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gray appelThe 2013 MLB Draft is just a touch under one month away …

  • Hoyer, to Cubs.com, on the Cubs’ plans for that pick as it relates to Houston picking in front of them: “We don’t expect to know until the name is called in New York [on June 6]. When you pick second, it’s a pretty short list [of candidates]. We’ll react to what [the Astros] do. At this time of year, you’ll get texts from friends thinking they know how things will fall out. The truth is, only two or three people in the Astros organization know how it’s going to happen. We don’t expect to know until the last minute. We’ll keep doing our due diligence.” Thankfully, there’s only so much “gaming” the Cubs can be subjected to. If they’ve got a list of two, they’re going to get one of those two, no matter what. The only rub is in pre-draft “discussions” (which aren’t exactly permissible) with players to determine who would be willing to sign for what. You don’t want to be used as a leverage piece, and wind up focusing all of your attention on a young man who isn’t going to be available to you. Again, that doesn’t appear to be an issue here. The Cubs will narrow their list to two, and they’ll take the top guy if the Astros don’t, and the second guy if the Astros do.
  • Jed Hoyer spoke to Jim Bowden and Casey Stern earlier this week on Sirius XM and confirmed that the Cubs aren’t missing any Gray or Appel starts these days, but that those aren’t the only two players the Cubs are considering at the top of the Draft.
  • Phil Rogers hears that the Cubs are still very much considering San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, as well as Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea, with their first round pick. The latter would require a very strong finish to his season to get back in the mix. As for Bryant, I remain of the mind that the Cubs could wind up taking him, but only if they believe he’s got a better than 50/50 shot of sticking at third base (at 6’5″ and without great defensive scouting reports, it’s a stretch). If he’s a corner outfielder at best, it’s going to be very hard to pass on one of the pitchers.
  • Here’s a question for you (and the Cubs): with a $6.7 million slot amount for the number two pick, it’s fair to estimate that each of Mark Appel or Jonathan Gray is going to demand full slot to sign, and they’ll probably get at least $6 million. What if the Cubs knew they could get Kris Bryant for, say, $4.5 million? Is it worth the savings there, which could be applied to overslot picks down the road, assuming the difference between Bryant/Appel/Gray is very slim in the Cubs’ mind? Maybe. I don’t think it’s a question we can answer, because we don’t know how many overslot/sliding types are interesting to the Cubs right now. If they know there are a ton of guys they expect to slide because of signability questions, well, then maybe they take the chance on Bryant (maybe they want him anyway).
  • (I still expect Appel or Gray, though, as of today.)
  • Jonathan Mayo talks about the possible top picks in the Draft – Appel, Gray, Bryant, Frazier, Meadows, Manaea – and why each should/shouldn’t be the top pick.
  • Conor Glassey looks at what might happen in the first round of the Draft.
  • Rich

    I am guessing that Appeal is too polished to pass and the Astros take him, leaving us Gray..

    • CubFan Paul

      That wasn’t the Astros strategy last year.

  • Jacob

    Which of the two have the higher ceiling/lower floor?

    • BWA

      Gray: Higher Ceiling
      Appel: Lower Floor

      • Noah

        However, the difference in ceilings is very minimal, while the difference in floor is much greater.

        • BWA

          I’d have to disagree with that. Gray’s velocity has hit 103, which is something you don’t see very often.

  • CubFan Paul

    I expect the Astros to take Bryant to save money. Since the new owner there, that’s all they’ve been doing (not spending).

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      This isn’t necessarily the case. Sure they saved money by taking Correa, but they spread the rest of the pool money around on later picks. They spent. They just didn’t spend it all on 1.1 for Correa.

      • Rebuilding

        Also, last year there were 4-6 names that could have gone #1 and some people had him there. Appel was a much different situation last year as a junior as his subsequent non-signing showed. This year Appel and Gray seem to be the consensus 1-2

      • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

        following up from Baseball America.
        Spent pool
        Astros $11,335,200 $11,177,700 101.4% -$157,500 $118,125

    • Justin

      By all accounts the Astros like Correa the most out of anyone in the draft. They used several players for negotiating purposes, and came out with a lot more talent than they would have had they picked Appel. Correa, may have the most upside but is very far away. Which fits perfectly with the Astros plan of starting to compete in 2020..

