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albert almora cubsJim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com have chimed in with their choices for which player the Cubs should pick at number four in the draft, and unsurprisingly they do not agree. First, they assume that Rodon, Kolek, and Aiken are off the board; that seems like a safe assumption. Of the remaining players, Callis opts for current-but-unlikely-to-stay-there catcher Alex Jackson, a guy Callis labels the best high school hitter in the draft. Mayo opts for possibly the best high school defensive infielder in the draft, shortstop Nick Gordon.

I tend to think that, with high school players, the safer bet is the better bat, so of those two I would take Jackson without hesitation. But I do have to wonder if the high school bat is the safer call than the college pitcher options this year.  Normally at the top of the draft a bat is safer than an arm, but this is a little bit of an unusual year.  Nola looks like the safest bet to reach the majors of those likely to be drafted in the first round (Rodon included), Beede has arguably the best right handed stuff at the top of the draft when he can control it (and the Cubs have a couple pretty good pitching coaches hanging around), and Freeland is southpaw with two pitches that grade out at 60 or higher.

I can make a case that, in this draft, taking one of those pitchers (particularly Nola) is playing it safe when compared to drafting Jackson. When drafting a high ceiling pitcher, any age, in the fourth slot is arguably the safe choice over the best hitter in the draft, I have a hard time making a compelling argument for taking the hitter.

I suspect things will change again before draft day arrives, though. Gordon appears to be rocketing up the draft boards lately, and I would not be surprised if we start to hear that Nola is linked to a team in the top three at some point. And, though you hate to think about it, there is plenty of time for another injury to shake things up some more.

It looks like we’re in for an interesting month.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa was shutout 8-0.
Tennessee - Most of their runs came in a six run third as the Smokies won 10-7.
Daytona - The Cubs erupted for twelve runs and came away with the 12-0 win.
Kane County - The Cougars dropped their second game in a row with this 3-2 loss.

Performances of Note

Other News

  • Jose Veras and Arodys Vizcaino both pitched for Tennessee yesterday, but they pitched the first and second innings rather than later in the game as they normally do. Veras allowed nothing in the first while throwing eleven pitches, and Vizcaino needed nineteen pitches to allow one hit and otherwise strike out the side in the second.
  • It was just a few years ago when the Cubs were in a similar draft position. There were lots of college pitchers on the board, the Cubs needed pitching in their farm system, and I was really hoping one of those arms would fall to the Cubs. That did not happen. Instead, the Cubs wound up with a raw, powerful high school shortstop named Javier Baez.
  • If you missed Brett’s article on Alfredo Despaigne yesterday, or the original Ben Badler article Brett was talking about, I’d urge you to take some time to read both today. Right now this remains a case of informed speculation, but it is interesting speculation that could flare up into a headline grabbing story in about as much time as it would take Despaigne to walk up to a microphone.
  • ssckelley

    Luke, what are your concerns with Alex Jackson to make you say that a college pitcher is a safer pick? Also is there any truth that the W’Sox could avoid Rodon since he is being represented by Boras?

    • Chad

      Yesterday it was said that the Marlins may take a guy like Gordon that may be a bit cheaper at #2 to use slot $ elsewhere, if that is true that would be good for the cubbies.

      • JB88

        Part of me wonders if the injury to Fernandez would scare the Marlins off drafting a power HS pitcher. On the other hand, what Fernandez has done in even this short time certainly would justify that draft strategy.

        Given all we have read on the Marlins’ leanings, I would be terribly shocked if they chose anyone besides Kolek.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Jackson is a good high school hitter, but grades out as only good. I don’t see the potentially elite factor, at least not yet. It sounds like his ceiling is roughly major league average right field production. That’s a very good thing, don’t get me wrong, but if there chance for something better at the top of the draft I’d rather aim for better.

      Nola is considered nearly major league ready now, so he would be safer than any high schooler. Nola could literally have arm surgery the day after the draft and still beat Jackson to the majors. The ceiling is limited on Nola, but I suspect he could emerge as a Garza caliber guy.

      Freeman I’m probably too high on because I would dearly love to see some lefties in the Cubs system.

      Beede is the high risk/high reward guy of that group. Right now, I think I’d still go in that direction.

      • JB88

        All things being equal, I go Beede. His stuff is just so much better than Nola’s and I think the Cubs think the new market inefficiency with pitchers is teaching them to control their stuff. (See, e.g., Ramirez, Grimm, Strop, Rondon, Arrieta, Black.)

      • CubbiesOHCubbies

        Something tells me, if the Cubs were to draft Nola, he WOULD require arm surgery the day after the draft. Thats just the Cubs way now a days.

      • Cubbie in NC

        Luke I am with you on the High risk train as far as the draft pick in case one of the top three pitchers do not fall to the Cubs.

        It seems like the system is stacked with middle to back end of the rotation guys. The guys that are impossible to get through trade or free agency at a reasonable cost are the high end guys.

        Failing at that seems better than getting another mediocre prospect. The second and third rounds will be filled with them.

      • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

        Sign me up for being on board with Nola. I think I can stomach the low upside, for some reason he seems like a Mike Leake type pitcher who can get to the majors really quick (maybe not next summer, but quicker then the rest of the pitchers). If not Nola I like Beede, didn’t Derek Johnson spend one season with Beede while he was still at Vandy?

  • Chad

    I would love for Nola and/or Gordon to jump into the top 3. I would like to see Rodon or Aiken at #4, Kolek to me is like the unproven high school bat, but an arm. If high school bats are unpredictable what about high school arms? I know I like Aiken the best but his polish is much like a college pitcher’s (same was said about Bundy a few years ago) and Kolek has 1 pitch we know about and the rest is unknown. I’m sure the best pitchers will be off the board at #4 but I’d still take Beede in their scenario.

  • AA Correspondant

    Forgive me for not knowing this…but can draft pick positions be traded?

    • Edwin

      No.

    • bbmoney

      Only competitive balance picks can be traded.

  • terencemann

    Am I wrong to think that the talent in this draft not only drops off after the first 3, but the talent after the first 3 is no where near where it has been in recent drafts?

    • Norm

      Yes…and no.
      The talent does drop off after top 3, but there is more depth in this draft, so 2nd/3rd rounders shoudl be better than previous years drafts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There is a drop, but it isn’t a steep of a drop as we saw after the first three last year.

      Overall, this is a deeper draft.

  • Darth Ivy

    “Kris Bryant homered, his 11th, and finished with 2 hits”

    Yawn

  • Rebuilding

    Stephen Bruno just keeps on hitting. At some point he’s going to have to be taken more seriously as a prospect. He’s young for the league and 317/413/528 from a 2b after smoking the ball each of the last 2 years, as well, is getting hard to ignore

    • CubChymyst

      Bruno didn’t play most last year due to an injury.

      • Rebuilding

        And when he did (only 78 at bats) he put up what is becoming his usual over 900 OPS at Daytona

        • Rebuilding

          He’s up to 444 at bats in the minors, has been age appropriate at each level, and has a 349/433/502 career line. He can hit evidently

          • CubChymyst

            I agree he has shown he can hit. I was just pointing out last year has a small sample size. However, I think the fact that he missed most of last year and jumped to AA to start this season makes his start more impressive.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Agreed.

  • CubChymyst

    Bruno just keeps hitting, and Soler is picking up where he left off. The AA team is an offensive powerhouse. Hopefully Johnson can figure out his control issues, because he definitely doesn’t have to worry about run support.

  • IAN

    All aboard the Aaron Nola pain train, fellas.

  • Patrick G

    With Jeff Hoffman having tjs, where is projected to get drafted? I thought about this the other day and if he is still available in the 2nd round, do the cubs risk it for a possible top 3 pick before tjs? I read he could go late first round, but i don’t know if I can see someone taking that risk with more healthier options.

    • Norm

      He’ll be gone before the Cubs 2nd rounder.

    • JB88

      Absolutely. But Hoffman will likely be gone well before the Cubs draft in the second round. For that matter, Fedde will likely be gone by then also.

    • ssckelley

      Absolutely, but someone towards the end of the first round will take a chance on Hoffman. It is not often you can pick up a top 5 talent at the end of the first round. The only question is if he would be willing to settle for less money or take a chance, return to college, and hope to improve his draft stock in next years draft.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      No later than the supplemental round. With two picks in that area, I don’t see him getting past Miami.

  • Javier Bryant

    As of now, I’m pretty confident in saying it’ll be Gordon IF the pitchers go 1-3. The White Sox could end up drafting Beede or Nola.

    • JB88

      If that happens (i.e., the Sox drafting Nola or Beede), I would be really disappointed if the Cubs didn’t pick one of the remaining top 3 pitchers.

      I would have zero basis for that disappointment, but I would be disappointed nonetheless.

  • Jon

    Man, drafting Gordon would suck, imo.

    • Norm

      Why?

      • Jon

        Not much of a bat

        • Norm

          You don’t find value in the Francisco Lindor type players?

          • Jon

            Dont’ get me wrong he’s a real nice prospect, I was just hoping with the #4 pick we get a stud of a bat in the draft.

