Phil Rogers's post on Baseball | Latest updates on Sulia
Given their need for pitching, the Cubs are focused on impact arms in the 2013 draft. Mark Appel and Ryne Stanek
are the college pitchers that are considered the best players available by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Houston will have the first pick, with the Cubs picking second. Appel, Stanford's ace, was considered the top arm in the 2012 draft but didn't sign after Houston passed on him with the first pick and he slid all the way to the Pirates, with the seventh overall pick. He won't have as much leverage this time as a senior but is represented by Scott Boras. Stanek, from Arkansas, might have better stuff than Appel but isn't nearly as polished. The Cubs are sure to scout him and Appel very hard all spring. They'll also be following two other college pitchers who Mayo projects to go within the top 10. Sean Manaea from Indiana State is a left-hander with a 96-mph fastball. His stock is soaring after a summer in the Cape Cod League in which he struck out 85 in 51 2-3 innings. Florida's Jonathan Crawford was the most effective pitcher on a Team USA squad that also included Stanek. He capped off his summer by holding Cuba's highly experienced team to two runs over seven innings in the Netherlands. He threw a no-hitter for the Gators in the NCAA regionals last season, and is another mid-90s guy. Nothing's for certain this far away from a draft but I'd be the Cubs' first pick is going to come from this group of four pitchers.