Since the arrival of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod, the Cubs have been drafting pitchers in waves. A very successful 2015 draft class will be on display at South Bend this summer as most were college pitchers. The Cubs could repeat that strategy again this year or they could go after mostly senior pitchers because of their paltry $2.3 million pool.
With the NCAA season underway for about a month now, I have been keeping track of several names to watch for when the draft comes. College pitching might be the strength of this draft in terms of depth. I think the Cubs can go and get some quality arms, left and right, in the middle rounds on day two (rounds 3-10) and well into day three as well.
On this list, it may be dominated by juniors, but look for left handed seniors as being an area the Cubs could target later in the draft on day three. They don’t have very many lefties above low A South Bend.
My favorites pitchers in the chart below are the bolded ones. I think Evan Kruczyinski of East Carolina and Drew Harrington of Louisville are two pitchers the Cubs could aim for on day two. Kyle Hart of Indiana and Robert Tyler of Georgia are two pitchers they could make a run at pick #104. I think Helvey fits the type of pitcher the Cubs might drool over in rounds 4-10.
|Zach||Muckenhim||North Dakota||6’1″ 180||LHP||Jr.|
|Evan||Kruczynski||East Carolina||6’5″ 215||LHP||Jr|
|Kyle||Cedotal||SE La||6’1″ 180||LHP||Jr.|
|Eric||Laurer||Kent State||6’3″ 205||LHP||Jr.|
When the Cubs still had a first round pick, I was hoping Kyle Funkhouser or Zach Burdi would fall to them. Those two will not make it to the end of the third round but Eric Laurer of Kent State could. The big lefty if the type of pitcher the Cubs drool over. He’s left handed, he pitches, and there’s some projection left physically. He could be taken early or he could drop, as he is still a junior.
The Cubs can also redraft (with permission) the following players from previous drafts:
Jake Kelzer – 14h round Indiana University – 6’8” – He’s being used as a reliever this year, but his frame is highly intriguing.
John Kilichowski – 39th round Vanderbilt – LHP – He has yet to pitch this year. Originally, he could have been a 1st or 2nd round pick this year, but he could slide down to 3 unless he gets back on the field.
Zack Brown – Kentucky ace – 6’2” 200 pounds – He’s got good stuff but is a bit inconsistent with it. He can put on a show one Friday and stink it up the next. He has all the stuff he needs to be very, very good.
Sean Johnson – Ole Miss – TJS – I love this kid. He’s big at 6’7” and he’s dominated wherever he has pitched. He’s had TJS once and looks to have recovered well.
As the season goes on, injuries sometimes take a toll on college arms. For me, I like Johnson the most followed by Tyler and Hart. Theo has yet to take a pitcher with his first pick in any draft. This could be the year, but the odds are slim.
In addition, there are some arms from lesser colleges who could be available. Brad Haymes from Gardner Webb has thrown three straight shutouts while Corbin Burnes from St. Mary’s is not too far behind.
As of today, I am sure the Cubs board will be titled toward a bat. That being said, I tend to think they lean towards a college bat at that. With both those factors in mind, I think Heyward or Martinez are the most likely selections with DJ Peters being my favorite, but I seriously doubt the Cubs take Peters that high. If the Cubs do fool us and take a pitcher, Tyler from Georgia would be first on my list followed by Kruczyinski and Hart.
$2.3 million does not buy a lot of elite toys but the Cubs can afford to take chances on players with injuries and players they feel they can coach up or who played at a smaller school.
There’s still a lot of baseball left to be played between now and June. A lot of things can happen.
While I may do the occasional profile on the Sunday weekly wrap up, the next draft posts will be in June, right before the draft.
This entry was posted in By Todd Johnson, Chicago Cubs, Cubs Draft 2016, Cubs Prospects, MLB Draft and tagged Brad Haymes, Clate Schmidt, Corbin Burnes, Drew Brown, Drew Harrington, Eric Laurer, Evan Kruzcyinski, Jake Kelzer, JOhn Kilichowski, Kyle Cedotal, Kyle Hart, Lucas Brown, Nathan Helvey, Robert Tyler, Sean Johnson, Zach Brown.