By Todd Johnson
Now that a week has passed since the 2018 MLB draft signing deadline, it is a good time to take a look just to see what all the Cubs were able to get for their system. On the surface, they signed 32 players, the most in the Theo era. They also signed 3 non-drafted free agents.
Here they are in all their positional glory:
C (2): Brennon Kaleiwahea, Caleb Knight
1B (1): Tyler Durna
2B (2):Andy Weber, Clayton Daniel
SS (3):Nico Hoerner, Levi Jordan, Miguel Pablon
3B (3): Luke Reynolds, Jake Slaughter, Grant Fennell
OF (9): Brennen Davis, Cole Roederer, Jimmy Herron, DJ Artis, Ezequiel Pagan, Jamie Galazin, Dalton Hurd, Drew Wharton, Edmond Americaan
P (15): Paul Richan (R), Ethan Roberts (R), Kohl Franklin (R), Zach Mort (R), Derek Casey (R), Riley Thompson (R), Cam Sanders (R), Riley McCauley (R), Josh Sawyer (R), Jake Reindl (R), Chris Allen (L), Carlos Vega (R), Blake Whitney (R), Niels Stone (R), Jack Patterson (L)
In the Theo era, the Cubs attacked college hitting in the draft from 2012-2015 and then college pitching in 2016-17. This year, it’s a bit of a mix. Of the 35 signees. 15 are pitchers and 9 outfielders lead the position player collection. This was also the first year since 2012 that the Cubs signed a first baseman.
When it comes to pitching, the Cubs mostly took arms that are not so established but the pitchers do contain at least one important attribute to build around just like most of the pitching projects the Cubs have taken the past two draft classes. Those past arms are now paying big dividends from South Bend all the way up to Iowa.
The one group that stands out to me is the age of many of the players the Cubs were able to sign – 8 players are 20-years-old and younger. In years past, the Cubs have gone with a large portion of college juniors and seniors interspersed with 4 or 5 high school and junior college picks. The signings of pitchers Kohl Franklin, Chris Allen, and Niels Stone gives the Cubs three young arms to develop. In addition, the Cubs hit the jackpot with young outfielders in Brennen Davis, Cole Roederer, Ezequiel Pagan, and Edmond Americaan along with shortstop Miguel Pablon. The Cubs can take their time with them.
With most of the Cubs daily lineup and position players signed through 2021, there’s no rush to get any draft pick to the show. This is going to be a class that is going to take time to develop. There will be a couple of exceptions. And, it’s also going to be a class that has a bit higher ceiling, especially when it comes to position players as compared with the past two draft classes.
After a pick officially signs a contract, the Cubs have 15 days before they have to place them with an affiliate. 2B Andy Weber, one of the late signees, was assigned yesterday to Cubs 1 in Mesa. The following late picks have yet to be given an official assignment: P Chris Allen, P Riley Thompson, P Jake Reindl, P Josh Sawyer, P Niels Stone, and OF Edmond Americaan. They should all have a spot by a week from tomorrow.
Remember, you can keep track of how all the draft picks are doing on one web page by MLB here.