Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Cubs Pre-Draft Analysis: The Other Picks

The Chicago Cubs draft talk has been centered around who they will draft first with the drafts 2nd overall pick but they also have picks 41, and 75 could be just an impactful (beyond 108 is anyone's best guess.).  So in this post I am going to lay out 3 players that maybe available when they pick and that the Cubs should and could be interested. So lets get started!!

Pick 41:  A lot hinges on the Cubs first overall pick her so they could go a variety of routes but here are three players I chose to highlight.

Kyle Serrano:  He is going to be a tough sign because he has already committed to play for his Dad at Tenn. but his risk could be worth the reward. His fastball is advanced at 92-94 MPH, has good command with his change-up and breaking pitches, and is rather advanced for a high school pitcher.  The best praise for Serrano by a scout is he is a pitcher, he knows how to pitch and think beyond his years as a pitcher.  He has the upside as a potential #2 pitcher but floor of a bottom of the rotation starter.

Eric Jagielo: A 3rd baseman/Outfielder with good power potential.  If the Cubs draft Bryant they will not draft Jagielo.  His power is there and many scouts think he could remain at 3rd base but he is unusual because some mock draft has him going in the first 20 picks while others have him going in the early 50s.  He is a guy if available at 41 the Cubs should take him.

Matt Krook:  Another pitcher but this lefty can hit 94 on the radar gun!  He has very high upside and an above average curveball.  He has some work but what 18 year old high school player doesn't.  Being 6-foot-4 and only 195 lbs he has room to grow but many argue he maybe the best high school lefty in the draft as far as potential.

Result:  I would like the Cubs to take any of the three if they are available but Matt Krook and Kyer Serrano intrigue me the most. 

Pick 75: This is really hit or miss as far as picks go but there is plenty of talent left to pick from in this range.

Cavan Biggo:  Son of baseball great Craig Biggo has a good bat but other tools need to develop to be an everyday big leaguer.  His ceiling is at best .285 with a .350 OBP but his floor is a utility player.  He also does not really have a position but work ethic could replace that.

Chris Okey:  The guy could be the best defensive catcher in the draft and I love defensive catchers.  He also has great versatility and has the athleticism to play the infield and outfield.  Okey is more of a Biggo type than Cavan for that matter which intrigues me even more. The other good thing about Okey is he can handle the bat according to scouts so he has more than defense and versatility.

Dillon Overton:  Once drafted by Theo and company in the 26th round of the 2012 draft he could be a target for the 3rd round for them this go around.  Overton is a left-handed pitcher who has filled out quite well.  His fastball is in the low to mid 90s and has a good strong delivery according to scouts. His strike out rate over the past couple of years has been around 9 K/9.  He is rather polished so making it to the majors fast is not out of the question.

Result:  I think if Chris Okey is available you take him here.

That does it for my draft preview!  Lets hope the Cubs pick future all-starts!

Cubs Pre-Draft Analysis: The Cubs 2nd Overall Pick

Everyone knows the Cubs will have the number two pick in the draft but what we do not know is who they will nab with that pick.  A lot of that depends on the Astros but many scouts and media outlets are expecting Houston to take 3rd baseman Colin Moran.

This will leave the Cubs with a variety of options obviously but only 3 players really make sense for the Cubs at #2.  Lets take a look at all three-

Mark Appel:  He has all the make-up to be a number one pitcher on any staff.  He struck out 130 batters and walked 23 in 106 innings pitched this season.  His fastball is consistently in the mid 90s but can crank it to 98 when he needs to.  His secondary pitchers have upside but he needs to master command of those pitches. Most scouts agree he is the best player in the draft with a ceiling as a #1 pitcher and the floor of a middle of the rotation type pitcher.  The one thing Appel has that others in the draft do not is the acceleration factor.  He is expected to be more polished making it very possible to arrive in the majors sometime in 2014.

Kris Bryant: Grade 80 power, that is Kris Bryant and many scouts think he could still add muscle to that tall skinny frame.  Scouts have discussed his floor and ceiling extensively which both are pretty amazing.  They think at the lowest end Bryant will hit .270 with 25 HR in the majors.  His ceiling is worthy for a 1st overall pick so if the Cubs get him with their pick you cannot fault them which is a .315+ average with 40+ homers.  Although Bryant has a bat he is not likely to stay at 3rd which could scare off some teams including the Cubs but many scouts think he could be not as good but close to Bryce Harper good defensively in a corner OF spot. He is the most MLB ready bat in the draft and could see the majors at the beginning of 2015.

Jonathan Gray:  The guy has actually a higher upside that Appel but brings more risk.  The other thing he has on Appel is his fastball can be cranked up to triple digits and his slider is thought to be Major League ready.  Gray is more raw so he will need more seasoning and also will need to develop his change-up and needs help with his overall command.  There is also the issue of the banned substance that he tested positive for in a pre-draft drug screening.  The banned substance he did not have a prescription for and thus adds some character issues that could hurt his draft stock.  Regardless, Gray's upside is Justin Verlander plain and simple. Gray could reach the majors in 2014 but 2015 looks more likely.

Who Is It: Both my pick for the first round and who I think the Cubs will go with is Mark Appel.  There is no sure thing in the draft but Appel is as sure as you can get.  The Cubs cannot afford to miss on Appel if he is there at #2 so the Cubs will take him and likely see him pitching at Wrigley in 2014.  Adding Appel to an already surprising strong rotation of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, and possibly Matt Garza could make the Cubs a force when facing them in a series.  The Cubs need pitching and they cannot go wrong selecting the best player in the draft.

Side Note:  If the Astros select Mark Appel first overall then I think the Cubs should take Kris Bryant with the 2nd overall pick.  Both Gray and Bryant are both gambles but Bryant has an impact middle of the order bat to put with the Cubs already young core of Castro and Rizzo.  Add that to uber prospects Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Albert Almora; you have something really special.

In the End:  If the Cubs do select one of the 3 I listed I do not see how someone can be upset.  All three players have their positives and negatives but all have a justifiable reason to be draft 2nd overall by the Cubs.