Discover more from Pointless Exercise
MLB Draft Running Diary - Day One
Did the Cubs get the steals of the draft? Sure, why not?
There are few things more fun to make fun of than professional sports drafts, and of those, the MLB Draft might be the most fun. It’s four plus hours of “experts” telling you about players you’ve never seen play, and that most of them don’t know much about. They are literally forming our opinions of our favorite team’s draft while we’re watching.
How will the Cubs botch it? Let’s find out!
This year’s draft is being held outdoors at some XBOX branded pavilion at LA Live that looks like a set from A Mighty Wind, and MLB Network is showing how much they value this event by having Harold Reynolds on the main set to ruin it. The panel on the main stage is Greg Amsinger, Harold, University of Tennesee head coach Tony Vitello, UCLA head coach John Savage, and failed Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd.
Where is Jim Hendry? He’d be the best. “Did I ever tell you guys about the time Gary Hughes and I decided to just draft everybody from my old high school? We turned in all 25 tickets at once and went to a bar.”
Harold said he’s had every top prospect on the top eight list provided by the network as his number one. So, Harold is just throwing poop at the wall. Fun.
O’Dowd said he’d take Jackson Holliday number one. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact he’s former Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday’s son. And O’Dowd drafted his old man. Nah.
Savage is talking about what it was like to manage a future number one overall pick in college as he did with Gerrit Cole. I wonder if he’ll talk about another guy he managed there, Cole’s teammate and another very high draft pick, Trevor Bauer? Huh. Probably not.
Now the talk is about whether the Orioles, who are picking number one overall, should draft the best player, or if they should draft a lesser player and spread their pool money around. Nothing’s more fun than talk of how baseball artificially holds down draft pick compensation with a slot system that teams don’t have to actually follow.
Termarr Johnson is going to be a very high pick and Lauren Gardner interviews him and asks him to tell us “who are you wearing?” and he goes through everything he’s wearing, including a “Donald Trump tie.” He just bolted to the top of the Cubs’ board.
The kids’ table has the Prospect Perverts on it. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and Carlos Collazzo of Baseball America.
Callis and Mayo have Druw Jones (Andruw Jones’ son) projected to go first, and Collazzo has Holliday. Harold has left the set while an intern explains to him why the Orioles can’t just take all eight guys he thinks they should draft first overall. He has just asked her if she wants to pick up some Boston Market after the draft.
Rob Manfred Tob Manford stops by to chat with Greg and Harold. If I were Greg all I would do is keep asking Tob why they moved the Futures Game to Saturday late afternoon and put it on Peacock and didn’t tell anybody, and did absolutely no promotion for it. I guess we know. Tob hates baseball.
Tob says he’s hopeful the players and owners will come to an agreement on an international draft. He says it’s needed to clean up the underage hijinks in countries like the Dominican Republic, Curacao and the Jeffrey Epstein sex island.
He says he chose Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera for extra spots on the All-Star Teams because nothing excites kids quite like watching guys who can’t play anymore waste an at bat.
“Daddy, who’s the fat guy?”
It’s cool to see Yadi got a head start on the All-Star Break, by like six weeks.
Does Yadi think basketball team owners have to wear jerseys to the games like baseball managers do?
Greg thinks it’s great that Andruw Jones, Matt Holiday and Carl Crawford all have kids who are going to be drafted. Tob says “I love the Bloodline storyline.”
Well, season one, maybe. Tob. It got bad fast.
Tony Vitello is pretty good on TV, and MLB Network knows that when you can add a college coach to your broadcast who looks like Eddie Rabbitt, you do it.
They show Jackson Holliday’s draft party at his parents’ house and Matt Holliday is late to get into the shot because out of habit he had run way out of the baseline to knock Starlin Castro into left field as he tried to break up a double play.
My scouting report on Justin Crawford: He’s got a chance to be as good as his dad was after he signed with the Red Sox.
Justin said meeting the commissioner was “a dream come true.” He needs much better dreams.
The panel discusses which player could be the first to the big leagues. Harold cheats by saying Kumar Rocker, who was the Mets’ first round pick last year, didn’t sign because the Mets apparently don’t know that Tommy John Disease is curable, and is back in the draft after pitching some independent ball this year.
Remember when the Cubs took Burl Carraway in 2020 and people thought he could jump right to their bullpen? Hey, I don’t need to tell you how many big outs he’s gotten for the Cubs…none. He’s got a 9.00 ERA at AA Tennessee in ten appearances. Great.
Kiefer Sutherland narrates the official open to the draft. It’s about casting movies or something, but I applaud the choice. Kiefer’s been in lots of baseball movies, like Stand By Me.
MLB Network streamlines the main set by losing one of the panelists. But alas, it isn’t Harold. It’s the UCLA coach. He probably is heading backstage to do a six hour podcast with The Athletic on Chase Strumpf’s swing mechanics.
