Albert Almora is the biggest name at the top of the board.
Sources say the Cubs are confident they will be able to sign Almora, that it would be a surprise if the No. 6 overall pick didnt come to an agreement before the July 13 deadline.
Almora, whos being advised by super-agent Scott Boras, has a full scholarship to the University of Miami, but the 18-year-old outfielder has played up almost his entire life.
Almora made the Mater Academy varsity while still in grade school, played for the year-round elite travel teams in South Florida and has already won five gold medals with Team USA.
While waiting to close on Almora, the Cubs announced on Saturday that they have signed 15 players from their 2012 draft class, including Paul Blackburn, a right-hander from Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif.
The 18-year-old Blackburn, who had committed to Arizona State University, will receive a 911,700 bonus as the No. 56 overall pick, according to Baseball America. He went 8-3 with a 1.27 ERA as a high school senior, striking out 84 in 77.1 innings while walking only 17.
After using their top pick on Almora, the Cubs took seven consecutive pitchers, and 22 in total, trying to address the organizations biggest need. That was the takeaway from the first draft of the Theo Epstein administration.
Obviously, we went pitching heavy, Epstein said recently. Theres a pretty big void of pitching in our system, so beginning to address that issue with quantity, as well as quality, was something that was attractive to us, because theres so much attrition pitching-wise.
Blackburn is a more advanced, sort of polished high school pitcher who also has a chance to have three average-to-above pitches.
You need to draft numbers in order to withstand all the attrition that happens. We needed to stock the system with pitching, and we feel like we did.
The Cubs have also signed: Coastal Carolina right-hander Josh Conway (fourth round); University of Virginia infielder Stephen Bruno (seventh); University of South Carolina Beaufort left-hander Michael Heesch (eighth); University of California-Berkeley catcher Chadd Krist (ninth); and Georgia high school outfielder Rashad Crawford (11th), whos said to have eye-opening athletic ability and is regarded as a sleeper pick from this draft.
The Cubs have not made the Pierce Johnson deal official, but the Missouri State University right-hander recently posted this message on his personal Twitter account: Just signed with the Chicago Cubs! Thanks to God, family, teammates, coaches, and friends. If it wasn't for you guys I wouldn't be here!
Injury concerns probably pushed Johnson down to the No. 43 overall pick. He had a 2.53 ERA in 14 starts this year and notched 227 strikeouts in 216 innings during his three seasons at Missouri State.
Pierce Johnson is somebody that we watched closely all year, Epstein said. We didnt think we were going to have a chance at him. The little forearm strain that he had probably played to our advantage, because he doesnt get out of the first round if he had stayed healthy the entire year.
He threw great right before the draft and looked really healthy and we were real happy to be in a position to choose him. Hes got a plus fastball and gets swings-and-misses and groundballs with it, and has a plus breaking ball as well. Hes a real competitor on the mound.