90s again.

  • It doesn't sound very likely, but I like the idea of Kolek falling to the Cubs. Not only is the velocity off the charts and the command is great, but his lack of 2ndaries as a prep player is actually sort of a bonus as it seems like he's following the Johnson model of "just let 'em throw" and then they can develop those 2ndaries later. Minimizes the risk of arm injury in the future and the Cubs can also keep a watch on his pitch counts as he grows/develops so he doesn't get abused like Appel, or Prior or Rondon did/do by college coaches trying to make a name for themselves.

  • John, have any of the top prospects signed with an agent yet? I think a player with Boras as an agent will scare away the White Sox letting that player fall to the Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    That's a good point. I didn't consider that info.

  • In reply to John57:

    Carlos Rodon has Scott Boras as an advisor, as he is still in school but he will be his agent.

  • I don't know. I just have this feeling that Hoffman will be the one the Cubs take. He looks like he's not fully developed physically and could put on a some more muscle and maybe add a few ticks to his FB. He has shown he can bring it already. I think he has a real high upside.

  • John, do you know what the philosophy of the White Sox is when it comes to the draft? Do they draft the BPA or by organizational need? The reason I ask is that last year before the draft WGN or Comcast had a program on before the draft and one of the people in their front office stated that SS was a position of weakness in their farm system, then they drafted one. It seemed like they drafted by need instead of BPA. Do you know if Anderson was the BPA when they drafted him? If that is the philosophy, what is their biggest weakness in the minors? That may give some insight as to what they plan on doing on draft day.

  • In reply to lets go cubs:

    I don't think they're a strict BPA team the way the Cubs are and to me, Anderson was picked higher than I expected -- but we don't know that they didn't have him rated that high. He's done pretty well so far though as usual, they've promoted him aggressively.

  • I'm still hoping for Hoffman, assuming the arm injury isn't too serious. I think the ceiling is higher than Beede based on his showing in the Cape league and he is considered by many to be the most athletic of the college arms. I'm surprised to hear questions about his delivery since I've mostly read that he's got an easy delivery. I think his long lanky frame could cause some of those questions, but I think he could be the Cubs' Adam Wainwright.

    I still think Hoffman goes to the White Sox and the Cubs pick between Beede and Aiken. Both have a ton of appeal and upside, so I don't think I'd have a problem with either, but power LHP is a rare commodity.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    There's at least one experienced scout I know who think Hoffman is a significant injury risk and he told me this well before the arm soreness occurred.

  • Hoffman reminds me of Verlander going into the draft. Obviously a lofty height to reach, but his size/stuff/draft position are all pretty similar.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    You can make a solid case that any of the 5 pitchers will have the best career. It's one of the things that makes mock drafts so tough this year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The toughest part is all of them have had struggles or red flags that puts four of them on basically a level field (leaving out Rodon), and it will totally be up to specific team's scouting and draft preference, which none of us are privy to. So I think it will be a good old fashion crap shoot 2-10

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Even with Rodon the pitch counts and early control struggles can be seen as red flags.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree, but I still think after taking those into consideration he's a level above the others.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    ....not to mention the dead arm and loss of velocity 2 years in a row.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    This sums it up perfectly Mike.

  • I'm aching for Aiken.

  • In reply to Jon60614:

    Me too....the system is low on pitching and top LHP prospects are non-existent. Aiken could easily be the BPA as well as fill the biggest hole in the Cubs system.

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    I really hope Beede gets taken in the top 3 picks. Carlos Marmol single-handedly made me dislike any pitcher with command issues. Anyways I am hoping for either of the two HS pitchers because who really knows how serious Hoffman's arm soreness is.

  • In reply to gas34:

    there really is no comparison with Marmol and Beede. Most think Beede's command issues are easily fixed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think most of Marmols issues were between his ears. He always had a wonky kind of delivery but he was lights out for a couple years before the wheels fell off.

  • In reply to lets go cubs:

    I still blame that horrific delivery. He may have been able to repeat it when he was at his athletic peak, but once he stopped being able to do it, then all hell broke loose.

  • John, You know I love and got mad respect for your work... But I can't keep quiet on this one. Last year, I said that Shawon Jr being the son of a MLB player, should have been more advanced then the average kid, since he grew up around the game. I viewed his "rawness" as a negative specifically for that reason... But you argued that it shouldn't matter who his father is. Having a MLB player as a parent wouldn't necessarily make him more advanced than the others...

    But, I've seen countless former players kids play at the youth & HS level and they almost always stick out to my amateur scouts eye for being advanced. Now you list being the son of a MLB player as a positive for Gordon and at least in part, attribute that to his approach and feel for the game... What gives?

