Matt Grabusky is a great resource when it comes to who you should be following. It turns out, most of us will have a player worth watching, should we want to, within an hour of home Feel free to check on any players in your neck of the woods. I was surprised to see one is at Northern Illinois this year. You never know where you might find quality talent. Hence, the importance of scouts.
It will be over a month until 'real news' starts trickling in, but here is a nice summary of the last few months from Baseball America.
See how I buried the lede to get you to find the Sean Manaea profile?
One bit of intelligence that is very slow at leaking out is the following: How much have the Cubs spent internationally in the 2012-13 recruiting season? Jorge Soler qualified before the deadline, so he doesn't count. Frandy de la Rosa cost $700,000 in July, and the Cubs inked Juan Paniagua for $1.5 million later in the month. This term, the cap is $2.9 million. So, in theory, they could sign another like de la Rosa.
But that's not where I'm going. Instead, it's here: It would be nice (on BCB or elsewhere) to have a resource to check on signing data on players. On BCB, we will post what we find, but there isn't anywhere a log of International signings going back into history, and with a promise of going forward. I don't foresee doing that. If someone does it, on-site or off, let me know. Doing something like that would be an undertaking. Many of us would appreciate it.
Just so you know, someone is doing exactly that for the Toronto Blue Jays. Here is a hat-tip to you, person whose name I'm not seeing on that wonderful site.
At some point, I'm planning to do a sort of College Baseball Preview, highlighting names you should know. Yeah, it isn't highly Cub-centric, but the draft prep society exists on BCB in a curious space. Some read because there is Cubs news mentioned. Others really do like baseball of all sorts, especially when tied (however loosely) to the Cubs.
The reason I'm planning to put time into that preview is for those of you who live within driving distance of a college campus. It would be negligent of me to not make possible the information-sharing opportunity here. So, if you check out an amateur game this season, feel free to tell us what you saw, if it relates to the draft in any way at all. Like, "I checked out a game in (insert school here) and kinda liked the Friday night starter for the road team. I didn't see a radar gun, but he had a nice repeatable delivery and..."
If you check out a game, you don't have to be all scout-y about it, but let us know who you saw, and what round you'd like to see the Cubs draft him in. That last bit guarantees it's on-topic, but I'm intrigued by that either way.
As I cut out to finish wrapping prezzies, here is a link to a couple of mocks. They are about as contrary to each other as possible. Prognosticating seven months out. What a blast.