6/2 Draft day
The Cubs haven’t done any mock drafts yet heading into Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft. Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development for the Cubs, said it’s a little different when you have the second pick overall.
“When you’re picking [No. 2], it takes a lot of the ‘mocking’ out of it,” McLeod said Sunday. “If you have the group of five players or so, it’s like, ‘OK, in our mock draft, Houston takes player X. OK, we’re on the clock.’ You can do a lot of strategy when you’re picking deeper in the Draft.”
McLeod said the Cubs front office has actually spent more time discussing their second and third round picks, Nos. 41 and 75 overall, more in recent days.
“We’ve probably discussed No. 2 for about two hours of the four days we’ve been here,” McLeod said. “We’ll get into those guys more this week.”
Having the No. 2 pick overall has given McLeod and others the chance to see some of the best amateur players.
“For me, on a weekly basis, I’ve spent a lot of Friday nights seeing the top college pitching around the country and seeing the best players who we’re going to consider with that pick and with our second pick at 41,” McLeod said. “When you’re only seeing the best players, it’s a lot of fun nights.”
The Cubs have narrowed their list to four: pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Standford and third basemen Kris Bryant of San Diego and Colin Moran of North Carolina.
“Ultimately, it’s long term, who will make the most significant impact on the organization,” McLeod said. “We don’t go into any Draft drafting based on need, we go in drafting on who we feel is going to provide the biggest impact for our club, hopefully for years to come. Whether you’re picking sixth like last year, or two, or in Boston, late in the first round, that’s always the mindset. The player pool changes a lot when you’re picking at the top of the Draft.”
— Carrie Muskat