            Again, it goes back to my point, if you are going to lose, lose big. There is no moral victory in winning 65-70 games, juxtaposed against 60 games.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              By that logic then if your not going to win big then why try there is “no victory in winning 70-08″

    • Jason P

      I agree. I think his offensive game is going to hold him back from rising up the system quickly, and even if it does fully develop, it might not play at a position other than shortstop. His swing needs a few mechanical adjustments.

    • ssckelley

      I agree with this, I know you take the best available talent with the first round pick but the Cubs really are stocked full of middle infield talent. If the Cubs do take a position player in the first round I hope it is Alex Jackson, assuming he is still there.

    • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

      I would be let down by drafting Gordon, if you are going to take a risk in the first round with a bat that may or may not develop, I say it’s more valuable to take the risk on a pitcher.

  • Spoda17

    I am still very weary of taking a pitcher that high… Appel is really struggling as an example. I’m fine with taking pitchers after Rd1 or 2… but it is such a crap shoot. I guess you could say that about anyone they pick.

  • CubsFaninMS

    To mitigate my slight frustration about Hoffman having TJS, I did some looking around. If you’ll see the Top 10 draft picks in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011… many of those “elite” pitchers have not panned out (i.e. Barret Loux) whereas some towards the bottom 10 have turned into very solid rotaton pieces. I’m not overly concerned with it. I’ll lean on our scouting department to pick the winner. Either way, the #4 pick will have a good chance of being a MLB regular or more. That and, as mentioned above, the landscape could change very quickly within the next month. I personally love Nola but, then again, I’m a big LSU fan (from Louisiana). Whoever they pick, hopefully they choose wisely.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    We really should have targeted and signed a free agent with draft compensation this year. It seems as though even our protected, first round pick is going to be “up in the air” in this weaker draft class. I.e., Nelson Cruz would have made for a great trade chip, especially when we have Kris Bryant coming up soon to take an OF spot.

    • Rebuilding

      It’s something we haven’t done – sign FA with compensation attached – but this would have been the year to do it with Cruz and Stephen Drew. Flipping those guys more than likely would get you far more than the value of a 2nd and 3rd round pick. With that said, maybe neither one of them wanted to sign somewhere where they know they are getting moved in 3-4 months

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Nobody anticipated Cruz getting off to such a good start. Obviously, it’s a small sample size: but he’s putting up his best OPS since 2010. Given his performances over the last three years, we can expect him to put up something in the 0.820 range the rest of the year. Moreover, keep in mind that a lot of people worried that he’d been *over* performing the last couple of years due to PEDs: so, they were expecting a *drop* in performance from the last few seasons, not a rise!

      As for Drew, nobody is willing to sacrifice an undrafted prospect for him. That right there tells us a lot about how good an established prospect he would be worth *unless* the team signing him got doubly lucky with Drew getting off to a great start AND enough competition for him to drive up his price.

      • Rebuilding

        Oh, Doc. Always finding my posts to try and tell me shit I already know. Yes, no one expected Cruz to play at MVP levels, but of course an 820 OPS OF likely gets you more than Rob Zystryzny – do you really disagree with that? As for Drew, you make a false comparison – No one was willing to give up compensation AND sign him to 3-5 year deal which was the sticking point. Big difference

        • DocPeterWimsey

          At this point, Drew would take a 1-year deal: and yet nobody is offering one. (Boras started saying that Drew would take 1 year back in ST.) That includes more than one team with hopes of contending that could use a middle infielder, too. Right now, any of those teams could trade an unknown prospect for Drew (and a contract that would be lower than the ones that the Cubs would have given him 3 months ago): and none of them are.

          As for Cruz, my point was that to sign-and-flip him, an FO had to be willing to bet that he’d put up these sorts of numbers, or even “just” 0.820 OPS. His ZIPs projection was for just under 0.800: and a lot of people criticized that for failing to take into account the big drop that PED-free life would produce. (Whoops.)

          So, criticizing any FO for not signing him is essentially criticizing them for not assuming an improbable outcome.

          • Rebuilding

            Drew was and is only willing to take a 1 year deal from a team guaranteed to flip him. Why? So he’s not tied to draft pick compensation next year. Any team that was not going to flip him was going to have to give him more than 1 year. Is that hard to understand?

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

              Ah, what the hell, I’ll pick on you today.

              Stephen Drew shouldn’t care about being tied to compensation after this year anymore. That ended when he wasn’t on the team’s roster after Opening Day.

              Which means he isn’t even worth the difference between a 2nd round pick and what they could gain by flipping him to 10 different teams. Or worth a 4th round pick to the Yankees.

              • Rebuilding

                You could pick on me if you weren’t out of your depth. You’re much better just parroting the FO since they actually know what they are talking about.

