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2020 MLB Draft Prep: If you’re not interested in the draft, you should be

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What would be some ways to increase your interest in the process?

Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

Insanity, they say, is doing the same thing repeatedly, and expecting a different result. I’ve been tracking the draft, from a Cubs perspective, for a decent number of years now. It’s certainly not just at Bleed Cubbie Blue that Cubs draft interest is as active as the business world on a holiday. It’s not something as ingrained as getting a tan while in the bleachers. Nonetheless, as I’m still committed to increasing interest in the June selection process, the articles will continue.

I grasp that, for many, college baseball is too arcane to burn much time on. It’s less in the limelight than college football or basketball, which serve as a de facto minor league system for their sports. If you do end up taking a shine to a specific collegiate player, he might end up on a league rival. Or, even worse, the Cardinals or Brewers. For most people, relying on post-draft commentary by Baseball America experts, for example, is plenty of preparation on a topic that won’t often yield any game day results for three or four years. For the vast majority of baseball fans who agree with the above premise, draft intrigue is a tough sell.

Nonetheless, I’m a stubborn little brat. I’ve noticed that other (non-Cubs sites) have a degree of interest in the draft run-up. No, it isn’t that I think there should be more chatter on the draft than a regular season game or a roster move. I do think, though, that the future of the franchise merits a bit more than a collective eyeroll, with a “let the executives decide,” while the offseason will be rife with which free agents the executives ought to sign or extend.

Much of the fault is mine. I haven’t figured out a method that “brings the draft to life” enough to perk up the responses. For many, that’s never going to happen. Part of my task today is to open a discussion for those of you who might be interested in the upcoming string of articles leading up to the draft. I have a few ideas on making the series more “user-friendly”, and I’ll look at some specific squads through the off-season. However, if you have any ideas on how to add some splash to my coverage, I’m all ears.

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Among my current reading selections is Ian O’Connor’s book on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. If you’re a football fan, the book is a rather good read. I’m trying to read up on people who have “different ways of looking at things”. The current chapter is on Spygate. Among the interesting threads was on how he improved as he went in the important fact of drafting the proper talent.

He was rather poor at selecting while with his scouts in his Cleveland tenure. His time in New England started a bit slow (with the exception of Tom Brady), but his “hit rate” has improved as he has progressed. The Patriots look at the draft, less from a stance of “who is the fastest” or “jumps the highest,” more so in a “which players will make our team better’”through what they specifically need. Measurables are a part of the discussion, of course, but not the final factor.

I hear a few eyes rolling. “Baseball isn’t football. Or basketball. Those drafts deserve attention.” Each and every individual gets to choose what they want to prioritize, and those that want to avoid the college angle of baseball are welcomed to that choice. It would seem useful, though, to better discuss, in some fashion, which players might make better Cubs through the draft, a process in which the Dodgers and Astros (among others) seem to pull further away from the Cubs each cycle. It’s my responsibility to put together a coherent cycle of articles to discuss the process, for those who are interested. I hope a few of you are interested in helping with the process.