I am sure the Cubs management will tell you they have a plan. They likely will take the best bat available. They will tell you they will add players who fit their scheme, who are good athletes, and who are pitchers who can repeat their delivery. They will also be players who “control the zone”; I am sure you can name some of these truisms, too, but with only $2.3 million to spend in this year’s draft pool, the Cubs are more likely to select players they can sign for lesser amounts who want to play for the Cubs. To me, that’s the only strategy that works.
The MLB Draft is just a few days away. It is still really early to decide who the Cubs might select at number 104 in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft. While the Cubs will not pick on day one (June 9), their selections on day two will tell a lot about their strategy on day three. On day two, the Cubs will make eight picks.
When I look at that $2.3 million figure, I don’t see a lot of players being signed by the Cubs. I do think the Cubs can get good players in this draft. It is not a very deep draft after the top 300 (nine rounds). Earlier in March, I profiled some college arms, college bats, and high school players who could be on the Cubs radar. I think if the Cubs can sign 15 players with their $2.3 million, this draft would be successful. If they sign more, I would really be impressed, considering their lack of funds.
Another strategy the Cubs might also do is to select players they can begin to build relationships with over the next one to three years. Some of them might be junior college players, others might be high schoolers, or draft eligible sophomores. They might draft them this year, and redraft a couple years down the road.
When looking at Baseball America’s recently released top 300 list, there are several names that interest me who could fall because of monetary considerations.
*I love Kyle Funkhouser, warts and all, out of Louisville. I don’t think he makes it to #104
*I also like Mike Shawaryn, a RHP out of Maryland, who has a wipeout slider.
*Logan Gray from Austin Peay is a solid bat the Cubs could sign
*LHP Drew Harrington out of Louisville is another nice left handed option.
*The Cubs drafted LHP John Kilichowski from Vanderbilt last year. He hardly played this year and I think the Cubs could take a shot again with him.
*RHP Zack Brown, from Kentucky, could be redrafted by the Cubs after 3 years.
Others may free fall because of their commitments to college. I think the best thing the Cubs can do is to be flexible in their response to changes in the draft.
Also, I still think that the Cubs could go after some players they already drafted, namely DJ Peters of Western Nevada in rounds 7-9. Peters, who is committed to Cal State Fullerton, is a big kid at 6’6” who has blossomed as an OF after being a two way player. He has the potential for immense power and he is also a great athlete.
A second player who the Cubs could retake is Delvin Zinn. Zinn was originally scheduled to go to Mississippi State this year. He transferred mid-year to Itawamba Community College where he hit over .400. The young athletic shortstop is the type of prospect the Cubs covet. He could still be available in the fourth to sixth rounds.
The Cubs will find some nice players, because that is what their scouts do. Whether they can sign a lot of them is still up in the air.
Director of Scouting Jason McLeod told Carrie Muskat that the Cubs do have some goals:
“I think there will be a focus on pitching, but we won’t try to create it. Day 1 will be interesting. Usually, I’m all suited up and I get to come out and talk about how excited we are about our first pick. This year, we might be sitting there in shorts and flip flops pulling names off the board.
It’ll give us the opportunity to prepare that evening for the next day. Our mindset is to take it as a big challenge.”
Well, there you have it…sort of. We’ll see what they do Friday.