  • lots of scouts like Gordon on the mound, he can touch 95 too . if the bat doesnt carry then the arm can . i think Gordon goes in the top 6 picks .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    They might, but he's going to go as a SS in this draft. Could probably be drafted pretty high as a pitcher, but as a SS he makes the top 10 easily.

  • Gee, Kolek would be great, even if you have to wait 3-4 years for him. Kolek looks like hes out of the Ryan/K Wood/Beckett west Texas mold, so he wont likely get to us. Right now, Beede, Hoffman or Aiken look most likely. Frankly, Id prefer Hoffman, but Im beginning to wonder about injury red flags with him.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    There are some red flags out there with all these guys, so I'm not feeling as great about this choice as I did the last draft. Less of a sure thing at the top, but some high end potential.

  • fb_avatar

    OT, but does anyone know what happened 20 years ago today in Cubs history? Any guesses? April 29,. 1994

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zonk:

    Cubs lost a game? Wild guess.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    20th anniversary of Tom Trebelhorn's Firehouse Town Hall meeting!

  • Since drafting a pitcher with their 1st pick is such a risk (injury)
    I suggest drafting a hitter then pitchers with their 2-5 picks
    if they are worth it.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The best hitters are a big step down talentwise from the pitchers.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I like the pitchers in this draft batter, the high school hitters are a bit risky -- no Albert Almora high floor type guy this year.

  • fb_avatar

    Kolek's K/BB rate is
    Prior-esque; where would you put mark mark prior in this year's draft crop?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I'd have to say #1...wasn't Prior thought of as the best pitching prospect ever to be in the draft at the time? They may have passed him now, but I don't think anyone (except maybe Rodon) is in the same category as Prior coming into the draft.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    He'd be the top player in this draft. And the last one too. Pretty much any draft except for mayybee the one with Strasburg and the one with Harper.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Prior only made 9 dominant starts at AA and AAA before debuting in the majors. I don't think anyone is in that class, and hasn't been since Strasburg. Prior was a once-a-decade talent.

    What a shame!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zonk:

    You guys just put an ice pick into my heart.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    He'd be the #1, 2, and 3. Prior was a generational talent. Too bad his "perfect delivery" didn't keep him from getting hurt all the time.

  • Saw on mlbtraderumors that the Astros might prefer Kolek or even Aiken. Since Rodon is a Boras guy and Kolek is in their backyard

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    Since you say Rodon is a Boras client, I say the chance of him falling to the Cubs just increased.

  • i see no way the CWS would take Rodon at 3 , dont they have an absolute no Boras policy? that means if Kolek goes to Houston the big pick becomes MIA . Gonna get a good arm i think no matter at 4 .

  • I am pleased if they get either Aiken or Beede. I would prefer Aiken because of Beede's struggles with command. Beede looks like a different pitcher when he is able to locate and he looks like a total bust when command is fringy. This might be one of the few times the high schooler is the safer pick to be a difference maker (in my opinion)
    Great article, that is very useful and I was unaware of Hoffman's soreness. It is a real bummer that he is experiencing pain.

  • In reply to Tide23:

    Thanks. You could be right that Aiken is safer than Beede or Hoffman. As I said earlier, he's kind of the Almora of this draft because he's so advanced as a high schooler.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Everyone knows how much I like Beede but if the Cubs Front Office were to take Aiken I would be just as excited. (if he falls to #4)

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The chances are good one of Beede and Aiken will fall to the Cubs at #4, maybe both.

  • fb_avatar

    What has Jacob Gatewood done this year?

  • In reply to Steve Kermath:

    He has had a terrible year. He's dropped out of top 10 consideration and maybe more.

  • Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) tweeted at 2:04 PM on Tue, Apr 29, 2014:
    Beede less consistent recently, not impossible he could fall out of top 10 w/quality arms available.

    FWIW...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    It's not impossible, but I'd be very surprised,

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He seems like the type the Cardinals would luck in to, but there is no way he falls that far.

  • Ha! That would be a nightmare. You know the Cards would develop Beede into a front line guy in about 2 years.

  • 1 Houston Astros $7,922,100
    2 Miami Marlins $6,821,800
    3 Chicago White Sox $5,721,500
    4 Chicago Cubs $4,621,200
    5 Minnesota Twins $3,851,000

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2014-draft-assigned-pick-values-for-top-10-rounds/

  • fb_avatar

    Hoffman's shoulder set off a bunch of alarms for me, I want NO part of that crap.

    Which puts us in a REALLY tough spot if Rodon, Aiken, and Kolek all go in the top three.

    The draft is odd. Cause if you don't have one of the can't-miss picks, but still have a very high draft pick, there's an odd no-mans land.

    Really, depending on who's available, it's probably easier to select in picks 15-20 than 5-7.

