The MLB Draft gets underway at 6 pm Central time this evening from the New Jersey studios of the MLB Network. It is first time these picks will be announced by a commissioner other than Bud Selig, as Rob Manfred gets the honor of announcing which teams these young athletes will have the chance to start their professional careers.
The Cubs have the ninth pick this year, which is the lowest they have selected under Theo Epstein. The first pick goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks, picking first for the first time since they took Justin Upton in 2005.
You can watch the draft starting at 6 pm Central time on the MLB Network or on-line through mlb.com. A pre-draft show will start on the MLB Network at 5 pm. With the Cubs in an off-day, you won't have to choose between welcoming a new player to the Cubs family and watching the major league team. The last two drafts have produced Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant, so I don't think I should have to explain to anyone the significance of this day.
Time Huwe has been anchoring our coverage of the draft and he's been doing a great job. If you want a quick refresher course, check out this post from earlier today. Also check out his earlier pieces.
There are a lot of mock drafts out there right now. Here's a quick roundup of whom the experts are predicting the Cubs will select, with the caveat that these drafts are meant to be mocked.
Jim Callis, MLB.com: OF Trenton Clark, North Richland HS (TX)
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: OF Ian Happ, Cincinnati. (same link)
John Manuel, Baseball America: Happ.
Keith Law, ESPN.com: LHP Tyler Jay, Illinois. (ESPN Insider)
John Sickels, Minorleagueball.com: Happ.
Kiley McDaniel, Fangraphs.com: Jay.
Christopher Crawford, Baseball Prospectus: OF Kyle Tucker, Plant HS (FL)
Jeff Ellis, Scout.com: Jay.
David Rawnsley, Sports Illustrated: RHP Carson Fulmer, Vanderbilt.
Steve Garrity and Paul Doran, USA Today: Clark.
Feel free to post any more mock drafts in the comments.
Finally, a word of warning. This is a happy day for a lot of young baseball players. We're here to discuss the draft and have good, healthy debate. It is perfectly fair to criticize the pick. It's fine to say you wish the Cubs had selected someone else. But be aware these are also young kids who have not signed for millions of dollars yet. The families of these players often check out this site for news about their loved ones. If you don't like the pick, keep your criticism focused on the pick, not the player.
For example: Writing "The Cubs should have picked someone other than Linus Van Pelt tonight" is perfectly fine. Writing that "The Cubs shouldn't have taken that thumb-sucking, booger-eating moron Linus Van Pelt" is out of line. Comments like that will be deleted and offenders will be warned. Repeat offenders could face more serious consequences.
here will be a "First Pick Thread" posting at 6 pm (Changed my mind! Just use this thread.)
Have fun and discuss among yourselves.