This year’s amateur draft isn’t very diverse compared to previous years. Many scouts and crosscheckers I’ve recently talked to feel that there is no obvious superstar talent pick that is a consensus overall pick. Several of the scouts feel that besides the top four talents (SS Georgia HS Tim Beckman,Vanderbilt 3B Pedro Alvarez, RHP Missouri HS Aaron Crow, and LHP Missouri Brian Matsuz) that the mid-first rounders aren’t too far behind the early picks. This draft is deep in first basemen and positional players with contact, power, and discipline yet have no real position. Overall, the pitching is mediocre. The college ranks are deep in mediocre talent but most don’t have high ceilings while the high schoolers are sparse but have a few that already have huge ceilings with big risks. What this draft is lacking is middle infielders (2B & SS) and outfielders (CF & RF) in both the college and high school fronts. Besides just a handful of guys at both positions, there will be a severe lack in the first round with some high school stretches. In the mean time, scouts are already salivating over 2009’s potential draft class (Kyle Gibson from University of Missouri and Brian Strasburg from San Diego State).

Despite making the playoffs, the Cubs still have a relatively early pick at 19th overall due to the new drafting format based on total MLB record. The new format (old format went back and forth between AL and NL based on record) left a few teams (Mariners, Tigers, Mets, and Padres) who had better records than the Cubs yet didn’t make the playoffs and didn’t receive a protected pick. Hendry played this weak free agency crop well by signing the biggest free agent (Fukudome) that wouldn’t cost him his unprotected first round pick (the first 15 picks are protected). Jim also didn’t pick up minor free agents either that would cost him his 2nd, 3rd, or 4th pick like he did in the 2005 offseason (signing Howry and Eyre). Instead, the Cubs actually picked up a sandwich pick, the 39th overall pick, for losing Jason Kendall to the Brewers. Yeah, I know what your thinking and it’s reason to rejoice, someone signed Kendall early and basically gave us a pick. It’s even more icing that the team was our biggest competitor in the NL Central and loses their 2nd round pick. As of right now, here is what the draft order looks like:

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