The First Round and the Comp A round of the draft takes place tonight. Before the the night is over the Cubs will have made selections at No. 6, No, 43, and No. 56 over all. Current projections have the Cubs selecting high school outfielder Albert Almora with their first overall pick, but that is not decided yet. In the past forty eight hours there have been more rumors swirling around pitcher Lucas Giolito. It is possible that his price tag has come down to the point where teams at the top of the first round would consider drafting him, and that could throw everything for a loop.
That’s not all. I’m also seeing some speculation that the Big Three of college pitchers (Appel, Gausman, and Zimmer) are starting to slide down the draft boards of some teams near the top. It is not impossible that only one of those three pitchers is off the board when the Cubs pick. It is also not impossible that Almora himself is gone when the Cubs’ turn comes. This draft is starting to get a little unpredictable.
And when you factor in that Houston has yet to make up their minds and that no one knows for sure what Seattle is thinking, not to mention the still unknown effect of the new CBA, suddenly we have the potential for a wild evening of unexpected events.
Sounds like fun to me.
Brooks Raley struck out eight in his five innings of work, but he also allowed five runs on nine hits (including two home runs). Keep in mind that this game was played in Oklahoma City, where the wind came sweeping out to left field. It did not bother Manny Corpas, though. He allowed just one hit in his inning on the hill. Jeff Beliveau gave up a solo home run (and took the loss), but he struck out the other three batters he faced. Rafael Dolis walked two in the eighth but escaped without any further harm.
The Cubs’ offense was unable to take advantage of the breezy conditions with any long balls, although Ty Wright, Brian Esposito, and Diory Hernandez all doubled in the game. Wright also had the Cubs’ only two hit game. Brett Jackson singled and stole his 11th base of the season.
AA – Tennesse Smokies. 24 – 33
The Montgomery Biscuits have the most garish hats in baseball. Look at those things. You could land airplanes on a foggy night in a dust storm by using those hats for runway markers. In any event, the Montgomery Bright Hats beat Tennessee 3-2.
This game was all about the pitching. Nick Struck gave up just two hits in his five and two thirds innings, but they were both home runs. He also struck out seven and walked two as he endured his sixth loss of the season. Casey Harmon struck out four in his two and a third innings of hitless relief.
The Smokies were similarly shut down on offense, although they did have their chances. Even though Tennessee managed just five hits, thanks in part to six walks they did get enough men in scoring position to go a mere 1 for 8 in those situations. Jae-Hoon Ha and Michael Burgess both doubled. Those were the teams’ only extra base hits.
P.J. Francescon allowed all four Miracle runs to score in his five innings of work as he lost his second game at the High A level. A.J. Morris threw two shutout innings in relief, and Jeffrey Lorrick finished the game off in similar fashion.
Meanwhile, the Cubs were one hit. Greg Rohan had the teams’ lone single. Thanks to five walks and an error, though, the Cubs did manage to get seven opportunities with runners in scoring position. They went 0 for 7 in those situations.
Felix Pena and Hunter Cervenka both worked two innings of scoreless relief in support of starter Kyler Burke (who has had better starts), but Starling Peralta could not nail things down in the ninth. Peralta took his second loss of the year.
In a move suspected of being disciplinary in nature, Javier Baez was on the bench to start this game. He did step into the lineup in time to hit a home run in two at bats, and to make two sparkling defensive plays at shortstop. Oliver Zapata also homered in this game. Taiwan Easterling and Anthony Giansanti both doubled, and Pin-Chieh Chen hit his third triple of the season.
Yasiel Balaguert, in addition to his base hit, had two assists from left field. In both cases he cut down a runner at home.