Draft Notes: Top Prospect Rankings, Brady Aiken's Medicals, Cubs' Opportunities

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Draft Notes: Top Prospect Rankings, Brady Aiken’s Medicals, Cubs’ Opportunities

Chicago Cubs

2015 mlb draftWe’ve said it over and over, but I still can’t believe the draft just five days away. The Cubs, remember, have a top ten pick this year (9th overall), which should hopefully be their last top ten pick in a while. Given that game three of the Stanley Cup Finals will be occurring simultaneously on Monday night, I’m not entirely sure how closely everyone will be paying attention, though.

Luke has done a fine job keeping us up to date with the mock drafts so far, but in anticipation of the draft, here are some other, interesting links from around baseball…

  • Matt Garrioch takes a look at the Top 400 prospects for the 2015 MLB Draft. At the top of his board is LSA shortstop, Alex Bregman, followed by Carson Fulmer (RHP) and Dansby Swanson (SS). At number nine (it’s not a mock, but it’s still fun to see who is where), Garrioch ranks high school prep pitcher, Mike Nikorak. I won’t pretend to know more about him than the notes there, but I do know that I’d be fairly shocked if the Cubs selected a high school pitcher with their first round pick.
  • Keith Law does his take on the Top 100 Draft Prospects, and while seven of his top ten are found somewhere in Garrioch’s top ten, they come in quite a different order. Indeed, Carson Fulmer (2, according to Garrioch) is 43 on Law’s board, underscoring how little consensus this draft is drawing near the top. (In a funny twist, Arizona shortstop Kevin Newman is 43rd to Garrioch, and 2nd to Law.) Mike Nikorak comes in at 22, according to Law, and college lefty, Tyler Jay (6’1” 175lbs) is at 9.
  • Continuing on with the rankings, Baseball America took a shot at identifying the Top 500 draft prospects for 2015, Again, just for reference, Andrew Benintendi is ranked 9th. Benintendi, 20, is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and was named the SEC player of the year, as well as the National College Baseball Player of the Year.
  • After failing to sign with the Astros as the number one overall pick in 2014, Brady Aiken’s likely draft location is still in question. Kiley McDaniel does some investigating over at FanGraphs, and finds that there is quite a bit of murkiness about his medical records – which are being carefully guarded. Predictions have him going anywhere from mid-first round to mid-second round. Aiken recently had Tommy John surgery, but rumors have persisted that there are other arm-related issues. Without the medical records out in public view, of course, you can’t trust the rumors because there’s a lot of incentive for teams to spread misinformation.
  • Also at FanGraphs, Kiley McDaniel introduces a Sortable Draft Board that can be used as your companion application throughout the draft. Just like any statistical board, the top draft prospects can be sorted by reports, scouting grades, biographical info, etc.
  • While there is a lot of smoke and conjecture on who the Cubs will take with the ninth overall pick, Carrie Muskat reminds us of the one thing we know for sure: the Cubs will take the best overall talent. If you’re looking for a silver lining in picking 9, Epstein believes that there is a lot of opportunity in this year’s draft to take risks and hit big on lesser known guys. While you’d prefer a draft loaded with studs, you have to feel a little confident that should anyone be able take advantage of an unclear draft, it’s this front office and scouting department.
  • The sliding picture feature on this ESPN post about top draft picks in recent years is pretty darn cool.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami