We are seven days away from the first round of the draft (and I cannot express how much I dislike the draft starting on a Monday). That means, even though we have playoffs battles in three of the four active leagues for the Cubs, you can expect a lot of draft chatter in the Daily this week.
Unfortunately, it seems like every player that I liked and looked likely to fall to the Cubs at No. 27 is now expected to go higher than that based on Baseball America’s latest mock draft. Pre-season I liked Jake Burger – now projected to go 17th. More recently I zeroed in on the injured Keston Hiura – now projected to go 15th.
The last time I profiled potential Cubs’ draft picks, I named a couple of potential pitchers. Now, though, David Peterson is projected to go 16th, Tanner Houck is projected to go 22nd, and the injured Clark Schmidt is now projected at 25.
In fact, just about the only player from that article still projected to be on the board for the Cubs is Nick Allen, and he appears to be the consensus choice for the Cubs’ first pick.
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
The Smokies were rained out.
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 8, Buies Creek 5 through nine and a half innings, but the game isn’t over.
Buies Creek rallied in the late innings to tie it, and the Pelicans answered in the tenth. The game was suspended for rain, though, and will be completed tonight.
- Justin Steele: 5.2 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Tommy Thorpe: 1 IP, 1 K
- Bryant Flete: 3 for 5, 2B
- Daniel Spingola: 2 for 5
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 5, HR
- Tyler Alamo: 1 for 3, HR, 2 BB
- Erling Moreno: 4 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Tyson Miller: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 4 K
- Zack Short: 1 for 5, 2B
- Vimael Machin: 2 for 5, 2B, HR
- Wladimir Galindo: 2 for 5
- Kevonte Mitchell: 1 for 3, HR, SB
- Roberto Caro: 2 for 3, BB, 2 SB
- While the Smokies were rained out, Chattanooga and Montgomery both won. That means Tennessee is effectively in a three way tie for first, although technically leading by percentage points (.556 to .554 for the other two).
- If Myrtle Beach can get those final three outs, they will have tied Buies Creek for first place.
- If you want to start looking for potential future Cubs past the first round of the 2017 draft, Baseball America has a profile of a player who is coached by a guy who used to coach Kris Bryant, and that coach makes some nice comparisons to Bryant. J.J. Matijevic is not a Bryant level draft prospect, mind you, but the Cubs do like college hitters, so a guy like this could be a fit in the second round or later. And the Cubs also apparently like to draft players that can be challenging to type on your typical keyboard; Matijevic fits that bill as well.
- I still remain very skeptical of all the mock drafts that assign a high school pitcher to the Cubs at No. 30; we’ve seen that exact same mock draft trend in previous years (2015 and 2014 in particular) and it turned out to be meaningless.
- If there is any validity in it this year, though, unlikely as that may be for this front office, it may be because there are not a lot of high school pitchers projected to go in this first round. On that latest Baseball America mock, I count just five before the Cubs pick at 27, and six before they pick at 30. If the draft does shy away from HS arms early, that could result in a talent-quality imbalance that makes a high school pitcher too good a chance to pass up, despite the significantly higher risks of that draftee never getting to the majors in any capacity.