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The Major League Baseball Draft begins this Monday, June 6, and the Chicago Cubs hold the 9th pick. With the big team struggling so mightily, the team’s draft is likely to receive more scrutiny than usual. And, after coming off a 2010 draft in which the Cubs didn’t exactly pick by the book, folks are hoping the team lands one of the draft’s true elite prospects.

“You want to take the best player available on the first day,” Cubs Player Development Director Oneri Fleita has said. “I think that’s always the way to go about it.

“The second day, you start augmenting and figure out what holes you need to fill in. Do you need an extra outfielder, another infielder, a catcher, etc., etc. I think we’ll go about it like we always do, which is take the best players available the first 10 to 15 rounds, and we’ll worry about where they play and what teams they play for after.”

Under Scouting Director Tim Wilken, the Cubs have focused on athletic types, and finding gems deep in the draft. In the last couple years, however, the Cubs have not spent a whole lot of money on the draft, instead opting to save some dollars for international signings. With Tom Ricketts under fire, you have to wonder if he’ll open up the checkbook and take some guys in later rounds that he knows the Cubs will have to throw a lot of cash at to sign.

As for that first round pick, the Cubs have been attached most heavily to high school stud – and awesomely named – Bubba Starling, who has signed on to play quarterback at Nebraska. Still, he’s being advised by Scott Boras, which suggests that he’s willing to forgo the football thing for a baseball career. He’ll cost a pretty penny to sign, but most experts agree that, if he lasts until nine, the Cubs will take him.

The most recent mock on MLB.com has the Cubs taking high school pitcher Archie Bradley, he of the reported triple-digit fastball.

The first and supplemental first rounds of the draft start Monday at 7pm EST (6pm CST), with the remaining rounds going on Tuesday and Wednesday. You can expect plenty of draft coverage here at BN.

 

  • al

    uughhh dont draft another high schooler…look at what we got with josh vitters…alot of potenial but has not developed….we cant wait ..need help NOW……S…..O…..S…..S….O…..S……S…..O……S…….titanic!!!

    • Ace

      There’s no such thing as “help now” in the MLB Draft. Many of the top players in baseball were drafted out of high school, so you can’t just ignore them. The Cubs signed Starlin Castro when he was just 16 – have any regrets about that one?

  • al

    when i say help now i mean alot of different things.. trades..walking away from big contracts…moving people that are not productive..i realize the draft isnt a place for help now unless you get a big name out of college thats a no brainer and promote him right away but i dont see that happening …ricketts is going to have to take it in the shorts for a couple of years until help does arrive..

  • Jeff

    Fill in holes? This might be the first time I’ve heard a baseball executive talk about filling holes through the draft. Everyone that has success at it, I’ve heard talk about taking the best available player, regardless of position. I don’t see the point in the Cubs limiting themselves to certain positions later in the draft. I know he disclaimered the statement by saying they will take best available, but the fact that he is even talking about taking “need” picks disturbs me.

    Maybe some more bad news on the Bubba Starling front. Darin Erstad is taking over the Nebraska baseball program. He is a guy who played both football and baseball at the school and could be looked upon as a mentor for Starling, keeping him from signing a baseball contract this year.

    • Ace

      I wouldn’t worry too much – Fleita runs the farm system, and at some point in the draft, you really are looking to fill holes on the minor league rosters. I don’t think he’s talking about filling holes on the Cubs.

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