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carlos rodonMore draft goodness for you to ponder as we close out the week …

  • Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo mocked the first ten picks in the upcoming MLB draft, with some significant differences in the early picks. While Jim Callis has Brady Aiken, Carlos Rodon, and Tyler Kolek going 1-2-3 to the Astros, Marlins, and White Sox, respectively, Mayo goes Rodon, Kolek, and Jeff Hoffman with the top three. That would leave the Cubs with the opportunity to take the pitcher many think is the best one in the draft, high school lefty Brady Aiken (and they do, in Mayo’s mock). Callis has the Cubs taking Hoffman, the college righty who came into the season a “clear” top two pick, but who hasn’t dominated as much as expected, and is now on the shelf with some unspecific arm soreness.
  • Interestingly, each of Callis and Mayo go in lockstep over the next three picks (all players under consideration by the Cubs at number four): high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson, college righty Aaron Nola, and high school shortstop Nick Gordon.
  • In his recent chat, Keith Law implied that Aiken, Kolek, and Rodon are his top three, so we’re starting to see a little bit of consensus forming that there are three top arms in this draft, and then everyone else. That would bother me more – and make me say things like, “of course, since the Cubs pick fourth” – if we weren’t still a month away from the Draft. Still plenty of time for things to change.
  • Law added that, if Aiken, Kolek, and Rodon were off the board and he were picking at four, he would choose between Gordon and UNLV righty Erick Fedde, a name we haven’t heard much. He’s the 17th ranked draft prospect to MLB, and he’s got the kind of excellent college stats you’d expect from a riser.
  • If Hoffman or TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan were healthy, they would also get consideration, according to Law.
  • Patrick Mooney says the Cubs are considering at least four pitchers at the top of the draft – Aiken, Rodon, Kolek, and Hoffman – which would mean they’d get one of those four if they were at the top of the team’s board. Kerry Wood recently scouted Kolek, which is cool. Big, hard-throwing Texan scouting a big, hard-throwing Texan.
  • The bright side to Aiken/Rodon/Kolek emerging as a clear top three (if that actually happens) is that the Cubs will at least get their pick of the best position player. Given the risk attached to pitching, that’s no small consolation.
  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I’m not sure there is a position player in this draft that I’d take at 4 given the sheer depth of quality pitching.

    Given the choice between, say, Jackson, and someone like Hoffman or Beede or Freeland, I probably gamble on the arm.

    • rick42

      Luke,

      What do you think of Kyle Freeland? Any chance the cubs take him? I’ve heard good things about and he is lefty?

      Thanks

    • ssckelley

      Luke, what do you not like about Alex Jackson?

    • jp3

      Yeah Luke what gives? I’m kind of with him on Gordon, if Gordon doesn’t work out at SS I assume he can play a few spots where his bat will play better where if Jackson doesn’t work out at catcher, where is he playable? 1st I guess?

  • TulaneCubs

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t really understand how Tyler Kolek is on the same level as Rodon, Aiken, Hoffman, etc.

    It’s nice that he can throw 100 MPH and it sounds like he has good command of his fastball, but his secondaries seem like they have so much work left. Seems like a huge risk to take a guy that is that raw, even if he does throw that hard.

    Aiken, Rodon and Hoffman all seem to have shown at least 2 pitches that either are close to or are consistently plus (and in some cases plus plus). I just don’t see how you take a HS righty that raw over any of those guys (assuming Hoffman’s injury is minor).

    I’m not a scout, but I’m hoping Kolek goes top 3 and causes one of the 3 I listed above to drop.

  • scorecardpaul

    This makes me hate what Houston does even more. If we are going to suck, lets at least suck better than the other teams.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Have they really gotten anything out of their #1 picks?

      Last I saw Appel was heading back to ExST.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, Correa sucks.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          After I typed that out I rememberd that the last time the Cubs got anything out of a 1st round draft pick, he was promptly eaten by a Saber-toothed Tiger.

        • Featherstone

          But man, they could have had Buxton.

        • Jon

          Player A 19 Years Old High A Ball
          300/366/463 BB% 9.7 K% 16.1

          Player B 20 Years Old High A Ball
          253/266/352 BB% 0.0 K% 10.6

          The Blue kool-aid runs strong here at times.

          • bbmoney

            I find your lack of ability to detect sarcasm ……… disturbing

            • DarthHater

              Sarcasm >> Jon

              • Jon

                I blame the blog owner that won’t give us blue font :)

                • DarthHater

                  Font-and-edit-button-technology >> Brett

      • Norm

        Correa >> Baez
        or at the very least, Correa = Baez

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Baez higher ceiling, Correa higher floor

          • renegade4196

            Truth^. Baez is more high risk, but at full potential, Baez is better.