      • Kyle

        That’s just something teams say when they’ve decided to take an inferior talent.

        I remain convinced that the Astros botched that draft trying to be too clever, and Byron Buxton’s start to his pro career only convinces me more.

  • Kramden

    Getting tedious reading Appel, Grey, Appel, Grey, Appel, Grey all the time when the Cubs have so much on the line with this draft beyond the #2 pick.

    It’d be interesting to speculate who would be available and the Cubs might pick in the 2nd and maybe 3rd round.

    I think that’s where the rubber will meet the road regarding Epstein & Hoyer’s skills,

    • ssckelley

      Then throw some names out there hotshot. Potentially the Cubs are going to be drafting the best pitching prospect they have had since Mark Prior. If you are getting tired of the discussion then I would suggest not reading blogs that discuss the draft.

      • itzscott

        I have no clue, but I’d suspect some of the “experts” on this board would have some interesting speculations.

        Time to move beyond the Appel/Grey conversation pretty much knowing it’ll be one of the two.

        How much more mileage do you want out of an Appel/Grey debate?

        • ssckelley

          But the Cubs will not draft again until #41. I have read, and I cannot remember where, that this draft is top heavy and that it becomes a crap shoot after the top 5 players are gone. I could not begin to speculate who would be around at #41 and if the Cubs do take Appel or Gray then they may have to save money at #41 and draft someone that will sign for under slot.

          • hansman1982

            The fall off is even pretty dramatic after the 1st pick. By the 5th pick, there is very little difference between #6 and #41 in terms of future WAR.

            • ssckelley

              hansman, you talking in general for that draft position or a big drop off in future WAR between Appel and Gray?

              • hansman1982

                In general. This draft probably won’t be that screwy because there isn’t a clear cut #1 guy.

                • Kyle

                  I’m not 100% sold on that. I suspect that anytime there isn’t a superphenom like Harper, the draft punditry sort of defaults to the horse-race mentality and gets lazy lumping the top five or six guys together.

                  I’d be stunned if the Cubs front office didn’t have a very clear idea in mind of what order they preferred the top picks, with a reasonably amount of separation between them.

                  • hansman1982

                    I don’t doubt that, but we really don’t have a “horse-race” type mentallity here. Appel should be most folks #1 with Gray a #2. However, this isn’t like Harper/Strasburg where Appel is a lock at #1.

                  • cms0101

                    If they end up with Appel, was taking Almora over him last year the wrong move? Getting Appel into the system a year earlier would have meant getting him to the majors that much faster. Granted, picking later meant they had less money to spend, thus a lesser chance of being able to sign Appel in the first place. I guess I’m just wondering if every team that passed on Appel last year made a mistake of sorts.

                    • Kyle

                      There was no way they could have signed Appel with the slot money they had last year.

                      Only teams with the first two picks had a chance to sign him. Otherwise, he was going back to school.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Personally, I am no “expert”. I am here to discuss issues I see in the system. Thought that was the point of this. We need a top of the rotation impact talent. Luckily that is possible. We are at an adventageous position where there are 2 clear cut possibilities for a need in the system. I am all about not drafting for need, but these kids fit everything we need. We need impact upside and talent. Check. We need ace potential. Check. Beyond that, if that bores you, the rest of the rounds will kill you. I am not one for Russian Roulette. If these kids were more consistent or had better tools, they wouldn’t last as long. This is not the NFL where the 2nd through the 6th rounds are obvious. You take the best player on your board at that point. To me, I hope it is one of the catchers. We have none in our system and that is a strength this year.

          • ssckelley

            Good points, another factor is if the Cubs need to save money in order to sign Gray/Appel which would impact who they drafted at #41. There are some exciting prospects at catcher but the best ones that might be available at #41 could be high school, someone like Chris Okey who is committed to play for Clemson. High school players can be tougher to sign, especially under slot since they can opt to go to college. Nick Ciuffo is another that could be there, but only because he might demand over slot money in order to sign.

            • Kyle

              There was that rumor/report the other day that the Cubs, if they like Appel a lot more, could float an above-slot offer to his advisers to try to keep his demands high so that the Astros avoid him.

              If they really do like Appel that much more (and I wouldn’t blame them if they did), I think it’d be a pretty awesome move to offer him $8 million, punt on the No. 41 pick, and scare away the Astros.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                No, that would be a heroically stupid move, because there’s no way the difference between Appel and the next best guy is $2 to $3 million PLUS a draft pick.

                • Kyle

                  I think it’s very, very plausible that the difference is that large. I’d expect it to be in most years between No. 1 and No. 2.

                  No. 41 picks still suck.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    If number one was a Strasburg or a Harper, then no doubt. This year? I really, really don’t see it.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t think requires a Harper-level player. The average value of the No. 41 pick for their entire career is about 3 wins. It’s a spin of the roulette wheel at that point.

                      If you have any differentiation at all in your evaluations at the top of the draft, and you have a chance to get the best player, then I’d throw away that pick every time to get the player you like better.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      You’re talking about knowing in advance that the number one is SO much better than the number two. That happens only (1) in hindsight, or (2) with a Strasburg/Harper.

                    • hansman1982

                      Yes, the #1 pick is greatly skewed by guys who were obvious #1 choices.

                      Odds are, Appel and Grey are likely to put up similar career WAR numbers with Appel getting a slight nod.

                    • Kyle

                      “You’re talking about knowing in advance that the number one is SO much better than the number two. That happens only (1) in hindsight, or (2) with a Strasburg/Harper.”

                      I don’t think that’s true.

                      Baseball-Reference says No. 1 overall picks have amassed 881 WAR, No. 2 picks 579.

                      I could completely remove the three most no-doubter generational talents I see: A-Rod, Griffey, Strawberry, and the No. 1 pick still comes out well ahead.

                    • Kyle

                      “Odds are, Appel and Grey are likely to put up similar career WAR numbers with Appel getting a slight nod.”

                      I think the problem is that people underestimate the scales with which we are dealing.

                      A “slight nod” at the No. 1/2 pick level is likely to be bigger than the entire expected value of the No. 41 pick.

                      If two houses have slightly different values, and two McDonald’s toys have slightly different values, we’re still talking about the housing difference being much more significant.

                    • hansman1982

                      If you factor WAR per player, minus those three, you get 14.22 for the first round.

                      2nd round is 12.06

                      Based on this math, you lose 1.7 expected WAR by punting the #41 pick. (#41 pick is worth 3.9 WAR). Now, over a career and the sample sizes we are talking about, it’s a scorer’s decision away from being equal.

                • ssckelley

                  Isn’t this about the same situation the Cubs were able to draft Prior in 2001? Prior was the consensus best player in the draft, rumors swirled around that he was asking for a lot of money so the Twins selected the more signable, local, player with the #1 (Mauer).

              • ssckelley

                Along those same lines it would not surprise me to see the Cubs make a deal with Kansas City for that Competitive Balance pick (#34). Kansas City is in a win now mode and the Cubs may want that pick just for the extra draft pool money.

                • Justin

                  I could see DeJesus go for that pick. I would be all for it. He would be perfect for KC.

                  • nkniacc13

                    Dejesus could go I also could see the Cubs making a starter in that trade go as well as Garza would be due back in before that time

              • Kyle

                The 3.9 number is incorrect. I know Baseball-Reference lists it, but they rather inexplicably use WAR/major leaguer, not WAR/pick, which means it ignores the many, many No. 41 picks who never make the majors.

                The average per pick for No. 41 is 1.88 WAR.

                So the difference is actually -0.18 WAR in this scenario, and that’s ignoring the fact that we still take a player with the No. 41 pick (just one that will sign for a minimal amount).

                Throw in the fact that the No. 1 player hasn’t always gone No. 1 due to signability concerns, and I think it’s clear that best player > second-best player+no. 41 pick, even in non-generational talent years.

          • Rebuilding

            This is an interesting discussion. IF the Cubs do like Appel and/or Gray quite a bit better than the other it makes sense. But I don’t think you have to punt the #41 to make up the 2 million. What if you punted rounds 3 or 4 through 10 instead? Those picks have an even lower average WAR. Or what if you ship off DeJesus for the Royals comp pick and punt the #41? Interesting options IF they like Appel that much

            • Kyle

              That would also be fine with me.

              It’s all very, very hypothetical though.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Feel free to speculate away – you’re talking about a pool of about 200 possible players, so run wild.

      • Kyle

        Not to give away trade secrets, but the key is to pick a dozen names at random and tout them, then act smug if that’s one of the Cubs’ picks.

        • DarthHater

          I predict the Cubs will draft Tebow at some point, just because it would be fun being smug about it.

          • mjhurdle

            also, Tebow has maintained his TWTW at 123 points higher than the next closest player.
            Combine that with the above-average MISS and Tebow should be a lock for a top 3 selection.
            He might even sign for under slot value because he doesn’t seem to have a lot of other options.

    • Cub2014

      I agree kramden who are the 25th thru 40th top prospects?

  • Rich

    True about the Astros last year..
    Let’s say the Astros do NOT take Appel or Gray,

    as a Cub fan, which one do you take..?

    • ssckelley

      I still like Appel, I think he is the closest to being MLB ready. But I also think that is exactly why the Astros will take him. But if money is an issue for the Astros then you might be right would pass on both of them.

      • Dynastyin2017

        For teams that are a few years away from competing, I don’t think bring major league ready should be a factor. What matter does it make if Appel is ready in 2014 and Gray not until 2015? After pure talent, I’d think the next concern would be can the be resigned 6-7 years from now? I just don’t trust the Appel/Boras team when it comes to that.

        • ssckelley

          I think it should play a huge factor. Teams are drafting in these spots because they suck at the MLB level. You cannot afford to take as many chances, especially if you are a small market team like the Astros. Appel is the closest to being ready, so he is the safest pick. Gray might have a higher upside but could be the biggest gamble.

          Again, unless the Astros are looking to save money I think Appel is their guy which leaves Gray for the Cubs.

        • hansman1982

          At the top of the draft, you worry about getting the best player available. If a couple of guys are roughly equal, then you start looking at need/signability (at draft time).

          Signability 7-10 years from now is about the 34th item on the list.

    • North Side Irish

      I’d feel safer taking Appel…more polished 3rd pitch and a higher floor than Gray. The mileage on Appel’s arm is a concern, but Gray wasn’t a 1st round prospect before this season largely due to a lack of conditioning. He got serious about it this season and we’ve seen the difference it makes, but it would be something to watch going forward once he got paid.

      • Kyle

        Gray has a lot more mileage on his arm than Appel.

        I’m really befuddled where the idea that Appel has a lot of mileage on his arm came from. I guess just one or two highly publicized starts where he had a high pitch counts by pro standards (but pretty ordinary for the 7-day schedule of college).

        • Patrick W.

          I have been befuddled by the same thing, and I didn’t know it until you just typed. I have only seen the one game last week pitched by Appel and based on that tiny little sample size, I hope he falls to the Cubs. I suspect that a lot of people’s opinions about who to take are based on the same amount of visual evidence.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Are we really worried about the mileage on either of these young pitchers, or glad they show good durability. Either of them will be expected to start in the bigs a a young age.

    • BluBlud

      I take Gray. Has nastier stuff and has more Ace potential. Appel is the safer pick, but when I’m drafting high, I want Super Star potential or bust, not safe.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Ha, that may get you fired. You have to have something to show for your risk with the 2nd pick in the draft.

    • Jp3

      Anyone remember the bobby broline(sp) situation? This reminds me of it a lot… Highly touted pitcher who was repped by BorASS so nobody could sign him and boom, cubs get a break and goes to them… Promptly flops

      • Dynastyin2017

        If you are referring to Bobby Brownlie, I thought he dropped more because of an injury issue than Boras/signability issues, but may be wrong.

        • http://bleedcubbieblue.com Josh

          No, you’re right. Brownlie dropped not because of his bonus demands but because he’d lost 5 mph on his fastball by the end of the season and he couldn’t even throw a curve because his arm was too tender. The Cubs gambled that he could bounce back to what he was before he got hurt with some rest. He never did.

          Now he did have a long hold out that lasted to the next March (not possible anymore) but that wasn’t a huge concern because there was no way he was going to pitch before then anyway. He ended up signing a big bonus, but his career failure was completely due to injuries that were known at the time of the draft.

      • BT

        he dropped because of injuries.

  • ssckelley

    In the first round you take the top player available and not draft based on the needs of your MLB roster. IMO the Cubs do not look that bad when it comes to prospects at third base and if there is any position that has a glaring need it is catcher and I do not see a Joe Mauer type in this draft. You can never have to much good pitching, if you have an abundance then they make great trade baits. I think the top 2 players in this draft are Appel and Gray and I think all signs point to the Cubs taking whichever one the Astros pass on.

    • JoeyCollins

      Some teams never draft on MLB needs no matter the round. The talent and timetable is so hard to project that they always take the best player availbale, even if it is already a position of strength in the orginization.

      • ssckelley

        I agree with that but I would not be surprised to see the Cubs target a catcher in the 2nd or 3rd round. This draft class appears to be fairly deep at the catcher position and it is one of the Cubs biggest needs.

        • JoeyCollins

          Catcher is a position that teams will always try and draft one or two so i can see them making sure they get one.

  • Cubbie Blues

    You may be able to get Appel for a little under slot. Where is he going to go if he doesn’t sign, Japan for a couple year? He would be hurting his bank account by doing that.

    • BluBlud

      You have a point, but his agent will try to talk him into going to play on pluto if that’s where he can get him the most money. There are just certain agents you don’t really want to deal with if you can avoid them, Scott Boras in baseball, Drew Rosenhaus in football, and Jay-Z in every spo……..Well maybe not Jay-Z yet, but you get the point.

      • BT

        Appel’s problem is that holding out, going to play on Pluto, whatever, doesn’t net him anything. He will end up in the exact same situation again next year, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that whatever team drafts him will

        A: draft him 1 or 2 and have that specific slot money to use on him
        B: Have any desire to go over that slot money.

        In the meantime, he will have lost a year of eligibility, lost a year of earnings, and could very possibly move down draft boards next year. He doesn’t have the leverage top draft picks used to have, which is why the owners changed to rules the way they did. Guys like Boras may find a way around those rules eventually, but I don’t think he has so far.

    • JoeyCollins

      It’s been talked about before but his real leverage is waiting until the last minute to sign. If he does that it holds your pool money hostage. This can result in you going over the pool amount, or playing it safe and leaving money on the table. An early signing, even at over slot, would be better than a 7mil dollar questionmark on the last day you can sign draftees.

  • BluBlud

    I think the top 2 players in this draft are Gray and Bryant. I really think the Cubs should consider Bryant, if, and only if, the Astros take Gray. I’m not big on Appel. I just think that hype train is getting so full that its bound to break down from being over the weight allowance. I just don’t think he is a MLB Ace, where as I think Gray has the better potential to be one and Bryant has Super Star, and not long before he reaches the majors, written all over him. To me it’s more of a toss up between Bryant and Gray, with Gray slightly ahead in my opinion.

  • North Side Irish

    Kiley McDaniel posted his first mock draft the other day and has it Appel/Gray for the top two picks…for his comment on the Cubs taking Gray, he wrote:

    “There is some buzz in the industry that the Cubs are heavy on Appel. This could create a situation where the Cubs could float a full slot or above slot number to Appel to see if they can play the signability game to get him slide to them. Otherwise, the Cubs will be pretty excited to add a power righty that sits in the upper 90′s.”

    He also added in his chat that based on what he’s hearing, there’s only about a 25% chance Houston passes on Appel.

  • Justin

    The Cubs have to take Appel or Bryant. That’s a fair question you ask about taking Bryant to save some bucks Brett, but the Cubs minor league pitching absolutely BLOWS. They need impact arms in the worst way…

  • mjhurdle

    I see the Astros grabbing Appel.
    Longer history of success, more major league ready.
    Houston has gone the cheap route lately, but that is due to having so many holes to fill.
    I think, at this point, they need something to keep what little excitement their fanbase has. Drafting someone based on potential and telling your fans you might see them in 3-4 years will not generate the buzz that an Appel, who would figure to be up in as little as a year, would.
    I would guess that the Astros use the Appel pick to excite their fans while they continue to be a sub-par team next year and maybe the year after that.

    • mjhurdle

      i meant to add in my post that i think the need to generate excitement will overcome the desire to save money in the Astro’s minds.

      • Rebuilding

        I think you are right. The Astros desperately need a shot in the arm and Appel is the biggest name in the draft and is a local boy (born in Houston, although he did move to CA at 12). I really don’t see the Astros passing on him unless the Cubs get in Boras’s ear and promise to overslot and he tells the Astros that he will be an extremely tough sign. Don’t think he has enough leverage to do that this year, however.

  • http://jjcubs jj

    Can the cubs trade some of their top prospects to Houston for the no.1 pick and money or is this even practical.

    • North Side Irish

      Can’t trade picks…except for the competitive balance picks after the first round.

    • hansman1982

      No, not allowed.

  • Cub Fan Dan

    Scott Boras to advise Kris Bryant. That might change a few things…

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/05/scott-boras-likely-to-advise-kris-bryant.html

    • BluBlud

      Ok, more reason to go straight for Johnathan Gray.

  • Cheryl

    Appel is good. No doubt about that. But if he’s available I think the cubs pass on him and take Bryant (I’m assuming the Astros take Gray.)

  • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

    I have seen Kris Bryant play about 6 times this year. He can handle 3B and could be an above average defender there. He remained me of Scott Rolen who was also 6’5. I have seen him make plays that most MLB 3B wouldn’t make.

  • Dustin S

    I was surprised to read that Appel apparently is a huge Astros fan, he grew up in Houston, his family had Astros season tickets, etc. But on the flipside he said he also wants to play for a contender, which yeah good luck falling to like pick #20 or lower for that to happen. It sounds like there will be a lot of smoke screening going on. I never quite get why the #1 team spends a lot of time hiding their choice, I know the reasoning used but it seems weak.

    Heading back to Chicago today for tonight’s Blackhawks playoff game. I am a pretty big hockey fan in addition to Cubs, although Cubs come first (off-day came in handy). It’s a little odd seeing a team I’m a fan of have a lot of success while the Cubs struggle. It’s fun to experience, but it just makes me look forward more to the day when the Cubs reach the same level of success and how amazing it will be.

  • Patrick G

    Kris Bryant will have Scott Boras as his agent, according to mlbtr. With him as Appell being Boras agents, hope we get Gray at a lower cost

  • Dynastyin2017

    Brett, let me give you the definitive answer to your hypothetical question. with the 2nd pick in the 2013 draft, the Chicago Cubs pick……the BEST player available. Do the slotting games later, but not with 1-2. If it happens the Cubs trust Bryant to be better than the pitcher (and the FO has already admitted their preference for position players), and they get him for under slot, fine, but if Appel/Gray are the clear top 2 players, then you have to go for one of them.

  • The Dude Abides

    Are any of these guys coming off of Tommy John or any kind of serious injury? If not can we find someone who is so we can save some money and buy an extra year before they become arbitration eligible? The strategy is working like a champ on the major league roster.

    • Justin

      Ha… The Cubs should go #reboundguy on the 2nd pick of the draft. That is their style… Interesting:)

  • Die hard

    Bryant because he’s ready and cheaper

  • jay

    As Steve Stone wisely said “Once you have a glut of pitching, all the other positions become a lot less urgent because you can use that pitching to get anything else you need.”

    • Jp3

      Loved Steve Stone, that guy knew babeball

      • Jp3

        Ironically what got him fired, he knew the game better than the manager and consistently made him look like a moron.

      • EQ76

        “Loved Steve Stone, that guy knew babeball” -

        2 things – 1) I LOVE Babeball!!! 2) did Steve Stone die? “Loved” “Knew”?? I guess going to the South Side is kinda like passing away.

        • Jp3

          He’s dead to me in the dirty sux booth and yes he died as far as I was concerned after that

          • EQ76

            haha… good point!

          • EQ76

            I guess we can say (regarding Steve Stone) ‘He Gone”

            • Jp3

              That’s awesome😊

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Here is another option for the cubs pick in round one, Colin Moran third baseman from North Carolina. he could be the next Wade Boggs. Super high OBP with decent extra base hit potential who would fit nicely in the two hole to set up Rizzo RBI chances.
    In round two Andrew Knapp C from Cal. He is a switch hitter and excellent defender. Another option in second round is LHP Kent Emanuel from N.C. 6′ 4″ 220 lbs. who as had a great 3 year run as a starter in a tough conference like the ACC.