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

                  Yup, you’re right, you just eviscerated me again. Oh dear, whatever shall I do?

                  • Rebuilding

                    Based on the last 3 years? Probably jump into conversations where you don’t know what you are talking about, defend the FO at all costs, then make stupid jokes to deflect that you were wrong. But that’s just based on your track record

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

                      Huh?

                      How am I defending the FO on this one?

                      Fairly certain I didn’t and, at least regarding Stephen Drew, am using the logic of 30 MLB teams that haven’t signed him yet (even though he hasn’t had to worry about getting a QO for 45 days). Also considering that he only wants to play SS and we have a damn good SS, it seems like you are just bitching about the FO to bitch about the FO.

                      I’m guessing your pissing and moaning is going to circle back to Jose Abreu at some point.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Why do you get all butthurt (callin Patrick in 3,2,1) if people don’t agree with you? Or is this the imfamous opinion defense.

                    • Rebuilding

                      @Goat – I’m uncertain how to respond to someone asking that question who curses out posters on the board on a monthly basis for disagreeing with them.

                    • Rebuilding

                      @Hansman – Uh, where did I bitch about the FO? I simply said we haven’t been signing guys attached to draft pick compensation (I made no judgement about it in the original post) and then said if we were going to this would have been the year to do it.

                      No one was going to give Drew more than 1 year, Any of the contending teams who might have done it didn’t want to lose a 1st round pick. It was an inefficiency since our 1st round pick was protected. Drew absolutely would have played 2b for an extra $2-3 million over 3 months and then we could have flipped him. The trade wipes out draft pick comp next year (as would him signing now, but again teams don’t want to give up a 1st round pick for a month). I don’t see how that’s controversial – it was an option.

                      As for Cruz, that’s even easier. We have no one with his right-handed bat profile in the OF so he wouldn’t be blocking anyone. He’s about as consistent of a player as you’ll see (825 OPS with random variation) and he has proven himself in the playoffs. By signing with Baltimore he has tied himself to draft pick compensation again, so we likely could have gotten him for a shade less that the 1 year $8 million he signed for.

                      Obviously, the FO office has decided against signing guys that lose draft picks. Is that wise? I don’t know, but it’s something you can ask, right?

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      It not using vulgarity because someone disagrees with me. iI use vulgarity because sad little boys like you can’t handle actual discussion so I respond in a way that people lacking necessary rhetoric, ogic and coping skills fully understand- vulgarity. Everyone understands vulgarity.

                      Now go ahead respond with another tamtrum if you need, but I’ve learned to no longer respond after I made my point. That’s the key to good discussion make your point and accept that others will not agree with you and if you have nothing else to add end the discussion. It’s not about being right or wrong there is no prize here.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      But you have to try speaking the way you want to see other folks speak. Even if it’s true that someone is speaking poorly, saying things like, “sad little boys like you can’t handle actual discussion” only sets further bait for fighting.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Ah, the name calling. Your specialty. I have good discussions on here every day without a problem. It’s pretty much just you and Hansman, but then most anyone who posts here that even raises a question about a FO choice gets attacked unmercifully by you guys until you start trading your inside “jokes” with each other

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      The FO jab is pretty untrue, and it’s become a bit of a tired last respite of anyone who DOES criticize the front office, and then is engaged by folks who disagree. They can have that opinion, too, you know.

                      You’re not entirely to blame on this one, Rebuilding, but your “out of your depth” comment was kind of douchebaggy. You can see that, right?

                      Everyone just needs to try again at the Golden Rule.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Is the “golden rule” “If you can’t grow a mustache then you can’t embrace your inner Tidrow?”

                    • Rebuilding

                      Fair enough. I take that back. But Brett, you can see that anyone who even questions (and my original post didn’t even do that) anything the FO does gets piled on by the same crew over and over, right? It’s one thing if it’s someone obviously trolling – but I post positive and negative all of the time.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I’ve got no beef with you.

                      The “same crew” jumps on the FO talking points because they feel pretty strongly about their position (and, usually, from my perspective, have the better of the logical argument). I don’t really have a beef with that, either. I just don’t like when it escalates into pee-pee shooting and poo-poo throwing. It never has to go there no matter how many times there are debates.

                      How many times have Kyle and I gotten into it on the same issues over and over? Not once has it ever looked like this kind of stuff. It’s doable folks. You’ve just got to take it upon yourself to actually do it.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I don’t understand why it’s a problem to be piled on. Let them pile, who cares what they think? You think what you think, they think you’re wrong. So what?

                    • DarthHater

                      Golden Rule: Act in such a way that your mustache is never merely a means to an end, but always an end in itself.

