Cubs Draft Notes: Draft Week is Here, Jason McLeod Speaks, Bonus Pools

jason mcleod cubsDraft 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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

63 responses to “Cubs Draft Notes: Draft Week is Here, Jason McLeod Speaks, Bonus Pools”

  1. Blinda

    Gotta think the Astros are going to go with Appel. They can low ball him and if he chooses not to sign he will go play Independent League for a year and they will get the first two overall picks next year.

    1. WGNstatic

      It doesn’t really do them any good to low ball Appel (same for any team in the 1st round) since they would lose that slot money.

      Assuming teams aren’t just being cheap, the reason to low-ball a draftee is so they have more money to spend on other picks. But, if you fail to sign that #1 pick, you not only lose the player – which could be modestly made up for in the following year, but you also lose that $$.

    2. Alex

      But why would you ever be ok with that as a contingency plan?…draft someone number one overall and who cares if he doesn’t sign, there might be someone better at 2 next year? Doubtful, if Houston doesn’t think it can sign him, which clearly they didn’t believe so last year when they surprisingly took correa, why would they do it this year? They’ll take the lowest contract at the best talent, and load up in the other rounds again.

      1. Kyle

        He’s going to sign. With exceptions that teams know about going into the draft (such as Appel was going back to school unless he got $6 million), everybody signs.

        1. Alex

          I think he will too, but regardless of where he goes, he probably will still command the most of any of the others, which makes me believe the Astros and cubs just might pass so they can allocate their savings toward the higher risk/ reward players later in the rounds.

  2. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    There’s a lot of good pitchers available in the #41 – #138 (where we get 4 picks), so I’m guessing we’ll draft similarly like last year…

    #02. Bryant / Moran 3B
    #41. Alex Balog RHP
    #75. Dylan Covey RHP
    #108. Jeff Thompson RHP
    #138. Stephen Gonzalves LHP HS

  3. hansman1982

    If Assman is to be believed their board goes Gray then Bryant.

    1. swenny916

      What message board was he on again? If it’s the same guy I’m thinking of, I looked a while back and couldn’t find anything.

      Thanks

      1. AB

        I don’t know who he is, but ProSports Daily has a bunch of guys with insider info that are usually right on the money that people get their info from because they post it first.

        1. swenny916

          That’s right, thanks. Where on the site is the message board?

        2. swenny916

          Nevermind.

      2. JB88

        He posted it last week on this board during one of the day games at Wrigley. Can’t remember in what thread or on what day. Sorry. That probably isn’t very helpful/

        1. swenny916

          No problem. I just had forgotten about that Pro Sports Daily message board.

    2. DarthHater

      The Assman speaketh?

      1. mudge

        Cometh. The Assman Cometh, Eugene O’Neill.

  4. North Side Irish

    Law released Mock 3 today too…he has the Cubs taking Appel after Houston takes Moran. Though he admits the Cubs probably have not settled on their preferred order of Gray, Appel, and Bryant.

  5. SenorGato

    Appel or bust. Totally ready to yell at a wall when Houston takes him.

  6. Die hard

    Draft one good catcher and improve all the pitchers rather than draft one good pitcher

    1. mudge

      They should draft the best available manager.

    2. AB

      Which catcher in the draft has the lowest CERA??

    3. Cubbie Blues

      This isn’t Bull Durham.

      1. DarthHater

        Draft the best available Baseball Annie and boost the confidence of our entire pitching staff!

        1. Rich H

          I tried to go past this without laughing but it got me. TWICE! Well played sir! Well played indeed.

        2. Jp3

          They should draft Tony Robbins for personal tutor lessons for the bullpen

  7. Austin

    I hope the Cubs look at MSU Pitcher David Gardner. Kid can pitch and could be there 4th or 5th round probably. This is coming from a Michigan fan too so theres not any biased for it.

  8. RWakild

    I was I big Bryant fan until the college playoffs. He didn’t do much although it was just a few games. Would prefer Gray but would be happy with Appel.

  9. Austin

    Also I don’t remember this being mentioned anywhere but Yasiel Puig has been promoted to the Dodgers already. They are going to ruin his development with this.

  10. JayPaul

    Cubs draft Mark Appel then construct outfield sign blocking rooftops with huge profile that states “how ya like dem Appels!”

    1. Jim

      Hopefully Appel never gets caught with PEDS – Appel Sauce!

      1. DarthHater

        I’m sure he would prevail in the Appellate courts.

        1. hansman1982

          It’s possible that he has an Appelling case…

          1. DarthHater

            I’m not prepared to pursue this line of inquiry any longer as I think this is getting far too silly!

            1. SirCub

              Besides, we don’t even know that the Cubs are leaning towards Appel. Deciding which player to draft isn’t always black and white. Sometimes, it’s much more of a… Grey area.

              1. hansman1982

                That’s were most people get Kris Krossed (double reference score) up…

                1. Kygavin

                  Ya but you cant compare the hitters and pitchers. Thats like Appels and oranges

                2. Cubbie Blues

                  You guys are just being Morans.

                  1. Will

                    Yeah. Get a Brain!

                    1. SirCub

                      Go USA!

                  2. hansman1982

                    Better Shipley this line to the Meadows, it’s gone Kohld.

                    1. JulioZuleta

                      The difference between Meadows and the other high school OF is fRAZIER thin.

