In just a little over 60 hours after this article is published, the Major League Baseball 2022 draft will begin. North Side Bound will be there to cover it live as it happens. We’re pretty excited about that. On Monday and Tuesday I will be doing live blogs as I have always done about who the Cubs pick up in rounds three through 10 on Monday and 11 through 20 on Tuesday. I’m pretty excited to see who the Cubs add to the organization.
I thought today would be a good day to go through a few numbers that are going to be important for the draft. Some of them are ones you probably already know. Other Numbers might give you some pause for thought. Let’s get to it!
For the Cubs, the first number that matters is seven. Who is left on the board will determine how the draft is going to go. The Cubs could select the last remaining player of the top seven or they could go a different route and take a gamble with another player they feel they sign for a lesser amount so they could save a little money to get a guy in the second round that they like more but will also cost a certain price above the slot.
if the Cubs are going to have an above slot deal this year, this might be the best position to get one. It’s probably going to have to be a prearranged deal with a Cubs to take player X. That prearranged deal could bring in a high-quality young pitcher that just costs a little more to keep them from going to college.
And this is where the draft turns.
If they don’t take a guy to an overslot deal player here, then the Cubs likely start pounding some draft picks from the college ranks right away in rounds 2-4. Then, they don’t have to pay out any extra. The concept of senior signs might be nice, as a way to save money. But if there’s no need, we’ll see just where the Cubs strategy is going with who they take at 47 on the first night.
86 and 113
These are the Cubs first picks on day two and they’re still going to get a really good player at 86 and again at 113 in the fourth round. In fact, you could even stretch that to 143 and 173 for the Cubs to get six top 200 guys and maybe a seventh at 203. That’s a lot better than picking at the back of the round.
This is my over under for how many pitchers the Cubs will take over the two days. It’s not that the system is bereft of pitching, but the Cubs do need starting pitching depth. As well, they can go out and get nondrafted free agents and turn them into relievers. We’ve seen them do that and we’ve also seen a lot of international players have success the last few years shifting over to the bullpen. But for the three days of the draft, the Cubs may get a bat in round one, but they then could go pitching heavy quite a bit and it would not impact the system very much to only have seven or eight position guys are taken.
I’m wondering how many guys the Cubs will draft under this age in the draft. That means they could take a lot of high school kids that are either 17, 18 or just turned 19, of which there are a few. The Cubs could include some 17-year-old kids in Puerto Rico which is a common trend the Cubs have done the past couple years.
It’ll also be interesting to see how many guys Cubs draft that are 21 or older. Last year, the Cubs went a little bit young and I would not be surprised to see Dan Kantrowitz go that route again on draft day again.
On day three last year, the Cubs selected several players that participated in the draft league that summer. Will the Cubs go as high as four players from the draft league? It’s turning into a big thing now. The main reason for that is teams have access to a ton of batted ball and pitch data. I have been following a Twitter account all summer that spits out the data every two or three days. The league is filled with guys throwing 95 pretty regularly and some hitters who did not get to the Cape Cod League but have been squaring up some balls in the Draft League. The Cubs went one position player and 3 pitchers last year. I wonder what they will do this year?
The new collective bargaining agreement allows for teams to re-institute the “draft and follow” for junior college kids. The Cubs could take a junior college kid this year and watch him over the next year and they could sign him for up to $200,000 before the next draft. The player doesn’t have to sign, he could go onto another college or take his chances again in the next draft. I just don’t see this as a strategy the Cubs use considering they only have 20 picks. Maybe, they might do it one time this year
When it is all said and done, the Cubs can only have 180 rostered minor leaguers stateside. They are close to that now. So, after the draf picks sign, free agency begins, and the trade deadline passes, moves will have to be made. How many? I am not sure.