I would think he's probably the odds-on winner here, but things can change. He competes well and naturally his stuff is real good. He's pretty athletic and what I liked about him was that he could go back and get a little extra when he needed it. He seemed to do it when it counted the most in the games that I saw. He might be anywhere from 89 to 95 (mph) with his fastball. He's got a curveball and changeup that have a chance to be pretty good pitches.
On lessons learned from past drafts that apply today.
There are plenty of things that you learn. After you've gone through a few of these, I guess it's kind of like a player. There are some things that players recognize as they get older, and they handle things a little differently or better because of what they've seen in the past. You've got all that history, so it's kind of like the hitter that learns about the pitches that he can handle and the ones to lay off. I guess the beautiful thing about experience is you hope not to make the same mistakes you made earlier. As scouting directors, we make them, too. We make a fair amount.
On whether there was one particular draft he regretted.
I don't know if I ever regretted one. I probably didn't do as good a job as I should have in Toronto with Justin Morneau. I know today I probably would have sought him out again and went to see him play. I saw him and thought I'd seen what my eyes had told me. Evidently, I was wrong. In that case, I was looking at him more as a catcher as opposed to a hitter. I guess I put more of a premium on bats today and not as much emphasis on other parts of the game.
On the strong amount of catchers in this year's class.
It's very solid. I won't say it's strong until maybe we get one or two. The catchers and the left-handed pitchers kind of go like dominoes. There's a fair amount of pitchers that are maybe not so high in the draft (boards), but there's still a fair amount of depth in the high rounds. It's the same way with the catchers. There's a fair amount of depth, but if two or three start to go in a row, there might be some sort of panic and everyone starts over-drafting. At the same time, I kind of hope I get one or two of those guys.
On whether his approach changes in the final rounds of the draft.
We have a plan to take some high school kids and get them placed on high-level ballclubs this summer to determine whether we want to pay them either what they're asking for, what they're worth, or both. We'll also take some guys that possibly were a little of a higher profile who kind of fell on their face; that either had a bad case of ‘draft-itis' or the injury bug. But when they ask if we're going all 50 rounds, my response is: get your pens and papers out and your computers ready, because you're going to stay there all 50 rounds. The Cubs are going to draft in all 50 rounds.
The 2007 draft begins Thursday at 1 p.m. (CDT). Day One coverage of the draft can be seen on ESPN2.