Per Multiple reports, the Cubs sign first round pick Bryant

Bryant one

The deadline for signing draft picks is this Friday, well the Cubs got their number one priority taken care of today.  Per multiple reports from Jim Callis, Peter Gammons, and Paul Sullivan the Cubs have agreed to terms with Kris Bryant for full slot, meaning $6.7M.  It seemed like the Cubs would be getting Bryant signed all along, he is a Boras client so I’m not surprised it took this long.  The money is a record in the slot era, but again, Bryant got slot so it’s not like the Cubs went over, but some were hoping he would go for under slot.  Expect the Cubs to make it official shortly then we get to see where Bryant will start his Cubs career, wouldn’t be shocked to see him start at High A Daytona right off the bat.

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Cubs pass on Gray, select Bryant with number two overall pick

Some people are surprised by the pick, I was caught off guard briefly, but the Cubs taking Kris Bryant wasn’t as shocking as it might have seemed on the surface.  The Cubs front office didn’t bow to the pressure of Appel/Gray have to go 1-2, they trusted their scouting and had Appel number one, and Bryant number two, and I love the fact that they went with who they wanted, and not who everyone thought should be picked there.  With that said, let’s get to know Kris Bryant shall we?

POWER, it’s not easy to find in the draft, and I’m talking big, major league ready power, that’s what Bryant has.  Bryant hit thirty-one home runs in just 228 at bats with the University of San Diego this year, yikes.  What I like the most about him is his ability to get better, and adjust to things on the fly, which is not easy to do.  As a Freshman, Bryant hit nine homers, as  a Sophomore he hit fourteen, then came thirty-one this year.  He has raw power but Bryant onehis adjustment in his approach at the plate is what led to more home runs.  Bryant walked 66 times, and struck out 44 times in 228 at bats, what was the change at the plate?  His stance changed, he went with a wider base, and simplified his approach as well, he was able to take pitches and hit them where they were pitched, using the whole field with power.  Power is Bryant’s main weapon, but he has other tools as well, one of them is an above-average arm which comes in handy at third base.  Some scouts have said that Bryant profiles better as a right fielder as he has shown the ability to play there with that arm, and bat.  However the Cubs have been clear that Bryant will play third base for the foreseeable future, that’s the right move in my opinion as that is a glaring hole in the system.

The other thing I like about Bryant is his attitude on and off the field, infectious, and confident, “I obviously think I could play in the big leagues now,” Bryant said. “I have that type of confidence in myself, but, like I said, that’s not my decision. I’ll leave that up to the guys in charge.”  I love hearing that out of a player’s mouth, you can’t play this game at a high level unless you believe you can, and Bryant knows he belongs.  Bryant 2Jason McLeod also spoke to Bryant’s make up, “It’s how he carries himself on the field, how he deals with adversity, how he prepares, what kind of student athlete he was,” McLeod said of the items they checked on the list. “All the information we gathered made us feel really good about him as a person and a player.”

I’m excited to see Bryant signed and where he might start his Cubs professional career.  Usually the thought is to start these picks out at Boise, but given his skill set already don’t be surprised if he joins the prospect laden lineup at Kane County.

Congrats Kris!  Welcome to the Cubs.

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2013 MLB Draft; Day One Recap


I will provide some analysis, but post all picks as well.  Obviously I will have much more on the Cubs picks tonight and in the coming days, but it’s time for the draft.  Just keep refreshing the page for updates!


Appel Astros 1


GRAY Rockies



6. Miami Marlins – Colin Moran; 3B; University of North Carolina

7. Boston Red Sox – Trey Ball; LHP; New Castle HS (Ind.)

8. Kansas City Royals – Hunter Dozier; SS; Stephen F. Austin

9. Pittsburgh Pirates – Austin Meadows; OF; Grayson HS (GA)

10. Toronto Blue Jays – Phil Bickford; RHP; Oaks Christian HS (CA)

11. New York Mets – Dominic Smith; 1B; Serra HS (CA)

12. Seattle Mariners – D.J. Peterson; 3B; New Mexico University

13. San Diego Padres – Hunter Renfroe; OF; Mississippi State

14. Pittsburgh Pirates – Reese McGuire; C; Kentwood HS (WA)

15. Arizona Diamondbacks – Braden Shipley; RHP; University of Nevada

16. Philadelphia Phillies – J.P. Crawford; SS; Lakewood HS (CA)

17. Chicago White Sox – Tim Anderson; SS; East Central CC

18 – Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Anderson; RHP; Jacksonville University

