Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
Since preparing for the amateur selection process is more of a standard than a lark for me than it was last time around, I've been thinking a bit about how it will look from week-to-week. While I certainly have some expectations from myself, I want it to suit my readers as well. What will Draft Prep look like for 2013?
While I have a fairly good vision of what I will write every week to update you on the selection process, I like to lead with any applicable caveats, so you aren't expecting what you aren't going to see. Much of college sports has been monetized, in that there are pay walls all around. I'm not planning on spending the going rate per university to get pitch-by-pitch coverage of (for instance) Arkansas (Ryne Stanek), Indiana State (Sean Manaea), and Stanford (Mark Appel), as that would require three different contributions (unlike MiLB.com). I do plan on having a paragraph on each of their starts every week, with a link to each boxscore.
There will be a few others that merit discussion at No. 2. Austin Meadows (GA) and and Clint Frazier (GA) are high-school outfielders that will deserve mention. And yes, Loganville (Frazier) and Grayson (Meadows) are scheduled to play against each other on March 12. If any of you live in that area, the game will start at 5:55 ET at Loganville. The schools are about five miles apart. Get there early for tickets or good spots for shooting video.
Naturally, there will be injuries, players vaulting and plummeting on production, and anyone thinking I'm sold on the Cubs simply drafting one of the five above-mentioned players is a bit off. I will focus much of my attention on them (mainly the three college pitchers) to start, because that's where the likely No. 2 pick lies today, as we see it in late November. As the season kicks off in February, I will try to shine a light on potential selections for the second pick in the draft, but also speculate some on who might be on the board for the pick in the third round and beyond.
If any of you have TV or live access to any college teams near you, and would like to represent the local squad (either from an in-person or over-the-air perspective) extra eyes or ears on subjects are always welcomed and very helpful. If you have a college team you follow through June, let me know. Friday games from mid-major schools on up can often provide at least a player or two worth watching. I'd be more than happy to incorporate your assessments in my updates, but they would be encouraged as stand-alones as well.
So there you have my view of what I'll be submitting every week. A paragraph on the three top pitchers' starts, updates on which prospects are rising and falling, and notes gleaned from Twitter, mock drafts, and prospect chats. I may include a thumbnail on a later-round possibility in the same piece, or under separate cover, length depending.
Is there anything I'm missing? I take my position seriously, though I'm confident that Theo will very possibly take half of his first six picks from the high school ranks, and I will have next to nothing on them until they hit Boise.
After the draft, I plan to review the 40 selections (Note to self: Put in for some June vacation time.), monitor signings, and keep an ear open for any international signing noise. The Cubs will certainly be in line for a big money signing or three in early July with their foreign spending coffers full off of last season's disappointing record.
Your contributions make Draft Prep what it is. I will do my level best at chronicling the obvious choices and a few others that seem to fit Team Theo's profile, if you promise to try to keep me honest. Games start for real in mid-February, so any actionable information until then will be spotty. From there until mid-July, games, signings, rumors, and scuttlebutt ought to keep me occupied. That, and monitoring the Cubs minor league affiliates.
Is it February yet?