Who Could The Cubs Draft This June?

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

It's time to unveil my first list of "Twenty-Five To Draft", my list of some players I think Cubs brass may show an interest in.

When people assess this year's high school class, some gurus like to claim the class is weak, which it may well be. The problem I have with the assessment is they like to use Albert Almora as an example, which I believe is rather foolish. Almora was heavily scouted, though not as much as Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier will be this season. Frazier seems far ahead of the rest of the class, with Meadows having a four-length lead approaching the club turn (yay, horse-racing humor).

The problem with comparing Almora to either of those two, or anyone else, is that Almora was very late to the top 10. I was obsessing over the topic (imagine that!), and it was mid-to-late May before Almora became a Top-10 likelihood. It took an injury to Lucas Giolito and a few other injuries to get Almora there. Now, everyone pretends that they knew he would homer in his first game at two different minor-league levels. I'll say this, I'm glad we will have a shot at (at least) one of the top two preferences from the front-office this year.

Before I get to my short list, though, here is part 4 of Ben Badler's hopefully seven-part series on international signings. I trust I'm not the only one who feels smarter for reading these.

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The list below compriese 25 guys, with at least one from each position. From there, though, it flies off the rails. The sole qualification is: "players I want the Cubs to draft this time around". This will lead to some curious omissions, such as Carlos Rodon from North Carolina State, who can't be drafted this year. Austin Wilson, from Stanford is also right out as he will almost certainly be gone by the team's second selection. I don't want him to "waste" a valuable "roster spot."

General qualifications for the squad include very high character (any mention of "was kicked off the team for" is probably a disqualifier), willingness to draw walks, defensive value, and anything else that makes the player so very Theo-y. For almost every player on the list, I'll have their particulars, with a link to further information; there's video for quite a few of them. Add your recommendations, as I will have a post-season team as well.

Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford Video

Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall Video

Nick Ciuffo, C, High School (SC) Video

Andrew Dunlap, RHP, High School (TX) Video

Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU

Kent Emanuel, LHP, North Carolina Video

Dominic Ficociello, 2B, Arkansas Video

Clint Frazier, OF, High School (GA) Video

Stephen Gonsalvez, LHP, High School (CA) Video

Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga Video

Austin Kubitza, RHP, Rice Video

JaCoby Jones, 2B, LSU Video

Nick Longhi, 1B, High School (FL) Video

Michael Lorenzen, OF, Cal State Fullerton Video

Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State Video

Andy McGuire, SS, High School (VA) Baseball America article

Austin Meadows, OF, High School (GA) Video

Chris Oakley, RHP, High School (NJ) Video

Chris Okey, C, High School (FL) Video

DJ Peterson, 3B, New Mexico Video

Adam Plutko, RHP, UCLA Video

Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas Video

John Sternagel, 3B, High School (FL) Video

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, High School (CA) Video

Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt Video

I haven't run blotter checks on these guys to eliminate any. I have decided to treat Vandy's ace, Ziomek, as a bit of a Ringo to the John, Paul, and George of Appel, Manaea, and Stanek, posting his outing fourth every weekend, following the other three.

Despite the snow and slop I see out my window, college games start on Friday. "Play Ball!"

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