With the First Year Player Draft beginning in under 10 days (June 5), a new round of mock drafts have been posted with three more possibilities for the Cubs with the fourth overall pick.
Early in the spring, many felt it was a given the Cubs would take a pitcher in the first round. But with Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde undergoing Tommy John surgery and the risks associated with taking a high school pitcher in the top of the draft, the general consensus is that the Cubs will take a position player with the fourth overall pick in the draft. That is if LHP Carlos Rodon is no longer available.
The Cubs are believed to be very high on Alex Jackson, but the high school catcher from San Diego is moving up draft boards and many think he will not slip past the Marlins with the second pick. Nick Gordon is considered to be the second best position player available in the draft. The White Sox are thought to be very high on Dee’s half-brother, as well as RHP Aaron Nola.
Keith Law reported that Jed Hoyer saw Aaron Nola pitch at the SEC Tournament and left right afterward.
Jim Callis, John Manuel and Keith Law think the Cubs will take a position player with the fourth overall pick in the draft. Jim Callis sees the Cubs selecting Tom’s son, Nick Gordon. John Manuel thinks the Cubs will select Max Pentecost, the catcher from Kennesaw State. And Keith Law has the Cubs taking Michael Conforto, the outfielder from Oregon State.
Jim Callis has the Astros taking Brady Aiken with the first overall pick in next week’s draft with the Marlins selecting Alex Jackson and Carlos Rodon slipping to the White Sox with the third pick.
Nick Gordon, the high school shortstop from Florida, Tom’s son and Dee’s half-brother, is the player Callis thinks the Cubs will take with the fourth overall pick, if Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon are not available. Callis reported “there’s a growing sense that the Cubs would pass on Tyler Kolek in favor of Nick Gordon or Alex Jackson.”
Callis also pointed out the possibility the Cubs could select Max Pentecost, if they “could cut a deal” and “save money to spend elsewhere.”
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer recently watched Max Pentecost and John Manuel thinks the Cubs could take Pentecost with the fourth pick in the draft “if the Cubs aren’t comfortable with Texas prep fireballer Tyler Kolek or Louisiana State right hander Aaron Nola.” Manuel pointed out the Cubs “would love for Carlos Rodon to fall” to the fourth pick because the team would like to draft a college arm.
Max Pentecost projects to be a very good catcher in the big leagues. And with that said, there is a growing belief that if the Cubs take Pentecost with the fourth pick, it would be to use the slot money saved with the first round pick on later rounds to upgrade those selections.
Keith Law thinks the Astros will take Brady Aiken with the first pick in the draft and try to sign him to an under-slot deal. Law said the Astros are “still rumored to be on Aiken, Carlos Rodon and possibly Alex Jackson.”
With Aiken going to the Astros, according to Keith Law, the Marlins could take Carlos Rodon and Law thinks Tyler Kolek will end up on the South Side with the White Sox.
As for the Cubs, Law sees the Cubs taking OF Michael Conforto, “if Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon” are no longer on the board. The Cubs could be looking “at a deal with one of a handful of players” with the fourth pick” that includes Conforto, Kyle Freeland “or maybe the injured Jeff Hoffman.”
Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde are going to be wild cards in the draft. Most still think that both injured pitchers will be taken in the first round. If teams take the calculated gamble on either of those pitchers, could a college arm that’s had his stock drop due to poor performance this spring fall to the Cubs early in the second round, like Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede?
Profiles on Max Pentecost and Tyler Beede will post to ChicagoCubsOnline on Wednesday. Profiles for Nick Gordon and Michael Conforto will be up by Thursday.
2014 Draft Info
- Three Mock Drafts, Three Possible Picks for the Cubs
- Player Profile: Alex Jackson
- Player Profile: Kyle Freeland
- Player Profile: Aaron Nola
- Jason McLeod Discussed the Cubs and the Upcoming Draft on MLB Network Radio