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Cubs Minor League Daily: Draft Talent At the End of the First Round

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects
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When the Cubs make their first round picks on Monday, they will be picking in what is, for this front office with the Cubs, uncharted waters. We are used to the Cubs picking in the top 10; picking at the back of the first round is a new experience. So what sort of a player should we expect?

One way to get an idea of that is to see who was drafted in that general ballpark in previous drafts. So let’s take a glance through the picks in the 25 to 35 range in the drafts since the harder slotting limitiations were added (starting with 2012) and see who pops up.

In 2012, bad news. Not a single player in that window has a bWAR over 1.0. Not far from the 25 to 35 area, though, we have Marcus Stroman (22, 7.3 bWAR) and Stephen Piscotty (36, 4.3 bWAR). Both were drafted from major college programs (Duke and Stanford in this case).


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2013 looks a little better; Aaron Judge (32, 2.9 bWAR) and Sean Manaea (34, 3.6 bWAR) both fall into our range, although we should note that Manaea fell only because of injury problems that year. He had been considered a candidate to go in the top few picks at one point in 2013. Both Maneaea and Judge were also drafted from college.

No one breaks 1.0 on the bWAR scale in 2014, and after that I really wouldn’t count on even good prospects making it to the majors yet anyway.

In other words, the odds are against the Cubs finding a Major League regular on Monday, and definitely against them finding someone who can reach the majors quickly. With a little luck, though, maybe someone falls to the Cubs and allows them to use larger than normal draft budget to land a talent who really should have gone higher. After all, if we look as low as No. 41 in 2012, we do find the 5.7 bWAR of Lance McCullers.


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Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Oklahoma City 6, Iowa 1
This was basically a bullpen day for the Cubs.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 3, Birmingham 2 in ten innings
The Smokies are now just half a game out of first.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 9, Carolina 3
The Pelicans scored eight times after the start of the sixth inning.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 8, Bowling Green 5
The Cubs have caught Dayton. They are now tied for the second playoff slot to be awarded in the first half.


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Other Notes

  • Yesterday was the first start of the season for David Rollins.
  • We’ll get into the Jacob Hannemann numbers in Iowa in more detail later, but for now let’s just say he has been on fire since being promoted. He is currently hitting .500 in Triple A and already has five steals. He was only promoted this week.
  • Myrtle Beach has widened their lead to 2.5 games over Carolina, and their magic number is eight.
  • The highlight video from Myrtle Beach is very well worth watching. First you get to see Alzolay in action. Then you get some smart baserunning by Jimenez. Then you see Hodges drive out to left. And then you see Jimenez take one off end of the bat down the right field line and out. It is kind of crazy just how strong that guy is:


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Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.

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