And with the ninth pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, the Chicago Cubs select…a pitcher.
Wait…what? That’s it? Is that the best expert advice you can do? Well, I am not really sure of it being a pitcher, either. This is probably the most unsettled draft in the Theo era; its strengths lie in shortstops, center fielders, and high school arms. Theo usually goes for bats, but can he get a high-value bat at 9? That is the big question.
I don’t think the Cubs’ draft strategy will change much from previous years.
They are going to take some risks, get some athletes, some grinders, hitters that control the zone, power hitters, pitches with some projection, pitchers with some injury in the past, guys who play more than one position, waves of pitching, arms with little mileage, and players that played well in the Cape Cod League and USA Baseball.
It’s a varied list, but those are the types of players the Cubs like and typically select.
The only rumblings I can substantiate and confirm are these:
- It will likely be an under-slot pick. Pick nine is not that much different from those in the 20’s and 30’s.
- If, however, someone falls — like, say, Taylor Jay of Illinois or Dillon Tate of UCSB, both flexible pitchers who have started and relieved — the Cubs could snap them like say.
- If the Cubs go under-slot, it will be to save money to spend on Day Two picks in rounds 5-10.
If I had to pick one player from each type of category, here is who I would take:
College arm: Jay – two pitches rated plus-plus with Dillon Tate as a backup.
Prep Arm: I’d go with Peter Lambert – great makeup and some room to fill out – Dakota Chalmers might be plan B.
Prep Bat – Kyle Tucker has the best prep bat, but I don’t think the sweet swinging lefty falls too far. He should be gone at #5. If he is, Garrett Whitley or Trenton Clark become plan B with Whitley being the more athletic of the two and Clark the better hitter now.
College bat: Andrew Benintendi is next, but he really has had only one solid year of production. Is that enough to pick him? I’d have to go with Ian Happ instead. However, his bat only profiles at 2B; don’t know if the Cubs want to do that. So, that leaves me with Donnie Dewees, an OF from the University of North Florida (Div. II) who has a short, powerful line-drive stroke to go with his good speed. He has played in the Cape Cod league and done extremely well there. Good solid hitter but not much power – possibly a great leadoff hitter.
Cubs Insider Draft Coverage
We will have analysis here from the first two rounds on Monday night. On Tuesday, we will look at rounds 3-10 as a whole. And later in the week, our crack research staff will have all the information about picks 11-40 and slap a grade on how the Cubs did.
How the draft will work
Monday – Rounds 1 and 2 starting at 6 central – on MLB Network and MLB.com
Tuesday – Rounds 3-10 starting at 11 a.m. central – on MLB Network and MLB.com
Wednesday – Rounds 11-40 starting at 11 a.m. – It is basically a conference call with each team getting just a few seconds to make each pick. They whip through 30 rounds in 5-6 hours. It is pretty intense. You can hear it on MLB.com, but there is nothing to see.
Signing the players – Deadline is July 17
The Cubs have $7,236,100 to spend on their first ten draft picks with their first pick slotted at $3,351,000. And the values continue as such
2nd round – $1,292,100
3rd round – $731,000
4th round – $503, 100
And so down to the 10th at $152,000
Any pick after the 10th round cannot exceed 100,000 or it counts against the pool. Those numbers are not written in stone. The Cubs can go over with penalties. The Cubs can go over the pool by up to 5% and pay a 75% tax on the overage. If the Cubs go over 5%, they would have to pay a 75% tax and lose their first round pick in 2016. There are more penalties if they blow by those percentages. So, the Cubs pool is closer to $7,597,905 versus $7,236,100.
Three Key Links
1. Baseball America’s Top 500 – 1200+ players will be selected. About half are profiled here
2. John Sickels and his staff profile 400 players
I can’t wait for it all to begin!!!