Cubs get Dylan Cease in the 6th round and I am beginning to LOVE this Cubs draft

Cubs get Dylan Cease in the 6th round and I am beginning to LOVE this Cubs draft

Okay, I really like this pick.  Dylan Cease is a (likely) TJ casualty but had the potential to be a first round pick in the draft going into last season -- I even heard some top 10 projections early on.

I wrote this about him last August,

Dylan Cease isn't the biggest kid out there at 6'2", 180 but he showed a nice, easy delivery with tremendous arm speed that made it look like the ball was just exploding out of his hand.  He also hit 97 on the stadium gun but did not have a feel for his secondary stuff yesterday.

Here is MLB.com's take,

Cease is one of the hardest throwing high school pitchers in the 2014 Draft class, but he was dealt a significant setback this spring. He suffered an elbow injury that has kept him off the mound since March, leaving his future uncertain. When healthy, Cease throws his fastball from 91-95 mph, topping out at 97 mph. He doesn't have a physical frame, instead generating his velocity with athleticism and arm speed. There is some effort to his delivery, and the rest of his game may remain inconsistent until he refines it. His mid-70s curveball will range from a below-average to an above-average pitch, and his changeup shows flashes of becoming an effective offering, but he'll need to throw it more often. Cease, who plays with his twin brother at Milton High, is committed to Vanderbilt.

Keith Law had this to say,

Cease looked like he was possibly the top arm of the 2014 class heading into the summer, but a few arms have usurped him after a lackluster performance in the showcases.

Few -- if any -- arms are quicker than Cease's in this year's class; and he's been clocked up to 97 with his fastball, sitting in the 92-94 range. His curveball will flash plus with good depth and spin, but will come up flat at times as well. Cease also throws an average change with little to no movement and average arm action, though like the curveball it's inconsistent and he doesn't have great feel for the pitch yet.

Where Cease really struggled this summer is with his command, leaving pitches up and out of the zone and struggling to repeat his delivery. His arm action doesn't have any red flags and he repeats his delivery well, but he will finish off-balance at times and the arm has a tendency to drag behind the rest of the delivery.

And Baseball America,

Cease gained national recognition as a junior at the National High School Invitational in 2013, when he ran his fastball up to 96 mph. Cease and his twin brother, Alec, led Milton to a state title as juniors. Cease had an uneven summer on the showcase circuit, touching 97 mph but struggling to consistently throw strikes or show a plus breaking ball. Cease came out strong this spring, sitting 92-95 mph and touching 98 with the ball jumping out of his hand from a very quick arm. His curveball showed better in the spring than it had on the showcase circuit. The pitch flashes above-average, but he needs to become more consistent at repeating his best breaking balls. His third offering is a changeup that shows average potential. Cease has some effort to his delivery and he tends to rush, leaving his arm dragging. A Vanderbilt signee, Cease’s injury makes him something of a wild card on draft day.

Quick take from former MLB scout Don Olsen

Cease has an electric arm and hammer. His game and demeanor mimic a slightly smaller and slender Mark Wohlers.

Obviously there is the recovery from TJ surgery (assuming he has it) and then some work to do, but you cannot teach the kind of arm speed that Cease has.  It is thought the Cubs must have an agreement to sign him if they picked him in the first 10 rounds, since they wouldn't risk losing that pool money.

I am beginning to love this strategy and this draft!

High floor with good ceilings early in Kyle Schwarber (middle of the order hitter), Jake Stinnett (potential #3 starter, but bullpen guy at worst), a possible starting catcher down the road in Mark Zagunis, then they went upside with Carson Sands and Dylan Cease with some good value/good arms in LHP  Justin Steele and college RHP James Norwood.

Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft

Tags: Dylan Cease

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  • "Cease has good zip and a hammer curve."

    Sounds like Dillon Maples....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'm diggin' this strategy and this draft too! I think all along their plan was to get their high floor players they wanted and load up on high upside arms throughout...

  • John, are you sure he's had TJS? Or is it 'pending'?
    This guy sounds a bit like Dillon Maples.

  • In reply to djriz:

    Moody says he hasn't had it yet...went with the platelet rich injections route to try and fix it without surgery. The surgery could still be coming.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Gotta believe they scrutinized his medicals very carefully before rolling the dice with a 6th round pick and the slot money that goes with it...

  • In reply to djriz:

    I am not sure. I just assumed because I had been hearing about it for so long.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah it's pending, but I have to believe that part of the sales pitch by the Cubs will be that he will have access to the best recovery program, facilities, medical staff, trainers, etc. with the Cubs...which could be a big selling point for a highschool pitcher who is worried about his arm and future.

  • Cease and Sands both can be projected to be mid to TOR starters at their ceiling. Most of the other teams are drafting middle tier players right now due to cap concerns, so the remaining top ones are likely there for the Cubs to pluck and hopefully sign.

    If they follow such a trend, Keaton McKinney would be a nice pick in the 7th round.

  • In reply to springs:

    If they get McKinney, Marshal, or Weisenberg in the 7th...I'll keel over.

  • Cubs are playing this draft like a violin.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    lol I was freaking out at first but I trust your opinion and hope you're right.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I totally get going BPA if you fall in love with them like they did with Kris Bryant last year. That choice really dictated BPA the rest of the way -- though they did get a little cute Zastryzny and Hannemann.

    But I think it's drafts like this where you really see their ability to manage a draft without the ability to trade picks.

    Given, I am in love with Schwarber so I would have given this draft a a grade of "good" just for that pick. But right now they're walking away with the best college bat in the class, two of the higher upside high school arms, and a reasonable catching prospect thrown into the mix.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Cubs Front Office has not only shown the ability to stick with a long term strategy (without deviations that take an organization a step back after two steps forward) but also the ability to adjust on the fly when the situation dictates. For instance the IFA moves this year to take advantage of a CBA "loophole"....and the this draft whose strength was the depth of quality prep pitching but no "top" college bats per the talking heads...so what do the Cubs do? Take the best college bat underslot, a college senior pitcher who still has projection, but is also underslot, another college bat/position player...and then load up on the prep pitching that everybody wanted but paid so much for in the first 3 rounds that they couldn't afford anymore. Boom. Hat tip to the Cubs front office & scouting department today.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I schwarber... it never ceases to amaze me all of the steeles they get in the draft. Hopefully the sands in the hourglass have not stopped.

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    I see what you did their...good stuff.

  • Dylan Cease reminds me a lot of Dylan Bundy, weird they both have TJ before 19

  • 7 is a lucky number lets hope it is for the Cubs

  • How long for picks in later rounds?

  • In reply to CGunz:

    i think it's a minute between picks the rest of the way. logistically, can't see it going faster than that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CGunz:

    It's a minute per pick through today, Round 10. Rounds 11-40, you are required to pick immediately. The 11-40 call is very boring, but if you listen it goes VERY fast.

  • Another top arm in the 7th. Norwood throws hard, hitting 97, but it isn't certain he will be a starter or reliever. Either way, he is a good one.

  • In reply to springs:

    Rated #119 on MLB and #112 on ScoutingBaseball, good value for the pick (pick No.199). Solid frame 6'2" - 205 lbs with good velocity.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Norwood pick reminds me of the Masek and Frazier picks from last year. See if he can start but probably ends up in the pen. Solid choice. Was #79 on BA's Top 500 list...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Good call, yeah he probably ends up in the bullpen, but who knows, and the fact that you are getting even a possible starter in the 7th round is already a win.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Norwood is definitely a solid pick. Probably bullpen but at least has a shot at the rotation.

  • In reply to springs:

    I was reading a little about him and he is from Saint Louis University and was considered their best ever pitcher in their history.

    Weird, that with all the pitchers the Cardinals have taken so far, they didn't grab this guy, since he was right in their own backyard!

    Hopefully he will be good.

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Hopefully he will slam the door shut in the 9th inning on some Cardinals in a few years. Or better yet, he mows them down in the first eight, including Matt Adams, the man with the "light-tower power" physique and Mark Grudzialanek ISO.

  • The money saved in the first two rounds is allowing the FO to pick directly from their big board with no restrictions and without having to worry about signability. No going way off the board like a lot of teams are having to do.

  • So is it safe to assume that there are some bigger draft patterns emerging?

    They obviously like high floors. Maybe it is just my ignorance being disillusioned, but I'm noticing things like position player: power + approach; pitcher: velocity + "Pitchability". Is that right? Hitting power or throwing power (Pitcher) + makeup....and "we can coach them into developing the rest of the stuff..."??

  • Someone that knows more than me (meaning pretty much everyone): How sure are we of any of these guys signing? I thought this kind of strategy unlikely because there seem to be so many moving parts. Is there a good chance that the money does not get allocated because either the guys in the top rounds or the high school arms want too much?

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    In reply to bruno14:

    If the front office is drafting them in the first ten rounds the odds are very, very good they know the number required to sign them.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yep.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    They are pretty sure when it comes to the top 10 rounds. For example the Cubs, if I recall correctly, signed every one of their top 20 picks last year and 25 of 40 overall.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    You generally don't draft guys like Cease in your first ten picks unless you have already made an agreement with them. Pretty likely they sign, Cubs have late 1st round money to throw at them.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We have a kid in our hometown who could have gone as high as the 7th round or so. A couple of Scouts sat down with him and his parents and talked money, meaning what it would take to sign him.

    The Scouts then go back to the GM and say this is what it would take to get this kid inked and away from college.

    Now, this family was pretty adament that the kid was going to college so I don't think it went back and forth all that much, but that is the gist of what happens.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Thanks all

  • John Manuel ‏@johnmanuelba 1m
    Think #Cubs are killing it today. Every player they picked in 1st 7 rounds was in top 200 of BA. If they sign 'em all, big day #mlbdraft

    They are trying to figure out different ways to play the draft game...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    This is what I have been saying (and others), the Cubs have absolutely killed it as far as overall value. I guarantee other front offices will take a 2nd look at what the Cubs did this year in a hope to emulate them down the road. Just as the Cubs saw what the Rangers did in International Free Agency, and copied their strategy to game the system this last year.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Cubs doing what stros did in the Correa draft

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I don't agree that they got value in the first round, but if they sign their picks in rounds 4-6, they got at least five players who could have 1st or 2nd round grades. That is pretty impressive.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Nobody is judging per round, I said overall value, go look below at my BA Rankings, the overall value the Cubs got in this draft is amazing.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I think this was a great draft for this strategy too. A lot of depth in starting pitching and the top three are going to take every dollar in their allotment, so there really wont be a great deal of $$ available to go overslot throughout the later rounds for the other teams.

  • Just wondering does Bryce Montes de Oca have a firm commitment to a college? Just wondering why he isn't off the bored yet

  • In reply to Packard:

    any high ranked prep pitchers who are still on the board are thier because of signability, they told teams they are going to college when they called (at a pick/slot that was too low for their liking)

  • wow.. this draft has the potential to be DYNO-MITE!

  • If John's happy, I'm happy!

  • In reply to TTP:

    :)

  • Cubs Draft Player Rankings According to Baseball America

    (#4) Kyle Schwarber, C/LF - #17

    (#49) Jake Stinnett, RHP - #67

    (#78) Mark Zagunis, C - #111

    (#109) Carson Sands, LHP - #53

    (#139) Justin Steele, LHP - #121

    (#169) Dylan Cease, RHP - #77

    (#199) James Norwood, RHP - #79

    Wow. That is amazing value!

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Particularly impressive is having the stones to take Justin Steele in the 5th round with (presumably) the target of this strategy, Dylan Cease, still sitting out there.

    They must not have believed their luck when Norwood was still there in the 7th.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah very nice, and Steele was a value too with a 3rd/4th grade in the 5th and he is a prep so it could take a bit extra. Not sure though.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    What does this value get you? Extra organizational type guys? It looks like we LOST value on the spot with the highest odds to succeed to get extra 'lottery ticket' ticket types.

  • In reply to djriz:

    The question is...who would you have taken at #4 (which we now know would likely be in exchange for Cease and Norwood).

    I didn't like the Schwarber pick and don't believe he will be as good as his supporters project. The problem was that there was not someone else available that had any certainty of being a top player.

  • In reply to springs:

    and Sands don't forget - So you are trading Scwarber, Cease, Sands, and Norwood - 4 talents for your player....so I'd like to hear who you would have picked that's better than all that?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    that question was directed at djriz

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    With all due respect it's not at all like trading four for one . You're not assigning any value to the three players they would have taken in rounds 4, 6 and 7 . Had they chosen Gordon , Jackson or someone else who would have received near slot they still would have had average slot money to offer players in the rounds they selected the over slot pitchers .

  • In reply to kernzee:

    Good point.

  • In reply to springs:

    I think Schwarber was key to this strategy. They obviously feel very confident in his ability to reach his ceiling, which they think will be pretty high. I am guessing that they saved quite a bit of slot money there, so now they can take some of these guys. I don't think they are organizational guys either. There are a lot of high ceiling players there that could be impact arms in the system.

  • In reply to djriz:

    As I have said before, Kyle Schwarber is the best bat in this draft, that is why the Cubs took him, they got the player they wanted AND they got 1st round type talents later in the draft that's value

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    They did not get 1st round type talents later in the draft. If they were truly first round talents, most of them would have been taken there. Schwarber may have been the best college hitter, but what good does it do us if his only position is 1B?
    I don't know who I would have picked, but I trust John's judgement and he like a lot of players before Schwarber. Jackson, Gordon and Nola were guys he had ranked higher. Conforto, too.

    As a Cub fan, I hope Schwarber has a HoF career with us, but I think this may be a case of our FO trying to be the smartest guys in the room and not getting the top talent where it matters most.

