The MLB Draft gets going again in about five minutes, round 2 through round 15 will be completed today, we will update this post with the Cubs picks, follow along and use the comments section to comment or follow on twitter!
Cubs 2nd Round Pick (67th Overall) –
Underwood is everything you’d want from a high school pitcher: athletic with arm strength, a chance to have three at least Major League-average pitches and outstanding mound presence.The Georgia product will sit in the low 90s with his fastball typically, but he can reach back for 95-96 mph occasionally. His secondary offerings aren’t as good as the fastball, but both his curve and changeup have a chance. When he throws them right, his curve can have a very good 12-to-6 late break and his changeup can be very deceptive.He doesn’t throw either consistently right now and he does have some issues with command at times. His poise, knowledge of the game and athleticsm say he’ll continue to evolve as a pitcher, meaning he could start moving up charts this spring. —Round 3 through Round 15 after the jump.
With how bad the Cubs have been all year and the promise of a bright future, yesterday was like Christmas morning. Well, I guess it was more like what we might get on Christmas morning 3-5 years from now. Still an exciting day for fans as right now it’s one of the few things we can get excited about.
The draft kicked off with a surprise as Carlos Correa was selected number one overall by the Houston Astros. In fact the guy most, if not everyone thought was going number one, Mark Appel, didn’t get selected until number eight by the Pirates. The concern with Appel is his sign-ablity because he is represented by Boras. Before the draft started if you would have told me that the Cubs would have a shot at Appel at number six I would have thought you were crazy, but there he was. The Cubs however went a different direction, and I think the correct one.
Cubs 1st pick, number 6 overall: Albert Almora
I love the pick, the kid is pure character not to mention an elite talent in the outfield.
Scouting Report from Baseball America..
Almora has tools, game instincts and makeup; his lone weakness is his fringe-average speed, which some scouts describe as below-average. Scouts give him 60s across the board otherwise, with some giving him higher grades for his arm strength. His instincts allow him to play center field at a high level; one scout said he was a 40 runner with 80 range and said he played center field like some players do shortstop, being instinctual rather than reactive like almost all outfielders.
Almora has played for team USA six times already, he’s only 18. I’m very excited to see this kid progress through the system.
Here’s some video of Almora…
Interview with Jonathan Mayo
Cubs 2nd pick, number 43 overall (Supplemental): Pierce Johnson
Here is Jonathan Mayo’s take on Pierce Johnson…
Johnson has a good three-pitch mix starting with a fastball that is plus at times, touching 94 mph. He’s more successful when he keeps it down in the zone, which he does when he repeats his delivery well. Johnson throws a hard curve that works as an effective out pitch, missing more bats than he does with the fastball. He doesn’t use the changeup as much, but it has the potential to be at least an average pitch in the future. He throws strikes and competes very well on the mound.
Assuming he’s healthy, Johnson should join a solid group of college starters who could go off the board shortly after the top tier, profiling well as a No. 3-type starter at the highest level.
The Cubs got a quite a bit of value with the 43rd pick overall, and it could turn out to be a great pick if Johnson proves to be healthy.
Pierce Johnson draft video..
Cubs 2nd pick, number 56 overall (Supplemental): Paul Blackburn
Here is Jonathan Mayo’s take on Paul Blackburn
After a big performance at last summer’s Area Code Games, Blackburn has continued pitching well this spring to keep him firmly on the prospect map.
The NoCal high schooler has a good fastball that hits 92 mph consistently and will touch a tick or two higher on the radar gun at times. His two secondary offerings – a curve and a changeup – both have the chance to be very effective pitches. He’s generally around the strike zone and thanks to his athleticism and sound delivery, his command should only improve with experience.
The Arizona State recruit has some projectability, meaning his already pretty good stuff has room to get even better. That should get him off the board early enough to keep him from heading to Arizona.
Good command and a ton of room to get better, sounds good to me. The Cubs will be hoping that they grabbed Blackburn early enough to break his commitment to Arizona.
Paul Blackburn draft video…
Round two starts today at 11 AM CST, get ready for more draft coverage as new names will start pouring in very soon.
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Welcome to the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft!
Here. We. Go……
With the 1st Overall pick the Houston Astros select….
Full first round recap after the jump.
Join us live tonight at 7:00 PM CST, up to the second picks updated right here on the blog, follow along and chat with us in the comments section!
I mentioned yesterday that Carlos Correa could be a key to the whole Cubs draft, well today the Cubs are working him out at Wrigley Field per ESPN.com/Chicago.
Here is my take on Correa from my draft preview. As I mentioned before if he is on the board, and all three college arms are gone, the Cubs pick comes down to Almora, Correa, and Fried… most likely between Almora and Correa if I had to guess.
Ballplayer right here, no question about it. The one thing you always hear about young SS is they will probably be moved because of defense, not Correa. He can stick at SS, and that is why he is so attractive to so many teams. He has an above average bat, and big power right now. When I say big, I mean outstanding power, think middle of the order power with the ability to play short for his whole career.
Prediction – Drafted #7 overall – San Diego Padres
Cubs Chances – The key to the whole draft is Correa, if a team ahead of the Cubs chooses to take him instead of a college arm then the Cubs will get that arm that is left over.
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I started talking about the draft a few weeks ago, and how much prep time Theo and company were putting into it, well now we are close enough to the draft so you should get to know who the Cubs have been looking at. The draft will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 7:00 PM EST, one hour earlier MLB Network will air a draft preview special. Want to know who they will be talking about, and who the Cubs are thinking about taking at number six? Then keep reading.
One of the most important days in Theo Epstein’s short career with the Cubs is fast approaching, and he knows it’s a huge day not only for him but for this organization.
June 4 marks the beginning of the 2012 first year player draft, and Theo Epstein is making sure the Cubs are ready, “It’s probably the most important thing we are doing right now, to be honest,” Epstein said. “So that is what takes up the vast majority of our time. Draft day is the most important day of the year for every organization. It is a year-long process, and right now we are right in the sweet spot — finishing evaluations, going back and getting final looks. We then will get together and dissect all the information.”
The new CBA handcuffs teams in how they can spend money on the draft, with penalties as high as 100% on a dollar if a team exceeds the salary cap. “Every team is setting aside some time to think through how the draft may play differently now,” Epstein said. “It affects how we approach signability and how we allocate our resources into who we will scout and how often. But it is the same for all 30 clubs. It is a level playing field. We will go and do our best.” The Cubs spent $20 million on the draft last year, those days are now long gone and really puts an emphasis on scouting, which Theo and company have focused on.
Who are the Cubs going to take at #6 in the first round? “We have it down to about 10 (players),” Epstein said. “That is just on the first pick. That is an important pick, but every pick in the draft is an important pick if you want to have successful ones. This year there is not a clear –cut, top-tier guy at the very top so it will be interesting to see if there is any late movement up there.”
That is great to hear that they really think they could get the best player in the draft given there is no clear-cut #1. Here is a link to Jonathan Mayo’s top 100 draft prospects, expect the Cubs to take one of the guys on the 1-10 page, but we will have full breakdowns leading up to the draft.
Thanks for reading,