    If you have one of those 5-7 picks, there's probably a lot of pressure to knock that pick outta the park, leading to some questionable decisions, but at 15-20 you can probably more easily evaluate the pros and cons of who is available.

  • fb_avatar

    I want no part of Hoffman's shoulder, red flags for me all the way.

    And I just flat out don't like Beede. Too many years of "if he can get some control..."

    Which means if Rodon, Aiken, and Kolek go top three we are in a REALLY tight spot.

  • Off Topic (sort of) but... The D-backs announced Tuesday that prized pitching prospect Archie Bradley will go on the disabled list due to an elbow injury. Bradley, who is currently assigned at Triple-A Reno, was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain in his right elbow, and he will be sidelined for at least a couple weeks.

    I never like hearing about elbows or shoulders (especially shoulders), Their Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect...Their is no such thing as a pitching prospect...Their is no such thing as a pitching prospect.... but how else are you going to get one these days without spending $25 Million Plus per year?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    What do you thing Houston is thinking? Their first pick didn't go so well last year when they took the top ranked pitcher. Do they do it again? Pitchers do fail a lot.

  • In reply to John57:

    get the best overall player

  • In reply to John57:

    As crazy as it sounds, I think Houston is the one team who could actually take Alex Jackson #1 overall despite all the pitching. Their were rumors last year that Houston was absolutely in love with Jackson as a junior in HS and would have taken him ahead of everybody last year if he was available. Now it was a rumor so I don't know, but with Houston's track record and drafting style, i.e. taking correa vs buxton to save money and spread the draft pool around, it's possible in my opinion...especially if they believe that Alex Jackson can be a Catcher, after all he had a 1.63 pop-up time at perfect game which is Elite, and a rocket arm, so I think that people are writing off the catching thing too quickly. The thinking being, ala Bryce Harper (he was a catcher too) that you extend his career and accelerate the players development (outfield is a lot easier to play), but the Astros have shown that they will take their sweet time with prospects so they may keep him at backstop...in which case he just might be worth the first overall pick to them...especially if he will take a discount and they can take a pitcher who drops as they have the #37 overall pick late in the first round -The Competitive Balance picks, and they have the #42 pick as the 1st pick of the 2nd round.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    excuse me, pop-up time of 1.73 at PG which is Elite, i.e. 99th percentile (2014 class avg. is 2.03)

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...and he threw 98 MPH from the outfield (also 99th percentile), 2nd in the class to Micheal Gettys who threw 100MPH from the OF

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I hope you're right. Jackson-Kolek would be an amazing 1 & 2... for us.

  • I used to love Beede to death seeing when i saw him pitch last year but i would love Aiken but i am scared to death seeing his secondaries being so good, it just gives me flashes of kwood problems

  • with all these injuries to starters.. is "starter tandems" or "piggyback rotations" gonna gain more steam?

  • Here is a quick note from Jim Callis:

    •Pitchers will dominate the first round of this year’s draft, writes MLB.com’s Jim Callis. “There could be eight or nine pitchers taken in the top 10,” says an AL scouting director. “How many can go in the top 15? Twelve? Thirteen? There are so many arms. This is a deeper pool of players than last year, especially with pitchers.”

  • Hey John or anybody who might know an answer to my question.. Off topic, but I haven't seen anything about Dillon Maples this year.. Does anyone know if he is hurt or at extended spring training?

  • In reply to Eric:

    Maples is in extended spring training rehabbing from I believe a rib/back injury.

  • a little late to the party so maybe everyone has moved on...but what about Kyle Freeland from downstate Indiana? BA loves him and he is coming on fast. LHP at 6-3 with mid-nineties fastball and wipeout slider and even a change-up he has not needed this year. what's not to like? the thing working against him is the track record, or he sounds a lot like Rodon...I love the fact that he has 4 walks this year (a 21.8 strikeout to walk rate)

  • Found this interesting on Houston's MLB.com site:

    "Houston scouting director Mike Elias said his club has narrowed its pool of candidates for the top choice to seven, with five of them on a short list. While Elias wouldn't identify the players, it's almost certain that Aiken, Hoffman, Kolek and Rodon are the front-runners. The Astros also are believed to be considering Rancho Bernardo High (San Diego) catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson and Louisiana State right-hander Aaron Nola, and they are thought to be keeping tabs on North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner and San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer."

    The article belives Kolek or Aiken will go first.

  • new rankings out by Mayo. Nola has jumped Beede and sits in the 6 hole , Beede 7th , Aiken has jumped Rodon for #1 Overall .

  • Don't be shocked if Nola goes top 5 lots of Helium , I would love to see him a Cub . I know I am in the minority but that's ok

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