                    • DarthHater

                      Note to self: Don’t pile on Patrick. He likes it. And it’s kinda creepy.

                    • DarthHater

                      “How many times have Kyle and I gotten into it on the same issues over and over? Not once has it ever looked like this kind of stuff.”

                      Come on, everybody is dying to see a genuine Kyle-Brett catfight. [img]http://www.sonsofivy.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/popcorn.gif[/img]

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Patrick is just butthurt ;) ***ducks***

                    • Patrick W.

                      MichiganGoat
                      May 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

                      *This entry trimmed to blank*

                    • Rebuilding

                      And I will point out I was responding to someone who said “Oh what the hell, I’ll pick on you today”.

                    • DarthHater

                      Brett, the only possible resolution is for you to establish a tribunal to determine who started it.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I’m going to issue a ruling: Hansman started it, but he was right, and Rebuilding was also just asking a legit question (is this FO absolutely against signing FA tied to draft pick comp, and if so, should they be) but he asked it in a very mean way.

                    • ssckelley

                      I consider myself a FO defender, I like the plan of building the farm system but I still question some of the moves or lack thereof’s. I think we can all debate this without getting personal.

                      You make a lot of sense about Cruz, I was pining for a slugging outfielder all winter and all the FO gave us Ruggiano and resigned Sweeney. The concerns with Cruz was always his age and if he would be a different hitter after the PED suspension. To me losing a 2nd round pick does not mean a whole lot and the way you put it spending ~8 million should have been worth the risk.

                • TWC

                  “You could pick on me if you weren’t out of your depth. ”

                  My, what a cocksure douchebag you are.

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

                    This discussion today has just been all sorts of interesting.

                  • jh03

                    That might even be an understatement.

                  • DarthHater

                    Yea, but diffident douchebags are really annoying.

                  • miggy80

                    Damn, what did I miss?

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      People getting feelings hurt

                    • DarthHater

                      “Damn, what did I miss?”

                      Somebody opened up a tube of SPF 80 Rectal Sensitivity Ointment and squeezed it all over the blog. In other words, you didn’t miss anything out of the ordinary.

                  • Rebuilding

                    Nope, just pointing out Hansman doesn’t know what he’s talking about…again, but attacks anything he can. As for you TWC, I asked you a few months ago if you had, you know, actually ever said anything positive or contributed to an actual baseball discussion here ever – I see the answer is still no

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

                      [snippy comment indicating that I disagree with Rebuilding removed since I don't know what I am talking about and I don't want to appear to make stupid jokes to deflect away from the fact that I am wrong because in all reality I am out of my element in debates with 6 month olds]

                    • Rebuilding

                      And you just keep going. Want to debate whether the Cubs have debt covenants? You told me I was an idiot about that one for at least 6 months as well

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

                      I geninuely don’t remember the specifics of that debate but I would gladly refresh my memory if you can get me the link. I remember debating it with you but I don’t remember what about exactly.

                      However, I am fairly certain I never called you an idiot. I work pretty hard to only attack the person’s ideas and not the person.

                    • Rebuilding

                      The specifics of the debate were that I said about 6 months prior to Brett writing an article about it that I had worked on those kinds of leveraged purchases before and it was likely that the banks had put restrictive covenants on the Cubs ability to add payroll. That idea was met with a lot more scorn than suggesting Nelson Cruz might have been good to flip – I believe you called it delusional – and of course it was led by you and the usual suspects. It eventually devolved into Goat cursing me out, calling me a child, etc. – you know the routine

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

                      You may have me confused with someone or I may have been wrong or misunderstanding of what you said.

                      I would be on the side of the banks taking a close look at the Cubs payroll and dictating a few things. Banks do that a lot with farmers and will occasionally dictate when to sell grain (granted, the grain is usually a collateral item against the loan).

                      Now, ultimately the hammer is coming down from MLB on what amount the Cubs can spend based on their revenues (and maybe this is where the confusion came into play). It appears that MLB is giving the Cubs some slack and I’m sure that the banks are happy because that appears to be around the mark that it takes to make their payments. Given the history of the Cubs business model, I’m sure they aren’t too worried about future cash flows.

                  • D.G.Lang

                    OK Gentlemen, It is long past time to simply shut up and keep quiet. It does absolutely no good to keep pissing on one another, in fact all it accomplishes is to make a pig sty of what is normally a very outstanding web site freely available to all here to make civilized comments, state opinions, and ask questions.

                    All the pissing, moaning and groaning accomplishes is to slander oneself and not the target. Everyone getting entangled is this pig sty being promoted by the two main combatants is only embarrassing them selves and the two main individuals have cost themselves dearly in lost respect which can only have future negative results.

