It’s Draft Day for the NHL, but it’s Still More Mock Drafts Day for MLB.
The two to share today come from Jim Callis at MLB Pipeline, and then the whole crew at The Athletic (the beats conducted a draft, which, given their proximity to the team, actually serves as a pretty interesting way to do it).
In the new Callis mock, the Cubs get to choose from between Cam Collier and Kevin Parada (because Jacob Berry goes 6th to the Marlins), and they go with Parada: “The Cubs love Collier, but Parada might just be too good to resist if both are available. This also could be the floor for Lee and perhaps Johnson. If all those guys vanish in the Top 6, Chicago could turn to Berry.”
We don’t know for sure how much the Cubs prefer this guy over that guy, only that it seems like their realistic preferred group around pick seven includes Collier, Parada, Termarr Johnson, and Brooks Lee. And then there are the rumors that if their preferred guy from among that group isn’t there, they could instead go under slot on someone like Zach Neto in order to set up bigger swings in the second and beyond.
In The Athletic mock, the Cubs’ pick comes from Sahadev Sharma, and it’s after Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Elijah Green, Cam Collier, Kevin Parada, and Termarr Johnson go off the board (arguably a worst-case scenario for the Cubs in the top six picks, but still not bad, because …) and the Cubs go with Brooks Lee:
“The Cubs seem to be focused on four names who have a chance to drop to them and in this scenario the only one who does, Brooks Lee, makes it an easy choice. If Cam Collier is available, that’s the name most linked to this team, but Lee is a fine takeaway as a polished college bat who could move quickly and kickstart the rebuild with a farm system that has its arrow firmly pointed up.”
Lee is seen by some as the best overall college bat in the draft, even if he doesn’t have as much potential upside as guys like Parada and Berry. He is a decent bet to stick at shortstop long-term, and in a draft without this group of prep bats, he would probably be getting more consideration in the top two picks.
I think we’re probably arguing with the wind if we try to say Collier is definitely better than Parada, or Johnson definitely better than Lee, etc. The Cubs will have their board, and we’ll see how they actually valued these guys. For now, I’m just happy that things are shaking out that the Cubs will at least have a chance at this group of the top seven – one pick later and they wouldn’t.