Draft week is here. The MLB Draft doesn’t come with quite the cachet as the NFL or NBA Drafts, but it is no less important. And, as fans of a team having a rough go of it at the big league level over the last few years, dreaming on the Draft is one of the highlights of our year. So I intend to enjoy it.
- Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod is the top man on the amateur side, so I reckon he’s had a busy couple of months, and will have an extraordinarily busy week. Right now, though, he says he and his guys have been spending more time on their second round and third round picks than their top pick. “We’ve probably discussed No. 2 for about two hours of the four days we’ve been here,” McLeod said of the team’s top pick, per Cubs.com. “We’ll get into those guys more this week.” Our focus as fans is necessarily more drawn to the top guys, because that’s a short list that we can wrap our heads around without much inside information. When the Cubs are picking at numbers 41 and 75, however, there could be hundreds of players considered. I’m glad to hear that the Cubs are focusing much of their efforts on getting those picks right, even if we don’t have visibility to them. That’s actually how it should be if the Cubs are doing it correctly.
- On the subject of the top pick, however, McLeod emphasized that the Cubs are looking for impact talent, regardless of position. “Ultimately, it’s long term, who will make the most significant impact on the organization,” McLeod said, again per Cubs.com. “We don’t go into any Draft drafting based on need, we go in drafting on who we feel is going to provide the biggest impact for our club, hopefully for years to come. Whether you’re picking sixth like last year, or two, or in Boston, late in the first round, that’s always the mindset. The player pool changes a lot when you’re picking at the top of the Draft.” Nothing new or surprising there. The top guys are very likely to be the usual suspects: Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant, Colin Moran. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cubs take any of the first three, and I still suspect they take one of the two pitchers.
- McLeod also explained to the media, per CSN, why it’s not so simple to get “OBP hitters” in the Draft. “We spend a lot of time talking about it here in the draft room, finding hitters who fit that mold,” McLeod said. “But a lot of times those guys don’t offer a lot of other things, so you’ve got to balance …. Let’s say [there’s] a college player who’s been an on-base machine – a lot of times he doesn’t run, he doesn’t play defense, he doesn’t have power …. And it’s hard to go see a kid in Michigan that’s 17 and predict that he’s going to be a plate-discipline guy.” And, let’s be honest: it’s 2013. It’s not like every team isn’t looking for OBP machine type players.
- The Baseball America experts conducted a mock draft and, as have several mocks before it, this one gave the Cubs Mark Appel. Jonathan Gray went first overall to Houston, and Kris Bryant went third. Note: this mock was not a projection of how the BA guys think the Draft will go. Instead, it was simply how they would draft.
- BA also put together a very handy listing of each team’s bonus pools for the Draft – you can see the slot value of each of the Cubs’ picks in the first ten rounds.