Baseball America has released version 2.0 of their 2012 mock draft, and their projection for the Cubs has switched from OF Albert Almora to SS Carlos Correa. The Cubs’ pick likely will come down to one of those two, or high school lefty Max Fried. Unless the Orioles decide to take Correa with the fourth overall pick (unlikely), none of the top three college pitchers are likely to be on the board when the Cubs make their selection. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the Bleacher Nation 2012 MLB Draft Primer for more information on these, and other, potential picks.

The Cubs’ first round pick is going to continue to get all the attention as we inch closer to draft day, and rightfully so, but one pick will not make this draft. The Cubs have four early picks; all four are going to be important.

Player development is a numbers game. Even the best farm systems in baseball only manage to send a tiny fraction of their players to the majors. Many of the players on any top prospects list, including the Cubs’ own list, will ultimately not make it to the major leagues. The counter to that reality is to have a farm system that not only has premium talent, but a lot of talent. The more potential major league catchers a team has, for instance, the more likely that team is to produce a catcher from their farm system. With that in mind, it is important that the Cubs draft as well as they can from their first to their last pick. The more talent they can pack into the system, the greater the odds that some talent will ultimately make it to the majors.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 20 – 27
Not only did the Cubs come from behind to beat the Cardinals, they did so in Memphis. The final score was 2-1.

Rodrigo Lopez started the game, but he did not last long. In fact, he lasted exactly one pitch (it was a strike). I would say the odds are very good that Lopez is injured, but I am not yet aware of anything official on the subject.

That means Jay Jackson was officially a reliever, and he responded by pitching five very good innings. Jackson gave up just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. As a reliever, Jackson is good (1.86 ERA). As a starter, Jackson is not good (7.79 ERA). Apparently that trend holds even when he’s a starter in all but name.

After Jackson was removed, the remainder of the Cubs bullpen pitched well. Carlos Marmol, now on his rehab assignment, pitched one good inning. Even Mike MacDougal managed to avoid giving up a run. Scott Maine was on the mound for the final two innings and earned his third win.

Iowa was light on offense. Steve Clevenger, also on a rehab assignment, doubled in the seventh inning and came home on a sac fly by Brett Jackson. Luis Valbuena hit the go ahead home run in the ninth. Other than that, there isn’t much to say.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 21 – 28
Three Tennessee pitchers combined to two-hit Mobile on Friday in a narrow 4-3 win.

Eric Jokisch celebrated his return to Double A by pitching five very good innings. He allowed just one hit, but unfortunately that hit was a two run home run. He also walked one and struck out three. Kevin Rhoderick threw two innings of no-hit ball, receiving a Hold for his efforts, and Alberto Cabrera pitched the final two innings, allowing one run to score on one hit, for the save.

Jae-Hoon Ha launched his second home run of the season, and Luis Flores doubled and hit his first homer of the year to lead the Smokies. Justin Bour also doubled. Matt Cerda did not have a hit, but he did walk three times in five trips to the plate.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 18 – 28
The Cubs’ starter threw a great game, but the bullpen coughed up the lead. Sound familiar? It happens in Daytona just like it does in Chicago. The Daytona Cubs lost another close one 2-1.

Austin Kirk pitched a great game (8 innings, 7H, 4K) and left in line for the win. Tony Zych, who has been pretty good much of the season, allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth and took the loss.

Daytona had their chances to give Kirk some much needed run support, but they could not turn their nine hits into more than a single run. Micah Gibbs, Rubi Silva, and Dustin Harrington all had two hits in this game, while Arismendy Alcantara doubled for the team’s only extra base hit. The Cubs did not draw a walk, and they were a dismal 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 22 – 26
Peoria’s pitchers also enjoyed a very good day on Friday as the Chiefs won 3-1.

Starling Peralta has arrived from extended spring training and pitched fairly well in his first start. He only threw four innings in this game, allowing five hits, one run, one walk, and collecting two strikeouts. Larry Suarez threw two innings of score less baseball in relief and earned his first win of the season. Luis Liria tossed three innings of two hit ball for his first save.

Zeke DeVoss led the team with two hits, including a double. Ryan Cuneo also had two hits while Paul Hoilman collected the only other extra base hit for the Chiefs, a triple. Taiwan Easterling stole his ninth base of the season.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    Needless to say…this is a very important draft for the Cubs! I’m always excited about the draft, especially with this one being the first non-JH led one in many years. I know he was hamstrung in many ways…I just didn’t always like his philosophy.

    • LouCub

      or Andy MacPhails philopsophy of drafting just arms and dealing for quality position guys later…Draft the best available regardless of position, it’s not like the NFL or NBA when these guys contribute to the parent club in year one

  • Kyle

    I can’t let a Vitters BB go by without being noticed.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    With Austin Kirk pitching so great in Daytona. I think he deserves a promotion to Double A when an opening comes up. :)

  • nkniacc

    what is mlb’s “budget for thr the Cubs” for the draft?

    • Brett

      Don’t have it handy, but will have a post on it next week. It’s around $11M if I remember correctly (I’m on the road right now).

    • Norm
      • Brett

        That’s right – plus 30 more rounds at $100k apiece, so about $11 million. But, yeah, as Norm points to, the “pool” is just under $8 million (but they can go over by up to 5% without losing a draft pick, so I expect them to do so).

