Over at FanGraphs, Kevin Goldstein’s latest chat included a particularly notable response when asked about an international draft making its way into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement: “Either that or in short order. It’s definitely a when and not an if.” Goldstein put it in the same category as the Designated Hitter coming to the National League.
Goldstein, in addition to having served in a front office recently and for quite a while, is very plugged in on the amateur side. If he says an international draft is coming soon, then an international draft is coming soon. It’s long been sought by the league as a way to control the inflow of talent (both at a financial level and in terms of not making 14-year-old kids sign wink-wink handshake deals two+ years before they can actually sign).
So, that is all to say, you should start wrapping your head around the eventual disappearance of international free agency as we’ve long known it. My guess is that we’d see a separate international draft added to the mix, maybe as soon as the next signing class (i.e., 2022-23), but probably the year after that. It’s also possible that international players would just be included into the traditional Rule 4 Draft, and it would be one big draft for high schoolers, college players, and international players. We’ll see if it pops up in the CBA talks …
⇒ The All-Star Teams down at the Complex Level feature a couple Cubs prospects, but not who you’d probably have guessed sight unseen:
Minor League Baseball Announces 2021 Complex League All-Star Teams. pic.twitter.com/r1hYc1CwK4
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) October 25, 2021
⇒ As for the honorees, Luis Devers has been getting some love lately, so it’s all the more nice to see this. Miguel Fabrizio was not someone on my radar:
A reminder of how much the Cubs dominated the ACL hitting-wise. pic.twitter.com/3OXCgsW14Y
— Brad (@ballskwok) October 25, 2021
⇒ There you see all the ACL Cubs who did NOT get named to the All-Star team, and given what Owen Caissie did to the league, that’s a particularly odd one. Maybe there were PA cutoffs for some of the other guys, but the Cubs had six of the top nine hitters in the league, and they land just one positional All-Star? Weird.
⇒ It’s weird not to see any Cubs on the Dominican Republic teams, too, especially the oft-discussed Pedro Ramirez, who definitely put up better numbers than the chosen shortstop, who was also four years older than Ramirez (maybe Ramirez was considered a second baseman?).
⇒ I will absolutely take any and all Nelson Velazquez content right now:
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) October 25, 2021
⇒ Love the confidence Velazquez expresses not only in himself, but also his teammates (NBCSC): “People outside the clubhouse don’t really know how much talent the Cubs have in the minor leagues,” he said. “They do have a lot of talent in the Show, but they have a lot in the minor leagues, too. Fans will be surprised when a lot of these guys get in the Show and see that they can play, too.”
⇒ With the Cubs having the number seven overall pick, it’s not too early to start looking at draft prospect lists for 2022. It’ll give you some names to start tracking when the amateur seasons get underway:
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) October 26, 2021
⇒ Improving scouting diversity:
MLB, in partnership with the Buck O'Neil Professional Scouts and Coaches Association, has launched the Diversity Pipeline Scout Development Program.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 25, 2021