  • In reply to djriz:

    schwarber was # 2 on their board.

  • In reply to djriz:

    First of all you don't understand how the baseball draft works obviuosly when it comes to prep players. 1st round talents slip because of signability which allows teams to scop them later. Secondly Nice straw man argument, what good does it do us if Schwarber can only play 1st base....what the hell does that have to do with anything. He's a catcher, and if not he will be fine in LF. He was a 2nd team All Big Ten Linebacker and all-state in Ohio...I'm pretty sure he can play the outfield, of course you didn't know that because it seems like you don't lnow much of anything about the players...you just know that you don't like what the Cubs are doing. You have no knowledge regarding the prospects beyond what you read second and third hand, and even thay is very limited to a few players, and the same blurbs that everyone knows...so your opinion is pretty ridiculous.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I agree with everything you're saying and appreciate your insights- love Schwarber (though I am biased as an IU alum). He didn't play football at IU, however.

  • In reply to NYcubsfan:

    That was an editing mistake (I put linebacker in the wrong place) should have said "he was 2nd team all big ten catcher and all-state Linebacker in Ohio"

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Ah, I was confused and had to look it up. He did have the opportunity to play both sports, which is still impressive and speaks to his athleticism.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Kind of cool to have my intelligence questioned because I don't agree. Just looking for a friendly debate, but, apparently, you can't question the Cubs FO without getting attacked. I never meant my opinion to be a personal attack on you, or Mike, for that matter.
    I will respond to you in kind, and hope John bans me from the site.

    1)-I did not know you were a scout, or talked to a lot of scouts. If you criticize my "pretty ridiculous' opinion, you must get your draft information from better sources than I do. A majority of the myriad of sources on the draft do not believe Schwarber can stay at Catcher. Probably 50/50 on whether or not he can succeed in LF. Let me know where you got your information. Thanks.

    2)- Regarding his linebacker career, to quote you "what the hell does that have to do with anything". What percentage of high school linebackers, at 6'0, 240 lbs, have been major league LFs? Do you know what that sounds like? To quote you (again), a "Nice straw man argument".

    3). Now, how many legitimate 1st round (top 30 guys) HS draft prospects prefer to go to school? Guys who have worked for years to become pro baseball players, and now find themselves considered top 30? Now, how many of these guys would turn around and change their minds, passing up guaranteed first round money, to take less on overslot deals? I'm sure the number is not zero, but I'll guess it's not as large as some make it out to be. Now, since you are so much smarter than I am, and obviously have much better sourcing on players than I do (I will admit my knowledge of players is limited to reading MANY websites), tell me what those actual numbers look like. Do you get your info from the players? FO personnel? Scouts? Let me know?

    4). Yes, I don't like what the FO is doing. Don't like the first round pick in this draft. Didn't like the Almora pick. As a sports fan, I have that right. I'm not impressed with their performance with the Cubs, not at all.

  • In reply to djriz:

    I've only banned one person from this site in the past 3 years (and just one in the very first year), so unless you continuously break commenting policy (which I have not seen you do) then you can have whatever opinion you want. Opinions cost nothing. We all have them and they are always going to differ.

    Just hope you guys can agree to disagree here. This debate isn't going anywhere, both of you have dug your heels and nothing is going to change. It's a good time for both of you guys to walk away.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. I just told him the same thing. This "debate" is over.

  • In reply to djriz:

    I'm not going to waste my time on you. The difference between you and I is that I'm not claiming to know more than the Cubs front office and entire scouting department....you are. I am smart enough to realize that I am not privy to the same first hand knowledge that the Cubs Organization is privy too, and I realize the Cubs scouts have seen these players many more times than I have. I also realize that this Front Office has won Championships before, while you are just some random guy who gets his information 3rd hand from websites. So you see, that's why your opinion is ridiculous while mine is merely logical.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    so you argument is based on your trust of the front office, and nothing more?

  • In reply to djriz:

    I have to admit, I wasn't big on Schwarber at 1.4 but I have seen him play and I think he is the best hitter I've seen -- and that includes Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon, and Mike Conforto -- all of whom I have seen in person.

    My questions were whether he could catch or play LF but I was assured that he could play LF from a (non-Cubs) scout who has seen him about a dozen times. The Cubs also believe he can do it. I'll defer to them in this case since they know more about that than I do. So I am hopeful they are right and he can play LF, because like I said, the man can flat out hit.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Sounds like he's going to start out at catcher, though. I'm suddenly very bummed that Boise doesn't have video any more because I would love to see him play the position with the Cubs coaching.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank you for the professional response, John. I hope he's worth it. I really do. A high power, high OBP lefty in the middle of the Cubs line-up would balance things out quite nicely. I just don't think he was BPA. Just my uneducated opinion.

