With the 2013 MLB draft right around the corner and the Chicago Cubs having the 2nd selection, it might be the most important draft of Theo Epstein’s career. There is plenty of top end college pitching arms available in this year’s draft that could help the Cubs rotation as soon as 2014. With that said, here are some names that could be possibilities for the 2nd selection.
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
The only thing that could keep this kid from being this year’s first overall pick is his bonus demands that kept him from signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012.
Coming back for another season at Stanford was a huge gamble by Appel, but it’s paying off. The extra year to develop his secondary pitches could end up making him a whole lot more money in 2013.
Whether it’s the Houston Astros or the Cubs that end up drafting this Appel, he should be at that top of their big league rotations by no later than the middle of 2014.
Jonathan Grey, RHP, Oklahoma
If it’s not Appel, it very well could be Grey. No pitchers stock has risen this spring more than this Oklahoma Sooner. He’s big, tall and has a plus fastball that tops out in the high 90’s. He also brings plus secondary pitches with an outstanding slider and has the ability to throw his change-up for strikes.
He could end up being the right choice now and in the future.
Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
No player’s stock rose more than Manaea’s during last summer’s Cape Cod league. The only thing that’s keeping this south paw from maybe the first player picked is the drop off on his fastball from last summer to this spring.
His stuff is still very good though, as he still hits 97MPH on his fastball and has a plus slider. With that type of ability from the left side, it could be tough for the Cubs front office to pass him by.
Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson High School Ga.
It’s not the first time the state of Georgia has produced an outstanding baseball prospect and in Meadows it might be its best. No other high school player is even in the discussion as a top 3 pick other than this pure talent.
With an outstanding arm, bat and speed, Meadows is projected to be a 5 tool player. He is projected as a corner outfielder as professional and with that lack of skilled position players in the Cubs system, it could be tough for Epstein to pass this type of talent by.
Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
Think of a position that has haunted the Cubs for nearly 40 years and its third base. If the Cubs want to put an end to consisted turn style, that’s gone on now for four decades, then Bryant might just be their guy.
Some scouts and teams project him as a first baseman, but I still think he has the soft hands and the plus arm to leave him at the hot corner. What really makes Bryant a possible pick for the Cubs is his outstanding bat. He brings plus power and also projects as a hitter that will consistently hit for a high average.