19. St. Louis Cardinals – Marco Gonzales; LHP; Gonzaga

20. Detroit Tigers – Jonathan Crawford; RHP; Florida

21. Tampa Bay Rays – Nick Ciuffo; C; Lexington HS (SC)

22. Baltimore Orioles – Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (NC)

23. Texas Rangers – Alex Gonzalez; RHP; Oral Roberts

24. Oakland Athletics – Billy McKinney; CF; Plano West Sr. HS (TX)

25. San Francisco Giants – Christian Arroyo; C; Hernando HS (FL)

26. New York Yankees – Eric Jagielo; 3B; Notre Dame

27. Cincinnati Reds – Phillip Ervin; OF; Samford University

28. St. Louis Cardinals – Rob Kaminsky; LHP; St. Joseph Regional

29. Tampa Bay Rays – Ryne Stanek; RHP; Arkansas

30. Texas Rangers – Travis Demeritte; SS; Winder-Barrow HS (GA)

31. Atlanta Braves – Jason Hursh; RHP; Oklahoma State

32. New York Yankees – Aaron Judge; OF; Fresno State

33. New York Yankees – Ian Clarkin; LHP; Madison HS (CA)


34. Kansas City Royals – Sean Manaea; LHP; Indiana State

35. Miami Marlins – Matt Krook; LHP; St. Ignatius Prep (CA)

36. Arizona Diamondbacks – Aaron Blair; RHP; Marshall

37. Baltimore Orioles – Josh Hart; OF; Parkview HS (GA)

38. Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen; RHP; Cal State Fullerton

39. Detroit Tigers – Corey Knebel; RHP; Texas


40. Houston Astros – Andrew Thurman; RHP; University of California

41. Chicago Cubs – Rob Zastrynzy; LHP; Missouri

42. Colorado Rockies – Ryan McMahon; 3B; Mater Dei HS (CA)

43. Minnesota Twins – Ryan Eades; RHP; LSU

44. Miami Marlins – Trevor Williams; RHP; Arizona State

45. Boston Red Sox – Teddy Stankiewicz; RHP; Seminole State

46. Kansas City Royals – Cody Reed; LHP; Northwest Mississippi CC (MS)

47. Toronto Blue Jays – Clinton Hollon; RHP; Woodford County HS (KY)

48. New York Mets – Andrew Church; RHP; Basic HS (NV)

49. Seattle Mariners – Austin Wilson; OF; Stanford

50. San Diego Padres – Dustin Peterson; SS; Gilbert HS (AZ)

51. Pittsburgh Pirates – Blake Taylor; LHP; Dana Hills HS (CA)

52. Arizona Diamondbacks – Justin Williams; SS; Terrebonne HS (LA)

53. Philadelphia Phillies – Andrew Knapp; C; California

54. Milwaukee Brewers – Devin Williams; RHP; Hazelwood West HS (MO)

55. Chicago White Sox – Tyler Danish; RHP; Durant HS (FL)

56. Los Angeles Dodgers – Tom Windle; LHP; Minnesota

57. St. Louis Cardinals – Oscar Mercado; SS; Gaither HS (FL)

58. Detroit Tigers – Kevin Ziomek; LHP; Vanderbilt

59. Anaheim Angels – Hunter Green; LHP; Warren East HS (KY)

60. Tampa Bay Rays – Riley Unroe; SS; Desert Ridge HS (AZ)

61. Baltimore Orioles – Chance Sisco; C; Santiago HS (CA)

62. Texas Rangers – Akeem Bostick; RHP; West Florence HS (SC)

63. Oakland Athletics – Dillon Overton; LHP; Oklahoma

64. San Francisco Giants – Ryder Jones; 3B; Watauga HS (NC)

65. Atlanta Braves – Victor Caratini; C; Miami Dade CC South (FL)

66. New York Yankees – Gosuke, Katoh; 2B; Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)

67. Cincinnati Reds – Kevin Franklin; 3B; Gahr HS (CA)

68. Washington Nationals – Jake Johansen; RHP; Dallas Baptist


69. San Diego Padres – Jordan Paroubeck; OF; Serra HS (CA)

70. Colorado Rockies – Alex Balog; RHP; University of San Francisco

71. Oakland Athletics – Chad Pinder; SS; Virginia Tech

72. Milwaukee Brewers – Tucker Neuhaus; SS; Wharton HA (FL)

73. Miami Marlins – Colby Suggs; RHP; Arkansas

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The Final Four; Massive 2013 First Year Player Draft Preview