                    I would much rather be surrounded by intelligent individuals than a bunch a little piggies soiling themselves and everyone else and I suspect others would probably be equally as glad to have a nice clean play house unsoiled by all the name calling and pissing on one another.

                    Please change the subject, no more feces throwing.

                    Thanks much, Dan

            • mjhurdle

              “Drew was and is only willing to take a 1 year deal from a team guaranteed to flip him. Why? So he’s not tied to draft pick compensation next year.”

              I love the fact that someone that believes this quote is calling other people out for being “out of their depth”.

              • Rebuilding

                Not sure what you mean. If Drew was on an Opening Day roster this year (and not flipped) he could be made a qualifying offer this offseason. Is that not true?

                • mjhurdle

                  Your words “Drew was and IS only willing to take a 1 year deal”

                  the key word being ‘IS’. At this point, Drew could care less about the qualifying offer at the end of the year, because the moment he didn’t break camp on someone’s roster, that restriction is gone.
                  By saying that he still ‘is’ concerned with it indicates an incomplete understanding of the rules (which is understandable seeing as how complicated a lot of these things are) which then becomes a little comical when you call out other people for being “out of their depth”.
                  Again, it isn’t the misunderstanding of the FA rules that is funny, because im pretty sure that I don’t understand half that stuff myself. But if i was going to call someone else out as not knowing what they were talking about, I would try to make sure that I did have a fairly solid grasp of the concept.

                  • Rebuilding

                    You did read my follow-up to that right. Where I clarified that the problem shifted from Drew to the contending teams once Opening Day passed. Any team in contention was likely to not sign him because they likely had an unprotected pick.

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

                      There is some disconnect here then.

                      The Yankees had a GIANT need at 2B the day after Opening Day (granted they’ve gotten Cano production out of a nobody since then but on day 2 of the season they didn’t know they would) and would have been surrendering a pick far lower than even the Cubs, yet, they didn’t sign him.

                      The Mets currently have a need for a SS, are contending, have a protected 1st round pick and have already surrendered their 2nd round pick, yet haven’t signed him.

                      That would tell me that he doesn’t want to play 2B at all and that no teams are willing to surrender any picks for him. That means that our odds to get better than a 2nd round pick for him at the trade deadline are pretty slim.

                      Would he, potentially, have helped out team. Yes, but he didn’t want to play 2B and you aren’t moving Castro for the prospects of a 2nd round draft talent.

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

          Cruz is playing at MVP levels?

          Just in the OF there are 11 other players out-OPSing him and he has been sucking it up the past few weeks and owns a whopping .628 OPS in the last 10 games.

          Before we declare him the Greek God of Cubs FO Misses, let’s get a bigger sample size.

          • Rebuilding

            Oh crap, Hansman. You’ve just been waiting around to pounce I see after your ridiculous assertions about the Marlins. That was so far away from the point of my post or did you not understand that? He’s been playing very well – how’s that? – it doesn’t change the point I was making

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

              I stop using ridiculous assertions when you stop using ridiculous assertions.

              And I really don’t wait around to reply to you but whatever helps to feed your ego, I suppose.

              • Rebuilding

                Well, I haven’t seen much of you since your attempt to say the Marlins didn’t make any good signings this offseason which got eviscerated. So your take is that a guy who you can pencil in for an 800 OPS, has that “postseason experience” GMs seem to like, and would be making a pro-rated $4 million for half a year couldn’t get us a prospect better than 2nd round quality? Ok

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

                  I’m missing the point where Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a big time FA signing for the Marlins or where all these other AMAZEBALLS FA’s are on the Marlins roster.

                  You also completely whiffed on the point of that post.

                  I also thoroughly enjoy the creative license you took with my initial post on Nelson Cruz.

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    You mean Casey McGehee isn’t “AMAZEBALLS”???

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

                      He was awesome that one year…er, half-season.

                      (Although, I am going to guess that most of the Marlins success this year is thanks to some overperformance by unlikely players, Stanton and Fernandez)

                    • CubsFaninMS

                      Cat fight!!!

                      One of multiple Jerry Springer-esque outbursts that seem to occur with frequency. It would be nice if the tone of the comments fields here took on more of a “debate team” mentality than “Preppie’s hitting on my girl/high school” mentality.

                  • Rebuilding

                    Your original post was that the Marlins aren’t rebuilding the way some people around here want the Cubs to rebuild. I simply pointed out that since 2011 (the relevant time to judge against our rebuild) the Marlins have acquired 3/5ths of their rotation through shrewd trades (in 2012), and signed their starting C, 1b, 3b for what appear to be good deals (this offseason), especially compared to what else would be at those positions. Seems simple

                    • Rebuilding

                      Oh, and I acquired their starting SS through shrewd trade in 2012 as well.

