Draft Notes: Cubs, Garcia, Pirates, Twins

MLB's first year player draft takes place one week from today. The notes below should provide some hints as to what might happen on June 4th…

  • Chicago GM Jed Hoyer says "pitching is a target” for the Cubs in next week’s draft, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald reports (Twitter link) “As an organization, our pitching depth is one of our bigger concerns,” Hoyer said.
  • In this week's edition of Ask BA Jim Callis of Baseball America explains why teams won't use top picks to draft players they don't intend to sign.
  • Cuban left-hander Onelki Garcia has his eyes on a major payday with the draft looming. The 22-year-old is looking for a signing bonus of $7MM and will not sign unless he's taken in the first round, tweets ESPN.com's Keith Law.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America expects the Pirates to take a hitter with the eighth overall selection (all Twitter links). Callis keeps hearing the Pirates connected to Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero, and prep outfielder Albert Almora and University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino are also possibilities. Zunino draws comparisons to Jason Varitek, Callis notes.
  • Callis expects the Twins to take the top talent available when they select second overall, but notes that they could use pitching.

Daniel Seco contributed to this post.

26 Responses to Draft Notes: Cubs, Garcia, Pirates, Twins Leave a Reply

  1. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Personally I think all teams should select based on top talent, not necesarily needs.  Players usually take 3+ years to get to the majors, so why pick based upon what you need now.  Also you can shift players to where you need them, kinda like how harper was moved.  You can also swap top talents if you need to.

    • imachainsaw 3 years ago

      Personally I think all teams should select based on what their circumstances dictate. If a team is relatively balanced as far offense & pitching, then, yes, always go with the best available talent. But the Cubs circumstances dictate that they address their near complete lack of pitching talent. They already have a few position players prospects who are considered probable ML everyday players, but maybe like two potential pitching prospects. They desperately need arms.

  2. Mark Luebker 3 years ago

    I love the line about Jim Callis noting that the Twins need pitching. He’s absolutely right, but I’d add: And hitting. And fielding. And baserunning. And leadership. And coaching. Even with a handful of first-round picks, that’s a pretty long shopping list!

  3. Haven’t heard much about Onelki. Is he good enough to warrant that kind of price tag?

  4. bigpat 3 years ago

    I don’t know much about the talent in this year’s draft but I thought Zunino was a stud and I’d be shocked if he fell to Pittsburgh at 8. I could care less if they have Tony Sanchez in the system, Zunino should be much better. 

  5. jhawk90 3 years ago

    “Callis expects the Twins to take the top talent available when they select second overall, but notes that they could use pitching.”
    …and that, my friends, is epic reporting.  Good Lord.

  6. DempseyK 3 years ago

    If the Pirates take a Almora I’ll be livid.  They need to draft the best available  COLLEGE position player.  We need guys that will be able to come up and around Taillion and Cole, so a High Schooler probably wont be the best choice…Plus, I am a firm believer that as a batter, the less time you spend with the Pirates minor league teams the better.  The Buc’s new management does not have the greatest track record of developing position players for the MLB roster.

    I would love Zunino, would be thrilled with Marerro if Zunino is off the board, and if neither are available, then I want the first/third baseman from Clemson, Richie Shaffer

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      that would be a terrible draft strategy to leave higher upside players just because they arent as polished as college players.

    • mstrchef13 3 years ago

      Yea, because taking Alvarez worked out so well for the Pirates.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Who knows there…. He’s hitting for pwoer, but not making very good contact obviously. Maybe he’s a late bloomer a la Alex Gordon.

      • Bucn24 3 years ago

        He is 25 and tied for the team lead in HR and has 24 RBIs I think he is working out just fine

        • mstrchef13 3 years ago

          He’s working out just fine? He’s hitting .207 and on pace to strikeout 200 times. If you really think that the #2 overall pick in the draft becoming Mark Reynolds is working out just fine, then you keep on thinking that.

          • Bucn24 3 years ago

            With a guy like Pedro I will take the slumps that he gets in because when he gets locked in he makes them a hard team to be beat.

          • mstrchef13 3 years ago

            Wait… the guy has been hitting under .200 for a year and a half and you call it a slump? Wowzers…

          • Bucn24 3 years ago

            He has only played 212 games in the mlb that isn’t even a season and a half. I agree with you that his average isn’t anywhere as close to where I would like it. But he has shown that he has the power to be a 30 Hr guy.

          • Jason Richards 3 years ago

            This is baseball prospects flame out all the time. Just ask the padres about Matt Bush………..

          • mstrchef13 3 years ago

            True, but Bush was quite possibly the worst #1 overall pick, and everyone knew it as soon as the Padres made it.

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        And Tony Sanchez!

      • bigpat 3 years ago

        Every other team would have taken Alvarez if they were in their position. I dont’ think he will be a perennial All-Star and probably won’t be a .300 hitter, but I can see him becoming the 30 HR 100 RBI bat the Pirates desperately need.

        I just wish they had Wieters at catcher :(

        • mstrchef13 3 years ago

          This all goes back to the “the Pirates will take the best college hitter” quote. They should take whoever they think the best player available is at the time they pick. If you limit yourselves to a college hitter because you want someone who will get to the majors quickly, then you are doing something wrong. If it turns out that the player on top of your list at that time happens to be a college hitter, then great for you.

          I look back at all the pitchers the Orioles have taken in the first round over the last 12 years because “they needed pitching” (and who doesn’t) that failed miserably, when they should have taken the best player available.

    • BeatEmBucs 3 years ago

       I’ll be a lot less than “thrilled” if they take a defensive SS that can’t hit with #8. Those guys grow on trees. They’re called Ronny Cedeno and Jack Wilson.

  7. mstrchef13 3 years ago

    Who in the blue hell is this Onelkis Garcia to dictate where he will be drafted and what he will sign for? According to this report in January from Baseball America, link to baseballamerica.com, Garcia is a 3rd round talent due to command issues and lack of life on his fastball. So he can be delusional and greedy and continue to pitch in the Puerto Rican winter league for the rest of his life, or he can sign with whomever drafts him for whatever they can negotiate for and start his professional career. If I were a MLB player personnel director (and I’m not), his statement about not signing unless he’s a first round pick would make me NOT want to draft him at all. What leverage does he have? He’s not even going the independent ball route like Hochevar, Crow, Scheppers, etc. to show that he’s worth that high of a pick.

    Good luck to you, Mr. Delusional Cuban.

  8. It’s going to be an interesting draft. Do the Twins want to draft Zunino and move Mauer out of catcher, or will they draft a college pitcher and send him through the system quickly? My guess is they go for a college pitcher. We’ll see what Terry Ryan has up his sleeve soon. 

    • donna rothwell 3 years ago

       Hopefully Terry Ryan has his own resignation papers up his sleeve and turns them in before the draft…

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Just me here…

      I always like to see Boston take a pitcher (preferably JC-College) who has a power arm with at least a 1st round, or supplemental 1st round pick and the more the merrier if they have 2+ of those picks.

      Draft positional players lower down and junk ballers lower than that, but ALWAYS like to see them take power arms high. Doesn’t meant they always make it of course..

      Twins need a full rotation, or will shortly and you would think a power arm would be a choice if there is 2-3 people there of equal merit. I would like to see the Twins go that direction in there rotation anyway now.

  9. Ryan 3 years ago

    They need either Appel or Gausman

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