Wrapping Up the Cubs' 2019 Draft Class and Other Notes

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Wrapping Up the Cubs’ 2019 Draft Class and Other Notes

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs completed their draft with thirty additional selections on Wednesday, drafting 18 collegiate players, nine high schoolers, and three from junior college. Brett had the details on those specific names in his live post.

I love how I learn about colleges from the draft. Double-A reliever Craig Brooks – who was just named the Cubs’ pitcher of the month for May – once taught me about Catawba College. Yesterday’s great example? The Cubs’ 18th round pick, Alex Moore, from Lander University with these numbers last year: 69.1 IP, 68 H, 5.32 ERA, 33 BB, 84 K. I’d never heard of the Lander Bearcats, a public university in South Carolina with 3,000 students and a 31/69 male-to-female percentage breakdown, according to Wikipedia. Not necessarily where you’d expect to find a pro pitcher.

It just goes to show, though: if you have talent in this sport, the scouts will find you. Hard not to appreciate the work they do after three days and friggin’ 1,217 picks. Onto some draft and minor league notes:

  • I wouldn’t expect any of the six high school players drafted after the 33rd round to sign, and perhaps none of the high school players picked on Day 3 at all (I’m hopeful about this one, though). My instinct is the Cubs have less of their bonus pool available for Day 3 than in past years – a small bonus pool and a big overslot guy or two will do that – so I wouldn’t be surprised if just one or two players from Day 3 get barelyover slot bonuses.
  • Hopefully they will sign 11th round pick Mack Chambers, a shortstop from Seminole State Junior College. Chambers was a monster this year: .404/.488/.665 with speed to boot. The system is chock full of shortstops right now, but like in college football, you never want to say no to an athlete. Other Day 3 guys whose signability intrigues: big Utah commit Porter Hodge, a loose arm from Puerto Rico named Johzan Oquendo, and Adam Laskey from Duke, whose shoulder was hurt this spring after a nice summer on the Cape.
  • After the Cubs took Harvard ace Hunter Bigge in the 12th round, I fired up ESPN3 to watch his 9-strikeout, 0-walk regional start against Oklahoma State last Friday. It was, well, hard to explain to a co-worker that walked by my desk exactly why I was watching a five day old college baseball game with no rooting interest at work. They don’t get me like you do, BN’ers. Bigge was 90-94 on the ESPN gun with a nice overhand curveball and a very fringe change-up.
  • Draft oddity: for the third time in the Jason McLeod era, the Cubs didn’t draft an outfielder in the first 19 rounds. As best as I can tell, that happened exactly ZERO times in the THIRTY drafts before McLeod’s staff took over.
  • Luke also noticed something a little different about this draft:

  • Michael Ernst at Cubs Den started to think about the Eugene Emeralds lineup, as they begin play in a week. It will begin with a familiar group of guys from within the organization, and then buoyed a week or three later by the college crop of draftees. It will be a light-hitting group, but I look forward to the middle infield, especially once Chase Strumpf joins the fray.

  • A little thinking out loud on how the draft would impact my organizational prospect rankings, which I won’t formally update again until Trade Deadline time. I like to start conservative on the new guys, and I know Brennen Davis is flying up. My top eleven right now, I think: 1) Nico Hoerner, 2) Miguel Amaya, 3) Adbert Alzolay, 4) Brailyn Marquez, 5) Brennen Davis, 6) Aramis Ademan, 7) Cole Roederer, 8) Ryan Jensen, 9) Cory Abbott, 10) Tyson Miller, 11) Chase Strumpf. I can see arguments for either of the two draftees as high as six, just not ready to go there quite yet.
  • Three picks from the 2018 draft, including two from Day 3, made the Midwest League All-Star roster: Riley Thompson, Cam Sanders, Andy Weber. They’re joined from the South Bend Cubs by Brailyn Marquez and Jeff Passantino. Congrats to those very deserving guys. In particular, I look forward to hearing the velos that come from Thompson, Marquez and Sanders (who touched 97 last outing) in that game.
  • The Dominican Summer League kicked off play last weekend, adding two extra box scores to keep an eye on everyday. In the early going, the story has been Rafael Morel, the brother of South Bend 3B Chris Morel, whom the Cubs gave $850,000 last July. After four games: .429/.556/1.000. His birthday, if you just want to feel old this morning: November 22, 2001. Wild.
  • Here’s the full draft class, by the way:

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Author: Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith is a Minor League Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @cubprospects.