Over the last five months, we have profiled almost 20 players who could be around at the end of the 1st round of the MLB Draft. In that span of time, some players have risen and some have dropped, either to injury or performance. Players like Jake Burger, Nick Pratto, and David Peterson have moved up from 30’s into the teens on most charts. Players like Colton Hock, Hagan Danner, and Mark Vientos have slipped a little.
Here is a list of those player we profiled:
Redrafting from Last Year
Nick Storz and Mitchell Stone
Mark Vientos and Ricardo de la Torre
Ricky Tyler Thomas
With just over two weeks to go to the draft, which begins on June 12, it is unclear where some prospects stand. David Peterson, for instance, is ranked in the teens by Baseball America and in the 30’s by MLB Pipeline.
The Cubs will have four picks in the top 105 this year, which means they can really stock up on serious talent, especially at Nos. 27 and 30 in the 1st round. There won’t be a Kris Bryant or even an Ian Happ type of bat, but there will be some pretty good players who could develop into excellent pros.
The strengths of this draft are clearly college and prep arms, along with a few projectable prep hitters. Powerful college bats are few and far between. The Cubs have been linked to several players, including shortstop Nick Allen, pitcher Brendon Little.
Junior college pitcher Nate Pearson a behemoth at 6’6” and 245 lbs, is the most recent name to come up in relation to the Cubs. MLB Pipeline said the following about the big right-hander:
There is no question about the quality of Pearson’s fastball coming from his 6-foot-6 frame. He was consistently up to 97 mph all spring and has shown an ability to throw strikes with it as well. His secondary stuff, however, has been inconsistent. He throws both a slider and a curve, though the latter is his fourth pitch, and on some days he has two distinct, effective breaking balls. At other times, they run together, and it might serve him well to focus on just one at the next level. His changeup has improved, but it also comes and goes.
There is an injury history with Pearson — he had a screw put in his right elbow in high school — but he’s been nothing but healthy and durable in junior college.
The last few years have given us a good idea of the type of the player the Cubs like: USA Baseball experience, Cape Cod League tenure, good makeup, versatile, coachable, and athletic. They also tend to like those players who maybe haven’t been at the top of the lists for a long time, but who are underrated and/or moving up. With those things in mind, I tend to think that they will still go bat with the first pick and that said hitter will come from the prep ranks.
While the MO over the last few seasons has been polished college bats, the organization’s wealth of young hitters gives them the luxury of time that they haven’t had until recently. The Cubs can afford to look at guys with higher ceilings and allow them to develop in the minors for a few years.
Between mock drafts from Baseball America, John Sickels, or MLB Pipeline, the Cubs could be taking some combination of six different selections with the 27th and 30th picks. There’s still two weeks of movement to take place and I am positive that someone will fall to the late first that could change their process. With $4.5 million to spend on their first two selections — and over $7 million total — the Cubs have a lot of options when it comes to stocking the system.