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

                      The parallels to the Cubs are there just the Cubs were missing the Fernandez/Stanton elite-elite players the past few years.

                      The previous post about the Marlins came about during a stretch of complaining on here about all of the impact FAs the Cubs have missed out on in the last few years (namely, the IFAs). I was merely pointing out that the Marlins haven’t signed any of those players either.

                      However, my stance on any teams that are currently near .500 who were pre-season non-contenders is that we shouldn’t be hanging too many hats on them just yet due to certain players overperforming their talent levels.

                      But what do I know, right? I am WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY out of my league with the likes of you.

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

                      “Oh, and I acquired their starting SS through shrewd trade in 2012 as well.”

                      I wouldn’t brag about that too much. He is currently sporting an 83 OPS+, which is a high water mark for him.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Hard to paint yourself as the level-headed one when you act like such a child hansman.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Well, I don’t think they got Hechevarria for his bat. You also have to look at how bad the next guy up would be. Looking at the Marlins system – a lot worse than an 83 OPS+ and good D

                    • bbmoney

                      “You also have to look at how bad the next guy up would be. ”

                      No. That’s a bad way to evaluate a player. Hechavarria has been worth negative WAR since he’s been playing for the Marlins. Just because they only have even worse players to replace him with doesn’t mean he’s any better it just means their FO hasn’t been able to acquire any replacement level SS depth.

                      Now he’s still young, he could improve. But thus-far, he’s been pretty terrible.

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

                      Well, if they got him for his glove they have low standards. He is, at best, a league average glove with a well below average bat.

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

                      “Hard to paint yourself as the level-headed one when you act like such a child hansman.”

                      You are right, I should stop with out-of-line remarks and trying to get the last word in (that last one is a real fault of mine) and just walk away.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Not a good way to evaluate an individual player – true. But when looking at a team I think it’s relevant to look at who else might be playing a position to determine if a pick up was worthwhile

                    • Rebuilding

                      With respect to Hechavarria – the Marlins don’t see it that way. Are they right? Who knows, defensive metrics are still pretty sketchy. Here’s a good article on it:

                      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/30/marlins-think-adeiny-hechavarria-is-better-with-the-glove-than-defensive-metrics-indicate/

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Can’t people just talk to each other like human beings? These discussions don’t always have to end up in somebody breaking out a ruler.

                • DarthHater

                  I was a human being once. Then I fell into a volcano.

                • MightyBear

                  I agree with Brett.

              • D.G.Lang

                The better MAN stops immediately because they only hurt themselves. Let the lesser man keep it up and continue embarrassing himself.

  • Rebuilding

    It’s too bad that no college bat has emerged as an alternative to the arms. I would be just fine taking Zimmer at #4. Outside of Rodon he is the surest thing in the draft imho

    • Javier Bryant

      I think they go with Gordon but Zimmer has intrigued me as of late. He was already drafted by the Cubs out of high school

    • ssckelley

      I would rather the Cubs took Trea Turner than reach for Zimmer. At least with Turner you know you have at least 1 top skill (speed), plus he has been hot lately at the plate.

      • JB88

        At this point, though, it is starting to look more and more like Turner would be the reach, and not Zimmer. I’m starting to think that Turner won’t be drafted in the top 10 at all.

        • ssckelley

          No, I agree, although his recent hot streak has him back on the up swing. Like I said below I do not think any of the college bats are worth a top 5 pick, the only scenario this makes sense would be to sign a college bat under slot which saves pool money for other players. But if I was forced to take one then I say Turner would be the better pick. Zimmer’s bat only projects well if he plays centerfield while Turner is still a middle infielder. Most of the top position players in this years draft are high school.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Speed is the less valuable skill to worry about, if you can’t get on base it doesn’t matter how fast you are. Unless power is combined with a great hit tool it’s worthless.

        • jh03

          Speed is one of those things that is a nice asset to have on top of other skills. It can assist the other skills too.. but alone? Speed is nearly worthless.

        • jp3

          Speed Worthless? What? Speed + scrappy though? That’s something special right there. A la Campana☺️

    • JakeMac

      I keep hoping Zimmer turns it on enough to justify the #4 pick. Don’t think it will happen, but he’s the guy to whom I’ve hitched my wagon. I’d love the power/speed combo from a lefty in the Cubs outfield.

      • ssckelley

        What power? Zimmer has 14 career home runs in 3 seasons of college. Trea Turner, who has a lot more speed, has 19 through the same period of time.

        I would hate to see the Cubs reach for a college bat, none of them are worth a top 5 pick IMO.

