Monday, September 23, 2013
Draft position at stake for Cubs, Twins
By Joe Kaiser
Looking ahead to the top of the 2014 MLB draft, the order of the first three picks is all but decided: Houston will draft first, Miami second and the Chicago White Sox third. The next pick will almost certainly end up being either the Chicago Cubs or Minnesota Twins, and that will be decided this week.
Entering Monday, the Cubs (65-91) are a half-game worse than the Twins (65-90), but that gives them the slight edge as far as the No. 4 pick is concerned. Also, the Cubs final six games come against two of the National League's best teams, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
The Twins have one more remaining game than the Cubs, and their schedule is just as daunting, even if they are all at home. Minnesota welcomes Detroit in for three games starting Monday, and finishes the season with a four-game series against a Cleveland team that has to finish strong to earn a Wild Card berth.
While the difference between picks 4 and 5 in 2014 may not rival the top of the 2001 draft, when the Twins took Joe Mauer No. 1 and the Cubs selected Mark Prior No. 2, it certainly could make a difference on whether each team gets the player they want. Here's an early look at the top players slated to be in the 2014 draft, per Jim Callis of BaseballAmerica.com.