Baseball America’s Latest Mock Draft Has Cubs Landing Carlos Rodon

With only five full days remaining before the First-Year Player Draft begins on Thursday (June 5), Baseball America and Scout.com released another round of mock drafts. Unlike the last three mock drafts that had the Cubs taking a position player, both Baseball America and Scout.com think the Cubs will select a pitcher with the fourth overall pick in the draft.

John Manuel thinks the Astros, Marlins and White Sox will leave LHP Carlos Rodon on the board for the Cubs. No one is sure which way Houston will go with the first overall pick. Jon Heyman reported the Astros could take SS Nick Gordon with the number one pick, which will obviously affect the entire first round. And Houston appears to be looking for the best player that will allow them to use the money saved with their round pick on later round picks. Scout.com reported Scott Boras, who is Carlos Rodon’s advisor, is looking for full slot value for Rodon. Boras other client, Alex Jackson and Nick Gordon, who is being represented by his father, Tom Gordon, could also give the Astros the right value they are looking for with the top pick in the draft.

Baseball America’s latest mock draft has the Astros selecting LHP Brady Aiken, Alex Jackson going to the Marlins and RHP Tyler Kolek ending up on the South Side with the White Sox.

That would leave LHP Carlos Rodon on the board for the Cubs. And what many think would be a dream scenario for the front office, the top college pitcher in the draft would be there for the Cubs to take with the fourth overall pick. Manuel said, “This would be the ideal situation for the Cubs, who covet a fast-moving pitcher with upside.” Manuel reported Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon are the Cubs top targets “and if both are gone, they remain in play for a deal with the likes of Max Pentecost.”

John Manuel has the rest of the top 10 shaking out as SS Nick Gordon (Twins), LHP Sean Newcomb (Mariners), RHP Aaron Nola (Phillies), LHP Kyle Freeland, SS Trea Turner (Blue Jays) and OF Michael Conforto (Mets). A name to keep an eye on, RHP Tyler Beede, could end up in Tampa with another Vanderbilt hurler with the 20th overall pick.

Scout.com

Kiley McDaniel posted mock draft version 2.0 and he sees LHP Brady Aiken, LHP Carlos Rodon, C/OF Alex Jackson, SS Nick Gordon, RHP Aaron Nola and RHP Tyler Kolek being selected with the first six picks, he’s just not sure of the order.

McDaniel thinks the Astros will take LHP Brady Aiken and the Marlins will grab LHP Carlos Rodon. He has the White Sox taking RHP Tyler Kolek with the third pick.

As for the Cubs, McDaniel points out this is the pick in which “the draft really opens.” Rumors have suggested the Cubs could take RHP Aaron Nola, C Max Pentecost, SS Nick Gordon, RHP Jeff Hoffman, LHP Brandon Finnegan, OF Michael Conforto or LHP Kyle Freeland. McDaniel thinks the Cubs have narrowed the choices to Nola, Pentecost and Gordon and the Cubs will select RHP Aaron Nola with the fourth pick.

Jim Bowden

Jim Bowden posted how he thinks the top 10 picks in the draft will shake out. Bowden spoke with general managers and scouting directors throughout the game as well as watching video of the prospects. Bowden quantified his report by saying he was not posting a mock draft, just his thoughts based on information he gathered on how the first 10 picks might play out.

Bowden sees the top three arms going in the first three picks … Carlos Rodon to the Astros, Brady Aiken to the Marlins and Tyler Kolek to the White Sox. Bowden does not think the Cubs will pass on Alex Jackson and will take him with the fourth pick, then load up on pitching from the second round on.

Jed Hoyer on the Draft

During his weekly spot on the Kap & Haugh Show, Jed Hoyer discussed the upcoming draft, if the Cubs have decided if they will take a pitcher or a position player in the first round. And if the Cubs GM would like baseball to changes its rules so draft picks can be traded.

On the draft and if the Cubs are locked into taking a pitcher

“No, this is sort of the same conversation we had last year. Everyone thought we were locked in on a pitcher and we took Kris Bryant. Listen, we are locked in to taking the best player that we can take at number four. There are scenarios that is a pitcher and there are scenarios that is going to be a hitter. We don’t know. Unless you are picking number one, there are always variables in front of you that you have to work through. We are still in the early stages of the week. Right now we have about six or seven more days until the first round starts. We haven’t really gotten to the point where we can say that this is our exact draft order. There is going to be a lot of discussion and debate over the next six or seven days and trying to figure that part out. I’m sure different mock drafts and different rumors will come up in the meantime. Right now we are really working through the later rounds. Ultimately, you have to hit on your early picks, but what makes a good draft is hitting on a pitcher in the ninth round or a guy in the 12th round and we can’t lose sight of that. We try to spend the early part of the week on those players.”

On if it would be good or bad for baseball if teams could trade their draft picks, like the NFL

“I think it would be great. I certainly hope that in the next CBA we can do that. When I watch the NFL Draft, I’m so jealous of the things they can do. They can be so creative. You can trade down. If you have a guy that you know you’re drafting 15 slots earlier than the industry you could move down and still get the same player, pick up a fifth rounder. But those things are so valuable and it’s frustrating to us that we can’t do some of those things.”

