Chicago Cubs Draft Notes: Still More Final Mocks, Increasing Conforto Noise, More

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Chicago Cubs Draft Notes: Still More Final Mocks, Increasing Conforto Noise, More

Chicago Cubs

2014 mlb draft featureWhat, you thought we’d get through Draft Day with just ONE set of Draft Notes?

  • Three more final mock drafts dropped today, and all three have the Chicago Cubs taking a college bat (presumably of the under slot variety). Baseball America and Jim Callis say it will be Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto for the Cubs, and Jonathan Mayo says it’ll be Indiana C/OF Kyle Schwarber. Clearly, the rumors either have some merit, or have had an effect. Or both. In none of the three mocks do the Cubs even have a shot at Brady Aiken or Carlos Rodon.
  • If you’re keeping a recent “final mock” score card, that’s three for Conforto (Callis, Law, BA), two for Gordon (BP/PG and Dan Kirby), and one for Kyle Schwarber (Mayo). No recent mock has the Cubs with any shot at Brady Aiken or Carlos Rodon, but they all basically say that’s what the Cubs are hoping for. I guess we cross our fingers for the Marlins to take Alex Jackson and the White Sox to take Tyler Kolek or Aaron Nola. It doesn’t seem likely, but that’s the path to Rodon or Aiken to the Cubs.
  • If that doesn’t happen, I’m fairly comfortable with the Cubs’ options at four. I trust that if they choose to go under slot, they’ll pick a guy they like well enough at four anyway, and will wisely use the saved funds later (the draft is super deep in quality high school arms). If, on the other hand, the Cubs go with Gordon or Kolek, I’ll trust that they dig the upside.
  • John Manuel, writing in the BA mock, notes that the Cubs would probably take Gordon at four if he were willing to take enough of a haircut, but, since he’s likely to be taken by the Twins right after the Cubs, he doesn’t have much incentive to cut a deep deal. Conforto and Schwarber, on the other hand, could slide five or ten picks if the Cubs don’t take them. That’s a whole lot of incentive to take what the Cubs offer.
  • Perfect Game’s Kendall Rogers says he’s “hearing a lot of buzz” that Conforto will either go to the Cubs at 4 or the Mets at 10. Even if true, that doesn’t mean the Cubs have Conforto at the top of their board, mind you (because it could be that they’ll take Conforto if X, Y, and Z, and if the Cubs don’t take him, then the Mets will). That said, it’s just another credible connection between the Cubs and one of the top college bats in the draft.
  • In a chat today, sounds like Keith Law still thinks it’s Conforto for the Cubs, assuming neither Aiken nor Rodon slip. He describes Conforto as having the highest floor of college hitters in the draft, and, thus, the fastest mover – and an average or better outfielder. Law doesn’t think Schwarber will wind up a catcher OR and outfielder.
  • Sahadev’s latest:

  • Jon Heyman hears the same. Legit? Trying to get Alex Jackson’s price down? We’ll know in a few hours, I guess.
  • Chris Crawford’s final big board.
  • Fantastic read over at Obstructed View comparing the top college bats in this draft (and stacking them against Kris Bryant (spoiler: he wins)).
  • Some of you frequently wondered why I almost never mentioned Evansville’s Kyle Freeland as a possibility for the Cubs at four, despite his performance as one of the best college pitchers this year. Presented without comment:

  • McDaniel also adds that Rodon is expecting $6 million plus to sign, which raises the question: even if he fell to the Cubs, could they clear enough space later in the draft to sign him? I think the answer is yes, and I also still think he would be worth it.
  • Draft Day leisure reading: Jeff Passan and Yahoo got ahold of the memo MLB sends to teams/players/agents (oops, I mean “advisors”) describing permissible and impermissible contact before the draft. As Passan correctly points out, it’s kind of a joke, and also kind of unfair.
  • I’m getting myself ready:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.