There will come a time soon enough where the Cubs are not picking at the top of the draft, this year is not that time as the Cubs pick number two overall.  Picking that high obviously means you suffered through the previous year, but it also means that you should get an impact player and that’s exactly what the Cubs are out to get.  This is an exciting time, not just because of the high pick, but because the Cubs are going to add forty some odd young men to their organization, but let’s focus on what they might do with their first pick.

Over the last few weeks we have read quotes, and stories about what the 2013-MLB-draft1Cubs might do with the number two pick, ultimately only the Cubs really know, but much like last year I think it has a lot to do with what the Astros do with the number one pick.  Now last year the Cubs were picking sixth, but I thought that whole draft changed when the Astros went with Carlos Correa at number one as that was a player that many people thought might be on the Cubs radar at six, he went one.  After the draft the Cubs were steadfast in their response, “Almora was the guy no matter what, we would have taken him number one.”  I like hearing that, the draft should be more about evaluating talent than reacting to what other teams are doing, sure you want to take the best available that high in the draft, but your best available might not be another teams best available.  The general consensus is that the Cubs have narrowed their choice down to four guys, let’s take a look at who the Cubs are looking at as well as my predictions.

Appel Draft

The Cubs want him, that’s my honest opinion, I think if the Cubs had the number one pick in the draft they would take Appel.  Funny thing is, the Cubs had a shot at Appel in last years draft, but Appel slipped, he was once thought of as the number one overall pick last year until his bonus demands scared a number of teams off.  Appel eventually went eighth to the Pirates but could not come to terms on a contract so returned to Stanford for his senior season, and here we are again with Appel atop the draft rankings.  It’s easy to see why the Cubs like him, he has a plus fastball, and three above average pitches that he can throw for strikes, and projects as a top of the rotation guy.  I don’t like saying can’t miss with a pitcher because of arm injuries that are just one pitch away, but he’s as can’t miss as they come.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 7/8 | Slider: 5/6 | Changeup: 5/6 | Control: 5/6 | Overall: 5/7

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – Houston doesn’t pass on him twice and takes him at number one overall.
Cubs Chances – Fair, there is no clear-cut number one, and I think if the Astros don’t grab Appel then the Cubs will.

Gray Draft

You know, the Cubs need power arms, well here’s a power arm, and then some.  Gray has a plus plus fastball which has been clocked at triple digits, not just at the start of games, but late in games.  He might not be as polished as Appel, but he has two plus pitches and has a chance to keep developing that change-up into a plus pitch as well.  Now the positive adderall test, this has put a seed of doubt into some people’s minds, I wouldn’t say that I am one of them. I don’t think the Cubs are either, if the Cubs want an arm at number two and their best available (Apple, in my opinion) is off the board then they go with Gray.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 7/8 | Slider: 5/6 | Changeup: 4/5 | Control: 4/5 | Overall: 5/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – Gray is still on the board at two and the Cubs take him.
Cubs Chances – Great, I think he will be on the board still, and it comes down to if the Cubs think Gray is the best available.

Bryant Draft

Yes I know that I have a Cubs logo with Bryant as well, here’s why.  This front office is very particular with their high first round picks, they prefer bats, specifically college bats.  Kris Bryant has rocketed up the draft charts because of his tremendous Junior season at the University of San Diego.  Third base is a challenge for the Cubs, not just at the  MLB level but at the minor league level as well.  Josh Vitters is the cream of the crop in the organization with whispers about Javier Baez being moved there.  If the Cubs want to grab a power bat at the hot corner this would be their chance.  The only thing that would pull the Cubs away from Bryant would be his swing and miss potential, but some say his power makes up for that.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 4/5 | Power: 5/7 | Run: 4/4 | Arm: 6/6 | Field: 4/5 | Overall: 4/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – Assuming the Astros don’t take Bryant at number one, which they could, then I think Bryant lands with Colorado.  A word of caution however, if the Astros take Appel the Cubs front office might choose to follow what they have in the past and favor hitting over pitching.  All depends on who they Cubs feel is the best available, I don’t think they take Bryant just because he’s a third baseman.
Cubs Chances – Excellent, odds are Bryant will be there, the Cubs would just have to pull the trigger.Image13

