The MLB Draft is TOMORROW, which means the last day or so offered a bevy of mock drafts from the national outlets. We’ll still get the final mocks on Sunday, including from the master of mocks, Jim Callis, but I wanted to recap the latest crop.
Here are the players various outlets have going to the Cubs at pick 21:
Baseball America – Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
ESPN – Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Keith Law – Izaac Pacheco, SS/3B, Texas HS
Prospects Live – Jay Allen, OF, Florida HS
FanGraphs – Anthony Solometo, LHP, NJ HS
Oftentimes in MLB mocks, I think the more interesting thing isn’t the specific pick tied to the player, but the wording that goes along with it. For example, you see Keith Law and Prospects Live use similar language regarding the Cubs.
Law: “..Their approach seems to be more for high-upside high school position players…”
Prospects Live: “The Cubs have been a difficult team to track down this cycle, but most smoke has the team attached to a high-upside high school player.”
But Baseball America is hearing differently:
BA: “…the Cubs have been tied to a number of college arms…”
Both things can be true, of course, and I speculated in my last piece that I felt like things were trending towards prep hitter or college pitcher. And of course, these mock drafts also throw out a bunch of other names for each team. I don’t want to re-print the language in each (I urge you to support each outlet!) but in the name of being thorough, I want to discuss some players that were thrown out that I never touched on during my three preview articles. This is the thing with pick 21 in the MLB Draft: even previewing 40 names oftentimes isn’t enough.
Here are some names connected to the Cubs we’ve already discussed: Colson Montgomery, Bubba Chandler, Ethan Wilson.
And here are five more that we haven’t.
Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS, Manchester, CT.
A good way to get drafted: throw four straight no-hitters. This draft is littered with cold weather prep players, and Mozzicato is probably the latest riser of them all. There’s a little Justin Steele in Mozzicato, a 6-foot-2 lefty with good carry on the fastball and a natural ability to spin the heck out of a breaking ball. The track record of success is more limited, so you really have to trust the looks you got this spring, but he’s projectable and fun.
Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks HS, CA.
(Insert your Min Muncy joke here.) When I first read about Muncy a few months ago, I kind of assumed he’d be one of those good prep shortstops that goes to college and becomes in the mix for the top 10 in 2024 (like Matt McLain in this draft). But Muncy got a lot of buzz in the last six weeks and should now go high enough to spurn his Arkansas commitment and turn pro. He has a chance to both hit for power and stay at shortstop, and where you find that brand of unicorn, you can bet you’ll find a scout that has fallen in love.
Aaron Zavala, OF, Oregon.
Fifty walks against 31 strikeouts this season, so if you’re looking for the advanced college approach that Moneyball models are going to love, here’s your guy. There’s talk of power and hints that maybe he could move to third base, I’m a bit less bullish. To me this is more of a round 2 pick than round one, but he certainly would add things to the system they don’t have a whole lot of.
Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP, Madison Central, MS.
There’s already two Montgomery’s looking like first round picks (Benny and Colson), so why not a third? Keith Law threw out this connection, and you wonder if the Cubs are lurking in and pricing out what bonus number makes Montgomery walk away from Stanford. Really profound talent here, switch-hitter with projectable power and an easy mound delivery. If the Cubs go below-slot in the first — with one of those senior college arms we discussed last time — expect me to be speculating it’s to give Montgomery the money later in the draft.
Tyler Whitaker, SS/3B, Bishop Gorman HS, NV.
Easy, easy power. This is the selling point on Whitaker, who has a really quiet swing that still generates big-time power thanks to natural strength and good hip rotation. He’s a shortstop in name only, and might well not even end up a fit at third base. He’s also going to take awhile to not swing and miss at high fastballs and good breaking balls. Risky pick with some big upside – is that a fit right now?
We’ll see tomorrow!