  • In reply to djriz:

    Understood. Like I said, we are all entitled to opinions and they are going to differ.

    I am not as educated about his ability to play LF, so I didn't initially see him as a fit. Maybe I was wrong -- I would love to be wrong, just as when I was wrong early on last year about Kris Bryant not being the BPA (until Kevin gradually convinced me otherwise!). I know Schwarber can hit and if he can play LF at least as well as the guys we have out there now (which admittedly isn't a high bar) then I will be happy with it. Some people I know convinced me he can, and I just hope they are right, because like you, I would love to see that kind of lefty bat in the middle of the lineup.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If John Kruk could play LF, I'm sure Kyle Schwarber could. :)

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    In reply to djriz:

    Really depends on what you mean by value. I'm not sure who they could have taken in the 4 slot who has a better chance of being a major league average player than Schwarber. There is a lot of value in that alone. He has significant upside over that, so it isn't like there isn't a high ceiling there, as well.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    @1.4, you have to look at a combination of ceiling/floor. I think there were higher ceiling guys available (Gordon, Jackson, Nola). and guys with similar floors (Conforto, Nola, even Pentecost because he can stay at catcher). I'm concerned our guy doesn't have a position.

    BTW, I did not use the term value. Highly overrated term, IMO, when it comes to drafting.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to djriz:

    You're concerned he doesn't have a position, but the Cubs scouts clearly aren't. They think he's an outfielder and are even giving him a chance to play catcher. They do this for a living and I think giving them the benefit of the doubt on that isn't unfair.

    I would suggest that you're mostly focused on ceiling by looking at guys like Jackson (he's a guy with genuine position concerns) and Gordon (hit tool).

    Nola is a guy you look at and immediately think high floor/ceiling but the problem is he's a pitcher and not a pitcher with overwhelming stuff, so TINSTAAPP applies here..

  • In reply to djriz:

    Being an all-state linebacker in the state of Ohio should tell you something about his athleticism. He should be just fine roaming LF if that is where he ends up. If you want to question him being able to catch, ok I get that but LF shouldn't be the issue.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    They basically got all top 3 round (or better) players for the first 7 picks

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly...that's amazing.

  • Just googled that Bukauskas guy people have been talking about. #35 prospect in nation told everyone he is going to honor scholarship to N.C. I believe he is still undrafted, boy talk about a coup if they can land him. Said to throw 100 MPH. Was reading where he is slightly injured right now and no longer pitching, maybe that could give the kid a case of reality and take the money while he can cause there's no guarantee it will still be there 3 years from now. Toss in tuition, if he wants to go to college great, he can pitch for the Cubs and chase coeds.

  • In reply to ruby2626:

    not going to happen at this point, we already have at least 3 overslots

  • What happened to the JBB talk? FO concluded he simply wouldn't sign?

  • Cubs drafting strategy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CemLiSI5ox8&feature=kp

  • so last picks are college SR pitchers who were probably take it or leave it amount offers that save money to sign Sands, Steele , Cease , pretty sure the 1st 3 rd picks sign underslot . so I am confident that rd 4-7 arms will get signed. not a bad 10 rds, not going to lie I was WTF after the 1st 2 rds.

  • Haven't read much on Tommy Thorpe, our 8th rounder. In first two years at Oregon he posted a 2.14 ERA. Gave up only 2 HRs in first 147 collegiate innings. After ace's injury, Thorpe stepped in as Friday night starter and had another excellent season, with another 2.14 ERA and was only slightly less spectacular at taming metal bats (3 homers served up in 105 IP). I couldn't find anything about his fastball, but it sounds like he gets by on pitchability. Seems like a nice loogy prospect.

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    In reply to Taft:

    Jim Callis on the mlb.com broadcast said he pitched high 80s mostly, touching 90. Definitely a pitchability guy, said his ceiling was 5th starter. Picks 8-10 seem more about savings money and adding org arms, so we can sign the real talent in rounds 4-7

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Definitely a big game guy who has been very successful despite not having much in terms of stuff. From the games I have seen (on TV) and from what I have read, a good guy and strong competitor who will be a positive addition even if he never becomes a prospect.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    8-10 definitely about saving money. 5 of first 7 good value, and 2 will be overslot gambles on high ceilings.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Sounds like a Jokisch type profile to me.

  • Keaton McKinney went undrafted because He was asking 1M + , not negotiable , several teams called and made offers , have to think with the strategy the Cubs used they made the call to Ankeny too .