        • Rebuilding

          I hear what you are saying, but Zimmer projects to have quite a bit more power than Turner. Turner’s game is his speed and those guys scare the crap out of me

    • Rebuilding

      Zimmer is not ideal, his ceiling is prob not that of Gordon or Turner, but I just don’t think you can take a chance at #4 with either one given their contact issues. Zimmer has enough speed and power to project as a major league regular. I would hate to tank a whole season for a HS arm. If that is the choice I would rather take Nola and underslot him and then hope someone falls to the 2nd round

  • Coach K

    Luke, or any one else, how far do you think Fedde will drop with his recent injury?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      No lower than the supplemental rounds.

  • TheDondino

    Interesting comparison with the ’11 draft and getting Baez when the pitching didn’t fall. But did we really luck out there? That pitching was Bundy, Bauer, Bradley, Cole and Hultzen. Would you trade Baez for Bradley right now, who was taken only 2 spots ahead? Lucky for us, that was a deep draft (Lindor, Springer, Rendon along with Jose Fernandez and others) and it worked out for us. But would you rather have any of those pitchers (even with the injuries to some) over Baez?

    Also, Beede was drafted at #21 by Toronto in that draft, but didn’t sign.

  • Austin8466

    It’s gotta be a position guy at 4, right? Whether that’s Jackson, Zimmer, etc. pitchers are just too fragile. Take a pitcher in every round, rounds 2-8. Just don’t take them in the first. Not worth the risk.

    • Javier Bryant

      Pretty much. I would be surprised if it’s not one of Gordon, Jackson, or Zimmer

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    I’ll be the conductor of the Kyle Freeland train! 91-93 and touching 96 from the left side with impeccable command. Throw in that he has a plus slider and an average to above average changeup and he looks good to me.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      And that fastball has movement.

      From a lowish arm slot.

      At worst he sounds like a ground ball machine to me.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        4 might be a too high to take him, but is it really haha??

  • MightyBear

    Brett/Luke, what do you think it means that Arodys Vizcaino pitched early in the game? Do you think he’s going to make a quick stop at Tennessee and be promoted to Iowa soon? Thoughts?

  • NathanE

    With Hoffman and Fedde lost due to injury, I would be perfectly happy if the Cubs elected for Nola. If he can reach the majors by next season, that holds a lot of value, especially with how close some of the Cubs top prospects are.

    If Nola turns into a solid 3 or even a 4, that’s still a great pick at #4. Pitchers with his command don’t grow on trees. With that said, if one of the top 3 fall to 4, I think they gotta go with one of them.

    Plus, maybe they can turn around and get Fedde in the second

  • Smitty

    Luke,

    What is the story with Taylor Davis? I don’t remember reading anything about the guy in the past. His numbers for the year are good(extremely small sample size of course).
    Is he just organizational filler?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Probably more of a bench/utility/backup catcher type prospect right now. He is off to a great start in Tennessee, but it is over a short time. We’ll see if he can keep that up.

  • jonred

    I don’t see how we can’t take the best available pitcher with our pick. Our positional depth has never been stronger, yet we don’t have top tier pitching talent coming through the system. I’d hate to see us take a HS bat who likely won’t produce at Wrigley for another 4-5 years if he makes it. Give me a high-upside guy like Beede who is well known by our minor league pitching coach and who could reach Wrigley by 2016 if not before.

  • boomindanny

    is it worth getting a bit concerned about iowa’s coaching staff? that entire team has regressed. i know its early in the season, and one can argue the importance of a coaching staff, but i think its a point worth considering.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m not sure I could agree that the entire Iowa team has regressed.

      • boomindanny

        you’re probably right. i guess i’m just looking at the big guns there: sczcur, vitters, baez, alcantara, villanueva and to a lesser extent hendricks and jokish. i suppose a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s all of their first times at AAA, aside from vitters, but i was just curious what you all thought.

      • Brocktoon

        Pinning your hopes and dreams on Chris Valaika?

      • ssckelley

        The players that have performed really well at Iowa are not the ones we had hoped at the beginning of the season. Not sure what long term benefit players like Lars Anderson, Chris Valaika, or even Wada bring to the Cubs organization. Of the top prospects at Iowa only Alcantara and Hendricks seem to be on track.

        • Brocktoon

          I’d argue Alcantara isn’t on track either.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Sean Kernan ‏@KernanSean 12m
    Albert Almora @albertalmora with a 2-run homer to tie game at 2 in B6th. He had 3 doubles and 4 RBIs last night. #Cubs #FSL #Cubsprospects

    Early start in Daytona…Almora showing signs of heating up.

    • jp3

      Thank god, his start has surprised me more than Baez’s has.

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