If the Cubs do draft a high school pitcher at No. 27 or No. 30, then that pitcher would have to have the following characteristics: at least one plus pitch, good command, multiple pitches he can throw for strikes, good velocity, and (probably) a pitch that can induce a lot of grounders. Oh, and he’s probably on the tall side. More often than not, the Cubs’ appear to gravitate to that checklist (just look at the South Bend pitching staff and you’ll see what I mean). Who in the high school ranks fits that bill?
One name that keeps coming up: Michael Mercado. He’s 6’5″, and has been moving up the draft boards thanks to reports that he is throwing consistently in the low to mid 90s. As for those check boxes above? This right hander has a chance to tick them all. He could require an overslot bonus to sign, though, so a team like the Cubs with some bonus room to work could be in a position to make a run.
How could the Cubs free up some cash? Maybe by going a little underslot at No 27. And an injured pitcher, like, perhaps, Clarke Schmidt of South Carolina, could provide the additional bonus needed to make such a plan come together.
Will the draft happen this way? Probably not. But this is the sort of thinking that is very likely taking place in draft war rooms around the country.
- Juan Paniagua: 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 K
- Jack Leathersich: 1 IP, 2 BB, 1 K
- Steve Perakslis: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- Chesny Young: 1 for 4, 2B
- Victor Caratini: 2 for 4, 2B
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
The Smokies’ doubleheader was rained out.
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The game that was almost done in yesterday’s Daily ended with a Pelicans’ win. Add a Dillon Maples save, and everything else we saw yesterday is still accurate. As for the regularly scheduled Monday game…
Myrtle Beach 1, Buies Creek 0
Just two pitchers were needed in this two hit shutout.
- Michael Rucker: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Kyle Miller: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Connor Myers: 1 for 3, 2B
- Eloy Jimenez: 1 for 4
Low A: South Bend Cubs
The Cubs had the day off.
- Michael talked a bit about the latest FanGraphs mock draft yesterday (a mock that referenced Mercado, by the way), but he left out one important point: if the draft really went down this way, the Cubs’ front office might be celebrating so hard they’d barely have time to make their pick. Under that scenario, not only would high school shortstop Nick Allen, frequently linked to the Cubs, be available, but so would college right-handers Tanner Houck and Clark Schmidt. And so would Griffin Canning, a college right-hander we haven’t mentioned because there is virtually no shot he falls to the Cubs. In this mock draft, he falls. With that kind of an abundance of quality college starters on the board, the Cubs only challenge would be deciding which one to draft first. When you are picking deep in the first round, though, these sorts of things can and do happen.
- If you are a Baseball America subscriber, then you can start looking over all the scouting reports and videos in their 500 player draft database. If you pace yourself, you only have to look at an average of 72 players per day to have checked over all of them by draft time. That’s only one player every ten minutes for twelve hours each day. That’s not too extreme … right?
- One more piece of draft news – a well regarded high school pitcher is ticketed for elbow surgery. If you are thinking “Isn’t that the sort of scenario that led to the Cubs taking Dylan Cease in the middle rounds?”, you would be absolutely correct.
- Ryan Williams broke out a few seasons ago, and he moved rapidly up the system and was named the farm system Pitcher of the Year. But he lost most of 2016 to a shoulder injury, and now he’s going to miss the rest of 2017 with a torn rotator cuff.
- Outfielder Jacob Hannemann has been promoted to AAA Iowa, and made his debut there yesterday with a single.
- Now, about that Iowa triple play… In the second inning with runners on first and second the Oklahoma City batter lined one to shortstop Elliot Soto. One out. He tossed to second baseman Chesny Young who stepped on the bag to double up the runner who had been on second. Two outs. And then Young tagged the runner coming from first. Three outs. You can watch the play here.
- With yesterday’s win, the Pelicans are now in sole possession of first place. If they can stay there for just a week or two more, they will clinch a playoff slot by winning the first half.