Even before the 2012 changes to the MLB Draft, teams occasionally found useful players who went undrafted. Although rare, you don’t have to look too far for a notable example – the Braves landed Brandon Beachy as an undrafted free agent in 2008, and he was already pitching with the big team in 2010.
And after those 2012 changes, which limited the Draft to 40 rounds, there are about 300 more players in the “undrafted” pool than there were in the past. The odds of finding MLB-caliber talent among the undrafted is still a tall task, but it’s likely to happen with increasing frequency over the next decade.
Against that backdrop, as they did last year, the Cubs have started the process of snatching up some interesting undrafted free agents. Today’s signee: Josh Davis, a two-way player from Belmont University.
Davis, a senior reliever and infielder, was a good plate discipline guy without a ton of pop, and a dominant closer. His various awards and recognitions appear to have come on the pitching side, and his numbers were excellent: 2.22 ERA over 44.2 innings with 39 strikeouts and just 12 walks. I’d say it’s a fair bet that Davis was signed as a pitcher.
The Belmont article announcing the signing says that Davis will head to Mesa before ultimately heading up to Boise, so it sounds like the Cubs have already told Davis where he’ll begin his professional career.
Can’t hurt to have too many arms. Give guys like Davis a shot, and see what happens.