                    2. Cubbie Blues

                      I’ll be the Judge of that. I have had too many Wahl bangers though. So, I may have to Crawford here to Clarkin get this Krook out of my Peterson while I Peay.

                      ::drops mic::

                    3. JulioZuleta

                      I don’t know exactly what you’re saying/if it makes any sense whatsoever. That said…well done, sir.

                    4. DarthHater

                      ditto

                    5. JayPaul

                      Lesson learned….don’t initiate pun threads on this site…or maybe do….hell I guess I didn’t learn squat.

                    6. Cubbie Blues

                      It was in reply to Hansman.

                  3. Jp3

                    This is aweful, I won’t Stanek for it…

  11. Rich

    JayPaul..

    ok that what was pretty funny

  12. @cubsfantroy

    I wanted Bryant for a long time and still do, but I am now leaning towards Gray or Appel, whichever one that Houston doesn’t take. I would love Bryant’s bat in the line up in a few years, but an impact pitcher would work so much better.

    1. JayPaul

      See and I for one seem to be drifting the other way as the draft approaches. At first, I wanted Appel. Now I’ve somewhat convinced myself Appeal isn’t a true ace, for this draft he’s the surest thing at SP, but for a top of the draft pitcher maybe lacking. As far as pitchers go I like stewert the best…..just once again not at #2 overall. For my money and piece of mind I think I have to go Bryant. I think for a career he may be the surest bet at the top of this draft. In my fantasy world where draft picks can be traded we move down, draft Stewart, and pick up an additional 2nd and 4th rounder. Get with the times MLB :)

      1. Kevin B

        I too like Stewart for the Cubs pick. Why would you say you like him but not at number 2? That makes no sense. I assume you would take him at #4 or #5 (he will be gone in the top 5). I think he is the best prosect. i would take him with the # 1 overall pick.

        You would pass because …………… You like him but not at #2? Who is better? This kid is better then Gray or Appel.

        1. JayPaul

          I said of the pitchers in this draft I like Stewart best, as a prep pitcher the risk involved makes it very hard to draft him comfortably over higher floor draftees Bryant and Appel. The question becomes is Stewarts ceiling so much higher that it offsets Bryant and Appels much higher floors. I believe Stewart has the best chance at being a TOR ace, that remains a BIG chance. I know Appel will be a productive starting pitcher, I think Stewart can be an ace, while I believe Bryant has the best odds of being an impact major leaguer. (Note: Gray was intentionally left out) My draft board would read 1) Bryant 2a) Appel 2b) Stewart if for no other reason than the Cubs can’t miss on this pick. It’s to important to their progress and of those three Stewart represents the one most likely to miss. At 3,4, or 5 he is my pick because that’s when his ceiling does start to offset the rest of the drafts floors or his own floor starts to catch up, imo.

  13. cubsin

    BN – where bad puns go to die!

  14. mak

    DO YOU LIKE APPELS?

  15. JulioZuleta

    I was just talking about the draft with a friend. He wants the Cubs to take Mark “Apple”…like the fruit. For those wondering, this is not the correct pronunciation. More like “Uh-PELL.” Just a pet peeve of mine. Probably because I have a very frequently mispronounced name.

    1. hansman1982

      So, you’re saying the correct pronunciation of your name is ‘Jew-lee-o’

      1. JulioZuleta

        No, Hans-mAn, it’s not.

        1. Cubbie Blues

          That’s more what the ladies call him *hands-man*

  16. cubfanincardinalland

    Every scout I have read has the Bryant kid at 80 power. It’s a no brainer then. Appel and Gray project as solid major league starters, but not ace type pitchers like a Price or Strasburg were. You take the next Evan Longoria with Mike Stanton type power, it is the surest bet and provides the most long term impact.

    1. Kyle

      Read more scouts. There’s a lot of 75s, 70s and even some 65s in his reports.

      1. Noah

        Yeah, Law has him at 70 current/70 potential on power. Plus he only has Bryant’s hit tool listed as a 45.

      2. JayPaul

        Even at 70/75 power I think I favor Bryant as the impact talent at the top of this draft. When all is said and done I feel Stewart has the best chance of being that TOR ace of this draft class…..but at this point in time can’t justify taking him with the #2 overall. If we could grab Bryant and 5 pitchers the ilk of Johnson, Blackburn, Underwood, McNeil, and Conway I would consider this draft a win.

        1. Kevin B

          Again, you think Stewart is the Ace of this draft (I agree) but you cannot justify taking him with the #2 pick? Why because some scouting reports talk about Bryant or Moran ahead of him? So you pass at #2 and let Minnesota grab him @#4 and we can watch him be a #1 for years on another team?

          That makes no sense. If you think he is the best you take him when you can!

          1. JayPaul

            Again, I think Stewart has the best CHANCE of becoming an ace. While Bryant has a better chance of becoming an impact player and Appel has a greater chance of pitching well in a rotation for 10 years. The risk involved is the only thing that puts Appel ahead of him on my board. I take Bryant over Stewart because I think he can become an everyday impact bat at better odds than Stewart becoming said ace. This would make taking Bryant the same as taking the BPA, imo. If I’m picking 3rd, Stewart is off the board when the Twins pick at 4….that’s where his ceiling/floor combo surpass the rest of the draft class for me.

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