May 11, 2013 by Ryan S
It has been long rumored that the Cubs would choose between Stanford P Mark Appel and Oklahoma P Jonathan Gray with the second overall pick in the 2013 MLB first-year player draft this June. The Astros have the number one overall pick, and they have also been eyeing those two college phenoms.
Last night vs. Oregon State, Appel went five innings allowing six hits, five walks, one hit by pitch, one wild pitch and five earned runs while just striking out four. And rumor has it that his poor performance last night could cost him the number one overall pick this draft, with the Astros now maybe leaning towards Gray.
The Cubs will probably have about a $6 million bonus to offer to whoever they end up selecting in the two spot. Appel (unfortunately represented by Scott Boras) was drafted eighth last season by the Pirates and offered a $3.8 million bonus, which he rejected to return to Stanford.
If Appel falls to the number two pick, there are very strong odds that the Cubs would take him off the board. However, recent rumors suggest that the Cubs are still interested in San Diego 3B Kris Bryant. Bryant is a tall 6’5″ and weighs 215 pounds, who has hit 25 homers in 49 games this season for San Diego, while also compiling 56 walks and hitting 0.333.
The reason that Bryant is so attractive is because of his impressive bat speed as well as his seemingly advanced patience at the plate. He’s got a big frame and a lot of reports say that he could move to first base in the future, which would not likely come to fruition if he signs with the Cubs because of Anthony Rizzo.
However, common among reports is the idea that he could rise through the minors quickly, which is obviously attractive since the Cubs hope to contend in the next few years.
What it comes down to is whether the Cubs would be willing to take a hitter who could rise through the minors quickly and contribute (think Bryce Harper) vs. a pitcher who could do the same (think Stephen Strasburg).
Worth noting, although definitely not a predictor of what the Cubs will do this draft, is the fact that the Cubs have not selected a pitcher in the top-10 since Mark Prior in 2001. Their past four top-10 picks have all been hitters– Ryan Harvey (#6, 2003), (Josh Vitters (#3, 2006), Javier Baez (#9, 2011) and Albert Almora (#6, 2012). All but Harvey are still in the Cubs’ system, and Vitters played for the big league team briefly last fall.
There will be more as we get closer to the draft in June, and as always, go Cubs!