    • Darth Ivy

      Well, the white sox are better this year, the marlins are better. The twins suck, the Astros suck. The dbacks suck, but Im sure they’ll get a little better throughout the season. I could see the cubs having the 2nd or 3rd pick next year. Oh, and the padres are really bad. If Venable and Headley don’t get going, they be right near the bottom

      • Norm

        But the Twins signed all those 2nd tier free agent pitchers to make them incrementally better!!!

        • Darth Ivy

          I don’t see any 2nd tier pitchers in that rotation.

  • Aaron

    Do you think there is special interest in Beede, due to the Derek Johnson – Vanderbilt connection?

  • MightyBear

    I’d like to see the Cubs get Kolek but I don’t think they will.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    This is the first I have heard of Gordon. I guess Turner has fallen by the wayside. Also I see that Beede’s name is missing from that top group. I’m for taking the BPA and then drafting pichers galore in the middle rounds. I honestly think we already have some young arms that we should give a shot at starting. I think that both Grimm and Ramirez have potential in the rotation. I seems that maybe they are taking it real easy on Viscaino to potentially make him a starter in the future. He could be that elite guy we are looking for. I don’t think anybody is untouchable this year. We may well see Hammel, Shark and Wood all being moved this year if the prospect haul is good enough.

  • DarthHater

    [img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7066/14109882473_5f9b583ccd.jpg[/img]

  • Buss3636

    I do not know the quality of the catcher that’s available, but if he is a top 5 pick and the Cubs have a solid need at catching. As long as he stays a catcher unlike Bryce Harper, I would take the catcher and then buy/trade for more insured pitching.

    • Javier Bryant

      He won’t stick at catcher. Some even think he’ll end up a 1B-DH type

      • Buss3636

        Makes sense, thanks for the input.

      • Don Eaddy

        I heard he will be given every opportunity to stick at catcher due to his plus arm. If he moves he would go to RF. At least thats what I read.

        • ssckelley

          I have heard the same thing, he has a great arm but may switch to the outfield in order to progress his bat through the minors at a faster rate.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Difficult to project where a high school catcher will end up. As for Schwarber, he’s likely going to be an outfielder, so either way, hard to project either Jackson or Schwarber to be catchers ultimately.

  • Javier Bryant

    If Houston and Miami decide to go with the high school arms, Aiken and Kolek, Rodon will slip to the Cubs. My guess is they end up with Hoffman or Gordon though.

  • itzscott

    Just wondering if there’s a possibility that either the Astros, Marlins or White Sox could go for the highest ranked position player while they had that opportunity knowing they may not have that chance again.

    • Jed Jam Band

      No one position player has really separated himself this year yet. Bryant was clearly ahead of the others last season. There is nobody like that this year.

      • itzscott

        Understand about pitchers being dominant at the top of the rankings but then again, pitchers are also the riskiest with a very good chance of losing a year+ to TJ surgery. Maybe one of these teams decide not to chance it or to draft for need.

        • Jed Jam Band

          Nobody drafts for need this high in the draft. You draft the person you feel to be the best talent available or the best available that fits your organizational strategy (e.g. high floor vs. high ceiling).

  • http://BN Sacko

    Nobody from a different country and hasn’t had TJ surgery? This is a tuff one to determine who we will get.

  • Big_O

    If Kolek and Aiken go 1 & 2 or viceversa you can almost gurantee that Carlos Rodon will fall to the Cubs(Boras is his advisor and White Sox do not deal with Boras) so there is a good posibility of that happening…..

  • E

    I’d go with Fredde.

    There is no way the Cubs go with a high school arm with the lack of quality pitching in the system that we have.

    • Edwin

      Fredde?

      • DarthHater

        Fredo
        [img]https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5479/13903549870_0a2f03816e_o.jpg[/img]

        • bbmoney

          John Cazale…..you left us too soon.

      • E

        UNLV righty Erick Fedde

        • Edwin

          Seems like a bit of a reach. Why Fedde?

    • bbmoney

      If the Cubs think the BPA is a HS I think they’ll take a HS arm. I don’t think their selection at #4 will have anything to do with needs in the system. I sure hope not at least.

  • itzscott

    I’ll predict that the Cubs draft Aaron Nola at #4

  • itzscott

    • While Louisiana State control artist Aaron Nola’s walk rate this season (1.83 per nine) is actually significantly higher than his first two years (1.04), his strikeout rate has also increased significantly, by more than three strikeouts per nine to 11.8. His strikeout-walk ratio stands at 6.5, the sixth-highest rate among prospects, and his ERA (0.70) is the second-lowest of any starting pitcher. – Baseball America

  • Jed Jam Band

    I would really like us to take Nola if the top three guys are off the board. I’ve watched him pitch. Beautiful stuff.

    • Darth Ivy

      Me, too, but only because I love the name

  • Zoolander

    Tyler Kolek reminds me of a very young and PED free Roger Clemens. A big boy that pitches right handed from Texas that can throw heat in the high 90′s, even topping out at 100 mph this past summer. Great to see him available at #4.