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Probably the backup if someone beat them to Cease.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    He will likely be drafted by someone tomorrow though. I wonder if the Cubs have any excess left for the upcoming picks. I must admit I would very much like a few of the remaining arms.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Theo is checking how much they still have to spend on draft picks. Maybe they will pick him tomorrow. Be positive.

  • In reply to John57:

    really doubt he gets picked, that is low 1st high 2nd rd slot he wants . Sands , Steele , Cease will eat the slot cash saved in the 1st 3 rds I would say.

  • He would have been nice, best prep change up in draft, sits91-93 and big pitchers frame. Oh well , College bound. Sands is the must sign arm , get that kid in the organization, need a top LHP prospect.

  • John, please allow me to be blunt. If you love this draft, I love this draft.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    You cannot be serious!!!

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Haha! It was a good draft.

  • Off topic, but does anyone get how Range Factor is calc'd? And does Valbuena's get a wacky boost when he's playing third and we're in the shift and he makes a play by second base?

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    putouts + assists / innings (at that position)

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Hmm. I'm not getting how that outputs your "range". Really faulty stat IMO.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Defensive stats in general are very limited in usefulness. Range factor tells you how many "outs" a player participated in, while fielding % is how many of the balls that you got to did you field cleanly...neither one communicate a players true defensive ability very well. Offensive stats are way ahead of defensive stats in baseball still, that's why nothing substitutes for good old fashioned scouting when it comes to defense.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Hence the love for "up the middle athleticism"

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    It is a stat that requires a large sample size before it can have any meaning.

  • Rizzo!!! Walk off!

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Four in a row. I'm glad it was Rizzo

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Let's get on a roll and get into playoff contention this year. PMA

  • In reply to John57:

    Unfortunately, the Cubs lineup this year is nowhere near playoff caliber, so even if we go on a streak, chances are we will not only miss the playoffs, but also miss out on the top pick in the draft which could be a stud. I truly believe this is the last year of non-contention, so we might as well go all out, get Matuella as an Ace (or someone else) next year with the 1st pick, and load up one last time. This off-season the Cubs will begin the Wrigley renovation, get some help in Free Agency, and next year the prospects begin to come up. Once we are good, I want the Cubs to be perennial contenders every single year, no more wild cards and then falling to last place the next year.

  • the price to acquire Hammel just keeps going up, I likey

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    No doubt good stuff. Tomorrow is a huge start for Shark in my opinion coming off the worst start of his career, and considering his slide last year, if he were to struggle again, any trade negotiations might stall as GM's wait to see which Samardzija they are really getting. On the other hand, if he is back to light out, it will get shrugged off as a fluke, and the cost will stay very high.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Between this draft and the return for Shark / Hammel, 2014 could end up being a heck of a year for the rebuild!

  • Wait and see..Be patient ya'll...Just 5 more years or so.

  • John - it would have been a complete surprise had you not wound up loving this draft. Go Cubs

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I'm sure this is just an attempt at snark, but I will assume you don't follow the draft and you don't understand what they just pulled off.

    I follow the draft, so I gave a short list of names beforehand that the Cubs should gamble on -- and they took 2 of them, they got 7 players with 3rd round talent or better --including 2 with 1st round talent, and 5 which had 2nd round grades or better per some sites.

    The question is why wouldn't I like it?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John - it was indeed a small attempt at snark. And I've always said you do your homework - no doubt you know your stuff. The snark was directed at the simple fact that after reading your stuff for the last 18 months, I know with absolute certainty that you will like/ love the moves that Theo makes. That's faith brother - and you got it. Don't let it go.

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    In reply to Charlieboy:

    Don't take things like that too seriously bro. Just cause you happen to know what this FO seems to covet, it just looks like that to the naked eye.

    He does have a small point in the fact that your a glass half full guy when it comes to jedstein but there is nothing wrong with that. You believe 120% and that's a great thing since you run this great blog.

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    In reply to Charlieboy:

    Also when is th much anticipated wrap up of today's draft coming. Kind of the only reason I am staying on this site. Well along w I got action on angels, dbacks, and nationals.

    No rush, but just curious

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    ALMORA TOOK A WALK!!!!!

    I just wish I could fast forward the Cubs to 2016. Now it is time to start thinking about the deadline. If Hammel and Samardzija can turn into TOR pitching than it can be a monumental 2 months for the Cubs.

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    In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:

    I think we should seriously consider using Javy to get the TOR starter we need.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm not so sure. I think having an ace who eventually demands a $200MM contract is folly. One injury and a huge chunk of your payroll and rotation is down the drain. I think it's much wiser to try and accumulate 5 2-3-4 type pitchers for your rotation. One injury doesn't devastate you and it's monetarily less devastating if the pitchers don't work out, especially if 1 or 2 of the five are home grown. Much like the Red Sox did last season, and which teams like the Braves, A's, and even the Cubs do yearly.

