With just one week until the 2017 MLB Draft – wherein the Chicago Cubs boast not one, but TWO picks in the top 30 – there’s been a flurry of news, mocks, and discussion around the interwebz.
This post, then, will round up some of the most notable bits and include some additional thoughts of my own. But if I may (and I always may), might I strongly suggest checking in on this week’s Minor League Dailys.
Luke always does a fantastic job of recapping and analyzing the Minors, and his draft and prospecting knowledge is unmatched around these parts. You’re really going to want to hear what he has to say, because he tends to be a few steps ahead of the game. Okay, draft notes – go.
- With his latest mock at FanGraphs, Eric Longenhagen projects that the Chicago Cubs will take prep-catcher M.J. Melendez with the 27th overall pick in the draft. As a catcher, Melendez obviously plays a premium position and is thought to have high make-up, as well (something in which we know the Cubs front office places plenty of stock). If the Cubs go this way, however, Longenhagen believes that their other pick (#30) will be of the safer variety.
- To be sure, Longenhagen adds a pretty big asterisk next to this projection, by suggesting that the Cubs would only go with Melendez if any of the other college bats mocked ahead of him are already off the board. The last three first-round picks for the Cubs have been college bats and each is essentially a starter for the big league Cubs right now, so that isn’t necessarily a bad bet.
- At MLB.com, Jim Callis runs through the prospects with the best tools in the draft, including the runners up and individual write-ups. You’ll have to head over to the article for on each individual tool, but here’s the list of names, in case you’d like to become more familiar over the next week or so:
- Hitter: Keston Hiura, OF/2B (college)
- Power: Jake Burger, 3B (college)
- Runner: Quentin Holmes, OF (HS)
- Arm: Hunter Green, RHP/SS (HS)
- Defender: Nick Allen, SS (HS)
- Fastball: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS
- Curveball: Blayne Enlow, RHP (HS)
- Slider: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP (college)
- Changeup: Charlie Barnes, LHP (College)
- Control: David Peterson, LHP (college)
- When we last checked in on Jonathan Mayo’s mock, the Cubs were again connected to Nick Allen, as they have been a few times before. And, as you can see, his defense isn’t just considered to be very good, it’s considered the best defense in the draft (at arguably the most premium defensive position) according to Callis. You might question the decision given the young defensive capable shortstop already in the Majors, but remember Allen is just a high schooler and his bat is thought to be well behind his glove for now. In any case, the name of the game is “best available.”
- In addition, you might recognize Jake Burger’s name on the list above next to “best power,” and that’s probably because Luke mentioned his name a few weeks ago as a potential target for the Cubs. Unfortunately, he’s now projected to go at least ten picks before the Cubs have a chance.
- And finally, Mark Newman (MLB.c0m) reports that 18 former All-Stars will serve among the 54 reps at the upcoming MLB Draft. The all-star list includes Felipe Alou, Bob Boone, Ron Cey, Michael Cuddyer, Keith Foulke, Ralph Garr, Jeffrey Hammonds, Joel Hanrahan, Corey Hart, Orlando Hudson, Randy Jones, Ruppert Jones, Ron Kittle, Gary Matthews, Lloyd Moseby, Mike Sweeney and Nick Swisher.
- Sean Marshall and Zack Zielinski will be the Cubs representatives.
- You can check out Newman’s article for tons of draft-specific information including times, schedules, more representatives, and more. Just seven days to go now!