This is where things get interesting in my opinion, here’s why.  Moran profiles as the “Cubs Way” guy, meaning he is a better overall hitter than Bryant, but odds are he won’t reach the power potential that Bryant will.  However, Moran will have professional at bats, do the Cubs trust their scouting and philosophy to take the guy that fits the mold the most?  I’m leaning towards no on that one just because I feel that if they are going to take the best available in their eyes, and they will, that will not be Moran.  Another wrinkle is that Moran is a left-handed hitting third baseman, I already talked about the need at third base, but the need for a solid left-handed hitting third baseman is almost enough to make a team jump, just don’t think the Cubs will.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 5/6 | Power: 4/5 | Run: 3/3 | Arm: 5/5 | Field: 4/5 | Overall: 4/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – The Cubs won’t take Moran, and he will go to the Indians at five after Appel, Bryant, and Gray are off the board and the Twins go with Kohl Stewart or Braden Shipley at number four.
Cubs Chances – Great, I don’t think there is any chance the Astros take Moran, if they go bat with the number one pick they will take Bryant, meaning Moran will be there, but so will Gray and Appel, that’s too much to pass up on to take Moran.

In conclusion, there are four viable options for the Cubs to think about, but it all comes down to who the Astros go with.  If the Astros take Appel I think the Cubs will go with Gray.  If the Astros take Gray I think the Cubs will go with Appel.  If the Astros surprise for the second year in a row and take Bryant then the Cubs take Appel.  Bottom line, I don’t think the Cubs pass on one of the college arms that are guaranteed to be there.  Now, if the Cubs feel strongly about their scouting and talent evaluation they could pass on Gray and Appel at number two and take the bat given the chance to take a number of quality arms in the second, third, and fourth rounds because they will be there.


The draft begins on June 6th and runs through June 8th, live coverage begins on MLB Network at 5:00 PM CST with an hour-long preview show with the first round scheduled to start at 6:00 PM CST.  The first 73 picks will be aired on MLB Network and streamed on, that’s the first round, and the supplemental round.  Rounds three through ten will be streamed live on on June 7th beginning at 11:30 AM CST, and rounds eleven through forty will be streamed live on on June 8th beginning at noon CST.


Because of the new collective bargaining agreement teams have to pay attention to how much they can spend over the first ten rounds in the draft.  If you want a full rundown on how the bonus pool works I suggest you take a gander at Carrie Muskat’s article about the draft, she does a fine job of breaking it down.  Bottom line, the Cubs have the second most money to spend on their top ten rounds, that’s nice.

Cubs bonus pool

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Cubs options with the number two pick, and don’t forget to join me for the first round tomorrow as I will be live blogging the first round just like last year.  Can’t wait!

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Jonathan Gray tests positive for adderall per report

Of course the draft would get more interesting just three days before its set to begin.  My draft preview is coming up but this news has to be shared.  The prevailing thought is the Cubs could be deciding between Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, so the news today of Gray testing positive for an MLB banned substance could alter the Cubs choice.  The substance?  Adderall.  Commonly used to treat AD/HD, it is also a stimulant, which is why it appears on the banned list.  Some people need it, so Major League baseball allows the use of adderall with a prescription, something Gray doesn’t have.  So this calls into question character issues possibly, something the Cubs pay very close attention to, but I caution everyone reading this, let’s get ALL the details first.  If it comes out that he is using it as a recreational drug then sure you can question his choices, but by no means is this a black mark on his yet to begin career.  It is horrible timing for Gray however as the discussion surrounding him and the draft will now include the positive test and not just how promising his career could be, and what a memorable night the draft will be, but I suppose he brought this on himself.  In my opinion if Gray is the guy the Cubs want and he is there at two the Cubs still take him, I don’t think they are, but it is something else to think about.

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