        • nkniacc

          I think 2 things are likely with the top 4 picks for the Cubs 1. They are going to take atleast 1 pitcher and 2 they are likely to take atleast 1 player that will sign for at slot or below so that they can spend a bit more on the other picks

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    I want to get Fried. Max Fried that is.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Hey Luke or Brett. When do you think were going to see some of the really young guys the Cubs drafted last year in at least Peoria or Daytona? Such as the young gunslinger Dillon Maples, or the heavy set slugger Dan Vogelbach, and the supremely talented but immature kid that is Javier Baez? We don’t hear much about them and its been about a year since they’ve been doing or developing. Brett anyway you could do an article giving us a update on how these kids are doing? Or even Jeimer Candelario who not much of anyone know about.

  • Joshua Edwards

    “Even Mike MacDougal managed to avoid giving up a run.”


  • DocPeterWimsey

    “The Cubs’ pick likely will come down to one of those two, or high school lefty Max Fried.”

    I seem to recall that Jed & Theo shied away from drafting HS pitchers while with the Sox, at least in the early rounds.  I know that there were some exceptions, such as Jon Lester: is Fried held in the same regard that Lester was?

  • Norm

    From what I’ve read, I’m expecting it to go:
    Houston: Appel
    Twins: Buxton
    Mariners: Zunino
    O’s: Zimmer or Correa
    KC: Gausman
    Cubs: Whoever the O’s don’t pick or Almora

    I think I’d still prefer Giolito, but understand the risk might not be worth it here.

    • Brett

      That seems to be the consensus. Obviously a lot can deviate.

    • Jeremy

      IMO, I think Giolito is worth the risk but I can see why the Cubs are unsure. From the small tape I’ve watched on him on youtube (haha) he has a some of the easiest velocity I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping he ends up being the pick but I’ll be happy with Correa, Almora, Zunino or any of the college arms if they fall. The nice thing about the draft this year is that there seems to be a consensus Top 7-8 players and then a drop off.

  • nkniacc

    It would be interestng to hear if Giolito 1. is healthy and 2 if his demands have come down a bit if so he could be in play for trhe Cubs

  • Jeremy

    Don’t know if this has been posted but Phil Rodgers from the Trip reports that Baez has been promoted to Peoria and will make his debut there this weekend

    Phil Rogers ‏@ChiTribRogers
    SS Javier Baez, Cubs’ 1st-rounder, is being freed from ext spring. Will make debut for Peoria this weekend.Nice work on plate discipline.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Jeremy. Was writing it up when you commented. Always great to drop this stuff in the comments when you see it.

      • Jeremy

        Thanks, always try to drop news that hasn’t been posted here when I see it.

  • Kyle

    So in a year when the Cubs have a high pick, could really use a nice college pitcher in the organization, and the draft has a nice crop of college pitchers, none of them are going to fall to us. And we’ll get another toolsy projectable high schooler to go in our Baez/Vitters/Luis Montanez collection.

    I curse every game we won last year.

    • Brett

      But, if it plays out that way, it doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision, right? I don’t pretend to be an amateur-player expert, but if the Cubs can’t get one of the big three college arms, they probably shouldn’t take the next best college pitcher “just because.”

      HOWEVA, if they feel like they can take someone like Wacha, sign him for well under slot, and then use the savings to grab some great players down the line, well, then maybe.

      • Kyle

        You’re definitely right, it doesn’t mean it’d be wrong to take a high school player if he’s on top of their board.

        I’m being totally irrational, but high school position players who aren’t Bryce Harper make me feel super icky.

    • Kyle

      Just looked it up, since Dunston, the Cubs have used 6 top-10 picks on high school position players:

      Derrick May (1986, No. 9 overall)
      Had a surprisingly long big-league career for a replacement-level player.

      Earl Cunningham (1989, No. 8 overall)

      Corey Patterson (1998, No. 3 overall)
      Became a useful big league player for a short burst.

      Luis Montanez (2000, No. 3 overall)

      Josh Vitters (2007, No. 3 overall)
      Possible bust in progress, though I hold out some hope

      Javier Baez (2011, No. 8 overall)
      We’ll find out very soon

      • Jim L

        You forgot about Ryan Harvey.

  • rocky8263

    Did anyone else catch any of Rosenbloom’s blather this morning? It’s like he doesn’t even take the time to read his own papers stories about Ricketts/Emmanuel and the amusement tax. He was suggesting the Cubs charge the tax (it’s like any sales tax, they collect it and pass it on) and the Cubs want to keep it. He is a moron. Charging up all the haters with his idiotic opinions. Whew. I feel a little better now.

  • Cheryl

    Wonder if any team, including the cubs, will have Derrick Salburg (sp?) on their draft board after that incredible catch. Saw an article that his coach thinks he’d do well in a Division 1 shool. He’s in junior ollege now.

  • Njriv

    We hear good things all the time about position players like Rizzo, Jackson, Baez, Lake, Szczur, Vitters and how SOME of these guys can make a legit impact on the big league club in the future, but we don’t really hear anything about pitching prospects. I’m not talking about relievers like Beliveau, but guys that can impact the rotation. Are guys like McNutt, Maples, Simpson and Whitenack legit prospects or are they all big fish in a small pond in that department?