In the 35th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft, the Chicago Cubs took a lefty pitcher who plays for Purdue, is from Northwest Indiana (just outside of Chicago), and lists Wrigley Field as his favorite ballpark.
Total lock to sign, right?
Well, the tricky thing is this: the lefty is Jordan Minch, a draft-eligible sophomore who isn’t yet 21, is coming off of a down year at Purdue, which followed a All Big Ten Freshman Team campaign the year before. A two-sport athlete in high school (basketball), you could understand why a guy like Minch might want to take one more year to improve his stock, and perhaps move up the draft ladder after a rebound junior year (since he’d still have the normal leverage of an additional year of school, if he wanted it).
But the Cubs got their guy, as reported by Minch, himself:
Officially am going to sign with the Chicago cubs organization! So blessed and ready for this opportunity! #gocubsgo
— Jordan Minch (@BoilerMaker_28) July 7, 2014
Minch was one of Purdue’s primary starters this year, but posted a 5.71 ERA over 86.2 innings, striking out 52 and walking 36. The year before, he was at 4.98/81.1/63/35 in those categories, again, as only a freshman.
At 6’3″ 190 lbs, Minch has ideal size, and he’s been pitching in the Cape Cod League this Summer. So far, he’s posted a 2.79 ERA over 19.1 innings, with 20 strikeouts and 9 walks. There are some things to dream on here.
As for whether Minch will require more than $100,000 to sign (and thus count against the Cubs’ bonus pool), that remains to be seen. With Dylan Cease officially signing for $1.5 million, the Cubs don’t really have much left in the bonus pool with which to play.