Cubs front office gearing up for Draft

CHICAGO -- The Cubs have the second overall pick in the June 6 First-Year Player Draft, and have narrowed the list of players they're focusing on to half a dozen. General manager Jed Hoyer said the Astros, who have the first pick overall, aren't tipping their hand.

"Houston did a really good job last year," Hoyer said of the Astros, who selected shortstop Carlos Correa with the No. 1 pick in 2012. "We were sitting in our meeting last year, talking about what we were going to do and Carlos Correa was taken, and we assumed [the Astros] were going in a different direction. They did a real good job last year hiding their intent.

"We don't expect to know until the name is called in New York [on June 6]," Hoyer said. "When you pick second, it's a pretty short list [of candidates]. We'll react to what [the Astros] do. At this time of year, you'll get texts from friends thinking they know how things will fall out. The truth is, only two or three people in the Astros organization know how it's going to happen. We don't expect to know until the last minute. We'll keep doing our due diligence."

The Cubs scouts and front office went over the prospects at their mid-point meeting and will not gather again until the end of May.

"When you pick second, you can really bear down on [the top picks]," Hoyer said.

Last year, the Cubs had the sixth pick overall and chose high school outfielder Albert Almora.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.