With Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft beginning on Thursday night, Jim Callis and John Manuel have released their latest mock draft. Jim Callis thinks the Cubs will take a position player, OF Michael Conforto, while John Manuel still sees LHP Carlos Rodon being on the board when the Cubs are on the clock.
The Astros are not tipping their hand on which way they will go with the first overall pick, which is unusual this close to the draft. Houston has reportedly narrowed their decision to six possible players that are believed to be LHP Carlos Rodon, LHP Brady Aiken, RHP Aaron Nola, RHP Tyler Kolek, C/OF Alex Jackson and SS Nick Gordon.
The Cubs are thought to be high on Carlos Rodon, Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon and Aaron Nola as well as Brady Aiken. But with Aiken, no one thinks he will still be available by the time the fourth pick comes around.
The Cubs could go off the board and take a player, such as C Max Pentecost or OF Michael Conforto with the fourth pick, sign the player to an under-slot deal and use the bonus pool money saved with first round pick to upgrade picks in the later rounds.
Jim Callis thinks the first four picks in the draft will end up being LHP Brady Aiken (Astros), LHP Carlos Rodon (Marlins), RHP Tyler Kolek (White Sox) and OF Michael Conforto (Cubs).
According to Callis, the Cubs want pitching “and covet Carlos Rodon.” Callis does see a scenario that Rodon could end up with the Cubs if the Marlins or Astros take Alex Jackson. But if Rodon is not on the board, Callis does not think the Cubs will take either Aaron Nola or Tyler Kolek.
Callis reported “there is a growing sense that they’ll save money to go after pitching later by cutting a deal with Conforto or Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost.” Nick Gordon remains an option, but he does not think the Cubs will select Alex Jackson with the fourth pick.
Alex Jackson, the high school catcher, who many feel will end up in a corner outfield spot, is being advised by Scott Boras and it is doubtful Jackson would take and under-slot deal.
As for the rest of the top 10 picks, Callis’ latest mock draft has Nick Gordon going to the Twins, Alex Jackson to the Mariners, Aaron Nola to the Phillies, Kyle Freeland to the Rockies, Trea Turner to the Blue Jays and Sean Newcomb to the Mets.
In his fourth mock draft, John Manuel thinks LHP Carlos Rodon will still be available for the Cubs to grab with the fourth pick. Manuel described Rodon still being on the board as the “ideal situation for the Cubs.” Manuel is consistent with Rodon and Brady Aiken being the Cubs “top targets” but if both pitchers are off the board, C Max Pentecost could be the player the Cubs take with the fourth pick.
Manuel feels the six picks behind the Cubs will be Nick Gordon (Twins), Sean Newcomb (Mariners), Aaron Nola (Phillies), Kyle Freeland (Rockies), Trea Turner (Blue Jays) and Michael Conforto (Mets).
John Manuel and Jim Callis think the Blue Jays will take RHP Jeff Hoffman with their second pick in the first round (11th overall)
Houston Chronicle report on the players the Astros see as the likely selections for the number one pick.
Nick Gordon worked out for the Phillies, but he is unlikely to be on the board by the time Philly is on the clock. Gordon is close with Jimmy Rollins due to his father’s relationship with the Phillies from his time there (2006-2008).
Patrick Mooney talked to Chris Bosio about his time as a special assistant with the Seattle Mariners, Tim Lincecum and the upcoming draft.
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
- Baseball America’s Latest Mock Draft Has Cubs Landing Carlos Rodon
- Player Profile: Michael Conforto