Brody McCullough by Wingate Athletics

Almost anything is going to happen today. The Cubs will have 10 picks. Each slot value is $125,000. Any money spent over that will count against the bonus pool. The Cubs likely will have an extra $100,000 or $200,000 to try and persuade some young high school or junior college players to start their professional career early. Which if you think about it, most of the guys that sign don’t want to go to college and attend classes. They would rather play baseball. Samesies.

Last year, the Cubs signed seven of their 10 picks on day three. That’s pretty good. I would not be surprised to see them sign six or seven from today, which is acceptable.

The draft will kick off at 1 PM and it’s going to be a little bit more hectic than yesterday but I don’t miss the days where they would do 30 rounds on day three. 10 is much more manageable but it’s still a challenge to find information on every player. I will start live blogging at 1 PM and you should expect to see a lot of high school kids today along with some players from the MLB Draft League and maybe one or two “Draft and Follows” of junior college players. I’m unsure on the last part because that policy was just reinstated. It might not be popular in a shorter draft as you don’t want to possibly waste a pick.

All bets are off as far as who the Cubs will pick today. Expect them to go heavily with prep pitching and we might even see a player or two from Puerto Rico.

Once the draft is complete, free agency begins and those guys can sign for up to $125,000 again. The last two years they were limited to $20,000. So, I would expect to see some of the hitters you have been waiting to be scooped up at that point.

You should expect the Cubs to be major players in that market with the increased cap limit.

Interesting Fact After the Draft Yesterday

Let’s look at the draft by the numbers so far.

9 Pitchers – 8 RHP and 1 Lefty – Of the nine pitchers the Cubs got so far, there are college guys who they think could move quickly like Horton, Brandon Birdsell, and maybe Connor Noland. There are guys they are taking a risk on like Frisch and McCullough. Then there guys that they think they can coach up like Brody McCullough. As well, they have three young arms the Cubs think they develop like Nazier Mule, Jackson Ferris, and Mason McGwire.

1 SS – With Christopher Paciolla being the only position player so far, the Cubs are hedging their bets on the position players they do have and maybe they can acquire some tomorrow, in non-drafted free agency, and as a trade deadline. There’s no need to worry or fear.

19, 21 – Four of the players the Cubs took the past two days are age 18 and under, one is 20, and five are 22 years old. So it’s about half-and-half right now in terms of demographics.

12.5 – This was the number I placed on the over/under for how many pitchers the Cubs would take. Right now, they have nine and I thought they would sign or take 13 or 14.

3.5 – We will find out today how many Draft League players the Cubs pick up. I put that over/under at 3.5. They have none so far that I know of (I could be wrong).

1 – No draft and follows so far. It may not get to one.

0 – The Cubs have not taken a single catcher this year. They may feel that they have an abundance of backstops, and I think that answer would probably be true. 

They say that you never draft for need, but teams do.

I have talked all summer about the lack of pitching down in Mesa and how uncertain I am that several of them will make it to Myrtle Beach next spring. We might be seeing a reaction to that, but more than likely these guys that the Cubs are taking are not just arms in general. They’re targeting pitching, but they’re also targeting guys they think that they can develop into major leaguers. Horton fits that bill, so does Birdsell, but they’re taking the longer route on Ferris, Mule, and McGwire who will all likely be at Myrtle Beach next year.

My top guys for day 3

College Players
Andrew Walters – RHP – Miami – How is he not gone
Jacob Campbell – C – Illinois – Cubs took him once already coming out of high school
TJ McCants – OF – Ole Miss
Mac Horvath – 3B – UNC – Would be a good get

High School 
Gavin Turley – OF – Chandler, Arizona – Throw $300,000 at him and see if signs. It would be my favorite pick of the day if it happened.
Nicolas Perez – SS – Puerto Rico – Why not. Great fielder. Bat could take a while to develop.

If the Cubs get any of these guys today, I’m going to be a very happy man.