SAN FRANCISCO -- All the days on the road and nights in different hotel rooms and bad food consumed and video watched and scouting reports discussed by the Cubs baseball operations staff will hopefully pay off Monday in the First-Year Player Draft.
The Cubs have the sixth pick overall and two supplemental round selections. In 2002, they had a first-round pick plus three supplemental picks, plus the 56th and 62nd selections. Six picks in the first 62 is a lot (For trivia buffs, the players taken were Bobby Brownlie, Luke Hagerty, Chadd Blasko, Matthew Clanton, Brian Dopirak and Justin Jones).
This is the first Draft for the Cubs by Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, and they've done their homework.
"Any organization, you do all your due diligence, you want that to be the right pick," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. "The [supplemental] round, you want to find those diamonds in the rough. There's a lot that goes into the Draft that people don't fathom. There's a lot that goes into it to find that impact player."
Epstein, president of baseball operations, and Hoyer, the general manager, have been on the road scouting players, as has McLeod, who runs the team's scouting and player development. The trio were together in Boston and have reunited in Chicago, spending the last week in a conference room going over backround checks on the prospects.
Sveum notes their picks, such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, have worked out well.
"There are plenty of guys out there who you see have the tools and 'wow,' but at the same time, they haven't panned out," Sveum said. "It's like gambling. You take a shot and boom, you pick them, and wish they pan out the way you graded them out. Hopefully, those grades work out character-wise as much as anything."