It’s still early – the draft is on June 5, 6 and 7 – but the amateur landscape is already starting to shift with respect to the draft. Some of the latest Cubs-related notes …
- One name flying up the lists is high school lefty Brady Aiken, a 6’4″ polished pitcher with great stuff and a mid-90s fastball. The Cubs reportedly sent their “scouting director” (which could be VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod, or it could be Amateur Scouting Director Matt Dorey) to watch his second start of the year last year. Aiken is clearly on the Cubs’ radar with that fourth pick, together with a bunch of other names, of course.
- How high has Aiken climbed at this point? Well, Keith Law now has him in the conversation for first overall.
- Speaking of Aiken and the Cubs, Patrick Mooney looks at a long list of the guys the Cubs might be considering at the top of the 2014 draft, and Aiken is among 12 names. There are the usual suspects, but also some names you we may have not yet heard: high school shortstop/pitcher Nick Gordon (yes, Tom’s son), Oregon State outfielder (one of the few college bats in consideration up in the draft) Michael Conforto, TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, Indiana University catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber (one of the better college power bats), and LSU righty Aaron Nola. Mooney’s is a great piece for background on all of the guys who could go at the top of the draft.
- The question of NC State lefty Carlos Rodon as the first overall pick continues to be a really interesting one. Rodon went out on Friday and laid an egg against Maryland, giving up eight runs over just 4.2 innings, allowing six hits and four walks (and two HBP). He did strike out eight, but, all in all, it was apparently an unimpressive outing. We’ve already discussed questions about Rodon at the top, and the slim chance he could slide to the Cubs at four. Starts like this will only hasten those questions.
- Jim Callis still sees Rodon as the top overall pick with ace upside, even if he’s no longer believed to be the better-than-David-Price guy he was previously thought to be.
- Rodon wasn’t the only one who stunk in his latest start. Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede, who had been absolutely dominant this year, lasted just 2.2 innings against Mississippi State. He gave up 11 runs (five earned) over that stretch, allowing six hits and five walks. He struck out just two.
- East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman wasn’t dominant on Friday either, for that matter, pitching against Charlotte: 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K.
- Dan Kirby, collaborating with John over at Cubs Den, writes about some of the potential college arms the Cubs could consider in the second round. Given the draft approach of the last two years, it’s pretty likely that the Cubs will be grabbing a pitcher with that selection.