Cubs scouting director settled in for important draft
The Cubs hired Dan Kantrovitz as scouting director in November 2019.
The first draft he led was shortened to five rounds due to the pandemic. Two years later, the scouting schedule is back to normal, with the MLB Draft pushed from June to July.
With the rebuild in full swing, the Cubs need Kantrovitz needs to pick a winner with the No. 7 selection in Sunday's first round.
"I think the more that you work with a group of scouts, the more you start to understand their style," Kantrovitz said this week at Wrigley Field. "Everybody looks at players differently. Some scouts are more conservative than others or more aggressive. Some scouts might do better in evaluating pitchers than hitters.
"I think that's something that only comes with time. You can read scouts' prior reports, but until you really work with them and travel with them, you don't really get a feel for how you can best interpret a player evaluation."
Two pitchers promoted:
There were a couple of significant minor-league moves Friday, as left-handed pitchers Jordan Wicks and D.J. Herz were both promoted from Class A South Bend to Double A Tennessee.
Wicks was the Cubs' first-round pick last year, No. 21 overall, out of Kansas State. He had a couple of rough starts early in the season. In his last three outings, Wicks allowed just 1 earned run and 6 hits over 15 innings, with 21 strikeouts.
Herz, an eighth-round pick in 2019 out of Sanford High School in Fayetteville, N.C., has been rolling all year. He posted a 2.26 ERA in South Bend with 99 strikeouts in 64 innings.
MLB Pipeline rates Wicks and Herz the second- and third-best pitching prospects in the Cubs system, after Caleb Kilian. Wicks is the team's No. 7 overall prospect, with Herz at No. 9.
With Wicks and Herz on the mound, and top-10 position prospects like Pete Crow-Armstrong and Owen Caissie, South Bend was 14-4 in the Midwest League second half heading into Friday's action. Crow-Armstrong will play in the MLB Futures game this weekend.
Twin bill on deck:
The Cubs and Mets were rained out Friday and will play a doubleheader on Saturday at Wrigley Field, starting at 1:20 and 7:05 p.m.
The expected pitching matchups are Marcus Stroman vs. Taijuan Walker in Game 1, followed by Drew Smyly vs. Max Scherzer at night. ...
David Ross on his fourth-inning ejection from Thursday's 8-0 loss to the Mets: "We just had a disagreement on what a set is and what his (Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco) set was. I thought it was very random and (third base umpire John Tumpane) disagreed. I probably let my emotions get the best of me."
High expectationsThe Cubs have the No. 7 pick in Sunday's MLB Draft. Here's a list of their top 10 picks since 1980:
2015 -- OF Ian Happ, 9th
2014 -- C/OF Kyle Schwarber, 4th
2013 -- 3B Kris Bryant, 2nd
2012 -- OF Albert Almora, 6th
2011 -- SS Javy Baez, 9th
2007 -- 3B Josh Vitters, 3rd
2003 -- OF Ryan Harvey, 6th*
2001 -- P Mark Prior, 2nd
2000 -- SS Luis Montanez, 3rd
1998 -- OF Corey Patterson, 3rd
1997 -- P Jon Garland, 10th
1995 -- P Kerry Wood, 4th
1993 -- OF Brooks Kieschnick, 10th
1989 -- OF Earl Cunningham, 8th*
1988 -- 2B Ty Griffin, 9th*
1987 -- P Mike Harkey, 4th
1986 -- OF Derrick May, 4th
1984 -- P Drew Hall, 3rd
1983 -- P Jackie Davidson, 6th*
1982 -- SS Shawon Dunston, 1st
1981 -- OF Joe Carter, 2nd
(* -- did not play in majors)