clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 MLB Draft Prep And The Season Run-Up

New, 35 comments

It’s getting close to the start of college baseball season.

Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

While you think of early March being when spring training starts, and games starting to matter in the standings in early April, the time frame is a bit more rushed in the college game. Since school ends in June, the clock goes backward from there. To get in enough games to justify a season, mid-to-late February is when the season jumps. On campus practice, such as that can be in the more-northern regions, begins in January. Opening weekend this time around is February 17.

Therefore, teams like the Cubs have to have their planning sessions done by.... ohhhh, about now, as to who’s covering what.

***

In effect, three levels of scouts are relied upon for college scouting. The number of scouts any teams is rather.... unclear. Almost, as if by design.

The Rangers don’t necessarily want the Phillies to know how many scouts they have. Most Cubs fans don’t give a rip about how many the baby bears employ. Though, perhaps they should. I still think that, regardless how many scouts a team has, hiring a few more would probably be a solid use of capital.

But, however many “enough” is, the lowest level of scout is the “local” guy. I’d guess he has a pasture of land in the 100-500 mile circle. Probably more than that. Over the baseball campaign, he’ll largely be assigned to this game or that in his region.

As some of you were thinking of the team you wanted to follow, you might have had dozens of local schools in mind. Especially if you’re in the southern USA. If a team has no coverage at a game, they learn nothing from said game. Except for a box score.

To get a read on a player, or a group thereof, you almost need a scout at the game. Regardless how many scouts you have, there will be a game with some skilled players going on just down the road.

This could also include a high school game.

***

Why do I constantly make such an issue about it?

MLB players make over half a million dollars per full season. Brett Anderson recently inked a Cubs deal that pays him one million per if he gets to 20, 23, and 26 starts. If he’s even out there pitching, regardless how well.

For draft choices, the signing bonus is often in the “five figures” range. Which effectively cements them to one specific employer for a tenure of three-to-six-to-ten years. Without their own ability to change that.

It’s a plum deal for the club. Especially if the player is any good.

It’s a good thing Kris Bryant and others like playing for the Cubs. They have no leverage to push themselves anywhere else.

Which starts from scouting. And getting the draft right.

***

Thanks for so many of you picking a side. As long as you keep to your end of the “15 Minutes A Week” of homework, we’ll all learn more about players the Cubs might draft.

As usual, I have some rather routine questions that you ought to be able to rather easily deal with. If you didn’t play along last time, feel free to join so you can add to the fun.

*** Which team are you following?

*** Who is your pitching coach?

*** Which guy on your roster has the coolest sounding name?

*** Don’t take too long on this, but does it appear your games are audio streamed?

That should be enough questions for now. Next time, we should have games to talk about.

***

Last time went really well with twenty teams or so being covered.

If you want to get into the action a bit late, I recommend it. Your slight amount of homework for the week is listed above. Plenty of teams, regions, and conferences are still untouched.

One thing to mind as college games start up. If you do decide to go for extra credit and watch games, many of the college conferences have networks. If you have access, especially to already completed games, that’s a nice way to review action. But you already knew that.

A cheater method is to listen to the first inning, as that’s oftentimes when announcers will run through a pitcher’s repertoire and expected velocity. Regardless how the game went, you might want to know if your Friday Night Starter is more of an 87/88 sinker slider guy, or has 92 in the tank.

Perfect Game has been running some conference capsules recently. These can familiarize you with your conference rivals. And how your guys stack up.

***

With this new method, I plan to go more with “Tone Poems” than “Operetta” articles. Your responses will be what makes the read particularly worthwhile.

Nonetheless, I’ll toss off a few nuggets, as applicable. For instance, Keston Huira (speaking of cool names) is a Cal-Irvine 2B/OF that gets some Rob Refsnyder comps. However, elbow injury woes have limited him to DH duties so far in camp. And from over the summer.

For Huira, the bat is there. The glove? Not so much. And his not being on the diamond with a glove isn’t helping.

***

Here’s a recent mock. I’m good with Alex Scherff at 30. However, if Jake Burger is on the board at 27, I’m gonna be interested in him.

Hunter Greene was up to triple digits, already. The two-way prep star will be gone well before the Cubs draft.

***

My homework answers this time:

Arizona State

Arizona State head coach took over the pitching coach duties himself during the off-season. The prior PC was replaced in 2016. Yeah. That is a bit odd.

Plenty of cool sounding names, including former Cubs draft pick Fitz Stadler. Also, Eder Erives, who I wrote a Draft Prep article on. (They are housed at the Twitter hashtag #2017CubsDraft.), Gage Canning, Sebastian Zawada, and Zach Cerbo. One of the pitchers is named Zane Strand. Conveniently, he’s a pitcher.

Most of the Sun Devils home games are audio streamed. I can’t remember if they were audio streamed, or not. The home streams were normally free of any charges last season.

Tell me about your side.

Be nice to others.