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The Cubs have three draft picks in the books, and another thirty nine to go.

I do want to thank all of you for hanging out in the comments, on the Message Boards, and on Twitter last night. I think I speak for Brett and I both when I say that covering a four hour long draft like that is exhausting, but you guys make it completely worthwhile. And we’ll be at it again this afternoon, covering rounds two through fifteen. I hope to see all you back here, on the Message Boards, and following along on Twitter (@bleachernation and @ltblaize).

By the way, there were some minor league games played yesterday.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 25 – 32
Iowa lost another close game. The RedHawks beat the Cubs by a final of 6-5.

Chris Rusin gave up two home runs on his way to allowing five runs in five innings. This is the fourth start in a row in which Rusin’s hit totals have been higher than I like to see them. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I suspect the league may have adjusted to him. If that is the case, his job is now to adjust to the league and start shutting teams down again.

Esmailin Cardid allowed a solo home run and a walk while striking out three in his two innings of work, but that was enough for him to earn the loss. Mike MacDougal finished the game with a scoreless inning.

Chris Rusin helped his own cause with two hits and an RBI. Anthony Rizzo went 3 for 5 with a double, as did Ty Wright. Wright also hit his third home run of the season. Brett Jackson was 0 for 3, but he did walk twice and score a run. Josh Vitters was 0 for 5.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 25 – 33
A big seventh inning was enough to lift the Smokies to a 7-4 win.

Dallas Beeler was effective, but he did not figure into the decision. Marcus Hatley pitched an inning and two thirds of scoreless relief, good for his second win of the season. Alberto Cabrera pitched a flawless ninth for his fifth save.

Justin Bour had the Smokies’ only extra base hit in this game, a double. Bour had two hits; James Adduci led the team with three hits. Adduci also stole his seventh base of the season.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 24 – 31
Daytona is starting to roll along, and they are doing it with a great mix of pitching and hitting. That combination led to an 8-3 road win on Monday night.

Frank Del Valle is now 4-1 this season after allowing just for hits over six innings in this game. Joseph Zeller gave up two runs in his two innings of relief. Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth.

Six different Cubs had multi-hit games, including a team leading three hit performance by Nelson Perez. John Andreoli, Arismendy Alcantara, Greg Rohan, Rubi Silva, and Taylor Davis all had two hits apiece.

Matt Szczur did not play in this game, and there is still no word on where he has been. He is not on the disabled list, the Cubs are quiet, the local press has nothing, and if any local fans have piped up with an answer to the mystery, I have not seen it yet. The most likely scenarios involves a minor illness or a day to day injury. We’ll keep an eye out for information and let you know if we learn anything.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 26 – 32
Peoria is slowly starting to climb the standings. After a 2-0 win on Monday, they are just six games under .500.

Ben Wells started this game, but he left after getting just six outs with an apparent injury. Luis Liria, Larry Suarez, and Sheldon McDonald each pitched two innings of shutout baseball before handing the game over to Yao-Lin Wang in the ninth. Wang collected his fifth save, and the Chiefs cashed in on a five pitcher shut out.

It’s a good thing the Chiefs had a shut out from their pitchers, because their offense was rather quiet. Pin-Chieh Chen had two of Peoria’s five hits. Javier Baez doubled for the team’s only extra base hit.

Along with Baez and Chen, Zeke DeVoss, Oliver Zapata, and Wes Darvill all had a stolen base in the game.

  • Eric

    Draft day 2 doesn’t seem to be on MLB network. So is the only way to follow the draft on MLB.com? Is it even a televised event?

    • Cubbie Blues

      You can follow along right here with Brett and Luke.

      And we’ll be at it again this afternoon, covering rounds two through fifteen. I hope to see all you back here, on the Message Boards, and following along on Twitter (@bleachernation and @ltblaize).

      • Eric

        Well ofcourse, I was just wondering if there would be any video of it anywhere. BTW use http://ht.ly/bmqpk along with it, it’s a good way to find who’s still on the board as the picks happen.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          MLB.com should have it streaming.

          • Eric

            ok thanks brett. It should be easier to actually follow comments instead of watching on the TV then running back here to check comments on the internet.

  • Jp

    When does the draft start today?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      11am CT.

  • Chris

    So I was wondering peoples opinions. Do you guys think Albert almora is gonna be the next jacobey elsbury. Or is he gonna be a corey paterson, Felix pie, or Bobby hill type? I just get paranoid when cubs take a 5 tool outfielder. Personally I don’t even think Brett Jackson is that good but that’s me. I know everyone wants to trust Theo but things have changed. Theo wasent a genious when it came to find players other people couldn’t. He just overpaid guys to skip college. The new CBA changes that. I just don’t like having blind faith, I feel he should be scrutinized just like any other gm. Scouting is as much about luck as knowledge. For example how many future hall of famers where taken with anything but the top pick. Albert pujols was taken in the 13 th round. If people projected him right no way he not a top pick. Truth is all the do are make educated guesses.

