Schedule, Top Picks, Rumors, Mocks, and Other Draft Day Notes

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Schedule, Top Picks, Rumors, Mocks, and Other Draft Day Notes

Chicago Cubs

Draft Day in baseball might not breed the same level of excitement as football and basketball, but the Cubs World Series ring is proof to its importance. And, hey, several of the Cubs’ recent first-round picks have been fast-tracked to the Majors (Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and, to a lesser extent, Nico Hoerner) for better or worse.

Yes, the 2019 MLB Draft has arrived, and it’s worth following closely.

Here’s everything you need to know as we close in on the first night of the draft …

  • The draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. CST on the MLB Network. At the conclusion of the first round, which goes 41 picks long this year, the second round will be streamed on Tuesday will be Day 2 of the draft, with Rounds 3-10 being selected on beginning at noon. Day 3 is on Wednesday, with rounds 11-40.
  • The Cubs will choose at 27 and 64 tonight and then choose 25th in subsequent rounds (which is based on last year’s record).
  • The Cubs bonus pool is the fifth-smallest in baseball at $5,826,900. Rules state that you can spend only 5% above that number before facing a loss of draft pick penalty, so the Cubs’ hard-cap for no penalty (outside of a little tax) is about $6.12 million. Jeff Passan at ESPN recently wrote a piece about how a team could game the system to go all-in for one draft, which does a nice job of highlighting some of the flaws in the current system (as unlikely as that gaming might actually be).
  • You can find the slot value for all picks in this Baseball America article. Beyond the first ten rounds, any signing that exceeds $125,000 is counted against your bonus pool. The Cubs will usually target a handful of above-slot type players in those later rounds, as they did last year with Riley Thompson, Chris Allen, and Edmond Americaan.
  • The first pick in the draft belongs to the Orioles, assumed by most to be taking Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. He is, um, awesome. Expect plenty of laughs at the Orioles’ expense if they go with a different (read: cheaper) alternative.
  • Here are the list of Cubs first-round picks under the Jason McLeod regime, along with the spot they were drafted: Albert Almora (6), Pierce Johnson (43), Paul Blackburn (56), Kris Bryant (2), Kyle Schwarber (4), Ian Happ (9), Brendon Little (27), Alex Lange (30), Nico Hoerner (24).
  • As you can imagine, there are mock drafts all over the place today: Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have one at MLB, the Baseball America crew has their take, the FanGraphs guys put out a new one today, as did Keith Law at ESPN. The assumption by most is the Cubs will be taking a college hitter again.
  • FanGraphs includes a nugget that Kody Hoese has had two run-ins with the Cubs recently, both from a Theo Epstein visit at his conference tournament, and a visit to Wrigley Field. He could well be the pick if he drops to 27, but almost no recent mocks I’ve seen have him slipping that far.

  • Sometimes the Cubs go a little away from consensus, as they did with Hoerner last year. So it’s also likely to have some draft rankings that go deeper than 30 (or 50) names. I enjoyed this one from Prospects Live.
  • Michael Ernst at Cubs Den took a Cubs perspective in previewing the draft, with his thoughts on college hitters, high school hitters and the potential pitchers that might be on the board at 27.
  • College pitching is considered the weakness of this year’s class. Baseball Prospectus wrote on the workload of the top college pitchers today, and the Cubs could well end up with one of the players profiled in either round tonight.
  • Projecting the Cubs pick is a fool’s errand, so I went with a surprise selection in guessing:

  • Or they could just get weird:

Author: Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith is a Minor League Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @cubprospects.