Baseball’s First Year Player Draft starts on June 8th, and the Cubs will have the ninth overall pick in the first round. About two weeks ago I took a look at some of the potential candidates that the Cubs could take with that pick; that article is a pretty good place to start if you are just now tuning in to draft season.
Since then a new Mock Draft has been published by Through The Fence Baseball‘s Dan Kirby, and if things play out the way Kirby projects the Cubs are going to be in an enviable position.
This mock draft has the Cubs selecting Illinois lefty Tyler Jay. Jay features a good combination of a mid-nineties fastball and a hard slider, and that could set him up to move quickly as a left handed power reliever. On the other hand, the Cubs could opt to give him time to refine his other pitches and try to develop him as a starter. Under either plan Jay would not be a bad pick at number nine.
But in order to take Jay, this mock draft has the Cubs passing over both switch hitting Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ and Vanderbilt right hander Carson Fulmer, the two players I settled on in the article I linked above. In addition, the Cubs would be passing on two excellent (when healthy) arm surgery victims in Brady Aiken and Duke right hander Michael Matuella.
There is not a lot of high impact talent at the top of this draft, so if an injured potential ace like Aiken is sitting there at number nine and the Cubs have no additional medical concerns, I would be surprised if they passed on that opportunity. Taking someone recovering from surgery with a top ten pick is an enormous risk, but the upside could be equally huge. The Cubs would be in a good position to take that gamble.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The seventh inning rally propelled the Cubs to this 4-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored in the first inning, but they did not score again. They lost 5-4.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans got some great pitching and an exciting finish. They won it in ten innings 2-1.
South Bend – The Cubs took an early lead and never trailed in this 3-2 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Tsuyoshi Wada gave up a first inning run and not much else. Over 5.2 innings he allowed a run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6.
- [Iowa] Once again the Iowa bullpen was excellent. Gonzalez Germen (1.1 IP, 2 K), Blake Cooper (1 IP, 1 K) and Brian Schlitter (1 IP, 2 K) combined to pitch 3.1 hitless innings.
- [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara walked, stole a base, and hit his 4th Iowa home run. That home run was his only hit.
- [Iowa] Mike Baxter and Jonathan Mota each had 2 hits in this game.
- [Tennessee] Corey Black threw 100 pitches in this one, but it only carried him through 5 innings. He struck out 7, walked 4, and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.
- [Tennessee] A Bijan Rademacher double was the only extra base hit of the night for Tennessee.
- [Tennessee] Elliot Soto finished 2 for 3 for the only multi-hit performance.
- [Myrtle Beach] Duane Underwood allowed a run on 3 hits (thanks to a solo homer) while walking one and earning 4 strikeouts over 7 innings. Juan Paniagua and Michael Heesch gave up nothing in relief.
- [Myrtle Beach] Billy McKinney scored both of the Pelicans’ runs. The game winner came on a home run in the bottom of the tenth. It was his fourth of the season.
- [Myrtle Beach] In addition to homering, McKinney also walked 4 times. Mark Zagunis walked 3 times, and as a team the Pelicans earned 10 free passes.
- [South Bend] Zach Hedges allowed 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 over 5 scoreless innings.
- [South Bend] Justin Marra and Jesse Hodges both doubled. Those were the only extra base hits for the Cubs.
- [South Bend] Gioskar Amaya, playing first base in this one, stole his 2nd base of the year.
- Javier Baez moved back to second base in the Iowa game, but he did not have a good night. After striking out just four times in his last six games, he fanned three times in this one. Along with his season opener on April 30, it was just his second multi-strikeout game of the season.
- Every batter in the South Bend lineup had a hit last night, except for one. That exception, oddly enough given his very hot start, was Cael Brockmeyer. The catcher finished 0 for 5 and struck out four times.
- If you want to see the game winning blast by McKinney as well as other highlights from the Myrtle Beach game, then head on over to YouTube where the latest Pelicans’ game highlight strip is ready and waiting for you.