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stanford mark appelWe’re just a day away from the start of the 2013 MLB Draft …. eeeeeeeeeeee ….

  • A change of heart from BA’s Jim Callis this morning has the Houston Astros now maybe willing to take Mark Appel at the top of the Draft, assuming the money is reasonable. Remember, the Astros can generally afford to pay Appel more than anyone else, so even if he gets under slot from them, it’s probably more than he’d get if he slipped a spot or two in the Draft (which is to say he’s got a strong incentive to play ball with them). Previous scuttlebutt had the Astros locked in on either Jonathan Gray or UNC third baseman Colin Moran (who would theoretically sign well under slot, allowing the Astros to sign some more big names later in the Draft). If the Astros take Moran, the Cubs would have their choice of Appel or San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, without having to make the tricky Gray decision.
  • Callis now says his sense is that the Astros will go with Appel, and the Cubs will take Gray. The implications here are huge, even moreso after Gray’s reported positive test for Adderall. While the positive test has generally been regarded by most as a blip, some nervousness about future conditioning issues would not be unreasonable. On the flip side, if the Cubs believe the talent is there, they could leverage this positive test into a lower signing bonus, and end up with more talent in the Draft than otherwise would have been possible. We’ll have to see what develops over the next 24 hours. It still seems like any of Appel, Gray, or Kris Bryant are a possibility for the Cubs, with Colin Moran having a slim, outside chance.
  • Jesse Rogers spoke to one of Appel’s coaches at Stanford, and it’s a pretty good read for more background on the righty.
  • Obviously things change rapidly, but as of Keith Law’s latest mock draft – on Monday afternoon – he had the Astros taking Colin Moran first, and the Cubs taking Mark Appel second.
  • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Of course the adderall was his first and only time. It always is for those that get caught.

    • Stevie B

      Ive only had one offer on my $100.00 bet that Bryant is the Cubs pick. Write it down folks.

      • Andrewmoore4isu

        I’ll take the bet

        • JOE

          Maybe I’m extremely uninformed about the drug adderall, but I know in my college days, kids only took it so they could stay up late and study all night before finals… as far as I know it does very little to improve physical performance, which is why it really doesn’t bother me that Gray tested positive. Feel free to enlighten me if I’m wrong, however.

          • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

            Gray has THEE fastball. 100mph nasty and with movement. But he also comes with a 100 questions about secondary pitches, track record, conditioning, and now a positive drug test for Adderall (a stimulant amphetamine) that only stays in your system for a few days. Many people say he probably used it for finals, as many college students do, but lets make no mistake. Gray is a top flight pitcher, JC college transfer, with “Undecided” as his major in a state school. He’s in line to earn several million dollars in a few days. If you think that he did adderall once for a calculus class final I have some undervalued real estate I’d like to talk to you about.
            Adderall is a very real, crush it up and snort it, drug. It’s speed. Sure you can have it prescribed and you’ll happily study papers all day but you can also use it to shed weight, give you energy, and maintain a laser focus amid all kinds of distractions.
            I think Gray is an interesting talent with a short track record who makes bad decisions. I’m sure 6 or 7 million will only help him pass more and more calculus exams to get in even better shape. If you are lucky he’s an insane competitive asshole in the mold of Roger Clemens who’ll do whatever it takes to win. If not, he’s just another Ryan Leaf, a moron who can really throw a ball.

            Add to this that all pitchers are a twinge away from a year or two vacation, to visit a man called Dr. James Andrews and it begs to question… “Who’s this third baseman I’ve been hearing about?”

        • Stevie B

          Ok, I’m standing down on my bet….my 8 year old daughter just told me we were getting Appel because “he’s way cuter than all the other boys.”

      • Answer3

        I think he might end up being the guy if they think he can stick at 3rd, not as valuable at 1st or corner OF. Not many guys anymore with that type of raw power/plate discipline and does have arm to play 3rd.

  • macpete22

    Noooo! If Houston does take Appel then I hope we take Bryant. I feel like Gray is too risky at this point

  • Patrick G

    Brett/Luke,

    How far away from the Majors are Appel, Gray and Bryant? I’ve heard all three could possibly be in the majors next season but know the Cubs front office doesn’t want to rush anyone seeming they probably will be mediocre next season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Appel – could come in September, but probably needs a year in the minors for polish.
      Gray – needs a year or two in the minors. (think Gerrit Cole).
      Bryant – hard to say. Late 2014 is the earliest I would be comfortable projecting right now.

      • Patrick G

        Sorry also meant to ask where they would start out? I’d assume Low-High A and then possibly move up toward the end of the season.

      • sclem21

        I tend to agree with you, Luke, on Bryant…but even just today Jim Callis said Bryan could be ready by September of this year if he signs quickly enough.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Would not surprise me at all, to be honest.

          • Kyle

            Would surprise me a ton.

            “Could” is such a vague, nebbish little word. I’d be surprised if the Cubs took Bryant and started him at AA. I’d guess A+ to finish the year and AA for 2014.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Or A/A+ and a trip to the AFL.

        • ALb_daKID

          Not so sure about that. Transitioning from metal to wood may take a little longer than a 2013 September call up.

    • DReese

      From what I have read, they would all spend about 1 season in the minors and then could go right to the MLB

      • Shooter

        Don’t you mean “spend about one season in the minors and then could go right to the DL”. :)

        • DReese

          Yea your right, damn fingers.

  • JulioZuleta

    I look forward to the days when the draft won’t be my favorite day of the year. That said…I’ll always love the draft.

  • North Side Irish

    If Appel is gone, I’d rather take Gray and get the savings to use later in the draft. I only saw a little bit of Bryant this season and was not impressed. Which probably means the Cubs should take him because I am not a smart man.

    • Jono

      Haha, seems like a legit perspective

  • When the Music’s Over

    Not saying I think he should go #1/#2 overall, but I’m really starting to warm to Moran as a great pick, and perhaps a better one than Bryant (key word is perhaps). In a piece published by Baseball Prospectus today, they had him ranked as the 6th overall best prospect in the draft. However, if you read his actual write up, everything sounds great. At this point, assuming he can stick at 3B, which it appears he can, is power production his only real question mark? That BB/K ratio is beastly.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      What I’ve heard about Moran is that he has a plus hit tool, and no other viable tool. Which doesn’t seem like impact talent to me.

      • When the Music’s Over

        Definitely, however, in terms of hitting, isn’t a plus, or perhaps plus-plus hit tool the most important tool of them all?

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          You need some power to go with a hit tool, and a decent hit tool for the power tool to play out in the game.

          • When the Music’s Over

            It’s not like the guy is Juan Pierre. I’ve read multiple places he could safely project to be a 20 HR a year hitter, with lots of doubles power (30+). If a guy can realistically go .300/.400/.450 at 3B, that sounds pretty sexy to me. Again, not saying he’s a surefire #1/2 overall pick or a guy I want the Cubs to take at that slot. More so that I wouldn’t be perplexed if he was selected in that range (or the top 5 range), something I wouldn’t have said as recently as a week ago.

          • YourResidentJag

            I think they should take Moran. Bryant may have power, but in some baseball circles, his power is overrated. Law seems to contend he would move to the OF as well. So we take a 3b, except he’s not a 3b. We move him to OF, and then he hits for less power than we think. That doesn’t sound good over what Moran projects to be.

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8138/8961312964_f727be2e76_o.jpg[/img]

              • mudge

                Ha!

              • Vinestal

                Every time Moran’s name comes up that picture pops in my head. lol funy to see someone finally link it.

            • Cubbie Blues

              This is the only baseball circle I know.
              [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/Baseball_player_in_the_batting_circle_-_NARA_-_285815.jpg/320px-Baseball_player_in_the_batting_circle_-_NARA_-_285815.jpg[/img]

            • fromthemitten

              he hit 30 HRs in 50something games with a COMPOSITE bat… it’s incredible

              • Drew7

                Did they mandate the use of BBCORE bats in college too? If they did, his power has more a little more intrigued – Those things have *so* much less pop than the old one’s, it seems.