Hoyer went onto explain he really wished they could trade picks, not only to add interest for the fans, but it also changes the way a team would have to scout and prepare for the draft. “If you take number four, let’s say, an you know a player might not be in your mix at four, but you know for a fact he’s going to go in the top 15, you scout that player less because you know there’s no chance you will get him once you decide he’s not in your mix at four. Once you go to trading draft picks, every team has to scout every player just as hard. I think in some ways it really makes it even more of a scouting contest and you don’t have the ability to sort of divide up your resources quite as well. You have to scout the whole country and I think when you have to do that, I think it will really weed out which teams scout well and are managed well and which ones aren’t.”

2014 Draft Info
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  • Tony_H

    ESPN Magazine article on “Lessons learned from the MLB Draft” by Ken Woolums.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11001819/lessons-learned-50-years-mlb-drafts-espn-magazine

    The Cubs have the lowest WAR from 1st round picks over the 50 years of the draft.

    3.4 WAR

    The A’s have the best at 6.4 WAR

    Some good charts and points in this short article.

    Fail rate by region – South 47% – Every where else 37% – Maybe the South isn’t as dominate as some think.

    Best position – College 1B – AVG WAR 17.5 and lowest fail rate 27%

    And College players rule.

    • cubtex

      It’s a numbers game. Most players are from the south. The guys like Mike Trout are rare. Florida,Texas,California,Arizona,Las Vegas. No doubt the talent in those areas is far superior.

      • Tony_H

        I would think if the talent level is so superior, the fail rate would be much lower, even the same, but not 10 points higher.

        • cubtex

          Ton of fail rate for baseball in general. Look at the select summer teams nationally and who is in the top 10 every year. Texas,Florida,California,Arizona. Competition is night and day.

          • Tony_H

            Yes, let’s ignore actual facts and use subjective rankings.

          • cubtex

            I’m sorry…..do you want stats and facts? Here you go.

            http://www.usssa.com/sports/rank1.asp?Sport=11

          • Tony_H

            LOL! Those are the subjective rankings.

          • cubtex

            So you think that these teams need to go to Illinois and beat up on some of those second tier select teams for the rankings to actually matter? Sorry dude. I grew up in Chicago. Played my prep and summer baseball in the Chicago area and there is no comparison. The competion here is night and day.
            Show me some actual facts on where the baseball is better in the midwest and north. I’m sure you don’t actually believe that.

          • Tony_H

            I thought that was what that fail rate showed.

          • cubtex

            no point in discussing any further if you actually believe that. Just a thought…..organize your son’s summer team to play in an elite tournament in Dallas or Houston this summer and then get back to me on how they did.

          • Tony_H

            Not saying that as kids they don’t develop faster playing year round, but the fail rate shows that in the long run, talent is what matters. More teams take chances on players from the South that are further along from playing more, doesn’t mean they have more talent. That is why the fail rate is higher in the south.

          • Cubbiemacg

            It’s called recruiting Tex. I’m from Chitown but was recruited to play down here in AZ. As was a third of my team. these states have baseball all year round something not easily done up north

          • cubtex

            as was I. I played my college ball in Texas. I coached select baseball out here for close to 10 years. Of course playing baseball year round helps and that is why the top college programs have the majority of their players from warm weather states. Look at the college world series this year and the rosters of the teams. It’s pretty obvious.

      • SuzyS

        I’m not sure that the talent is that much more superior…they just get to play a lot more…and develop their skills better in the South. It works out the same as better talent…but it really comes down to the more you practice…the better you get.

  • cubtex

    Rodon would be the best case scenario! Lefty TOR ability who can go deep into games and maintain his velocity. I would love him to fall to #4.

    • SuzyS

      I’m in total agreement here….but I’m not banking on anything in this year’s draft.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    I really hope they take the best player and not grab Pentecost for slot savings. I would rather see them take Beede than Pentecost.

    • Tony_H

      Beede would be for even bigger slot savings and I would be fine with that. The idea of saving money is if they get to their pick and all of who they feel was worthy of the pick are gone and the next group is all pretty even, then save some money on the pick to be used for later rounds, even the 2nd round where some very good pitchers will be available who will need over slot offers.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        Do you think Beede would sign for less than slot? He already turned down first round money once?

        If the top 3 pitchers are gone that means Jackson is still there. I’d rather take Jackson than Pentecost.

        • Tony_H

          He is projected to be mid to late 1st round pick now. If the Cubs took him 4th, he would take a number less than slot but above mid 1st round. The Cubs slot is $4,621,200 look at the drop off in the 1st round.

          15th $2,475,600
          20th $2,035,500
          25th $1,898.000

          I think he would take anything around $2.5M as there is no guarantee where he will fall if he passes on a deal to be the 4th pick.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2014-draft-assigned-pick-values-for-top-10-rounds/

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