    • Edwin

      If the Cubs did get him, the Kerry Wood comparisons would be pretty popular.

  • Funn Dave

    Go with a pitcher, since all the top arms are pitchers.

    Go with the best position player available, since pitchers are risky.

    Go with the best overall player available, because duh.

    Don’t draft based on need.

    Except the top position players is a catcher, and we need a catcher, so maybe do draft based on need.

    Except neither of the top catchers are projected to remain catchers, so just pick the BPA, maybe.

    We should’ve tanked extra hard last year, since there’s a general consensus on the top 3 but not on #4.

    We shouldn’t have tanked so hard last year–since everything after the top three is a crapshoot, what was the point?

    There, I think I’ve covered all the sentiments we’ve seen and will see until draft day. It’s been my pleasure to eliminate the need for further comments on this article.

    • Darth Ivy

      They should go with the riskiest guy for the position they need the least.

      In your face.

  • SenorGato

    No, the Cubs are not out cold. None of those guys are super duper elite, there isn’t a huge gap between them and the next guys. In Tyler Beede’s case, I think he is better than all of them.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    The way its shaping up with the draft if the Cubs don’t get one of Kolek, Aiken, or Rodon I’d be a little disappointed. I’m sure we could still get a very good prospect at 4th pick but I’m not sure we could get a stud potential Front Line guy at 4. Hoffman and Beede could be a FOR pitchers but I don’t believe in them or don’t see them reaching that star power ceiling, in my very humble un-trained eye.

  • ssckelley

    I think one of those arms could fall to the Cubs at #4, I have heard the White Sox are giving Alex Jackson a good look with their #3 pick.

  • SenorGato

    Also – I don’t think the Cub are jumping for joy that publications are listing two HS pitchers as the must have guys in this draft.

    I don’t get it with Kolek.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I don’t know if I get it with Kolek, but I definitely get it with AIken. Extremely advanced high school arm and he’d be second on my want list behind Rodon.

      • Chad

        Kolek is a definite project with raw stuff while Aiken is more polished but still has really good pitches, just not going to blow you away with his velocity as Kolek would. Kolek just scares me as a guy that is going to be highly ranked and never reach that potential because he never had to develop other pitches to succeed. He could always be potential trade fodder later on though ;)

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Ya I really like Aiken. From the brief video I’ve seen and the scouting reports I’ve read, he has an easy, repeatable delivery with an above average fastball and plus curveball. I’ll take 91-93 with the ability to touch 96 from the left side any day and that curveball is awesome! The Clayton Kershaw comparison is obviously on the high end, but I feel like it’s a good one.

          With Kolek, you’re right on the money. The fastball is fantastic, but no one has really seen enough of his secondaries to know if they’ll get there. From what I’ve read they have potential, but he’s just too much of a project for the Cubs that high. My hope is it goes Kolek, Rodon, Hoffman or Jackson, so Aiken is there for the Cubs at 4

          • Chad

            I hope that is how it goes as well, but I would put money on it that Aiken will not be there for the cubs, and if I were to lose I’d happily part with my dinero.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              We’re agree 100% on that one unfortunately

  • Chad

    My preference would be:
    Aiken
    Rodon
    Hoffman
    Jackson/Kolek
    Gordon
    Nola
    Beede

    • Javier Bryant

      That’s probably my same preference. The plus side with Rodon would be he could rush through the minors and be ready by 2016 when the Cubs should be ready to compete. Same could be said for any of the college pitchers though.

  • renegade4196

    I’m a proponent of getting the best player available. I think the Bryant pick was perfect. I think the Cubs can spend for pitching, but I still do prefer an arm. If not, I don’t view it as a huge problem. And also, I think the Cubs will get a lot better. This year.

  • Kyle

    I want a position player to emerge so badly. The bust rate on pitchers is simply too high to risk a top-5 pick on. This Gordon fellow? want him.

    • mjhurdle

      100% agree, especially when the term “if healthy” and “minor soreness” is used about a couple of the top arms.

    • Jason P

      On the other hand, though, how else are we going to get a TOR arm? We don’t currently have one in the system (outside of CJ Edwards who’s *maybe* a 2), and it’s really tough to draft one in the later rounds.

      I’d hate to be in a situation where we have to land 2 top-flight arms in free agency.

      • Kyle

        Edwards is a future reliever.

        I can live without a TOR guy if I have to.

    • Orval Overall

      What’s the bust rate on position players that “emerge” between May 3 and the draft? I’d be even more suspicious of a player that doesn’t deserve the spot now but seems to by early June.

      I think the fact of the matter is that none has established himself among the top 4. So the choice is: draft a pitcher notwithstanding the risks; or just content yourself with taking and overpaying a position player that doesn’t serve to be the 4th overall pick.

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