Why do I write these? There are a few reasons. It's cathartic for me to write something I feel strongly about. As few things as there are in life I truly believe in, one of them is baseball. It appears we have a front office as committed to putting together a solid organization as Justin Bieber is to putting out pop hits, so it makes it seem worth the effort.
My first BCB draft was 2008. Who's this 'Andrew Cashner' guy? The next year was 'Brett Jackson? Yes or no?' In 2010, I became more familiar with the names. I ran the possibilities. I knew everything about Josh Sale, except how to pronounce his name. (For the record, Sale hasn't done that much either.) The Hayden Simpson pick stung. Not because I had any specific expectations on his career, or that I thought I was better at Tim Wilken's job than Wilken is (I'm not, and that isn't at question.). It was, I was unprepared.After not paying much attention to baseball the next week (That pick stung.), it took awhile. I realized that about the only angle of Cubdom that wasn't accounted for on BCB was draft preparation. I'm sure that a solid twenty of you could do a better job than I do of covering amateur baseball than I do, but I started anyway. I do it in part because I learn more than you do. I do it to provide reading material on Bleed Cubbie Blue. And I do it because my computer plan allows me to watch ESPN channels my cable plan doesn't provide. Until the big league team becomes worth committing three hours a day to, I'll hope for the future.
Hope is what Cubdom has become.
One of the really intriguing cases this year is Raph Rhymes. He has limited defensive ability. He usually plays in left for LSU He has normal speed. His power? His third homer this year was solid, though wind-aided. He wasn't recruited out of high school, and was 'advised' to go to Junior College after not making the team his first go-around.
Why am I talking about him? He's hitting over .500 this year. In the SEC. For those of you who remember him, he's raising echoes of David Magadan, who was a very good hitter with not much else going on. Rhymes hits right handed, while Magadan hit lefty. Feel free to comment below on what you would do with Rhymes. Where would one draft a pinch hitter in a non-DH league?
Another slight aside, another prep has advised teams not to draft him, a la Josh Bell last year. Pittsburgh bought out Bell's commitment to the Longhorns last draft for $5 million. I doubt the same will happen for Anthony Alford, due to CBA changes. I won't bother including him on my list. Even if he did belong there. I'd prefer we draft a starting pitcher option instead of a guy wanting to not go pro yet. We could either grab a guy that's a Friday night option from a mid-major, or try to get a guy from a Junior College like a Michael Jensen, or a guy nobody's ever heard of like Patrick Francescon. My preference, though, is right handers, in those situations. Lefties have so many issues with release points.
On to the draft list. I want to have a list with some basic information for our pick at 2.6 (67th overall) for Day Two of the draft. My opinions are based in part on what I have seen on my computer, and in part on opinions I value. If a person has Lance McCullers going at 4, or Deven Marrero going Top 10, I'll value that mock less than one that has my Top Ten going first ten. It doesn't make one more accurate, but there are quite a few mocks out there.
1. Mark Appel
2. Mike Zunino
3. Kevin Gausman
4. Kyle Zimmer
5. Carlos Correa
6. Byron Buxton
7. Lucas Giolito
8. Max Fried
9. Michael Wacha
10. Albert Almora
11. Marcus Stroman RHP 5-9 Duke I saw him command three pitches. If only he were 6-2.
12. Richie Shaffer 1B/3B Clemson. If he can play 3B, he'll play there and hit like a 1B. If not, he'll play 1B and hit like a 1B.
13. Courtney Hawkins OF/P HS (TX). Power hitter, throws 94, and shouts down haters by Tweet.
14. Gavin Cecchini SS/2B HS (LA) The Sawks drafted his brother when some guy named Epstein was there.
15. Walker Weichel RHP HS (FL) I won;t burn much research on him. We won't have the chance with the Ramirez pick.
16. Hunter Virant LHP HS (CA) Just a tick below Fried in the respect meter. Recently threw a No-No after going 6 2/3 hitless his prior start.
17. Joey Gallo 1B/3B HS (NV) Big time power.
18. Andrew Heaney LHP Oklahoma State The standard comp here is Jamie Moyer.
19. Deven Merrero SS Arizona State Was supposed to be up where Correa is. Think Gordon Beckham?
20. Lance McCullers RHP HS(FL) Will he be a hard-throwing reliever or a hard-throwing reliever?
Next time, 21-30.