By Todd Johnson
The Draft Is Finally Here!
I will be live blogging each day of the draft. Just keep clicking the refresh button on your device to get the latest news, cards, and analysis. I did an exclusive draft mailbag article for Cubs Insider that was published yesterday. Make sure to check that out as well.
Here is the schedule for the next three days.
Tomorrow Morning – I will begin the day with my top pick for the Cubs at #24 and I have two names skyrocketing into the first round who could have an effect on the Cubs selection.
On Tuesday, I will start live blogging at 11am. You just need to keep refreshing the page. The Cubs will make 8 picks on the day. There are a lot of good players to be had Tuesday.
When Wednesday gets here, it is a race to keep up, find info on players, write, eat, go to the bathroom, let the dogs out occasionally, and then collapse later in the day. The Cubs make a pick about every 15 minutes.
I also made the card templates for the draft. I am going with a 1975 template. It should be fun making 42 of them this week. Making each card takes just two minutes. I will have an album over on the Facebook page with all the draft cards. It’s a pretty intense day, though.
When the draft is all done, I will sit down and redo my top 21 list…for at least a month until International Free Agency kicks off. There are going to be a lot of changes coming.
The DSL Begins
Yesterday, the Cubs’ two Dominican Summer League teams began play. It will be interesting see how most of the 42 new international free agents the Cubs signed the last year will do. There are mostly 17-18 year old youngsters on the two squads. For DSL 2 on opening day, Outfielder Carlos Morfa went 3/5 with 3 doubles for DSL 2. On DSL 1, four young Cubs combined to throw a 1 hitter.
MLB Pipeline released their top 30 international free agents. The Cubs clocked in as being the favorites to sign three of the top 30. At number 5 is pitcher Richard Gallardo, the top pitcher in this year’s class. #17 is outfielder Luis Lopez and #28 is pitcher Joel Machado. Also, Ben Badler of Baseball America praised one of the Cubs’ recent international signings from last year in lefty pitcher Misael Garcia who has shot up two inches and put on 25 pounds. His size increase also gave him an extra bump in velocity.
Around the System
Pitching is still dominating the headlines each day. From Iowa to South Bend, the starters are taking over. Usually, hitters tend to get going once the weather warms up. What I am really enjoying about this pitching renaissance are all the arms from the 2016 and 2017 draft classes moving so quickly in the system. That bodes well for the future. Hatch, Robinson, Rucker, and Mekkes from 2016 are already at Tennessee. Thompson and Lange from 2017 are at Myrtle Beach while their fellow draft classmates of Abbott, Lacy, Uelmen, and Tyler Thomas are doing very well in South Bend. It should be interesting to see who gets promoted at the All-Star Break in mid June.
This Week’s Records
Iowa – 3-2 (21-32)
Tennessee – 3-3 (28-26)
Myrtle Beach – 5-1 (26-29)
South Bend – 4-3 (25-29)
DSL 1 – 1-0 (1-0)
DSL 2 – 1-0 (1-0)
Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere This Week
2017 Draft Class Grade
Players of the Week
Card of the Week