Keith Law is now projecting that Colin Moran will be the Astro’s choice as the first overall pick in the draft next week. His mock draft is locked up behind the ESPN paywall, but his chat is not. Reading the chat it looks like he has the Cubs taking Appel at No. 2.
First of all, this is the absolute dream scenario for the Cubs. If Houston cheaps out at the top of the draft (again) and gambles on guys with over slot demands falling into the second and third rounds (again), then the Cubs will be more than happy to pick between Mark Appel, Kris Bryant, and Jonathan Gray. The front office could literally flip a (three-sided) coin and they would get a right answer. There is no obviously bad choice between those three.
There is a lot of time before the draft for these projections to change, though, and they are only projections. We do not yet know what Houston is planning. As a result of that uncertainty, I find it odd that my draft planning has to handle more scenarios this year than it did last year despite the Cubs picking several slots higher. Houston’s apparent fondness for passing on the best players in the draft to gamble on sliders is certainly making things interesting.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – I write nice things about Iowa and they promptly lose twice to the worst team in the league. The Cubs went down 6-1.
Tennessee – Tennessee, on the other hand, beat the best team in the league again. The final in this one was 5-1.
Daytona – Once again, a late rally comes up short. The Cubs lose 5-4.
Kane County – The field was too wet for a game, so Kane County got an unplanned day off.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Logan Watkins had two hits and a stolen base. Surprisingly, it was just his 5th steal of the season.
- [Iowa] Blake Parker struck out three in his one inning of work.
- [Tennessee] With a single, a triple, a walk, and some pretty good defense Matt Szczur had himself a very nice game.
- [Tennessee] Anthony Giansanti also had a nice night with “2” doubles. One of those was a popup into shallow right that rolled off the second baseman’s glove, but the scorer said double so a double it is.
- [Tennessee] Alberto Cabrera struck out 7 over 6 innings and picked up his fifth win. His ERA is down to 3.70. Tony Zych and Zach Rosscup also pitched very well in relief.
- [Daytona] Javier Baez homered (his 8th) and struck out three times. Regression? Too selective? Hard to say based on one game. In fact, as one game it is fairly meaningless. Set it into the context of the rest of his season, though, and a small feeling of dread can be excused.
- The only reason Giansanti was able to reach second on his quasi-double yesterday was because he was running full steam as soon as he left the batters box. That type of all-out attitude seems like it is showing up more often across the farm system. That is a very good thing.
- If the Cubs do wind up with Houston handing them their dream draft scenario on a silver platter, my preference remains Bryant. High level hitters are the safer pick over the similarly ranked pitchers to such a degree that I can’t see passing on Bryant for any arm in this draft. It would be different if a pitching prospect like David Price or Gerrit Cole were in the mix, but neither Gray nor Appel project that high. I’ll pass on a shot at a very good No 2 starter for shot at a potentially elite slugger any day of the week.