No World Series (yet) but Cubs are Top 10 in 3 categories: MLB Draft, Team Value, and Best Arenas/Stadium

It’s a very slow day as far as Cubs baseball is concerned.  The World Series has officially started so we probably won’t be hearing any big news until it’s over.

Speaking of the World Series, the Cardinals fans believe that the Red Sox needed to cheat to beat them by 7 runs.  There is a much publicized video and photograph of Jon Lester’s glove, which Cardinal fans believe he tried to hide an illegal substance, perhaps Vaseline.  MLB found the evidence to be inconclusive.   Another big play was Peter Kozma missing the throw on a possible DP grounder.   Perhaps the Cardinals learned a lesson here, put the Vaseline in your pitcher’s glove, not the shortstop’s.  No crying in baseball, Cards fans.

Maybe the Cubs aren’t World Series quality…yet.  But they are in the top 10 in the following areas…

With the 4th pick in the 2014 MLB Draft….

Keith Law and Chris Crawford came out with their top 30 for the MLB Draft.  It’s insider only, so I can’t give away too much, but I will say they are not as high on Trea Turner as we are, ranking him in the middle of the first round and have Alex Jackson at #3 — even if he doesn’t stick at catcher, which is higher than some of the people we’ve talked to.  The ranking is heavy on high school bats (Jackson, Jacob Gatewood, Braxton Davidson) and pitchers (Grant Holmes, LHP Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek)  Their top rated college bat is Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost at #11.  Their top college pitcher after the consensus top 2 (LHP Carlos Rodon and RHP Jeff Hoffman) is hard-throwing LHP Sean Newcomb out of Hartford at #10.   If the draft unfolds this way, the Cubs may have to go with a high school player, which isn’t their preference, but if they do we can expect they’ll pursue a more polished player than a raw bat or arm.  It’s not a mock draft but SS Jacob Gatewood, who may have the best raw power in the draft ranks as their 4th best player.   For what it’s worth, I really liked what I saw out of Grant Holmes when I got a chance to see him pitch and Brady Aiken looks like a pretty polished lefty with a good fastball.  On a side note, I saw this college pitcher I like a  lot when I went to see Team USA named Eric Fedde but hadn’t seen him ranked anywhere.  Law and Crawford had him at #16. He’s my official scouting find of 2014.  Here’s what I said about him back then,

Sleeper Pick

Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

The biggest surprise in the two games was Fedde .  He flew in from the Cape Cod League, where he’d been pitching well, and put on a uniform so new that they didn’t even have time to sew his name on it yet.  Fedde is long, lean and projectable at 6’4″, 175 lbs — but he showed plenty of present stuff, including a 93 mph fastball and a tight slider that looks like it has plus potential.  He commanded both pitches well.  He got a few hitters to chase on the slider, pitching 3 no-hit, no-walk innings and striking out 5.

Cubs worth $1.32 B — 5th in all of baseball

According to a Bloomberg analysis, the Cubs are worth $1.32 billion — 5th in all of baseball behind the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Mets.

Wrigley Field 2nd for Best Arenas and Stadiums in America

Well, it’s by Rolling Stone and it’s for rock concerts, but hey, we’re big music fans at Cubs Den, so we’ll take it.  Maybe the Cubs need a music writer.  I suggest our guy Felzz.

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  • The Cardinals wonder why they're the most hated team in baseball? A bunch of crybaby fans, go BOSTON...

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:


  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    A few things about last nights game:

    - If it weren't Molina the clowns (Buck and McCarver) would have been all over the catcher for 'not taking charge...'

    - Interesting how they were talking about Martinez's 'up and in' pitch to Ross after he called for time the previous pitch. You'd think a guy that has only pitched around 20 ML innings would know better to pull that crap against a vet. Yet all McCarver could say was 'Martinez could have been hurt by stopping in the middle of his delivery' and basically said that he agreed with Martinez for throwing up and in. Which surprises me, since its much more likely that a player would be injured by getting hit in the head with a 98MPH FB vs. having to stop in mid-windup. Yet McCarver didn't even make that connection.

    - I absolutely loved the Cardinals booting the ball all over the field and was thankful that the ups adjusted the call. Historically the Cardinals have gotten those calls. agree that the cardinals have a good system and a good thing going, but damn I'm tired of hearing about the Cardinal Way. Its not all roses and championships in STL.

    I hope Wacha gets lit up tonight and I think he's due...

  • These statistics come as no surprise to me. especially the Wrigley part. I believe the Park to be a much bigger attraction than the team, and that this has been the reality for decades.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    For the most part, it has been -- but no doubt that when this team is winning, they come to see that as well.

  • I like Alex Jackson and Tyle Kolek a lot. But I am also big on high school players with big upside. Think both players fit pretty well for positions the Cubs need.

  • In reply to jswick23:

    Most people I have talked to don't have Jackson that low.

  • This insider stuff.... I guess ESPN still insists on putting articles and charging for that. I'm not sure what the % is of people who will not pay for those subscriptions, but I will not and have not done so. I can see other smaller sites if all they do is focus on one discipline.

    Many names to pick from there and research. 8 months is a long way out and this seems like the Stanek, Manaea stuff all over again (which is probably the case every year).

  • In reply to Buzz:

    Manaea was still paid like a top 10 pick and for the most part, there's a pretty good idea of who will be there. We talk about guys like Gray rising and Stanek falling, but many players stay right around their projected areas.

  • Sean Newcomb is LHP.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Fixed it. ESPN article had him as RHP.

  • I think the Cubs will have to repeat last years draft with a position player first, then pound the pitchers.

  • I think they have enough good prospects in their system, that if
    they have to draft a HS player they should. Later rounds are
    a mixed bag.

  • Boston fans are notorious both for their cry-babyness as well as their vitriolic racism and hatred of outsiders. Rivalry or no, St. Louis is the best franchise is American sports, and I'll root for them over Boston any day.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Deciding who to root for in this World Series is like deciding between hanging and a firing squad. But I guess I want Boston to win. Over 50 years of hating the Cardinals...I can't change now.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Sounds like St. Louis fans. Have you ever read @bestfansinbaseball? It's pretty scary.

    Good fans don't make excuses when they lose by 7 runs. Players at least admitted they played poorly, fans can't believe they'd lose without the other team cheating.

    Not a huge Boston fan, but let's not pretend they're worse than Cards fans.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    I have watched a lot of games in Boston, and have never seen anything that smacks of racism. What have you seen them do or say, and when?

  • Wrigley is actually a pretty bad concert venue unless you're on the field. The acoustics are terrible. The stadium is not situated towards a center field stage setup. If you're in the stands it just kind of feels like you're watching a couple thousand people enjoy a concert while you're left in the parking lot. The atmosphere is special, I'll give it that, but there are about a dozen venues in the Chicagoland area where I would rather see a concert.

  • I would like to say that Boston's recent call ups and farm system still has a very heavy Epstein influence. He built and nurtured it for 10 years. And the current FO of Boston is still using it to "sustain" a playoff team. That is what he is doing for the Cubs right now. Looks good for the Cubs long term.

  • In reply to John57:

    Very big Theo influence, same with the 2007 team.

  • In reply to John57:

    Agreed - here's hoping we see the Cubs with a similar level of success over the upcoming decade.

  • There's a lot of baseball to be played between now and next June. I remember last year you had Appel, Manae, and Stanek as the top interchangeable three. A lot can change. However, the names you listed will not drop out of the first round. The names at the top are pretty fluid.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    We keep up with the draft all year long and the people here are well-informed by the time the draft comes. More stays the same than changes. As things change, we'll change but some readers like to know who to follow as the season starts. We do the draft better than any Cubs site out there, and that's because we keep an eye on it all year long.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    one of my favorite aspects of this site... nobody should expect this site to predict the future but being educated on guys to pay attention to makes the next season a lot more fun to watch and pay attention to for a lot of us

  • In reply to RY22:

    Thank you and that's exactly what I was trying to say. The more you knows these guys now, the more you know by draft time. Everyone knew who was who and we all had our favorites. Made it fun to follow.

    Even the failures are interesting. I think the fact that we all knew Stanek and Manaea were potential #2 picks and slipped is testament to that. Lots of readers were hoping one or the two would slip to the Cubs 2nd round, because we all knew how well-regarded they were before they had an offseason.

  • In reply to John Arguello:


    I think the other way you have brought enjoyment to your readers is that when you go to watch a Cougars game for example, you are not just watching the "Cubs" players but also seeing a lot of the guys that have been discussed at length before the draft and are now playing for opposition teams... It certainly makes the viewing more interesting...

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Thanks. I appreciate that.

  • I would expect the prospect gurus to disagree some on the prospects. This way we have different opinions on the players and have material to debate. This may be good for the Cubs. Maybe now Turner will be there at the 4th pick. Some GM may pick Jackson at #3 since the white sox really need a catcher.

    I personally like listening to Kevin's expertise on prospects. He seems to have nailed the Bryant pick last year.

  • In reply to John57:

    No doubt. Kevin is our guy. We lean on him here for the draft. Just presenting a different viewpoint, but we'll go with Kevin's stuff when all is said and done.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks you John

  • In reply to John57:

    Thank you. Law and I don't normally see eye to eye on prospect. But then again Law had Bryant at like 17th this time last year. So its about right. Lol

  • John, Speaking of Felzz, when will he come back on board with a Cubs Den article? I could use a Felzz/Cubs fix to help me cope with this year's World Series!

  • In reply to les561:

    I think Felzz is too busy watching Kim DeJesus on The Amazing Race!

  • In reply to giamby:

    Maybe he should do a recap.

  • In reply to les561:

    Maybe. He's getting some much needed time off, but if he's up for it, maybe he can chime in with whatever is on his mind lately.