Tob gets booed when he comes out to give his opening remarks. He ignores them, but honestly, I really miss Bud Selig in times like these. The old interim commissioner for life would have loved this year’s draft. He always pronounced Los Angeles as Los An-juh-leeze. Just the epitome of Bud’s used car dealer background coming through.
Right before the Orioles pick, we see Termarr Johnson get up to answer his cell phone. If that happened to me, it would be my wife asking me what our Hulu password is, for the 400th time.
Orioles pick Jackson Holliday. The best part of that is that Cubs fans won’t have to start pretending his old man wasn’t a shitbag.
Hey, remember that time in the playoffs that he tried to catch a fly ball with his nuts?
My comp for Jackson Holliday is Roy Smalley Jr. Like Holliday, Roy was a big leaguer’s kid and I hope Jackson turns out to be just as bad.
Matt looks very disappointed that Jackson’s not going to college because he finally had the look down where he could show up on weekends and pretend he’s Jackson’s younger cousin from Canada, to get into parties.
Harold’s player comps are always guys who just sort of look like the guy he’s being asked to comp. For Holliday I was shocked he didn’t just throw out, “Andy Gibb!”
D’bags take Druw Jones at number two. Is he the steal of the draft? Probably. Maybe not. Hey, you never know.
One thing he’ll never top his father on is that Bobby Cox will never get a chance to waddle out of the dugout, stop play and make him come out of a game for not running hard enough after a fly ball.
Rangers take Kumar Rocker number three overall and there are gasps from the crowd. Or yawns. Can’t really tell. This is a shock for many. But should it be? He was the tenth pick last year, he got his Tommy John Disease surgery out of the way and Harold says he’s going to be quickest to the big leagues and Harold knows…nothing, really.
This is huge for the Cubs because it means one of the top guys will fall to them at seven. Who are the top guys? Uh…I don’t know, ask the creepy self-declared draft experts, they’ll be happy to guess out loud for you.
Pissburgh takes Trump tie wearing Termarr Johnson number four. Big day for him and them. He’ll be a key piece of their 70 win teams in both 2026 and 2027.
Termarr cries during this interview (hey, Pissburgh’s not THAT bad) and then drops a promo for his brother’s new single.
Harold says Termarr’s “the best high school hitter I’ve seen” and Harold has seen like five or six of them. So that’s big, I guess.
Carlos Collazzo agrees and says Johnson’s the best high school hitter he’s ever seen. Well, he never saw Shawon Dunston.
Nats select outfielder Elijah Green. He’s the son of former Steelers tight end Eric Green. Wouldn’t it be great if he were the same size?
O’Dowd says he’s got “an explosive lower half.” Just like me after a half hour at Taco Bell.
Mayo says he grades out plus “at everything but the hit tool.” Oh. That seems kind of important. No?
Marlins draft LSU third baseman Jacob Berry. This is the guy that scouts couldn’t figure out what position he might actually be able to competently play. Cubs have to be bummed to miss out on a gem like that.
Vitello says Berry is a “cage rat.” Sounds like he should become a “fielding practice rat.”
Callis says he’s “a switch hitting Andrew Vaughn,” so yeah, he has no position.
Get excited Cubs fans, they are on the clock!
Oof. They’d literally been better off to have just passed. Both times.
Cubs take Cade Horton, a pitcher from Oklahoma. Amsinger says that Horton wasn’t on anybody’s top 300 lists until recently and that he’s top 35 now. Do the Cubs know they have the SEVENTH pick?
Nice that the Cubs cheapness is not just limited to free agency.
Callis says Horton was “the best college pitcher available” and that it’s not a reach or a stretch. He has a chance to be the next Burl Carraway!
Scouts talk about the good face. What’s the opposite of that?
Twins take shortstop Brooks Lee eighth. Hey, he’s got Tyler Colvin’s ears!
O’Dowd says Lee “simply doesn’t strike out.” That was a minus for the Cubs who already have Nico Hoerner who doesn’t strike out, and that’s probably enough for them.
Royals take Gavin Cross at nine. Probably the highest rated unvaccinated player on their board, or something. In his draft video he told a story about pissing himself in the outfield in high school and then sliding in the dirt in the infield to cover it up. So, there’s that.
Rockies take Gabriel Hughes, a pitcher from Gonzaga number ten and now the Cubs have only made the second biggest reach in the draft. Fun.
At eleven, the Mets snag catcher Kevin Parada from Georgia Tech. The panel talks about what a good hitter he is and can he stick at catcher in the big leagues? Uh…would he have been there at 11 if he was an awesome hitter who teams were confident could catch? No.
