Two more weeks. The (much) later start to the MLB Draft here in 2021 has made it feel like an absolutely interminable wait to get to the appointed date.
In the meantime, a few new mocks to get to, including the updated ESPN mock from Kiley McDaniel, which was actually earlier this month and I missed it. My apologies. McDaniel has a familiar name going to the Cubs at pick 21, Florida outfielder Jud Fabian: “The Cubs seem to be embracing variance more in recent years, and Fabian has that in spades with his massive upside and uneven spring. He may be a tough sign much lower than this, but it seems like someone will meet his price.”
That, by the way, is increasingly the take on Fabian: usually, you associate “high risk, high reward” with prep players, but in this year’s first round, it’s actually a college bat in Fabian who might offer you the highest upside around pick 21 (with the downside risk of a guy who strikes out 35+% and flames out early).
Meanwhile, Baseball America is up to Mock Draft version 5.0, with the Cubs landing prep catcher Joe Mack: “Mack wasn’t great out of the gate but he is getting some late upward momentum for his play. The Cubs have been tied to a few prep bats including Colson Montgomery, as well as the college arms that are coming off the board around this range like Bednar, Michael McGreevy and Gavin Williams.”
MLB Pipeline ranks Mack the 18th best prospect in the draft:
Mack has the chance to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. The left-handed hitter has the chance to be an above-average hitter, showing off an advanced approach all summer with an impressive ability to pick up base hits with two strikes. He has more alley-to-alley gap power, but he has the strength and bat speed that point to at least average power in the future. While speed isn’t a part of his game, he’s far from a clogger and runs well for a catcher.
All summer, Mack showed off plus pop times to second base, consistently under 1.9 seconds. He’ll need to keep working on his overall defensive game, but given his baseball awareness, there’s little question he’ll be at least a solid average receiver, giving teams a complete package to consider signing away from his commitment to Clemson.
Your annual reminder that, just because the Cubs have a nice group of young catching prospects, that wouldn’t stop them from taking Mack if they felt he was the best pro prospect on the board there for them at 21.
For even more fun, Bryan (from here) and Greg (from Ivy Futures) participated as the Cubs selectors in the Prospects Live mock draft:
Did you enjoy watching the @ProspectsLive MLB Mock Draft? Want to know what other players @cubsprospects and I considered at pick 21 and 56? Check out a behind-the-scenes and Don't Mock the Mock! https://t.co/SeNO7HBrnp
— Ivy Futures (@IvyFutures) June 28, 2021
Bryan and Greg went with Mississippi State righty Will Bednar in the first round, and a sleeper in the second round:
With our 2nd pick, @ivyfutures and I selected high school IF James Triantos. Greg gets the credit for this pick, but this was one we have agreed on for a few days. Triantos swings like the ball said something mean about his mama, and has a plus arm and athleticism. Sleeper!
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) June 26, 2021