The 2017 MLB Draft has arrived! It’s got a bit of a weird feel this year, because it’s the first draft in the post-rebuild era where the Cubs are picking at the back of the first round. This is different for us as fans.
But the day is no less important than it was during the rebuild. Even if we can’t as easily project and speculate on the names the Cubs might be considering in the top five or ten picks of the draft, the Cubs do figure to come away from today with three very interesting prospects (well, after signing them) for us to mull. The Cubs pick 27th and 30th overall in the first round tonight, and then again at 67th overall, at the end of the second round.
Want to see the Cubs remain competitive for many years to come? Well, it requires nailing days like today.
Although it is unquestionably more difficult to land impact future players after the first 10 or so picks, it is far from impossible. Consider, in the two years before they joined the Cubs organization, the men in charge landed the following picks with the Padres and Red Sox: Joe Ross with pick 25, Austin Hedges with pick 82, Matt Andriese with pick 112, Jedd Gyorko with pick 59, Jackie Bradley Jr. with pick 40, and Mookie Betts with pick 172.
The Cubs can keep the prospect tap flowing with good picks today (and tomorrow and Wednesday, though it gets exponentially more difficult after today).
Luke offered his first day draft thoughts here this morning, and we’ve got two draft primers – here and here – for you to get yourself ready to go. Things get going tonight at the same time as the Cubs game (6pm CT), so we’ll all have to wear two hats today. It’s gonna get nuts.
You can watch the draft tonight live on MLB.com, and we’ll also have a draft thread going here at BN.
Speaking of the Cubs and the draft, you know how many other MLB teams have their last five first round picks all on the big league roster? … ok, I actually don’t know the answer to that, but it can’t be many, if any, other than the Cubs (Javy Baez (2011), Albert Almora (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), Kyle Schwarber (2014), and Ian Happ (2015). Pretty remarkable when you consider that the hit rate in the first round – even at the top of the first round – is far from 100%.
MLB Pipeline put out its final draft day mock draft today, with Jonathan Mayo giving the Cubs high school shortstop Nick Allen at pick 27 (as he has in each mock), and Jim Callis instead going with Missouri righty Tanner Houck. At pick 30, Mayo goes with high school righty Sam Carlson, and Callis goes with Oregon State righty Drew Rasmussen (though he mentions Allen as a possibility there, too).
UPDATE: Baseball America just dropped its latest mock, with the Cubs landing South Carolina righty Clarke Schmidt at 27, and then taking Allen at 30. Schmidt was a top college pitching prospect until he tore his UCL and had Tommy John surgery in May.