    • Cubs Dude

      From what i’v read I don’t think he’s like any of the players above. He can’t run like Ellsbury, and I sure as hell hope he’s better then Patterson, and Pie. I have heard Adam Jones, Beltran, and his swing was compared to Braun’s (probably without that much power).

    • Noah

      First, most of Theo’s best top round picks were actually college draftees: Ellsbury, Pedroia, Daniel Bard, etc. There were a couple of reasons for this: by the time the Red Sox picked late in the first round, the top flight high school players (akin to the Almoras) were gone. And Ellsbury’s signing bonus was only $1.4 million.

      Where Theo paid overslot more was in the lower rounds, with guys like Rizzo and Middlebrooks. I agree that’s going to be different. But even if you adjust for the amount of money they spent, the Boston crew did an excellent job in the draft. I agree they need to be held accountable for whatever their actions bring here, but Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod have a reputation in their industry for building one of the best scouting mechanisms in baseball.

    • Kyle

      Nobody knows. The fact is, the bust rate on high first round picks is 50-75%, depending on what you consider a “bust.” The history of our current front office is a bit better, but still has a certain number of busts.

      Outside of the rare generational talent taken first overall, there are no sure things in the MLB draft.

      Almora is 18, and has a 30 hit tool right now. That means he’d be well below average at making contact in the majors, something like a .220 hitter with tons of strikeouts. Scouts project that he has the potential to someday be a 70 hit tool, i.e. a .300+ hitter. But that’s just a projection. Nobody knows for certain if he’ll actually improve or not as he gets older.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        One potentially promising sign is that (I think!) Almora took a lot of walks: if I remember the numbers they flashed last night, it was over 10% of PAs.  A lot of guys that the Cubs drafted didn’t show that even in high school.  After all, most guys with the contact skills to get into pro ball (or even college ball) probably can get their bat on anything that Joe High School Pitcher can throw: and you don’t walk off the HS diamond anymore than you walk off an island.  There are some other caveats: Almora certainly was the stud (remember, the guys who can be backups in college are studs in HS, never mind the guys who can get drafted) and people pitched around him.  Also, not only are HS pitchers wild, but the umps are pretty spastic, too.

        Still, we do have some evidence that Almora’s got decent pitch recognition, which might prevent a Corey Patterson or even Felix PIe fate.

        • Kyle

          Felix Pie had a decent walk rate. Not spectacular, but average at least. His failures as a prospect were quite different (and much more mysterious) than Patterson’s (who didn’t really fail, but that’s a whole other story…).

          That aside, I totally agree. Projecting plate discipline from HS is tricky because of the level of competition. Some guys, like you said, can put their bat on anything they see so they don’t need to take walks. Other guys play against such inferior quality that they rack up walks seeing four balls hit the backstop, but their real plate discipline is quite bad.

          Almora’s experience against elite age-level competition is a very good sign that his plate discipline will translate to the pros.

  • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

    I have heard a rumor that Almora´s agent is good old Scott Boras. Are there any issues in him asking for an overslot value (for Almora) and putting in serious doubt our abilty to sign our other picks? On the flip side, if Amora will sign for under slot (i.e. deal aleady in place) then maybe the cubs can lure Blackburn away from college.

    Like the Pierce pick despite the unfortunate name; he should not be a difficult sign.

    (reposting on the active forum)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Right now I expect all three of the Cubs top picks to sign for roughly slot.

    • Kyle

      I’m pretty sure the Cubs have an unofficial deal in place with Boras, or at least a very good idea of what Almora will sign for.

      Exhibit A: Almora wasn’t a consensus to go in the top 6. There were some people who had him going several picks later, and that makes a big difference in bonus. The No. 6 slot money is pretty reasonable for what he had to expect going into the draft.

      Exhibit B: It was widely known around the industry that the Cubs planned on taking Almora and loved him quite a bit. That certainly didn’t come from the Cubs, who are notoriously tight-lipped. But it very easily could have come from Boras, who has incentive to hype up his client and is known to talk to the media off the record or anonymous. In fact, some of the reporters insisting Almora to the Cubs was a near lock have a history of using Boras as a source.

      The Cubs wouldn’t have zeroed in on Almora without extensive talks with Boras to know exactly what they were getting into signing him.

  • mark

    We’re not the only people wondering: Local minor-leaguers: Matt Szczur sits out third straight game for Daytona Cubs. It is a bit of a mystery. We’re up to four games in a row (there was a previous two game stretch, I believe). That usually calls for some explanation.

  • Steve

    He was jut declared ” Jed Hoyer compensation” and is on his way west

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