If you’ve ever watched the MLB Draft on Opening night, the coverage is pretty bad. First, there’s Harold Reynolds, then there is the overuse of “comps” regarding a prospect, but there is a Peter Gammons comment or two about a Cape Cod League prospect to save the day. Day two is the day I love as it is just Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and some other guy sitting around talking. There’s no hype, just reporting and expert analysis.
Last night, 77 young men had their dream come true with their selection. There were some high profile names taken, some dropped, some taken higher than first thought, and some prospects just fell and were not selected. There are a lot of good players left to select. Today, the Cubs will make their first selection in the draft at #27 in the third round. They will make seven more selections today. Here are five names to watch that could be called out at pick #104.
1. Kyle Funkhouser
It has been my dream that he could fall to the Cubs. I don’t know that he gets there. If he does, the Cubs would get a top 5 talent and a pitcher who redeemed himself in the second half of the season. Funkhouser has 4 quality pitches that he’s had trouble commanding in the past.
2. Skylar Szynski
At 6’2” and 195 lbs., he reminds me of Zach Hedges. When you watch him throw, he’s got better stuff. He throws a 93-95 FB and mixes in an upper 70s slider. He does have some projection left, but not much. The RHP hails from Mishawaka, Indiana and is committed to Indiana University.
3. Chad Hockin
The closer from Cal-State Fullerton would be a very good pick. As a reliever, he flashes an excellent fastball in the 95 mph range and is considered to be the best closer after the already taken Zach Burdi from Louisville.
4. Corbin Burnes
The RHP from St. Mary’s threw three shutouts in a row this year. He has a nice frame at 6’3” 200 lbs. and he is the kind of small school selection the Cubs have made the past few years. He throws in the mid 90s and needs some work on his secondaries.
5. Braden Webb
The 21 year-old draft eligible sophomore tore it up for South Carolina after missing time from TJS. At 6’2” and a 195 lbs, the righthander touches 95-96 mph and adds in a mid 70s 12-to-6 curveball, which is just not fair. He also has a change with a bit of a fade. He has a lot of negotiating power and would cost a large portion of the pool. He might be worth it though.
Wow! All pitchers are on this list. I didn’t realize it until I was done. I do think that is the direction the Cubs will go. If I had to bet on what type of pitcher the Cubs would take, it would be a college pitcher. With just $2.3 million to spend on the whole draft, they are more than likely to take a senior. For once, I don’t think they are going bat as there are plenty of pitchers available today with high upsides, something the Cubs would like to have more of in their system.
I would go with Funkhouser, 1, Hockin, 2, and Burnes, 3.
I think whatever was wrong with Funkhouser was more mental than physical. He wants to be a pro and I think he will prosper as a pro. He can be a starter or a reliever.
5 Bonus Names
6. Zach Linginfelter – RHP – HS – Big Boy, not a lot of projection, but has a big arsenal. He would cost a pretty penny
7. Cooper Johnson – C – Mundelein – Great defensive profile. Bat is coming along.
8. Brad Deebo – C – HS – NIce LH bat, don’t know if he would stay at catcher though.
9. Drew Harrington – LHP – Louisville – Can start, can relieve, ACC pitcher of the year. Very solid pick.
10. Zac Gallen – RHP – UNC – He is what he is. Not a high ceiling, but he is very good now.