What up Cubs fans, I am the new scouting director for the team for this years community draft. I'm an Astros fan, and did their draft on here last year, but I never really hated the Cubbies like I did the Cardinals or Reds back when we were in the NL Central, so I'm sure we'll get along. After all, our two teams are the worst in the league presently (misery loves company, right?).
I'm going to briefly discuss the candidates for the 4th pick, though essentially every team is already discussing what to do with their 3rd and 4th round picks at this point:
1. Brady Aiken, LHP, HS - I view him as the best player in the draft. Has all of the tools & the skills as a pitcher to project as an ace. The velocity is already there, as he sits in the 91-95 range, and has touched 97. Could be in the 94-97 range once he fills out his projectable & athletic 6'4" frame. He has a refined secondary arsenal for his age, throwing a consistently good curveball at present, and has a feel for a changeup. The curve is his out-pitch, and it could be a 65-70 pitch when it's all said and done. The changeup is behind the curve, and it likely always will be, but it has a chance to be a 55-60 pitch, which would give him three above-average to plus offerings. Command profile is solid as well. Could surprise people and only need two to three years in the minors.
2. Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State - Rodon is best known for his downright filthy slider, which is a 70 pitch at present, and has been called by people in the industry as the best amateur slider they've ever seen. His fastball was a little up & down this year, varying from the 91-94 range to the 93-96 one, though it seemed to be more of the latter as the season progressed. He knows how to rack up strikeouts, but the problem with him is that his command is below-average, and on his good days, mediocre. He's not very efficient and has needed 110+ pitches on multiple occasions this year just to get through five or six innings. He's 6'3" 230, so there is no projection for him. What everyone has seen is what they're going to get.
3. Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS - Kolek possesses one of the 80 grades in the draft with his fastball, as it's touched 101 at least once. He's a mountain of a teenager at 6'5" 250, and naturally quite tough to get a hit off of. Like most power arms, his greatest enemy is himself, as his command is still a bit shaky right now. There have not been a whole lot of reports on his secondary pitches, but having a huge frame like he does and an 80 fastball shouldn't be hard to build around.
4. Alex Jackson, C/OF, HS - Jackson's got tools and tools and tools, but the problem with talented high school catchers like him is that they take a little longer to develop purely because they're backstops, so he may move to the outfield, a la Bryce Harper & Wil Myers. He has all of the attributes of a franchise catcher or right fielder, but he's likely going to need three to four years to develop -- even with a move to the outfield -- but he could very well be worth the wait. His bat is special.
Obviously people have others in their top 4, and guys like Keith Law, who I think is one of the best in the industry, has Alex Jackson outside of his top 5, so I'm more than willing to consider other options, whether it be someone like Nick Gordon, Aaron Nola or perhaps Michael Conforto.
The last thing I want to discuss on this MOD is strategy. Would it be better to just take the BPA at 1.4, or pick someone like Aaron Nola or Conforto and get a big under-slot deal with the pick (and then go for a 1st round talent that fell due to signability in round 2)?
Will be doing MOD #2 some time tomorrow, and will have them all done by Saturday at the latest.