While the front office continues to look for ways to improve the big league roster, a majority of the focus for the Chicago Cubs will shift to the First-Year Player Draft that begins in eight days (June 8-10).
There still does not appear to be a clear cut No. 1 pick with the draft just eight days away. Several reports are pointing to the Diamondbacks selecting SS Dansby Swanson out of Vanderbilt, but Arizona has not tipped their hand yet.
The Cubs pre-draft meetings with scouts and executives begin Sunday and as of Friday night, Jason McLeod was still out seeing players.
According to Kiley McDaniel, Jason McLeod attended RHP Dillon Tate’s start Friday night. Teams are realizing that Tate could slip out of the top four picks and are doing their last minute homework on him.
Baseball America – Mock Draft
John Manuel released his fourth mock draft on Friday. And for the third time out of four mock drafts, Manuel has the Cubs selecting a pitcher with the ninth overall pick in the draft.
John Manuel had RHP Carson Fulmer sliding to the Cubs in his first mock draft. Two weeks ago, Manuel pointed to the Cubs taking OF Andrew Benintendi. In his third mock draft last week, Manuel thought the Cubs would select Missouri State right hander Jon Harris.
In his latest mock draft, Manuel has the Cubs drafting RHP James Kaprielian out of UCLA in the first round.
Kaprielian is one of at least a dozen players the Cubs have been connected to in recent weeks. It is believed that if Jason McLeod drafts a pitcher in the first round it will be a college arm.
There are concerns about the drop of velocity from the 6-foot-4, 200-pound right hander.
James Kaprielian has been labeled “the safest bet to become a mid-rotation starter in the big leagues.” Kaprielian is built to be a starter and features four pitches (fastball, curveball, changeup and slider).
John Manuel thinks SS Dansby Swanson goes to Arizona with the first overall pick and the Astros take SS Alex Bregman at No. 2 and OF Daz Cameron at No. 5. Manuel has RHP Carson Fulmer landing with the Red Sox and RHP Dillon Tate sliding to the White Sox. If the Cubs pass on Benintendi, Manuel thinks he will end up going to the Reds at No. 11. And Manuel sees the Dodgers taking the gamble with LHP Brady Aiken with the 24th pick in the first round.
MLB Pipeline Mock Draft
Jonathan Mayo posted his latest mock draft on Friday. And like most, Mayo thinks SS Dansby Swanson goes 1:1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the Cubs, Mayo sees RHP Carson Fulmer being on the board and taken with the ninth pick in the draft.
Mayo did not rule out the possibility of the Cubs selecting OF Andrew Benintendi and the Cubs are also interested in OF Kyle Tucker. Mayo says the Cubs will break their string of selecting a bat in the first round (OF Albert Almora, 3B Kris Bryant and C/OF Kyle Schwarber) and take RHP Carson Fulmer.
Carson Fulmer along with LHP Tyler Jay, RHP Dillon Tate, RHP Jon Harris and RHP Walker Buehler appear to the pitchers that will be selected in the top half of the first round. The wild card on the pitching side remains LHP Brady Aiken, who Mayo thinks will go to the Brewers at No. 15.
Cubs 2015 Draft Reports
- Baseball America Has Cubs Selecting RHP Carson Fulmer in First Mock Draft
- FanGraphs’ Mock Draft Has Cubs Selecting OF Trenton Clark in First Round
- Baseball America’s Second Mock Draft Points to Cubs Selecting OF Andrew Benintendi in First Round
- Baseball America’s Third Mock Draft Has the Cubs Selecting RHP Jon Harris
- Cubs First-Year Player Draft Notes
- Cubs Have Not Ruled Out Selecting LHP Brady Aiken in First Round of Draft
- Cubs Draft Update: Latest Mock Drafts and Rumors