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.
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 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
- 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 the MLB Network
- Three Possible Position Players for the Cubs in the Latest Mock Drafts
- Player Profile: Max Pentecost
- Player Profile: Tyler Beede
- Player Profile: Nick Gordon