NOTE FROM JOHN: The original scouting director has been relieved of his duties. The original discussion is still here and can continue, but we are looking for a new Scouting Director.
This year's draft is rich in pitching on both the High School and College side of the talent pool, and the Cubs need pitching. Reports have been circulating that the Cubs are focusing on pitching this year, so it is a sure thing that pitching will be a focus of the draft this year for the Cubs in real life as well as here in the Community Mock.
For purposes of the Community Mock Draft, the Cubs will have the 4th, 45th and 79th picks. The Cubs will be one pick outside of the 3 elite talents in this years draft, Carlos Rodon, Tyler Kolek and Brady Aiken, all pitchers with elitel stuff and top of the rotation upside. This doesn't mean though, that there will not be good talen available at each of the picks the Cubs will have.
One twist in this year's draft crop is that two top 10 level pitchers have gone down this spring due to Tommy John Surgery, Erick Fedde of UNLV and Jeff Hoffman of East Carolina. Will be interesting to see where those players will be drafted in reality, but their talent is probably worthy of taking a chance on a player like that in the first 5 rounds with the hope and confidence that they come back from TJ successfully.
The first pick will most likely have a focus on:
- Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville
- Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Texas Christian
- Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
- Alex Jackson, C, CA High School
- Nick Gordon, SS, FL High School
- Michael Conforto, LF, Orggon State
Obviously, if one of the top three players drop to the Cubs, they would pounce on them. Freeland seems a bit like a reliever to me, and Finnegan's size raises durability concerns.Nola seems like the safest bet, but has a lower ceiling than the other two players. Taking a HS C in the top 4 picks is extremely risky, and as great of an athlete Gordon is, he reminds me a lot of Nick Franklin of the Mariners and with Baez in the system, not really a need there. and Lastly, Conforto is very tempting as a big bat with no defense in that spot. It could be very tempting to pick him in this spot and then pile on pitching later in the draft.
Please help with players not considered here, as well as thoughts on the players listed above. Cub fans' wait will soon be over and after this year probably only have one more really high draft pick next year before the team is a perennial contender.