  • Noticed that Jorge Soler listed as in the lineup fro SolarSox today (

    Maybe his residency issues settled - or this just a missprint?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I heard they expected him back by Thursday

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    They were only expecting it to be a few days. Good to see him back.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Soler went 3 of 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. He's now batting .282 in the AFL

  • fb_avatar

    "...the Cardinals fans believe that the Red Sox needed to cheat to beat them by 7 runs...Cardinal fans believe he tried to hide an illegal substance, perhaps Vaseline."

    Cardinal fans need to stop throwing stones

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    Nice find.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm kinda torn on the Cardinals story. Clearly, their pitching and defense were much bigger factors in the loss than anything Lester may or may not have done. Having said that, if Lester *was* cheating -- and I tend to think he wasn't -- they have every right to be upset about it.

  • I'm liking the idea of snagging Alex Jackson more and more. If he's the best bat in the draft class, it doesn't matter what position he'll play. He'll be the BPA, which is what the Cubs draft.

    Otherwise, I'll be fine with drafting a high school arm with high-potential (Kolek).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Depends how you define "best bat." If you're putting emphasis on the hit tool, it might be Turner.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    He won't be the BPA. He isn't even the 3rd best HS position player in the draft.

  • The Cardinals whining and crying about John Lester sounds as bad as the Denver Broncos fans crying about the officiating in the Super Bowl after they had lost 45-10. No one told Tommy Smith to run for 204 yds or Doug Williams to throw 5 tds Bronco "fans". Well, Cards "fans" no one told Kouzma to drop a DP throw or Waionwright to hang cutters to hitters like Napoli or Ortiz, either.

  • So much for Jesse Rodgers (ESPN) and some scouts ripping apart Jorge Soler... Good to see him 2 for 2 so far and now hitting a respectable .270... What people don't realize is that despite his struggles, he's got an 8 game hitting streak... In other words, he's at least 1 hit in each one of the games he's played.

    And about the residency issues, it seems he only missed 2 games... Good to see him back.

  • So if the Cubs are the fifth most valuable franchise and if they have the fourth highest revenue in baseball, then why is it that they can't buy some young talent now? Shouldn't they be taking more risks on high priced foreign players who don't cost draft picks like Darvish, Puig, Ryu, etc...

    Why do they have to wait for Jumbotron revenue and a revised TV contract (which will bring in huge dollars, a portion of which they could be spending now)? Why is our shopping list limited to one potential impact player (e.g. Tanaka) this off season?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to baseballet:

    Because revenue is not the same thing as profit.

    Ricketts stretched himself very thin to buy the Cubs and Wrigley, and he's invested a lot of money into the team in ways we don't see.

    I've read (probably on here) that because Wrigley is so old, its maintenance costs are really high. Which is partly why they want to renovate. He built a brand new spring training site. i believe he has built sites in the DR and Korea, too.

    Revenue is money coming in. Profit is what's left of the revenue after you pay all the bills. And right now, Ricketts has a LOT of bills to pay.

    I'm not saying he can't afford to spend money on the team, but he has to be smart about it. Can't go all Steinbrenner on it.

  • John & Kevin, There's a local kid here in Jax named Sean Reid-Foley. His HS is 10 mins from me. I've watched him for years. His game is all about Power, whether he is pitching or hitting. I haven't seen him pitch in a while, but he was never a poster child for mechanics so I'm surprised that he's getting some 1st round love from the scouting guru's. I'll try to catch a few of his games this year and I can share my observations with you guys then.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'll defer to Kevin on that one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Though a lot of scouts are apparently out to see him. Throws 92-94. Here's a pic from Kendall Rogers of perfect game:

  • Any idea as to why they're low on Turner? Seems most like him in the top 5, at the least.

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    They don't believe in his hit tool. But Law said that about Bryant too and Kevin disagreed. Kevin was right.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't scout but isn't it a little soon to say who was right and who was wrong? I mean, in a small sample, Bryant did strike out too much.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Bryant is being more aggressive then I saw him in College. He was also leading off the 2nd half of the season. The way he can adjust from AB to AB, the older he gets the lower the the Ks will go.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Sample sizes are more for stats. The consensus now among scouts is that Bryant will hit.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Interesting. Thanks. I'm high on Turner and hope he's the guy (as of now)

  • I really hope they land Kyle Schwarber (Catcher out of IU) in the second round. Guy can stick behind the plate, and can rake. He single handed carried IU to the CWS. I doubt they'll get him with their second pick. Too many compensation picks, and don't get me started on the competitive balance picks....

  • fb_avatar

    Good stuff John, didn't see this article until now.

    And personally, I hope more scouts are low on Turner! Anything to increase the chances he "falls" to #4 is good for us.

    I hope Jackson, Kolek, Hoffman, Gatewood, and Beede all have monster years to make the top 5 a tough choice.

  • John, nice to see Fedde on their list. I played against him in high school, and we attend the same university. I remember talking with you about him during that game. Nice to hear that you still like what you saw. He could be a nice find in the second round, if it lasts that long.

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