The Cubs’ first round draft pick will draw the headlines, most of the analysis, and an extreme amount of criticism and praise. At the end of the day, though, it will all boil down to this: the Cubs are going to draft a very good prospect in the first round. No matter which way they go, they are getting a good one.
Round Two, on the other hand, is where the amateur scouts will really start to earn their paychecks. The Cubs second round pick last year, Duane Underwood, did not come until pick number 67. That actually means last year’s first supplemental pick (Pierce Johnson, No. 43) is probably a better comparison for the Cubs second round pick this year (No. 41). And just like they did with Johnson, I expect the Cubs to draft a college pitcher in this slot.
Which one? That gets harder. There will be a lot to choose from. If we use Baseball America’s Top 250 draft prospects as a guideline you will quickly see what I mean. Because of the high level of uncertainty in baseball’s amateur draft, we need to look at a wide range of players for candidates who could be on the board at No. 41. If we consider everyone from No. 31 to No. 51 on that list, we have a catch of potential draftees that includes 12 college pitchers. That rich a crop in the range of the Cubs second round pick just reinforces my suspicion that college arm is the direction the Cubs will be taking with that pick.
As for Round Three? That gets trickier still. With the possible exception of Byant in the first round I think the Cubs will call a steady string of pitcher names through the early rounds of the draft. I suspect Round Three will go to the best high school arm on the board, but another college arm would not be too surprising. And you never know, they might surprise us with a bat in that slot. That’s part of the beauty of the draft. It’s like Christmas every round.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa lost 9-4.
Tennessee – The Smokies were off on Wednesday.
Daytona – Daytona scored six times in the first three innings and coasted to an 8-4 win.
Kane County – Three errors did not help as Kane County was clobbered 9-2.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic homered for the third straight game, and he also walked three times. Right now he is about as hot as it is possible to be.
- [Iowa] Brett Jackson tripled (his third), but he also struck out twice. That is only his second multi-strike out game in a week. After 24 Ks in 19 games in April he has just 10 in 13 games in May. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a transformation like this (assuming he can keep it up, of course).
- [Iowa] Casey Coleman padded his resume a bit with three innings of two hit relief.
- [Daytona] Javier Baez doubled. Jorge Soler singled and walked twice. Neither struck out.
- [Daytona] John Andreoli had a three hit game for the Cubs. Dustin Geiger doubled as part of his two hit outing.
- [Kane County] The long awaited Albert Almora Kane County debut did not disappoint. Almora finished 3 for 4 with a double.
- [Kane County] Gioskar Amaya tripled again. That is his second in three games. Last year triples were a big part of his game (he finished with 12). He is up to four already this season.
- Is Bogusevic for real, or is he another LaHair style illusion? You can make a strong case for this being a bit of an illusion. Even though his walk rate (14.5%) and strikeout rate (17.6%) are both quite good, and despite his OPS of 1.064 being the highest he has posted since he spent part of the 2008 season in the Texas League, there is one number that just sticks out. Bogusevic currently has a BABIP of .442. That is over a hundred points higher than his career average. The odds of him maintaining this level of production is slim to none. Even so, I think the Cubs could do a lot worse than Bogusevic as a platoon guy or fourth outfielder in Chicago. He should get that chance when the Cubs start dealing outfielders later this summer.
- The Tennessee Smokies are hosting a Peanut Free night at Smokies Park tonight. I think this is one of the smartest promotions in the minors. Peanut allergies are no joke, but for at least one night those who aren’t too allergic can hopefully relax a little in the stadium. Those in attendance should get to see Kyle Hendricks pitch. Lately he has been one of the pitchers to watch.
- Rock Shoulders is hitting just .219 in May, but thanks in part to a high walk rate he still has an OPS of .787 for the month. He walked twice in this game, and five times over his last two contests.