    Starting pitching has been far from the problem of the Cubs throughout the rebuild. Depth after trade-offs has been poor, but on the whole starting pitching has been this team's strength for the past 3 years. I don't see any reason that can't continue going forward, especially with this FO's track record of acquiring very effective 2-3 type pitchers via free agency (Feldman, Hammel, Maholm) along with large volume coming up through the minors from trades and the draft in recent years.

    So I don't get the idea of trading from strength (minor league hitting) to acquire something in an area that is already a strength (starting pitching) when that first strength is Very badly needed for the most glaring hole in the organization (major league hitting). Doesn't add up to me.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Couldn't agree with this more...even with what was stocked in the farm system and present on the 40 man roster by the end of 2011, this FO has been able to manufacture a credible/serviceable MLB rotation & vastly improved bullpen.

    Far from a glaring hole of need. I think more of the same approach is the answer as it relates to pitching...continue to be opportunistic gobbling up starters with perceived flaws (Feldman, Hammel, etc) and taking advantage of rule 5 arms ready to turn the corner. Don't think after Shark is gone we'll be expecting much more high-volume talent infusion in terms of arms (Grimm, Ramirez, etc), so drafts like 2014 will start to take the place of big, marquee player trades.

    Cornering the market on power bats is central to their strategy, since those parts are expected to be impacts to the MLB lineup, if not cornerstones of any future trades for MLB talent (vs system-stocking trades of Cubs' MLB talent).

    You could do a lot worse in terms of trotting out a balanced, disciplined lineup of hitters who are patient and can flat-out mash. Backed by a rotation without a clear TOR arm -- five 2-3-4 types make good economic sense in terms of risk balance and performance -- and a bullpen made up of low-cost, home-grown talent you use to restock your rotation.

    That's a recipe for success...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The pitching will come, but not by trading the very cream of the crop prospects...trading Baez before he even gets to the majors has a chance to be one of those trades that haunt an organization for a very long time. With the lineup the Cubs could have they would probably be able to get by with a rotation of 2's & 3's and still be a dominant team... but the Cubs still have quite a few avenues for TOR pitching besides that, with a top pick next year (matuella?), grab one in free agency (scherzer), or trade for one without using any of the very top prospects....Baez & Bryant are off limits.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I'll reply to both here. My issue with Baez is -- much like Jason McLeod those many years ago -- is I have no idea what I'm looking at. He could be one of the greatest offensive forces of all time. He could never get out of AAA. More so than patience, it's going to require something to click. And it might, because he is an elite prospect. But it might not. And if it doesn't, he will probably be a major leaguer because of his ability to destroy mistakes, but it isn't an impact player.

    So the trick is: they really don't control the outcome with Javier Baez. That's pure luck. If Schwarber's performance over the rest of this season convinces them that he, like Bryant, is a relatively safe bet to be an impact player, I'd suggest moving a giant question mark in Javy for some guaranteed value.

    I'm not talking about trading him for the best pitcher you can get. I'm talking about calling up, say, the Giants and asking "What do you want for Madison Bumgartner?" And hope someone replies, "Well, you'd have to send over Baez, Soler, Johnson, and Edwards." To which Theo replies, "Let's talk."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Fair enough, but I don't think anyone is going to give up a TOR starter for a big question mark. It takes a sure fire bat to do that. It took Wil Meyers, arguably the best hitter and safest bet in the minors at the time to get Shields who is arguably not even an ace (TOR for sure, but "ace" depends on how you define it). Other orgs view their own TOR guys like Gods, and view other orgs question marks as even bigger question marks. I don't think any team would trade proven TOR talent for Javy right now.

    And as far as the package you suggest, why gut our system to add to what is our major league roster's only strength right now?

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    So this isn't entirely fair, but let me finish two articles I'm working on for publication next week and we can continue this on those comment boards.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sounds good. (and I know the package you're proposing was a starting point not a final trade offer, and the Myers-Shields trade was considered a bad one by the industry as a whole, but that further proves my point of the differing values internally of teams' own aces)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    See I guess that's where you and I differ Mike...in my opinion by the end of this year Baez, at age 21, will already be advanced enough that he could be a 240-250 hitter with 30 HR's next year...which is insane for that age. If he was still in AA mashing at age 21, he would still be one of youngest 20 players in that league, and would no doubt be killing it like he was last year. Maybe they should have given him more than half a year in AA in retrospect. It's only because he has recently struggled, and because the Front Office is pushing these kids like crazy up the levels that they have struggled some...well that and their approach is behind their talent. Baez & Alcantara are two of the youngest in AAA. Almora is one of the youngest in High A...because these kids have tons of talent they will figure it out and their is still tons of time to fail and not to worry in my opinion. It's not smart to push them up the levels because they kick butt, only to sell low on them when they struggle at the higher level.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Very good post.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Indeed. Im n ot an advocate for trading a potential everyday superstar (or even a high-quality contributor) for someone, even a TOR, who plays once every 5 days except if Im getting a Tanaka or a Kershaw (mid 20s TOR) in return. No Scherzer, No Price just for 2 examples. I prefer even to keep Soler right now, lets see what he does when fully healthy.