                • Rebuilding

                  Yes, thay are now mandated. Someone did an analysis of his flyouts and the difference in distance between the aluminum and Core bats. They determined he would have hit 9 more HRs with the aluminum, so 40 in 55 games.

              • Ben

                The BBCOR bats they use now are junk compared to the composite bats that they were using in say 2006/2007. 30 homers is unreal IMO. The next closest guy is sitting at the 21 mark. That should say something right there about Bryant’s power.

                We all know he has great power, but that number sticks out to me. The Cubs need one of those “feared” hitters in the lineup that they have been lacking for quite some time now. Rizzo has put up some good power numbers, but slot Bryant in there right behind him and that improves the lineup greatly.

    • Jono

      Epstein does highly value OBP. I wouldn’t be COMPLETELY shocked if they picked him, just lightly shocked or heavily surprised (there’s something about this blog that makes me choose my words very carefully, maybe it’s the high standard set by brett and most other posters here)

  • Idaho Razorback

    This is a weak draft at the start. Draft Gray and majorly low ball him. If he passes we get next years #3 and another high pick. Next years draft should be much better with impact players at the start.

    • MDel

      While there is obviously a lot of time for things to happen before next year, the preliminary evaluations I have seen aren’t very high on next year’s draft either. Plus, missing your top pick means you lose the assigned pool money and potentially impact the time frame your farm system is ready to help out the big league club. Given where the Cubs are at in rebuilding, not sure any perception that you are pushing that back further is a positive thing (from a fans perspective, from a prospective free agent’s perspective, etc.)

  • Dustin S

    Sticking to what I’ve thought which is that Gray doesn’t go until #4 or #5 now at least, and definitely not top 2. I think his positive test will have a larger negative impact that others have proposed, especially in light of the big PED suspension news in the last day or two. Either way it’s probably the most I’ve looked forward to a MLB draft and it should be fun to see how it plays out. The Smokies could be pretty ridiculous next year (or even late this season) when the big Kane County names move up and if the Cubs 1st rounder goes straight there.

  • The Future

    My prediction; if Appel is on the board – Cubs take him. If he’s gone – they take Bryant. Although I didn’t stay in a Quality Inn last night so you don’t have to believe me.

    • Kramden

      I’m thinking a bit differently…. If Appel isn’t available, my hunch is that the Cubs will pick Moran. I don’t think they’d be interested in Bryant as an outfielder and I don’t think Theo will risk a #2 on Gray.

      • Kramden

        …. and I just got a great deal on my car insurance from Jake at State Farm.

      • LWeb23

        See I don’t think you worry about the defensive position concerns when you draft. When you are drafting that early, if you decide you are taking a position player you are taking the best one available, regardless of where they project to play. You worry about making room in the OF later. You get the best talent available and if needed, you can move him for what you actually need (3B). You never know what can happen in 1-2 years when he actually is MLB ready.

        • bbmoney

          Yeah, BPA. Always BPA for at least the first few rounds.

      • Jono

        I kind of agree, but despite the cliche that you don’t draft for need, there is such a void of top pitching talent that it’s hard to imagen them passing on gray. Seems like that cliche applies more towards drafting a specific position, like a 3rd baseman or catcher, not for such a large portion of talent like overall pitching. I guess im being so ambiguous that I guess I simply don’t know. All I know is that im excited to see who they pick

      • jayrig5

        Keith Law reported last week that Theo loved Gray, while basically the rest of the FO preferred Appel. I doubt the Adderall thing factors in that much; the fact that teams are saying “well, maybe he’ll fall now” just speaks to me as if the teams in the 4-7 range are hoping beyond hope that he falls, and has enough of a damaged goods label to accept their offer.

        I still think the Cubs take either Appel or Gray.

        • Boogens

          Agreed. If Appel’s gone then I believe we’ll take Gray. Theo’s track record in Boston suggests that he’s comfortable with guys that are on the edge (Ramirez, Ortiz, Gagne, etc.).

  • Mr. Cubster

    We’d have believe you, if you had stayed at a Holiday Inn Express… :-)

  • Next Year Come Faster

    Brett or Luke, who is supposed to be up next year that will make us better or are we just have to wait another year to be good with all of our top 3 prospects in still in A-ball.

  • mdavis

    not that this carries any weight, but in Levine’s chat yesterday on ESPN chicago, he said it was his feeling the Cubs were going to take a 3rd basemen with that pick. Not sure if he’s saying thats what he thinks they should do, or if he is getting that sense from his sources. Wasn’t really clear on that. Just throwing it out there.

    • mdavis

      and right as i post that i see he posted an article that they should take one of the 3rd basemen, so i’m thinking it is just his opinion. cool. that being said, i agree, especailly if Bryant is there.

      • Kramden

        Levine makes a compelling case to pick Bryant.

        Who is likely to be a factor for more wins…. a player that plays every 5th day or a player that plays everyday?

        • hansman1982

          Pitchers impact just as many PA as positional guys.

  • Frank

    The Future,
    I think you meant Holiday Inn Express.

    • The Future

      I’m poor haha. Thanks for the FIX.

      I’m just a little scared of Gray’s quick rise.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Man, I can’t wait until tomorrow. The draft is going to be fun and the first one I will get to watch, ever.

    I really hope Appel falls to the Cubs, I liked Gray, but after the Adderall pop, I am nervous about him. If they do take him, I hope I will be wrong.

  • MikeCubs23

    Why couldn’t the Cubs draft Bryant and deal off a guy like Vitters or Lake in some kind of package for some pitchers?

    • bbmoney

      I don’t think drafting anyone means you should necessarily look to trade other prospects. I also don’t think we’d get much in the way of good SP’ing for Vitters or Lake.

    • BD

      Because teams don’t give away quality SP prospects.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        Arizona does. lol

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          Archie Bradley would be an ideal acquisition for the Cubs.

          • MDel

            … and for every other team in baseball too. Funny how that works.

  • BD

    How does Bryant’s contact compare to somebody like Javier Baez. I recognize the power potential, but is he going to be a K machine?

  • cubsin

    I’ve never seen his name associated with the Cubs, but if the Astros select Appel and the Cubs shy away from Gray, I’d rather see them pick Kohl Stewart than Bryant or Moran.

    • Cubsin15

      Excellent point, kids a stud. Risky but he could be better than Appel and Gray

  • ssckelley

    If Appel is off the board at #2 the Cubs will take Bryant.

    At least that is what I am hoping for.

  • http://permalink toby

    stick with a bat for the 2nd pick –that take a arm with every single pick after that–and then pick up misc parts and pieces in trades and waiver wire

  • Kyle

    If the Astros were thinking about taking Appel, you’d probably hear some rumors about it in the days leading up to the draft.

    If the Astros had no interest in Mark Appel but didn’t want the other players they were interested into know that for leverage purposes, you’d probably hear some rumors about it in the days leading up to the draft.

    There’s just no way to tell anything right now until Thursday night.

    • JB88

      So in other words, patience, grasshopper.

  • Cubsin15

    The one thing that is for sure is that the cubs cannot miss in this pick, it’s far too important to pick another Vitters. Absolutely needs to be an impact player, as much as I would love an ace to the staff I wouldn’t be totally opposed to taking a 3rd baseman with a good bat in Bryant. Especially if he can hit 30 HR’s a year. I think that Appel or Bryant should be the pick, something about Gray scares me. I just hope theo/Jed know what they’re doing and take the right guy.

    • http://219.com 219.com

      ^^^this

    • YourResidentJag

      That’s why Moran is so intriguing to me at least.

    • Noah

      That’s just so difficult to say, though. Let’s say Appel is the first pick. What if the following happens: (1) Cubs pick Gray and he tears through the minors, has a great rookie season, and then his shoulder blows up. (2) Rockies pick Bryant, he never makes enough enough contact to make use of his power and has to move to the outfield, and becomes a lefty masher, but that’s all. (3) The Twins pick Moran. He never adds significant power and has to move across the diamond to 1B, where he becomes a league average regular. (4) The Indians pick Kohl Stewart, who after 5 years in the minors becomes one of the best pitchers in baseball. Also, the guys who are picked 13th, 19th and 23rd become All Star quality players. Does this mean that they made the “wrong” decision?

