Why the Cubs can't miss on this week's MLB draft

Why the Cubs can't miss on this week's MLB draft
June 3, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Great teams draft their own stars. It's that simple. Now it's time for the Cubs to join the parade, if they want one of their own someday.

Ever hear of Mike Dzurilla? How about Condor Cash? Well, they are just two of the 12 players the Cubs selected in the 1999 draft, instead of Albert Pujols. Of the 12 Cubs prospects, I can't find one who made it to MLB.

Yes, that's bad, but the Cubs weren't alone. Pujols slid all the way to the 13th round before the Cardinals found him. 401 players were selected ahead of a player who turned out to be one of the best hitters in baseball history. This week, the Cubs would love to find the next Pujols buried in a pile of prospects. But more importantly, they can't screw up the No. 2 overall pick.

It doesn't matter which sport you want to talk about, those top draft picks are gold. Championship franchises are built from within and they start by rarely missing on the 'big' picks.

The San Francisco Giants have won two World Series in the last three years. They also drafted Matt Cain, Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum. All three were first round picks. The Cardinals have done it too.

[RELATED: Is Appel the right fit for the Cubs?]

In the NHL, the Blackhawks found Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed Sidney Crosby. The Los Angeles Kings hit on Jonathan Quick and the Boston Bruins didn't miss on Tyler Seguin. Those are your last four Stanley Cup winners.

Yes, the Miami Heat paid for LeBron James. They also drafted Dwyane Wade. The San Antonio Spurs drafted Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Football? Same story.

This is just the second time in 11 years that the Cubs have a pick in the Top Five. In 2007, they chose Josh Vitters third overall. The jury is still out on Vitters and the Cubs most recent drafts, but the past is not pretty.

I can't tell you if Jonathan Gray is going to be better than Mark Appel or Kris Bryant, but Cubs fans better hope Theo Epstein and his staff have that answer. They can't afford to walk away empty handed. This is the reason they were brought to Chicago and this week's draft is their World Series ... if they hope to get there someday.