The draft signing deadline passed quietly last week and the Cubs total number of draft picks they signed stands at 24. With only $2.3 million in the draft pool, I think they did an outstanding job in getting these players to sign their contracts. Originally, I thought that if they did a great job, the Cubs could sign 20 of them, but 24 is quite an achievement .
Of the 24, 16 are pitchers and 8 are position players. I think it is still to be determined which pitchers are starters and which are relievers. Those determinations may not come until the summer of 2017.Just because they were a reliever in college does not mean they will be a reliever has a pro and vice versa. I think that is the great thing about this collection of pitchers is that they are flexible. It will be interesting to see where Thomas Hatch and Tyson Miller are assigned. As for the position players, six of them have already begun play in Arizona and Eugene.
To me, though, the steal of this draft is 23rd round pick, Delvin Zinn. The young athletic shortstop is pretty close to a five-tool player. He doesn’t quite have the power that you want, but he will be just as exciting with his combination of speed and ability to get on base.
I put down my expectations for each draft pick for their performance and destination for the next calendar year
ARIZONA IN 2017
RHP Nathan Sweeney – He might see a few innings in Arizona this year, but more than likely, he will begin there again next spring and unless he has an amazing spring training, he winds up in Eugene. As a high school pitcher, the Cubs will be cautious.
ARIZONA TO EUGENE
C Michael Cruz – He was the first one sign and the first one playing, but he needs to get some things squared away catching first.
RHP Stephen Ridings – I think getting some relief work in this year at Arizona would be good, possibly 20 innings, He could begin next year in Eugene.
RHP Duncan Robinson – I would like to see him make two or three starts of up to three innings in Arizona. I think next year he goes to Eugene.
RHP Jed Carter – His future is a little cloudy when it comes to whether he is going to start or relieve. I think Spring Training in 2017 will determine where he will go, but his play is likely to be as a reliever
RHP Holden Cammack – This is the prospect when it comes to pitching that I’m most interested in seeing. One, this was his first year pitching. Two, he was really good at it and has great arm strength. A former catcher, he could be a great asset on the mound as a reliever
RHP Matt Swarmer – I think he spends this year in Arizona, the next year, Eugene.
LHP Colton Freeman – While he was injured most of this year, I don’t quite know what to expect of him next year when he’s healthy. I do know that he will be in the bullpen, but whether that will be in Eugene or South Bend remains to be seen.
SS Delvin Zinn – It was up to him he would be in Eugene this year. I think the Cubs take their time and try to mold him or at least rub off some of the rough edges. I see Arizona this year and likely Eugene next year. However, he could move quickly next year to South Bend. He is an amazing athlete.
CF Zach Davis – He played his first game on last Saturday and went two for three in Arizona. I think next year he could be at Eugene to begin the year and move quickly to South Bend with his experience.
CF Tolly Filotei – I think Arizona has a spot for him this year and likely Eugene for next year.
EUGENE TO SOUTH BEND
RHP Tyson Miller – 20 innings at Eugene in relief or piggyback starts would be great for him. Next year, I think he begins year as a starter in Indiana at South Bend
RHP Bailey Clark –Even though he started and then was pushed to the bullpen, I think I would like to see what coaching can do to make him a starter. If they could get 3 to 4 starts with 12 innings at Eugene or Arizona, it could bode well for 2017 and for him to start at South Bend next year.
RHP Michael Rucker – As one of the last couple picks to sign, I don’t think we’re going to see much of him that maybe 10 innings in relief this year. I think next year he starts as a starter at Eugene.
SS Zack Short – He started in Arizona and did well. He is improving at Eugene and is now creeping up towards .300. It would not surprise me to see him start the year in South Bend and spend the year there.
LHP Marc Huberman – Well, he has one inning in at Arizona this year, I think he makes it to Eugene this year and South Bend next year
C Sam Tidaback – He’s already in Eugene this year and I think he begins next year at South Bend.
RHP Tyler Peyton – Right now he’s on the 60-day DL and likely to begin next year Eugene. With his experience, he should not be there long.
2B Trent Giambrone – More of a defensive stalwart, he has shown some capability with the bat at Eugene
SOUTH BEND TO MYRTLE BEACH
RHP Dakota Mekkes – Although he may profile later as a starter, I think this year he just relieves and gets to Eugene as part of the playoff team. But next year I think they try to make him a starter
LHP Wyatt Short – He’s done very well in 5 appearances at Eugene. It would not surprise me to see him in South Bend for the playoffs. They can never have enough lefties in the pen
CF Connor Myers – He’s been a surprise at the plate and already has moved to Eugene from Arizona. I think he is an outfielder at South Bend to begin the year. I really like the energy he brings to the field. He’s a huge grinder and hustle guy.
RHP Chad Hockin – I think he stays reliever and makes it to South Bend in time for the playoffs. With his experience and repertoire, he should make it to Myrtle Beach by this time a year from now.
MYRTLE BEACH TO TENNESSEE
RHP Thomas Hatch – Considering how much he has pitched, I think another 20 innings of 2 inning starts at Eugene and South Bend would be perfect for him this year with possibly beginning next year at hi class A as a starter. He should stay there all year unless he absolutely just dominates the Carolina League.
I am sure there will be some surprises and some setbacks. This class is unique because of the sheer numbers of pitchers involved. One could also add in the fact that their pitching roles are not yet defined. With only 6 weeks left in the minor league season, we will get glimpses and flashes of what these players can do. Spring training next year will be the better barometer.