Day 2: Cubs Load Up on Arms Early, Position Players Later

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By Todd Johnson

It was an interesting day as the Cubs selected 8 more players to join the organization. The day started off with a rapid selection of starting pitchers including a promising Keegan Thompson in the third round. As the day wore on, the Cubs drafted 5 pitchers and 3 position players.

I like what the Cubs collected. They took some chances by selecting OF Nelson Velazquez who is an extremely raw player from Puerto Rico. He could be a star or a bust. Uelmen might be a sneaky sign. Cal Poly -SLO is not a magnet for players, but the Cubs got Casey Bloomquist from there two years ago.

I think almost all of today’s picks will sign. 6th round pick Jeremiah Estrada might go to UCLA rather than play for the Cubs.

I will be back tomorrow at 11 with a live blog of day 3. There will be no preview in the morning.

Here are some brief notes and video about each player taken by the Cubs today.

Round 3

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Keegan Thompson – SP – Auburn
6’2″ and 210 lbs.
90-93 FB
Pitchability is a major plus
22-years-old

Came back with a very good season after having TJS. His stuff is still coming back. He appeared in 15 games as a starter with a 2.41 ERA. He struck out 75 in 93.1 IP while walking only 17. MLB.com said this of his stuff:

I like that he has overcome adversity with TJS and now focuses on getting batters out versus blowing everyone away. His CB is a plus pitch. Like Hatch, and likely Lange, he may be move a bit faster, or at the least, start higher at Myrtle Beach next year.

He was also a former teammate of Trevor Clifton and Tyler Alamo on USA Baseball.

Round 4

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Erich Uelmen – SP – Cal Poly SLO
6’3″ and 195 lbs.
Big Frame
21-years-old
Good sinker
90-94
Improving rapidly from year-to-year
Same school as Casey Bloomquist

He threw 98.1 innings this year. As a result, I doubt if he sees significant action this year. His stats are outstanding for his junior year. He struck out 100 with a 2.93 ERA. He only walked 23. Baseball America spoke highly of him (BA #273). He comes across as an ascending player.

Round 5
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Nelson Velazquez – OF – Puerto Rico
6’1″ and 200
Physical Specimen
Great Speed
Raw Tools

Originally came to the US and went back. He is very much unrefined. I did find an article in Spanish where he crushed two home runs. He was the third ranked position player from Puerto Rico behind Heliot Ramos and Ricardo de la Torre (who went one pick behind in the 6th). Sounds like he is coming into his own.

He is likely destined for rookie ball in Mesa.

Round 6

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Jeremiah Estrada – P – Palm Desert HS
6’1″ and 185 lbs.
Throws Right
Bats Switch
Wiry
More potential
UCLA commitment
Has some room to fill in on his frame

In 2016, he was one of the top pitchers on the summer All-Star circuit. In his senior season, his stuff was not as good. However, MLB.com ranked him at #93 in their Top 200. They said of the young man:

It looks like he could be a hard sign.

Round 7
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Ricky Tyler Thomas – P – Fresno State
I profiled him early in the season when he was going great.

I think he might get some rest in this summer. Then again, I think he profiles as a reliever. So, we could see him in Eugene out of the pen.

Round 8

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Austin Filiere – 3B – MIT
6’1″ 185 lbs.
3B/SS
Has power
Hit 13 HRs every year
MIT has a baseball team? Played well for Harwich in the Cape Cod League and played outfield there. He hit 7 HRs with 27 RBI in just over 30 games in 2016.

Per Brad (@ballwok), Peter Gammons did a nice write-up on him.

He should be in Eugene after he signs.

Round 9

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Chris Carrier – OF – Memphis
Good size at 6’2″ 204
Sculpted frame. still room for more.

He hit .330 with 16 HRs with 50 RBI and an OBP of .438 in his senior season. Like Filiere, Carrier will head to Eugene for most of the summer.

Round 10

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Brian Glowicki – RP – Minnesota
5’11” and 190
Throws Right
From Downers Grove
Closer
For his senior year, he recorded 16 saves with a 2.20 ERA. He struck out 39 in 32.2 IP. Opponents hit just .216 against him. A huge Red Sox growing up, Glowicki will have some adjusting to do.

Say hello to Eugene. He should love it there in the summer.

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