      You could have an argument on Vitters and especially Hayden Simpson, where the story you’re hearing from Tim Wilken is that the Cubs did not pick their actual top rated player available, but instead their top rated player within some significant budgetary constraints. But this would be a different situation.

  • Justin

    I think the Cubs pick top pick depends on 2 important things. 1. Is Appel there when they pick? If so he’s the pick. 2. And do they really believe Bryant can stick at 3rd? If they do, they will take Bryant if Appel is gone.

    If these 2 things don’t happen I think they will pick Gray, sign him underslot, and get him a conditioning coach asap..

    • Dynastyin2017

      I think at this point, Bryant’s position is not as important as whether or not his bat is good enough to tap into his power. If you project a slash line of 280/350/600 with 40 HR power, you take him no matter what position he plays.

  • Bill S

    A little off topic…. But I noticed on MLB.com that Jorge Soler only has 60 for future power on the top prospects list. If Bryant is even 65 power, let alone 75-80, wouldn’t he be a sure fire pick if Appel was off the board? Just wondering if Soler’s power is a future 60 or more and if Bryant would have more power than him.

  • lukers63

    I could probably look this up, but…..do minor league teams provide meals for the players, or do they “fend for themselves”? Just curious, because if Gray’s Adderall helped him loose weight, could they keep him on some sort of special diet to keep it off. I imagine down in Extended Spring Training they have a little more control w/ diet, but I didn’t know about Kane, Tennessee, Iowa. I wondered if it was “hey you need to eat this” or “hey, here is the food you need to eat now EAT IT”.

    • Cubbie Blues

      If their meals are not provided by the team they get a small per diem. If memory serves me right it’s something like $25.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I found this interview with Kris Bryant on YouTube and came away more impressed then I already was. He seems like he could be a very good guy to have around the locker room.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M07103i5e5Q

  • fromthemitten

    Honestly, who knows if he was taking Adderall to pitch better or to get through finals.

    • Scott

      …or both.

    • Justin

      Actually, if I had to guess he was probably taking Adderall to get High. I don’t know Gray at all, but I did go to college and witness that drug in action a lot. And taking Adderall to get High was way more common than the other options.

    • Mysterious4th

      I take adderal (by prescription) plus a college student. Do you know how many use it to stay up in order to study or work? You have the idiots that mix it with X to party but most use it to help get them thru finals or their job. I would bet Grey did it to make it thru finals, plus meeting with several teams, plus playing. Dude, has to be not getting much sleep.

      • Justin

        Yeah, I know a lot of people who use Adderall to help them get thru work or used it to help them study. I also know a TON of people who would pop 4 of them before they would go out to party because it made everything more fun. Pretty common scene where I come from..

  • David

    I love her.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I hope the feeling is mutual. Best of luck to you.

      • TWC

        Larf.

  • http://totalsportsblog.com GeorgeHermanLahair

    College kids take Adderall all the time to help with studying. I guess I do not see it as that big of a deal. I’ve hoped the Cubs would get Gray all along and this has not made me change anything. No matter who the Astros take, I hope the Cubs take Gray.

    • Jp3

      I’m sure he needed to take it to stay up all night studying for his astrophysics exam… It wouldn’t alarm me either with a normal college kid but with one that with an undecided major at this point and who was a 1st round talent before the year started I have my reservations of motive. His major is Baseball and he was taking something to help him excel at it

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Completely random, but the Diamondbacks selected Barrett Loux with 7th overall pick in the 2010 draft but failed to sign him. So for compensation they received the 7th pick in the following seasons draft with which they chose Archie Bradley…

    • Kyle

      With Loux, wasn’t it that he was a huge signability pick (they didn’t want to spend any money on that pick), only immediately after he was drafted it was found out that he was injured so they didn’t make him any sort of offer?

      I could be misremembering that.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        don’t feel like looking it up but it sounds about right, so we will go with it.

  • Adam

    Why doesn’t Gray just say he has ADD and find a doctor who will write him a prescription for Adderall.

    Doc, I have trouble focusing. When I try to read my mind thinks about other things.

    Ok here is your prescription son.

    These guys all take Ambien. I’m sure they all have sleeping problems.

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