While the Cubs were improving their sub-standard record against bad teams this weekend, the front office, especially the draft team, was busy scouting and securing new talent for the prospect pipeline to the Show. The Cubs sat out the entire first day because they didn’t have first or second round picks (but they do have Jason Heyward and John Lackey, so I think that’s alright).
While they won’t get anyone who appears to be an immediate impact like the four guys we’ve gotten spoiled by these past couple seasons, it does appear there was a plan to address the dearth of impact pitching in the minors. Here’s the MLB Draft Tracker for the Cubs. We can do a very quick tally of the 38 selections by the Cubs front office, out of 1216 total selections throughout MLB:
- 21 right-handed pitchers
- 5 left-handed pitchers
- 2 catchers
- 3 center fielders
- 3 shortstops
- 1 first baseman
- 2 second baseman
- 1 third baseman
Note the heavy emphasis on pitching, in particular right-handed power pitching. The idea seems to be to load up on projectable power arms, and just as in previous drafts, the front office is attacking the pitching deficit with volume, hoping that some of these arms turn into serviceable starters or high-leverage relievers. Few of the guys past the 6th round have scouting links, and I highly doubt with so little money to spread around, the Cubs can overslot much to find some tough signs in the lower rounds anyway. We trust that the scouting department knows things that we obviously do not, so no worries here.
The next thing we have to look for is the Cubs to sign all these guys, especially the players in the third thru tenth rounds (where the slots and the allocated money disappear if the player doesn’t sign). Knowing the front office, they have already done their homework and know who will sign and therefore didn’t mess up this issue. There is a very good resource provided by Wes Saver (@Savermetrics) to track all the commitments and ultimately the signing amounts. Eventually other sites will do it too, but I think Wes has the best one-stop resource and we’ll be referring to that all summer long as the July 15 signing deadline approaches.