Last year in the draft, the Cubs’ third round pick, Bryan Hudson, got over a $1.1 million to skip college and sign a major league contract. I don’t think the Cubs will be doing that this year. Although the Cubs could select a high school player in the early rounds, chances are the Cubs will be going with college players on day two, most likely seniors, who have little room to negotiate. The Cubs have been very good at finding value in rounds 3 – 10 the last few years.
With only $2.3 million to spend, the Cubs will try and get the best talent they can, but the odds of the Cubs getting the quality of talent (Bryant, Schwarber, or Happ) they got the past few years are nonexistent. On the other hand, they will still get some talent and it could turn out to be very good.
In the Theo Era, the Cubs have found value in the third round in Hudson, Mark Zagunis, Jake Hannemann, and Ryan McNeil. Even the fourth round has brought Darryl Wilson, Carson Sands, Tyler Skulina, and Josh Conway.
Here is a table of some college bats I have been keeping an eye on so far in the NCAA season.
|Preston||Palmiero||NC State||6’1″ 185||1B||Jr.|
|Chance||Sheppard||South Carolina||6’1” 209||C/OF||Jr.|
|Logan||Ice||Oregon State||5’11” 191||C||Jr.|
|Jarett||Rindfleisch||Ball State||6’1″ 217||C||Jr|
At #104, the pick carries with it a $700,000+ price range according to MLB. That would eat up about a third of the Cubs pool. I could see them going underslot there, in fact everywhere, in order to gain more talent later in the draft. On the other hand, without a first or second round pick, the Cubs could also go overslot to get more talent in one player.
I think with the 104th pick the Cubs could select Jacob Heyward (brother of you know who and pictured below) or Willie Abreu, both from the University of Miami.
They are both still raw and both are somewhat athletic outfielders with the potential for good power from the left side. Palmiero, the son of Rafael, is off to a blistering start for the Wolfpack. A first baseman, he is hitting .312 with 3 HRs and 17 RBIs.
The Cubs have been drafting 3-4 catchers every year and this year should be no different. Matt Thaiss, out of Virginia, would be the clear front running pick from an intangibles point of view. He is clearly the leader of the defending national champions. He has some nice pop in his bat as evidenced by his 5 HRs and 24 RBIs while hitting .348 with a .440 OBP in 23 games.
One pick who could surprise is Zach Remillard (pictured below), the brother of current Cub Will Remillard. Zach is a little bigger and has a bit more power than Will. He is currently hitting .389 with 8 HRs and 22 RBIs in 24 games for Coastal Carolina, one of the top teams in the country.
There is still a lot of the NCAA season left (2 months) and several bats could work their way into the chart. Some could even be redrafted by the Cubs.
Taylor Jones – (Sr.) – 35th round 2015 – Gonzaga – He hits for a high average but has yet to tap into the power in his 6’7” and 225 pound frame. He plays first base, a position the Cubs don’t normally draft, and is hitting .386 with a .441 OBP and 16 RBIs in 20 games.
Josh Greene – (Jr.) – High Point University – 5’11/170 – All Big South OF. Got off to a slow start this year,hitting .228, with a .360 OBP. He does have great speed and was named the preseason All Big South All-Star.
Jeremy Martinez – (Jr.) – C in HS, mostly 1B at USC last year – currently batting .367 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs in 20 games. He is catching every day and could be a nice selection on day two.
DJ Peters – (So.) – 6’6” – OF Western Nevada – 7 HR .340 as a freshman – He has 8 HRS and 38 RBIs in 30 games now as a sophomore with a .372 avg – committed to Cal State Fullerton for next year.
Peters, to me, has the most upside out of all the prospects. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s still coming into his own as a hitter, and more importantly, a power hitter. Martinez, finally got to play at catcher this year. He did play first base for two years at USC, but his bat only plays at catcher at the next level. For the Cubs to redraft, the player would have to agree to be drafted again.
There’s still a lot of NCAA baseball left to play and many of the northern teams are just getting going. It will warm up, and when it does, so will the bats.
Tomorrow, I will be back to look at college pitchers. There are a few good ones who could be sitting there at #104.