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    It's like trading your children. Honestly I think it is hard to get the TOR starter of equal value for a guy like Baez. He has had his lumps in AAA but he is still our #1 talent.

    As pitching deprived as we are as an organization I still think it can be fixed in a short time frame. We have to do well at the trading deadline, during free agency and next year's draft pick. We have 3 golden opportunities to add 3 TORs in the next 12 months. Also keep in mind that Edwards has real potential as evidenced by being #25 by BA preseason.

  • In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:

    I agree with all of this. I don't want to trade Baez at all, but if the Cubs were going to trade him, then they should have left him in AA this year to mash 40+ HR's, and with only half a year in AA and still being one of the 20 youngest players in AA, it would not be out of the ordinary at all...yet the Cubs probably could have asked for the moon right now. The last thing I want to do is sell low on a kid who could end up a perennial all-star in a couple of years.

  • Big fan of the James Farris selection. Did anyone see what Callis/Mayo say about him? I missed it

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    they just held up sign that said "Save Farris"

  • I'm not gunna lie I didn't like the draft at first I started looking at the guys and started to see what they were doing and was hopeing they start drafting high upside I was really hopeing for other guys in the first 2 rounds see what they do tomorrow and I thinks it could be a solid draft overall over reaction yesterday on my part but I do trust theo and co. Let's hope for some tough to sign players tomorrow high upside

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    Das Wunderkind had this: Source: #Cubs in agreement with third-round pick (78th overall) Mark Zagunis for $615K. Under slot value, which is $714,900.

    So we saved about 100k on Zagunis, too. The more I read about him today the more I liked the pick. Lower floor but seems like a similar player to Pentecost. Solid defensive catcher with a potentially plus hit tool and limited power.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Actually it's a bit more than that, don't forget that you get the 5% overage too on all slots, so it's $750,645 - $615,000 = $135, 645 total saved

    It's only another 20k but those 5% overages can add up.

  • Many times over the past few weeks I wondered (to myself) why Schwarber wasn't getting any love at all.

    I had the opportunity to watch a few IU games (I attended IU, hence my interest) and with every Schwarber at bat I was reminded of Rizzo. He really works the count and is patient. He already practices the Cubs Way, at least in his at bats.

    Since he was given only the slightest mention here prior to the draft, I was surprised when the Cubs drafted him. But I understood why immediately.

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Let me pull back the curtain a bit. I've loved Schwarber from the beginning and thought he should be under serious consideration. But I talked with a scout that has seen him multiple times and he told me he had never seen the Cubs scouts there. I thought that meant they had crossed him off early -- his supposed lack of position making him an AL guy -- and moved on. It turns out, it means they were just very good at hiding their tracks.

    So while I loved the kid -- and that's why I picked him in John's mock -- I didn't want to get people excited for a player there was essentially no choice we were going to get. Then over the course of the day Thursday, Schwarber and Conforto's names kept coming up as rumors of a "top 5 team" completely changing their draft strategy hit twitter. And by the time of the draft Thursday night, I was fairly sure it was going to be one of them, though I still thought it was going to be Conforto because I knew they'd been scouting him.

    That's why I, at least, wasn't banging the drum more loudly on him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks for sharing. Good stuff. How does that track covering happen? Y'all always talk about how the Cubs follow players for many years, get long track records, and get to know the kids. And generally avoid the one year wonders. Do yo think this is the case with Schwarber?

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    In reply to Morgzie:

    Yes, absolutely. His sophomore season was arguably better than his junior season and had a strong showing on Team USA, as well. Very long and impressive track record for the kid. Unlike Bryant, he was not previously drafted but he has been high on boards all season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike : who ya got in the Belmont?

  • Chrome until a horse beats him. I want to see the triple crown myself especially since these were 2 pretty average joes who bought that horse

  • Good pitching picks continue -- Jordan Brink today in the 11th, on the fringe of MLB.com's Top 100 prospects!!

  • You cant teach power. You can teach how to repeat a delivery. Derek Johnson was brought in for kids like this.

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