With the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft just four days away and mock drafts varying greatly, it is time for the World Series Dreaming 2012 Chicago Cubs Draft Preview. Before previewing the draft itself, I have taken the time to revise the 2012 WSD Top 13 Prospects List, which will be updated again after the draft is complete. The revised prospect rankings are:
- 1B Anthony Rizzo (formerly #2)
- CF Brett Jackson (formerly #1)
- SS Javier Baez (remained #3)
- 3B Josh Vitters (formerly #7)
- SS Junior Lake (formerly #12)
- CF Matthew Szczur (formerly #5)
- RHP Chris Rusin (formerly unranked)
- RHP Trey McNutt (formerly #4)
- RHP Gerardo Concepcion (formerly unranked, pre-signing)
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (formerly #8)
- RHP Robert Whitenack (formerly unranked)
- RHP Dillon Maples (formerly #6)
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (formerly #9)
For the draft, the Cubs will be limited in the first ten rounds by the new draft cap, so they will not be able to spend as wildly as in 2011. However, with three picks before the second round, the Cubs figure to have a solid draft. Names linked to the Cubs have included catcher Mike Zunino, shortstop Carlos Correa, left-handed pitcher Max Fried, and outfielder Alberto Almora. Zunino is likely to be taken before the Cubs make their selection at number six overall. Fried and Almora are very likely to be available when the Cubs make their selection, but Carlos Correa is an uncertainty. The shortstop, who many scouts expect to move to third base, could be taken as high as fourth overall. If the Cubs land the Puerto Rican high school star, he will likely give up his full scholarship to the University of Miami in order to jump-start his professional career.
In the case than Zunino is taken, and perhaps even if he is not, Correa will be the best case scenario for the Cubs first-round draft pick. The Cubs also hold the 43rd and 56th picks of the draft in the supplemental round after losing Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena to free agency.