Another college righty who was expected to go much later, but who has plus velocity and the bones to build on when you get him into the system? It’s definitely not what we’ve seen from this Cubs front office in most of their drafts, but they’ve done it more and more recently, and they’ve now done it twice in their first three picks of the 2019 draft.
In the third round, it’s 21-year-old junior closer Michael McAvene from Louisville, a post-Tommy-John arm that can reach the upper-90s and wipe ’em out with a slider. It’s possible the Cubs are looking to turn him back into a starter – usually that’s what you’d expect in the third round – but it might be a gradual process. He has the size for it.
Apparently, like first rounder Ryan Jensen, the huge velocity – near triple digits – didn’t really show up until late in the year, so the Cubs are taking a big swing on projection and limited data. I kinda like it, since their safer plays in years past haven’t really worked out.
How about this 100 mph fastball to close out a huge win:
McAvene was also the guy you may have seen recently who got ejected (and then suspended) for telling an ump that his call was horrible:
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) June 2, 2019
And an interview for your consumption about his comeback from surgery: