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gray appelWe are just three weeks away from the 2013 MLB Draft, which is among the most important singular moments in the Chicago Cubs’ present rebuilding process.

  • And who will the Cubs take with their number two overall pick? Well, the weight of discussion still focuses on the top college pitchers, Stanford’s Mark Appel and Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray. Keith Law just released his latest mock draft (insider, so if you want the nitty gritty, ya gots ta pay), and he’s got the Cubs taking whichever of Gray or Appel is still on the board. If they’re both on the board, Law says the Cubs prefer Appel, which is my preference as well. Gray probably has upside that Appel does not, but as a helium guy with a shorter track record, I suspect he also has a lower floor than Appel. The Cubs can’t afford to miss on this pick, and Appel feels like the safer bet. And it’s not like he’s not a big-time pitching prospect. He is.
  • Even Phil Rogers, who had recently been pushing San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant as a possibility for the Cubs, says the Cubs are “expected to take” either Appel or Gray. Bruce Levine concurs that it appears to be a “sure thing” that the Cubs will take a pitcher.
  • That all said, Bryant just hit his 30th home run, raising his season line to .338/.496/.876(!). I think it’s fair to question the level of competition he’s facing, but the performance is certainly matching the scouting opinions. It’s becoming less reasonable to be irked if the Cubs end up surprising and taking Bryant, especially if they believe he can stick at third base, rather than being forced into the outfield.
  • Luke mentioned it in a Minor League Daily piece, but it’s worth highlighting here: Jim Callis says there are just three “80” tools in the Draft this year, marking the elite of the elite. It’s Jonathan Gray’s fastball, Matt McPhearson’s speed, and … Kris Bryant’s power. That last one is exceedingly high praise when you consider that even guys like Javier Baez or Jorge Soler or Dan Vogelbach, for example, don’t have 80 power. If the Cubs grade his power out at 80 as well … it could at least become a discussion at that number two spot. Elite power like that is rare and very hard to find. At last check, though, Callis was mocking Mark Appel to the Astros, and the Cubs taking Jonathan Gray thereafter.
  • Dave Cameron at FanGraphs digs into the Astros’ draft strategy last year – take underslot at the top, spread out the savings to overslot types thereafter – and examines when it makes sense to take that approach.
  • BA has ranked the top 100 draft prospects as of May 10, and the top three read Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel, and Kris Bryant, in that order. The list is useful, too, to start familiarizing yourself with some of the prospects we might see the Cubs considering later in the draft.
  • Keep in mind: last year, the Cubs elected to take positional player Albert Almora with their first pick, before proceeding to take seven straight pitchers. The Cubs have indicated that they were pleased with that approach, given the slightly higher bust rate you see among pitchers in the first round. Even though guys like Appel and Gray are top talents, and even though the Cubs clearly need pitching in the organization, I still don’t think you can rule out them taking another positional player first, and then going nuts on a high volume of pitching.
  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Let’s be clear on something here, because I see too much confusion on this point –

    Bryant is not graded at 80 power because he his crushing the ball in college. The scouts who give those grades are too smart to be fooled by amateur stats that can be about as hard to interpret properly as spring training numbers.

    No, Bryant is crushing the ball in college because he is an 80 power guy. Concerns about his competition are justified in that it is foolish to expect him to slug .800+ in the majors, but not in the sense that his level of competition calls into question the quality of his tools.

    An elite tool is an elite tool no matter where it is, who it is, or they play.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No doubt. That’s why I’m saying if the Cubs see it that way, too, great. I was expressing some concern about the numbers, only.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Exactly. I was more referring to the confusion I elsewhere (particularly on Twitter) rather than to you.

    • King Jeff

      Interesting stat, Bryant is has hit more homeruns this year than 230 teams in NCAA Div. 1.

    • Kyle

      I think Callis just got a bit caught up in the excitement. I really doubt Bryant is a true 80 power. 80 tools are rare, and 80 power is one of the rarer of the 80s.

      If it’s legit 80, then I think I want him over either pitcher no matter what.

      • Featherstone

        What players in the Majors right now have an 80 power tool? Stanton?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Stanton and Harper are the only two I’m aware of.

          Add Miguel Sano and you have named every 80 power guy currently playing professional baseball.

          Until the draft, anyway.

          • Cyranojoe

            Not Fielder? Pujols (at least formerly)? I don’t watch the Yankees, but I got a sense that maybe Cano?

            And hey, I just saw that Rizzo’s tied for 6th place in the NL for HRs. Heehee.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              That starts to give you an idea how rare and how significant an 80 really is. Those guys are all powerful, and all of them are likely in the 65-70 range.

              That Bryant is even in the conversation for 80 power is pretty huge.

              • MichiganGoat

                WOW that’s some impressive company who else does these rankings? Does everybody agree that he is a 80? Does anyone know of any bust that were rated as 80-power? I’m wondering if the Astros can pass on a player that is considered this elite.

              • DaveY

                In the history of the Cubs I can think of only 2 80 power hitters. Sammy Sosa and Ernie Banks. 80 power is not hitting a ball 500+ feet. It’s dependably hitting 40+ homers a season off major league pitching. There are far more guys who can hit a ball 500 feet in batting practice than can hit 40 homers on any kind of consistent basis.

                • ssckelley

                  What? No love for Glenallen Hill? :D

              • Cyranojoe

                Okay. And WOW.

            • Kyle

              80 is, in theory, three standard deviations above the mean. Only 1-2 players on average will have 80 power at any given time.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                What diagnoses “power”? It seems both arcane and archaic. It seems that it would be better to divide it into the constituent parts of power: strength (or projected strength), contact skill, batting eye, how much batting eye and/or contact skill are sacrificed to get strength into the swing.

                After all, every NFL player would be an 80 on raw strength. Many of them will have better contact skills than you or I because that is an extension of hand-eye coordination, and most athletes are better than average at that. (Of course, for linemen, that isn’t the case: so, they might be no better than you or I on average.) The big kicker would be batting eye: most football players would have as little idea as you or I where a pitch is going when it’s 10′ out of the pitcher’s hand.

                • Kyle

                  I don’t think it is useful to break it down like that, to be honest.

                  Power is simply ability to hit home runs. The ability to make the ball go really far when you happen to hit it in the air. Being a big HR hitter isn’t just about consistently squaring up on the ball, it’s about being able to make the ones you get under still get out. Other people’s 330-foot fly balls become your 375-footers.

                  Javier Baez has prodigious power because the combination of bat speed and swing lead to a lot of very long fly balls, even though he isn’t particularly impressive in contact ability, batting eye or raw strength.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    This will seem sarcastic, but it isn’t. Suppose that I grabbed one of the Bears’ lineman and trotted him into a game. Would he rate an 80? After all, if one of them hit the ball, then he would hit it a long way.

                    Or is “power” just strength and strength alone so that we would grade our behemoth down on other skills to note that his HR will be a high frequency of hits, but that he’s not going to get many hits?

                    • Kyle

                      No, he would not rate 80 power. Or even 50.

                      Power is definitely not strength alone. Like I said, Javier Baez isn’t winning any weightlifting contests. But he still has prodigious power despite being deficient in all the areas you listed.

          • sclem21

            I believe Adam Dunn is 80 as well and I have seen Joey Gallo in the Rangers org given an 80 power grade but otherwise I think Luke has it summed up.

            • hansman1982

              I don’t know that Dunn was ever 80 power. 70, maybe but probably not 80.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Josh Hamilton used to be though.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                I don’t ever seeing Dunn graded at 80, but I don’t look up his grades too often either.

                I’ll have to look up Gallo.

  • KidCubbie

    I was starting to lean toward one player over the other, but I don’t think that the Cubs can go wrong with any of the Big Three (Appel, Gray, or Bryant). There will be elite talent no matter who the Astros thake first.

    • KidCubbie

      *take

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    And for the record:

    “I still don’t think you can rule out them taking another positional player first, and then going nuts on a high volume of pitching.”

    would be my preferred approach. I won’t complain if the Cubs take an Appel or a Gray at number 2, but I’ll sleep easier if they take Bryant.

    • KidCubbie

      I agree. As nice as it would be to have an Ace type prospect pitcher, taking a power bat and then stocking up on pitching in the later rounds seems smarter.

    • MichiganGoat

      Luke from what I’m hearing is that Appel could be in a MLB rotation quickly (within two years) whereas Gray has a bit more seasoning needed before he’d be MLB ready. I’m sure you’ve commented on this but humor me and restate that opinion. So how about Bryant? How much work does he need before scouts think he will be MLB ready. Thanks buddy.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Appel could legitimately be in a (not very good) major league rotation in September (pending his work load when his season ends), and would have great shot to be in the major stay by min-May of next year.

        Gray would probably be on a timeline similar to Gerrit Cole.

        Bryant – can’t say yet. This is where the lack of competition Brett mentioned really rears it’s ugly head. I can’t project very well because I can’t be sure how his current competition stacks up against my usual references.

        If I do get to write a “Cubs took Bryant, here’s what to expect” article, though, I’ll probably say that he will spend a few weeks in Arizona getting indoctrinated on the Cubs system, and then be moved to either Kane County or Daytona. I’ll concede Tennessee as a possibility – and if he did get sent to Tennessee it would be a very strong indicator that he might be even more polished than most of us suspect.

        ETA in the majors? I’d say Sept 2014 for a cup of coffee and May 2015 as his earliest stick date, but I would not put any confidence on those projects right now. I just need more data than what I have.

        • MichiganGoat

          Thanks and here’s where we hope the Cubs FO makes the right choice, I too like the idea of going positional over pitchers in the first round but Bryant is just full of questions- now if the scouts are certain he is a 80 power and the Cubs are certain they can develop the other talents then I actually hope they pick him. This draft and how it shakes out should be interesting couple of weeks.

        • Dude

          Outside of the 80 power, how does Bryant compare to an uber-prospect like Harper? Do you think the timeline be somewhat similar?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            To early to say. I don’t think he’ll be in the minors long, I wouldn’t want to say beyond that just yet.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Also, Bryant appears to the have the hit tool need to leverage that power. He’s not all power without any discipline or ability to make contact. He looks like the total package.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Your not making me like him less Luke. I was wanting an Ace out of this draft.

          • Jay

            80 power is great, but it does you no good if you can’t put the bat on the ball consistently, and considering the weak opposition he’s facing, there’s no guarantee that he can. Not saying he can’t, just saying don’t get all giddy over a scout’s rating when there’s no good way to project what he might be able to do against real pitching.

  • Brian

    Is there any concern with Appel and being able to sign him this time through?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not really, though there are some whispers that Boras (who hates the new CBA) might be plotting to try to keep Appel from signing until the absolute last possible minute. That would effective wreck the ability of the team that takes him to go over slot on any of their other picks and effectively would hamstring that team’s draft.

      And be one of the stupidest moves an agent could possibly make, so I don’t see Boras doing it. The whispers, unsubstantiated, are out there, though.

      I’ve not heard any whispers of that kind in connection with any other Boras client. Just Appel.

      • ssckelley

        I think this is stupid and selfish on Bora’s part. The longer Appel waits to sign the longer it will be to start his service time towards where the real money is, arbitration and free agency. These kinds of skills only last for so long, Boras may have cost his client millions of dollars.

        • Cyranojoe

          Stupid and selfish… Boras…

          Your point?

          • bbmoney

            Boras is a great agent. He’s suppose to try to get the most of his client’s he ain’t in it for the owners or the fans.

            • ssckelley

              True but the longer he holds his clients out then the longer it takes for them to get to where the real money is. What difference does it make signing for 1.7 million versus 2 million when 300K will seem like peanuts after a player gets into the arbitration years and beyond. Had Appel signed with the Pirates last year there is a good chance he could be in the majors right now, starting his service time. This is 1 year Appel will never get back and it could be worth as much as 20 million depending on how well Appel performs at the MLB level.

              • bbmoney

                Well your college arm client could go all Mark Prior and blow his arm out……in the 3-4 years before even getting to Arb. Then the only real money he’ll ever make is his first contract. Hence….trying to get the most for his client today, which is his job. Of course, if we’re talking specifically about Appel that was a big risk last year…..he could have and could still blow out his arm before ever making a dime.

                You don’t have to like him, but he’s pretty darn good at what he does, which doesn’t mean he’s never made a mistake though either.

                • ssckelley

                  Yeah that makes a lot more sense, go play for free pitching for Stanford where you can just as easily blow your arm out instead of taking the money and getting yourself closer to earning the big paycheck. Even a guy like Mark Prior ended up making almost 13 million dollars over his short career.

            • Cyranojoe

              Yeah, you’re right, I was just being snarky. He’s quite good at what he does, though it appears his skills have fallen off lately. I just can’t forgive him for what happened with Maddux.

              • Jim L.

                That’s all on Larry Himes.

    • Danny

      considering that he is a senior and cannot return to Stanford I don’t foresee any complications with sign-ability with Appel, though, Gray might scare you off if you plan on signing him under-slot because he still has eligibility at Oklahoma. If you use the entire slot amount you can get either of them, though, Appel may actually come just slightly under-slot purely because he doesn’t have the leverage of going back to college and I don’t believe he would consider playing overseas even thought that may be his bargaining chip at this point.

      • Dynastyin2017

        FWIW, Bryant is an Appel guy, and also has a year left of eligibility.

        • Dynastyin2017

          Bryant is a Boros guy…sorry.

  • Andy

    I feel like this Bryant kid seems to be a very rare hitter. I do not read a whole bunch about this, but I do some. I feel that that type of hitter would be a special piece to our club. I just feel he has the potential to be one of the better hitters of the future. And if he moves to the outfield, then the Cubs will have the best outfield in baseball. One day.

  • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

    I was at the game last night, so was Jason McLeod and 3 other scouts for the Cubs. The Astros were out in full force too. I will tell you one think more people then not are starting to believe Bryant is the top player in this draft. Talked with the scout from the Rockies who would love to see him at 3 but doubts he will be. I talk to a Todd Gold last nigh who believes like myself Bryant’s hit tool at 55 right now. So that puts him already above what Law have him at.

  • The Dude Abides

    Bryant is a huge risk. Average/below average range and glove, no defined position projections, slow runner & below average base running skills. Plus power potential is really his only upside. This pick would wreak of the Hendry picks of old. No way Theo makes this move.

    • john

      If this wreaked of a Hendry pick, we’d take Frazier. If Theo did that draft, Matt Wieters would be our starting catcher. Ironically, he has a similar body type to Bryant.

  • itzscott

    With the Cubs expected to battle it out this year for next year’s #1 pick, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be wiser for them to grab Bryant (if available) this year and then come back to draft the Appel/Grey of next year’s draft.

    Although it wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to draft Appel/Grey this year and come back next year and draft that class’ Appel/Grey to potentially have two front of the rotation aces.

    Either way is okay by me…. although the thought of Bryant hitting in Wrigley 81 games/year is pretty intriguing.

    • Andy

      That would be a pretty nice deal if it panned out. I haven’t thought of that yet.

    • King Jeff

      The Cubs might battle for a top 5 pick, but they aren’t going to be worse than Houston or Miami this year.

      • itzscott

        Ohhhh…. I don’t know about that!

        The Cubs are expected to be sellers at the deadline, which would deplete their roster much like it did last year after the deadline and nobody has as many decent trade candidates now as the Cubs do.

        If you think about it, the Cubs were built this year to be in the position they’re in with all of those flippable signings and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Barney and Soriano be traded as well.

        • King Jeff

          The Cubs are already 6.5 games up on those two teams, and we still have a ways to go for them to expand their “lead” on the Cubs before we start seeing the Cubs trade players off. The Marlins w/o Stanton aren’t going to win very much, and the Astros are still the Astros. I’m pretty sure that both of those teams will also be sellers at the deadline, if not sooner, since both are kind of packing it in already, and it will be very difficult for the Cubs to out-suck them the rest of the way.

          • Cub Style

            Look at those rosters and ask yourself what they have to sell. The Marlins aren’t going to move Stanton until the offseason. The only guy I see is Bud Norris.

            Also, the rookies the Marlins have brought up have performed well so far alongside Stanton and Fernandez. They could very well get better.

    • bbmoney

      Who’s expecting the Cubs to battle for next years the #1 pick?

      Most reasonable people concede the Astros and Marlins are the two worst teams in baseball. Probably by a pretty wide margin.

    • Dynastyin2017

      In theory, this would be great, but there is no way a team can be sure what’s available to them a year from now. You have to take the player you think will be the best pro. If it’s Bryant, you take him. If next years best available is a 3B, you have to take him too.

  • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo
    • Jim

      I would have to think that it would be very hard for the Astros to pass up Bryant. With that right handed power and being able to possibly move to 1st base seems like a perfect fit. Like the Cubs they could spend the rest of the draft on pitching.

  • Dean

    Brett/Luke,
    Of the three, which one do you think would have the quickest road to getting called up to the cubs, barring injury?

    • King Jeff

      Appel.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        No question.

    • Cyranojoe

      Is this all that important? Don’t we want our prospects to get all the seasoning they need before getting rushed to the Majors?

  • BluBlud

    Man my mind keeps changing. I know I don’t want Appel, but as I read this stuff daily, Gray and bryant get harder to choose from. First I had Bryant first, then gray, now I’m slightly leaning towards Bryant again. I really don’t care which one, just give me one of them.

  • Dougy D

    How long will it take Appel to get to the bigs if he is drafted? A year or two, or are we looking in the 4 year range?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Potentially a few months.

      • Dynastyin2017

        And a month of that will be Boras holding back the signing!

      • Dougy D

        I like the sound of that. Thanks Luke.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I’m not any where near as high on Appel as many are, but I would not be disappointed with the pick. I think he is the second safest option (behind Bryant), and the safest of the pitchers.

    I just don’t see ace potential, though. Appel strikes me as having a ceiling comparable to Matt Garza. That’s not a bad thing, and he’d instantly be one of the best pitching prospects in the organization, but at the No 2 pick in the draft, I’d prefer to gamble slightly on the ace potential in Gray.

    But I’m chicken. The safest pick of the top three is Bryant. He’s my guy.

  • Kev

    Honestly, looking at these three fellows, I like Bryant the best. I hope the Cubs take him. Then again though, I know absolutely nothing about scouting. :)

  • carmelo

    Hitter or pitcher? Appell/Grey or Bryant? Rizzo or Cashner? Have the Cubs tipped their hand already?

    • LWeb23

      I’m not convinced that is a completely relative indicator. Rizzo had ALWAYS been their guy, and Cashner had some questions as to if he really could make it in a big league rotation, as opposed to just a reliever.

  • Chad

    I want pitching, but I want a stud 3B too. If Bryant has the tools and ability to stick at 3B it’s hard to argue with that. I really want the cubs to get that ace like a Strasburg type, but we have all seen how he has had arm issues etc. To me Bryant is the safest pick and the one I would like the cubs to make. It is hard to pass on Gray or Appel, but tough to pass on Bryant, assuming he can stick at 3B. Just seems like pitching is tough to get in the draft, but if you can get a Verlander or Price type, man that is hard to pass up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I see Bryant as a left fielder long term. If does stay at third, though, that would be a nice bonus.

      • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

        I truly believe he can stick at 3B.

        • Cyranojoe

          6’5″ at third?? I mean, sure it’s possible, but…

          • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

            Troy Glaus and Scott Rollins did it.

            • EQ76

              Scott Rollins?? Did somebody make a hybrid of Scott Rolen and Jimmy Rollins?

              • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

                Sorry auto correct on my phone must have changed it.

              • gocatsgo2003

                Probably would have been one hell of a third baseman.

      • Scott

        Law says right field with solid athleticism and a strong arm, unless of course you are already penciling Soler in RF for 2015 Cubs.

  • Patrick G

    I absolutely love this time of year, just as much as the trade deadline and winter meetings. I don’t know alot about the 3 guys, but with position players having a better success rate, that might be best way to go and load up on pitching the rest of the way. Either way, I’m just Glad the Cubs are (un?)fortunate to be in the number 2 position

  • Bwa

    I would take Bryant, then deal Baez and others for a superstar like headley or price. If you get headley, no worries because you can move brant to the outfield when necessary. Then trade garza if his value is high enough f

    • Bwa

      Ugh sorry. Anyways, then trade garza to recoup some prospects and deal Feldman, soriano, marmol, and Barney if he has any value. Hold onto dejesus for his cheap option unless you rob somebody of a great prospect.

      Spend some money on free agents and we have a very competitive team next year. I know it’s against the front offices mo, but i would look into cano.

      • Cyranojoe

        You’re proposing a revamp of about half the roster by way of trades. When was the last two times you saw that done in a positive direction? (Marlins trading their team to Toronto was supposed to be good for the Blue Jays, how’s that working so far?)

        • BWA

          Unless we are going to resign Garza, we need to deal him whether we are in the hunt or not. I’d love to resign him just as well. Other than that I’m only proposing one big trade with moving Baez for a surefire pro while Baez has a ton of value. His strikeouts are not what this front office is looking for and I see him getting traded. The rest of the players I mentioned as tradeable are either on the last year of their contract or simply can’t hit (Barny) and should all be replaceable.

      • Jay

        Cano is against everything they preach as far as paying for future performance instead of past results. Not to say he wouldn’t be a stud for several years, but you’d end up with an Alfonso Soriano-sized albatross of a contract towards the end because whoever signs him is going to have to go 7-8 years for major $$. Jed and Theo aren’t going that route, and particularly not going that route anytime soon.

        • BWA

          I understand, and I totally agree with the front offices strategy. But 2b like Cano, with a great glove as well is probably IMO the most valuable player in baseball, not considering age. If we are a big market team we can and should afford at least one big time contract at a time, and Soriano’s will be off the books soon. I’m not proposing we sign all the big name guys like him… just him.

          • BWA

            And if its an awful contract when he is 36-37 and we won a world series or contended for one for 3-4 years I will be ok with that, just like I am ok with Soriano’s contract.

            Just think about a lineup of Rizzo, Cano, Castro, and Soler with solid players around them.

        • SenorGato

          It will probably be years until another player as good as Cano will be allowed to hit FA mid-prime. I don’t see how the Cubs can pass.

  • Craig

    I think they have done a decent job of putting together quality starting rotations last year (before trading Maholm, Demp and Garza injury) and this year. They have often struggled to score runs. So adding Bryant to the mix of Rizzo, Castro, Soler, possibly Baez makes a lot of sense.

  • muley

    Bryant could be a legit choice as a number one pick if Houston feels he would sign for underslot money much like the did with last years first pick… Haven’t heard much about his glove.. That more than his bat could determine his value (3b vs corner OF) and how quick he makes it to the show..
    I hope he’s there for the Cub’s to consider..

    • WGNstatic

      I believe that Bryant is being represented by Boras… so, thinking the underslot $$ ain’t gonna happen.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Keep your eyes open & reserve your judgement until we analyze another player in the mix for the Cubs pick at #2. I think Colin Moran of NC fits the profile more of what this FO likes in its draft picks & future players. His eye & pitch recognition along with RBI & power potential are the best in this draft class. He is a better fielder than Bryant at third & would fit nicely in a lineup setting the table for Rizzo, Soler, & Baez. This strong left handed bat will play every day not pitch every fifth start.
    The Cubs can trade for proven pitching with teams like Tampa Bay or Atlanta while we build an everyday lineup.

  • Anonnifan

    All the talk has been about the 80 grade for Bryant’s power. What about the 80 grade on Gray’s fastball? Which pitchers in the majors had a fastball that graded 80? Have any of those players flamed out?

    • Cyranojoe

      Good questions, except for the last one. Guarantee there are folks with grade 80 skills who flamed out. It happens.

      • MichiganGoat

        Where can this kind of information be looked up? I’d love to see how many 80-power guys have flamed out. I’m guessing the 80-fastball pitchers fan out more frequently because of arm issues but I’d like to see the list of all 80 rated players and where they stand.

    • Featherstone

      Unforunately i’m sure there were quite a few players that had an 80 rated fastball, but injuries destroy even the most promising of arms. That’s the risk of a pitcher versus a position player.

    • Scott

      Joel Zumaya

    • King Jeff

      Strasburg has an 80 fastball.

  • Toby

    A home run counts as one run, no matter how hard its crushed.

    • Cubbie Blues

      It counts as a minimum of one run up to a maximum of 4 runs. Also, players that hit a lot of home runs have lots of power. That power doesn’t only show up as home runs, sometimes it’s a double or even a ground ball that if someone else hit it the infielder would have been able to get to, but since he has more power the infielder has less time to react and doesn’t get to it.

      • MichiganGoat

        It can also lead to an increase in BB as pitchers either deliberately pitch around them or issue IBB. A great power hitter increases there SLG for obvious reasons but increase their OBP because pitcher often would rather give them a free base than risk giving up a HR, 3B, or 2B. It really is the best tool a hitter can have because if they can hit for power they can obviously hit. If Bryant is truly a 80-power he is now on the top of my wish list.

    • Coach K

      True, I would encourage you to consider looking at this from a different perspective. You’re coming from the standpoint that there’s no difference between a 350′ home run from a player with 60 power and a 430′ home run from a guy with 80 power. That part is true. However, lets assume that these players don’t quite get all of a pitch. The player with 60 power will likely see the ball fall short of the fence, whereas a player with 80 power has a much better chance of still putting the ball in the seats.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Cubs top ten picks mock draft for 2013 with six pitchers, two catchers, one third baseman, and one outfielder. 1 – Moran NC 3B
    2 – Ziomek LHP Vandy
    3 – Petree RHP Missouri St
    4 – Evans C Ga Tech
    5 – Brookshire LHP Belmont
    6 – Thomas OF Ga Tech
    7 – Jackson C Citadel
    8. – Schultz RHP Oregon
    9 – Cotton LHP LSU
    10 – Radziewski LHP Miami, Fl
    Note all college players and closer to being major league ready.

  • ssckelley

    The more I read about Bryant the more I want him, but I still have Appel at the top of my wish list. The sustained success he has had against some pretty good competition at Stanford is why I go for him. Gray scares me, sure he has 100 mph fastball but he has not had the same results as Appel and while he may have the highest ceiling of the 2 I think he also has the highest chance of busting. But I will always love the home run and the idea of the Cubs getting someone with more power since Sosa (and legally) is very exciting.

    So I go:
    1. Appel
    2. Bryant
    3. Gray

    Knowing the Astros typical strategy in their spending habits I would not be surprised if all 3 were available at #2 making this a very tough decision for the Cubs.

    • Smackafilieyo

      I agree with this post….

  • ssckelley

    How about the 2nd round pick (#41 overall)? Cubs could really use a catcher, how about Andrew Knapp from Cal? Might be a reach as he could be there in the 3rd round but the Cubs could save money drafting him and paying him under slot.

  • twinkletoez

    Brett / Luke / any other knowledgeable fan.

    Is there a list of, what is thought to be, top talent that might drop in the draft because of
    sign-ability. A few players the Cubs might be targeting later in the draft that they can over slot to get? Or is it to early for that?

    • ssckelley

      With the Cubs drafting #2 it is doubtful they can take advantage of drafting a player that has dropped because of sign-ability. I think the Cubs will be more likely to save pool money in the 2nd round so you might see them reach for a player because of sign-ability.

    • Dynastyin2017

      The best you’re going to get is Baseball America’s Top 500 (insider only) scouting reports. Remember this though, if a guy is considered a sure bet to go to college, and the Cubs were to somehow cut a deal with him (not really allowable, but….) they sure the heck aren’t going to make that public. So, in other words, we don’t really know which players are willing to be that ‘overslot’ guy.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Borass screwed the Pirates (I think they drafted him) last year and set back their team in doing so. Is his client really worth the risk of not signing other picks while he screws around?

    When grading a player my guess is easy sign ability is a factor. Borass has put himself in a position of having to break the bank with this kid or he really looks bad for not getting him signed last year.

    We don’t need any more Cubby occurrences, personally I hope they go after someone else.

    Regards,
    5412

    • ssckelley

      If I was the Cubs Boras’s threats with Appel would not scare me at all. I would draft him, make him a decent offer, and then go about signing the rest of my draft. Once I got done and Appel still has not signed then I offer whatever is the max I can offer and put it on the table as you either take it or leave it. Appel is a college senior, his only other options would be to play independent league or overseas in a place like Japan. Appel is getting a degree at Stanford, so he is not stupid. He takes whatever money he can get and start playing ball. The longer he waits then the longer it takes for him to start earning service time.

      • Cyranojoe

        Agreed. Good bet that he actually signs immediately, as long as the offer’s good/maxed out.

  • TJ

    If taking a position player is the preferred route with the pick, what is the argument against Clint Frazier? An outfield of Almora, Soler, and Frazier wouldn’t be too terrible of prospective future, no?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I don’t think you will find an argument *against* per se. What you will find is an argument *for* Bryant. Kind of like what is the argument against Rizzo? Nothing, but if you can have Stanton, you take him instead.

      • hansman1982

        Yes, Bryant is supposed to be superior to Frazier and there are concerns he will end up in the OF anyway. Since 3B is a tougher spot to find above-average power, you grab a 3B.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Frazier isn’t ranked in the same class as Bryant. Frazier is 4-5 years away. Bryant 1-2. No one thinks Frazier will be anything more than a left fielder, where some think Bryant can play a decent 3rd. FWIW, this years top HS outfielders (Frazier and Meadows) are set to be less than Buxton/Almora.

  • Dan

    So I would like to talk about a certain pitcher who has been talked about on this site before, but not lately. I am talking about David Price. As in the possible winter trade that would send David Price to the cubs for atleast 2 premiere cubs prospects at least two of the following: Javier Baez, Junior Lake, Albert Amora, or Jorge Solar. This was of course before Price left the game in the 3rd inning with an injury. Not to mention that before that injury his velocity was down and he wasnt even near what we are used to seeing Price do. as a huge Cubs fan seeing Price get hurt and much more then that having his velocity down before that, i would pray that the cubs don’t trade the farm for Price. The old David Price eh, sure maybe Junior Lake and another top prospect. But i would like to think or atleast hope that no matter what Albert Amora, Jorge Solar (especially) and Javier Baez are UNTOUCHABLE especially since the guy we would be trading for is a pitcher and we have the number two pick in the draft and will most likely be selecting a pitcher anyways.

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