  • James

    I was reading on a site a couple of days ago that the Cubs will surprise everybody and take Clint Frazier. What I read is that the Cubs feel that Frazier has the best bat in the draft.

  • RoughRiider

    What if the Cubs drafted Appel then offered him 3.5 million (for instance) to sign and then used the excess dollars they had left over to sign overslotted players. Does Appel not sign and wait for the next draft ? If the Cubs offer an way underslot contract and Appel doesn’t sign do they still get the 3rd pick in 2014?

    • hansman1982

      If the Cubs don’t sign their #2 pick, they lose that slot money.

      There really is no reason to not sign a top-3 pick, doubly so if you are planning on not signing him going into the draft.

      • RoughRiider

        Thx.
        It was hypothetical. I didn’t realize they would lose the slot money.

    • Kyle

      Correct on both accounts. I suspect Appel would take that as an insult and go to the independent leagues for a year, and the Cubs would get the No. 3 pick in 2014.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Major league most favorably compared to Joathan Gray -Matt Cain.
    Major league most favorably compared to Appel – Matt Harvey
    Major league most favorably compared to Kris Bryant – Trumbo

    • Willrust

      Matt Harvey is closer to Jonathan Gray body-wise.

      Appel looks a bit like Matt Clement to me, with a leg lift.

      Jonathan Gray will be on ESPN this Friday night.

  • John

    I think kohl Stewart could be a dark horse candidate at the number 2 spot. He’s a high school kid I was reading about that can throw up to 97 and some scouts think he already has a major league caliber slider. The only concerns are sign ability issues as he has a strong commitment to Texas a@m and of course would take a couple years in the minors to develop a 3rd pitch.

    • mudge

      No more Stewarts.

      • cjdubbya

        But what if his name was Scott Stewart?

  • Willrust

    The Cubs could go over slot to sign anybody, but risk the chance of losing future picks. However, isn’t there a 5-10% buffer in there whereas a team can only overspend by 10% overslot on first 10 team selections? For example, say the slot value on #2 pick is 6.25M. Cubs sign John Smith for 5.00M, they couldn’t then automatically give the #41 pick the extra 1.25M, right? If this is correct, the Cubs could only go over the #41 pick slot (say 1.5M) by 5-10% (1.65M in this case).

    If this is not the case (Cubs can spend over 10% threshold on 1st 10 selections) and the Cubs do plan to pay less for #2 to pay overslot for #41; Colin Moran could be the guy at #2.

    Also, in the case with paying overslot, isn’t it typically required to pay more for high school kids due to the inability to redraft that same player until their junior year (3 years later). If the Cubs do plan on paying less for their #2 pick to overpay their #41 pick, wouldn’t it be all but certain that the player picked at #41 would be a high schooler?

    • hansman1982

      The overslot is 4.99% until draft picks are lost. Even then, you pay a 75% tax on the amount over your draft slot allotment.

      This 5% is regardless of the draft choice. If the Cubs had $10M slotted, they could spend $10.499M on all of their first 10 rounds worth of picks, plus any amount over $100K for picks in rounds 11-30.

      Theoretically, if they found 9-10 guys would would sign for a combined $499,000, they could spend $10M on the first or the 30th round pick.

  • Eric

    If Appel goes to Houston I will be upset because I think he is far above Gray. Not that I’m saying he’s a Prior type, but I do think he would be our best SP prospect since Prior. I would be ok with the strategy of Bryant for underslot and then spend on some fallers. I know how Kyle feels about this but I think Bryant if he takes underslot, doesn’t change my mind that he’s gonna be a beast.

  • John

    Here’s a good stat that I have found Opponents hit .289 off Appel when a ball is in play and only hit .248 off Gray when a ball is in play.

    • Cubbie Blues

      If only they had a good acronym for that …:P

      • hansman1982

        Baseball just doesn’t have enough acronyms…

        • DocPeterWimsey

          SCMBA is working on that.

  • Jono

    So even though we’re all experts here, can someone explain what over slot and under slot mean?….you know, just in case there’s a novice here who doesn’t understand these terms

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