The 2014 MLB Draft is not next week, but it IS the next week after that. Eeeeeeeeeeee …
- Baseball America released its third mock draft, and they seem to be settling in with one thing near the top: the Marlins are grabbing high school bat Alex Jackson. You may recall that Jackson is under heavy consideration by the Cubs at four, but, if he’s taken before the fourth pick, then the Cubs will have a shot at one of the top three arms. Those arms are high school lefty Brady Aiken (going to the Astros at 1.1), NC State lefty Carlos Rodon (going to the White Sox at 1.3), and high school righty Tyler Kolek … whom the Cubs do not select in this mock, instead opting for college catcher Max Pentecost. BA says that the decision here is how high the Cubs are on Kolek and/or LSU righty Aaron Nola. If they aren’t super high on either, they could take Pentecost on an under slot deal, and use the savings later (as we discussed yesterday).
- I’d note that high school shortstop Nick Gordon should probably be in that discussion as well, given that he might be the best all-around position player in the draft. He’ll be considered.
- BA offers an extensive discussion on Carlos Rodon, breaking down how the stuff seems to have slid this year, and questioning, via sources, whether there is a $6 million player in this year’s draft at all. (The Cubs, according to BA, would still love to see Rodon available to them at four, though.)
- Jim Callis dropped his first full mock, and he’s got the top three going the same as BA – Aiken, Jackson, Rodon. And, just like BA, Callis has the Cubs passing on Kolek in favor of a position player – in this instance, it’s Gordon. Callis says there’s a “growing sense” that the Cubs would pass on Kolek in favor of Gordon or Jackson, or maybe to cut an under slot deal with Pentecost.
- On rising LSU starter Aaron Nola, Aaron Fitt doesn’t seem to see the same low ceiling, purely “safe” guy that others see:
Aaron Nola is awesome. I am convinced that he is going to be a very, very good big leaguer, and fast. He's just smothered Hogs since 1st.
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 22, 2014
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 23, 2014
- There has been a little bit of chatter that the White Sox could be in on Nola, though it’s possible that’s only if one of Rodon or Aiken doesn’t fall to them.* Even at three, though, Fitt responded to one question indicating that Nola wouldn’t be all that far under slot. Query, then: if the Cubs took Nola at four, would he be under slot at all? If he wasn’t, is it still an intriguing pick? He’s got middle-of-the-rotation upside as soon as 2015, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. In the end, I’d probably rather see the Cubs take a potential impact guy (Kolek/Jackson, for example), if they can’t get one of Aiken or Rodon.
- *That’s yet another way that Kolek could be on the board for the Cubs, by the way. It’s starting to become majority opinion that he will be on the board for them at three. For me, that’s probably the pick if he is (and Rodon and Aiken are gone), but obviously there are some questions there, and I could understand if the Cubs elected to go another route.