By Todd Johnson
Since December, Cubs Central has looked at 27 possible prospects for the Cubs to select with the 27th and 30th picks in the summer’s MLB draft. We looked at a variety of high school, junior college, and college picks. Some of the profiles could even be second or third picks.
Below is a complete listing of the possible future Cubs covered this off-season.
The 2017 MLB draft is pretty deep. The Cubs are going to get to quality players in the first round and will likely find two more from the second and third round. As it pertains to the first round, I have a pretty good idea who I would pick at 27 and 30?
The college bat in most years would be the safest bet for Jason McLeod and Theo to take. The problem is that in 2017, that is the weakest area so far when it comes to players with high ceilings, especially in the college ranks. Sure, they are going to find some bats in later rounds who have some high floors, but the Cubs are not going to find a college hitter as they have in the past.
What they will find will be plenty of high school position players and college pitchers ripe for the taking. To me, junior college pitcher of Brandon Little might be the surest thing as someone who throws 97 from the left. But he’s not the biggest talent. I think prepster Mark Vientos has the highest ceiling out of all the prospects we profiled. I also think Oregon pitcher David Peterson could also project well. Peterson has been on a roll lately. Last night he went 7 IP, 1 ER, and had 7 Ks.
I would be leery of selecting a prep arm with either of the first two picks. Come the second round, the two players I like the most are Brady Puckett from Lipscomb University and Ryan Johnson from South Carolina. Both are power arms from power programs. I don’t know if Puckett could last to the end of the second round as a starter. Johnson, however, as a reliever, will surely be there waiting.
I like Johnson’s powerful closer arm a lot and I think he could move fast as a prospect. The others, meanwhile, all will take time, even Peterson. And I think that’s the big thing I see in this year’s draft. Even though there’s a lot of depth, there’s also a lot of development that needs to happen as most of the top prospects are high school kids.