We're Number 4: A 2014 Draft Prep Preview

USA TODAY Sports

I have no idea who the Cubs will pick in June. Which means I have lots of work to do.

On draft day 2010, the Cubs drafted Hayden Simpson. I was stunned, and rather disappointed, but I didn't know why. Most times, when I know I'm upset, I grasp the reason. Team lost. Bad day at work. Someone I enjoyed died. Easy to figure those out. When Simpson was drafted, I was upset, but had no idea why. Until a few days later, when I figured it out. I wasn't prepared for him being selected. While few 'experts' were, I didn't want to be blindsided again. After a few days, I decided I would take space here to get more educated on prospects, even if you learned a bit with me.

Draft prep has developed a bit, and I try to keep you abreast of recent developments on players competing to be an early Cubs draft pick. That I post something every week probably grates at many of you. While by no stretch is that the intent, I figure a site as active as Bleed Cubbie Blue can take a column every week of the college season to evaluate the upcoming amateur talent.

From late February through the June draft, I'll post weekly updates, These will note the top few players, and what they did over the weekend preceding. This year, I followed Kris Bryant and Jonathan Gray up, and Sean Manaea and others down. I do this for me, but I'm happy some of you enjoy my musings. For 2014, Carlos Rodon is an North Carolina State lefthanded starter who hits mid-90's routinely, and has a few quality off-speed offering that will be MLB good. He won't be the Cubs pick. His teammate, shortstop Trea Turner, might be. Or maybe Tyler Beede. Or East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman Or....

The Cubs will select fourth in every round this season. (The Cubs won the tie-breaker with the Twins, because they had a worse record than Minnesota in 2012.) While it would have been nice to be picking significantly later each round, fourth is what it will be. Based on my Twitter feed, articles I round up, and any new additions, I will try to keep you apprised of the Cubs' potential early selection or selections.

I think I can tell you a bit about the Cubs first pick, though, already. Since the push to get the club competitive through the draft is maturing, I see a 75 percetn chance of the top pick being a college option. I'd put the same likelihood on it being a hitterer. Plugging them together, I see about a 50/50 shot of the top pick being a college hitter, with a seven percent chance of a prep pitcher. No wagering from me on that line, though.

I have a new idea I'm going to try this year, if you contribute. Many times, sadly, I probably use 'buzzwords'. Buzzwords are terrible. Not only do they tend to look like I'm trying to represent elitism, but, even worse, they mis-represent or extort what is being said. As an example, when I say "Friday night starter", that presumes that you grasp that college serieses are usually Friday through Sunday, with the best pitcher going on Friday, which is usually a night game at larger schools. Occasionally I explain the dreaded buzzword, but not often enough.

Do you have a question for "Draft Prep" that you'd like answered? Shoot me an email with Draft Prep Questions in the headline. I'll try to get to it in an upcoming post.

To start, I'll lead with "Why do you like college baseball so much?" Actually, I don't. I prefer minor league ball to college ball. To know what's going on in college ball, I have to mind it. Despite how many times the No. 2 hitter bunts in the first inning. I thought college was where new ideas were tried out. Nonetheless, I'm down with listening to a college game in February or March before the pro leagues get going. I'm learning more about who I can expect to get as far as Double-A Ball the more I pay attention.

And, I expect, in a couple of years, I'll have to know 40 players rather well to discuss the 23rd pick in the first round. Maybe more than that.

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