MLB Pipeline Mock Draft: Cubs Land the Top Pitcher

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MLB Pipeline Mock Draft: Cubs Land the Top Pitcher

Chicago Cubs

Apropos of yesterday’s Cubs prospect notes and the unveiling of MLB Pipeline’s initial top 100 draft prospect list, Jim Callis mocked the first 10 picks of the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft.

*Keep in mind* that we haven’t even started the amateur seasons that will precede this draft, and so much can and will change between now and then. But, (1) these mocks are good for putting possible target players on your radar before those seasons begin, and (2) mock drafts are fun.

Heading to the Chicago Cubs with pick number seven is high school righty Dylan Lesko, considered by almost everyone at this moment to be the best pitching prospect in the draft:

It’s no secret that the Cubs need pitching and the best pitcher in this Draft is a high schooler. The first junior ever to win Gatorade’s national baseball player of the year award, he has it all: three quality offerings (including the best changeup in this class), polish, athleticism, projection and makeup.

The early take on this year’s draft is that it is loaded on the positional side, and there are going to be great options there for the Cubs at pick seven if they elect to go that route. But Lesko is certainly impressive.

We’re used to the Cubs avoiding high school arms in the early rounds of the draft, so it would be a surprise to see the Cubs go this route – but maybe it shouldn’t be? Consider that, just before Dan Kantrovitz arrived to start leading up the draft, the Cubs had already shifted into a willingness to be a little more open to risk in the draft in exchange for more upside. Moreover, consider that the Cubs went very much in that direction in the 2020 draft when they took prep shortstop Ed Howard in the first round (not a pitcher, but significant risk on the bat).

And also, consider that, in this draft, if the first six picks all go position player, it’s going to be pretty hard not to take the best pitcher in the draft, even if it winds up being a pricey high schooler. Sometimes, you just have to take the guy who has only a 10-20% chance of working out, but if he DOES work out, you’ve got yourself a star.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.