June 4, 2o12 is a date that will go down in infamy. May be I am over-selling the hype circling around the Chicago Cubs entering tonight’s Major League draft with the sixth overall selection. But, by the end of the night, the Cubs farm system will have improved dramatically and significant player will have been added.
The Cubs played the Giants today, but lets take a moment to focus on the draft. Besides, hate to ruin your Monday night, but the Cubs lost again to the Giants.
It is safe to say that Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, and vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod spent a grand total of zero minutes watching the Cubs game today. Instead, the Cubs brass was likely scouring over scouting reports on the all the top prospects that are eligible to be drafted in tonight’s draft.
The Cubs plan to put an emphasis on pitching during the draft. The one glaring hole in the Cubs’ farm system is the fact they lack impact pitching prospects. There is still Trey McNutt, but his stock does not appear to be as high as it was during the previous regime. Though, a name that should not be forgotten, is 2010 first round draft pick Hayden Simpson. Behind McNutt and Simpson, there is a whole bunch of blah in regards to pitchers in the Cubs’ minor league system.
While the Cubs plan to focus on pitching in the draft, the consensus is that the team will take position player with the sixth overall selection in the draft tonight. The two players that are being considered are Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, and Florida High School outfielder Albert Almora. Both Almora and Correa have been the most talked about candidates for the Cubs’ sixth overall selection. Correa is not believed to be on the draft board when the Cubs are on the clock, but there is slight chance that the shortstop who has drawn comparisons to Alex Rodriguez will be there for the Cubs taking. Almora is also a highly touted prospect, and most believe the Cubs’ front office in love with the Florida outfielder.
I think the Cubs will take Almora, though that is simply because I do not think Correa will be on the board when the Cubs are on the clock. If Correa is on the board, the Cubs will take him. A dream scenario, in my opinion, would be the Cubs drafting Correa and then turing around and signing outfielder Jorge Soler as an international free agent. It may not be likely, but there is no harm in dreaming.
No for that dream to turn into a nightmare and look at the 2012 season, more specifically, the Cubs 3 to 2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Monday.
What Went Right: What went right is the fact that the Cubs are no longer in San Francisco. Monday’s loss to the Giants signaled another sweep for the Cubs, this time of the 4 game variety. If there was anything positive to take from the game on Monday, Jeff Samardzja was solid once again. Samardzija allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks while striking out 6 Giants batters. The only knock on Samardzija would be that his pitching count tends to rise quickly. For instance, Samardzija threw 110 pitchers in his 5 innings of work on Monday. If Samardzija is going to establish himself as a top of the rotation pitcher, he is going to have to manage his pitch count to the point where he is able to pitch into the later innings of the game. I am not too concerned with this though. Samardzija has proven with his work ethic that he is willing to take whatever step neccessary to become one of the league’s best pitchers.
What Went Wrong: Starlin Castro had another mental lapse on Monday. In the fifth inning of the game, there was one out with the bases loaded. There was ground ball hit to second baseman Darwin Barney who then flipped the ball to Castro at second base. Castro stepped on the base and then proceeded towards the dugout. Castro had forgotten how many outs there were and instead of throwing the ball to first base–granted, it would have been tough to get the double play–Castro’s mental error could be seen as a reason the Cubs lost their lead to the Giants. Nonetheless, after the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said such a mistake was not acceptable and that Castro would be benched the next time that happens.
What Was Interesting: If found something interesting, be my guest and write it in the comments. But, I am losing interest in this Cubs teamby the minute. The real focus should be on the farm system. As Epstein, Hoyer, and McLeod have been doing for the majority of this season. Though, I will say, that after the draft concludes; there should be changes in the winds at Wrigley Field.