He tells Lauren Gardner that getting drafted is “bittersweet.” She asks why and he says, “Out of high school, I was against it and now I couldn’t be more excited.” Sounds like somebody’s taken too many foul balls off his mask.
Detroit drafts Jace Jung, a second baseman from Texas Tech with a fucked up batting stance. Harold correctly compares it to Mickey Tettleton’s. And O’Dowd compares his defense to Jason Kipnis. Oh, no. I’d be more concerned about his ego, his personal consciousness and his collective unconscious. Or, maybe that’s Carl Jung.
The thirteenth pick is Zach Neto to the Angels. Neto is a wispy shortstop who played in college for the Campbell Camels. He says he should have gone higher and he’s going to play with a chip on his shoulder. Looks like the Angels should have done a more thorough medical on him. Chipped shoulders can’t be good for shortstops.
Harold says it’s important that Zach’s dad is a mailman because he knows how to grind. What?
The Mets have another pick and take Jett Williams, a high school shortstop. He’s 5’8. Hey, it worked for Nick Madrigal! For like two months two years ago.
At 15, the Padres take Dylan Lesko, a high school pitcher from Georgia. He caught Tommy John Disease in April or he might have been the top overall pick. And, this is his dad, Matthew:
The Padres are going to pay his contract with a government grant.
OK, that might not be his dad.
Who did MLB Network get to talk about how good he is? Some guy named Greg Maddux. Greg’s excited about him, and Greg doesn’t get excited about anything.
OK, are we done doing each pick? We have to be because I’m about to stop watching the draft in real time so I can go on the Wrigleyville Nation podcast. But that doesn’t mean there’s not things to still make fun of.
The Phillies draft Carl Crawford’s son Justin, and Harold says the single most astute thing of the night. He’s talking about Crawford’s speed, and says this, “He has a uniqueness that we don’t see very often.”
That’s kind of the definition of unique, Harold.
Cam Collier, son of former big leaguer Lou, goes to the Reds at 18. A lot of Prospect Pervs had him going seven to the Cubs. Now he’s going to haunt the Cubs for…oh, whatever.
At 22, the Cardinals take Cooper Hjerpe, a left pitcher from Oregon State.
Yes, you read that right Hjerpe. Amsinger, without laughing called Hjerpe, “one of the breakout pitchers in college baseball.” The thing about Hjerpe is he’ll break out when you least expect it.
Hjerpe? In a draft with all these sons of former big leaguers, could this be Ryan Braun’s kid?
The White Sox are picking at 26 and they take local boy Noah Schultz from Oswego. He’s 6’9. Are we sure Rick Hahn made this pick and not Arturas Karnisovas? Schultz has committed to Vanderbilt and honestly, they probably could offer him more money than the Sox. He says he’s going to sign with the Sox.
Schultz apparently had mono last spring, which would make him the best available pitcher with mono since the Cubs took Hayden Simpson in 2010.
The Brewers drafted Eric Brown Jr. from Coastal Carolina. I have no idea who Eric Brown Sr. is. But I do know that Jake Arrieta has Eric Brown Jr.’s alma mater tattooed on his ass.
For the second round, MLB Network does a shift change and we get Scott Braun, Mayo, Callis, Collazzo and O’Dowd. Oh no, what will we do without Harold saying that every position player is “one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen?”
One pick ahead of the Cubs at 47, Chris Coghlan came out to announce the Marlins pick. I can’t get away from the guy.
Rick Sutcliffe and his grandson, Ryder make the Cubs pick in the second round. Jackson Ferris a lefthanded pitcher from IMG Academy. Ferris says he models his game after Clayton Kershaw because he expects to struggle in every playoff game.
He’s from Mount Airy, North Carolina. If you don’t know what TV show was set in a fictional version of Mt. Airy, well, it’s this one.
Andy Griffith actually grew up in Mt. Airy. Now you know.
The Cubs will tell you that by drafting Horton at seven and paying him like a middle of the first rounder that it frees up enough money to buy Ferris out of his commitment to Ole Miss.
And I assume that’s what they’ll do. But, it’s hard to try to sell fans on how you need to bottom out to pick near the top of the draft instead of being mediocre and drafting in the middle of the round when you draft near the top and don’t take advantage of the better talent.
Maybe they think Horton is worthy of the seventh pick, but if they drafted him solely to save money to increase their offer to Ferris, why not take that money out of an overdrafted player in the third or fourth round? Maximize the top of your draft when you are picking high. Unless of course you expect to be bad for several more years.
Nah, that can’t be it.
Congrats to the Prospect Perverts out there for a successful first day of the draft. I think we can all agree that the Cubs got the two steals of the draft, and the only problem they’re going to face is what to do with all of this talent.
Rounds three through ten are today on mlb.com, followed by the final ten rounds on Tuesday which, knowing MLB will be broadcast via HAM radio from the deck of a whale watching boat.