The Chicago Cubs hold the second overall pick in the 2013 draft that gets underway on Thursday, June 6. Speculation and rumors are running rampant on who the Cubs will take. Pitchers Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray head the list with third baseman Kris Bryant drawing some late attention.
The Cubs prize for losing over 100 games last year is a bonus pool of $10,556,500 and the second pick in each of the 40 rounds. Every pick in the first 10 rounds is assigned a $ value, which determines a team's bonus pool. Here's the Cubs first 10 picks and assigned value of the pick. Round 1, pick # 2, $6,708,400; Round 2, pick # 41, $1,361,900; Round 3, pick # 75, $736,200; Round 4, pick # 108, $477,300; Round 5, pick # 138, $357,400; Round 6, pick # 168, $267,600; Round 7, pick # 198, $200,400; Round 8, pick # 228, $159,400; Round 9, pick # 258, $148,900; Round 10, pick # 288, $139,000.
Teams cannot spend more than $100,000 for picks 11-40 or the money counts against their bonus pool. Teams are penalized financially and can lose draft picks for exceeding the bonus pool by more than five percent. Any overage up to five percent is a 75 percent tax.
Scouting/Player Development Director Jason McLeod prepares for his second draft with the North Siders. Last year, the Cubs nabbed high school outfielder Albert Almora with the sixth overall pick and then took pitchers with their next seven selections. McLeod joined the Cubs in November of 2011 after two years as the Padres Assistant General Manager. He spent five seasons as the Red Sox's director of amateur scouting and has 18 years of experience in baseball operations and coaching. He began his career in San Diego in 1994 as an intern in baseball operations and held several positions including coaching for three years in the minors. Area scout and assistant director of scouting and player development are also on his resume. He is the great-grand nephew of Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell.
This will be the first Cubs' draft since 2005 without Tim Wilken heading up the scouting efforts as he was promoted to Special Assistant to President and General Manager. That duty falls on Jaron Madison, who spent the last three seasons as the San Diego Padres Director of Amateur Scouting. He was hired in August of 2012 and worked with Cubs GM Jed Hoyer and McLeod while in San Diego. He spent two years as the St. Louis Cardinals assistant director of scouting and was the assistant to the director of scouting for San Diego from 2005-07. He started his professional baseball career as an associate area scout for the Padres in 2002 and then spent spent three years as an area scout for Pittsburgh covering Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii.
In an interview before last year's draft with Scout's MadFriars.com, Madison gave a look inside his draft philosophies as well as the importance of scouting prospects off the field.
"You can never have too many catchers, shortstops, center fielders or pitchers. It's just the nature of the draft and minor league baseball. You don't shy away from anyone. You try to take as many up-the-middle guys as you can, because those guys if they can't stick, they can move to the corners," Madison said in the interview.
He also gave some insight on the drafting pitchers vs. hitters, "You try to find the strength of the class. Every draft class is rich in pitching and we truly believe you can find good pitching up and down the draft, in the 12th round as well as the first and fifth. The hitters that you're sure about go quick. You really have to identify the ones you really believe in and try to put together your list so you get as many of those good bats who have a chance to impact as you can while not missing out on some of the arms we consider special."
And the play of the field isn't the only thing the Cubs new scouting director looks for before selecting a player. Plenty of work is done to find out what they are like off the field, especially at the high school level.
"We're going to miss on some guys on the field – their talent and abilities. But we don't think it's acceptable to miss on guys off the field. And we have some control over that and that's why we ask so much of our scouts. For the most part, we put a lot of stock in our area scouts and our regional supervisors. They go in the house and meet the kids and their parents. They talk to guidance counselors, teachers, people at the games who know these kids. You try to get the information from unbiased sources. There's only a small percentage of high school kids that are ready to go out, physically, mentally and just emotionally ready to be away from home and be on their own and deal with teammates from all over the world. So we need to try to identify the kids who will grind it out, who will do whatever it takes to put in the extra work and have the confidence in their ability to get through slumps and to learn."
Lukas McNight, a 21st round pick of the Cubs in 2000, serves as the Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting. McNight caught in the Cubs minor leagues for five years (.261/.335/.348) playing 44 games at AA Tennessee in 2004. McNight was promoted from Regional Crosschecker but he's still assisting in that capacity. Shane Ferrell, the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell, is the amateur scouting assistant. Farrell pitched at Marshall University from 2008-11. Sam Hughes Ron Tostesnson, and Matt Dorey serve as National Crosscheckers while Mark Adair, Steve Riha, and Dorey are regional crosscheckers.
The Cubs organization employees 18 area scouts that cover the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. The Cubs area scouts are: Tim Adkins (IN, KY, MI, OH, WV), John Ceprini (DE, NJ, PN, NY), Tom Clark (FL, GA), Chris Clemons (LA, TX), Jim Crawford (AL, MS, TN), Jonathan Davis (AL, MS TN), Scott Fairbanks (CA, NV), Trey Forerway (TX, LA), Al Geddes (AL, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, West Canada), John Koronka (FL, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands), Keith Lockhart (GA, SC), Alex Lontayo (CAL), Steve McFarland (AZ, CO, NM, UT, NV), Tony Meyers (CA), Ty Nichols (AR, KS, MO, NE, ND, OK, SD), Matt Sherman (CT, VT, RI ME, NH, MA, NY, East Canada), Billy Swoope (MD, NC, VA, WV), Stan Zielinski (IL, IN, IA, MN, WI). The Cubs use the services of part-time scouts Ramser Correa, Keith Ryman and Eric Servais.