Chicago Cubs Draft Notes: Signings Rolling In, Horton Signs, Scouting Reports, "Belly Fire," More

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Chicago Cubs Draft Notes: Signings Rolling In, Horton Signs, Scouting Reports, “Belly Fire,” More

Chicago Cubs

There is just so much follow-up Cubs draft stuff to get into that I need to dump a bunch right here lest we lose it over the weekend and in the coming swirl of rumors and trades.

  • We’re starting to get word of signings already, including top Chicago Cubs pick Cade Horton:
  • And including the dude who put up video game numbers while being the best hitter in D-II:
  • Cubs VP of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz told the Tribune, of McGeary: “He’s accumulated some off-the-charts, Nintendo-type numbers, but that’s backed up by some context-neutral data points as well when we’re talking about the exit (velocity) and the manner in which the ball just flies off his bat. We got to the point where we were really comfortable and the potential in having a power bat.”
  • And we know that 4th rounder Nazier Mulé is going to sign, too, while mostly focusing on pitching:
  • 7th rounder Nick Hull comes in under slot, which is part of the Cubs’ efforts to have some more money to play with to sign some of their high-upside Day Three signings (as we’ve already seen from 13th rounder Luis Rujano):
  • Mason McGwire, Mark’s son, was very impressed by the Cubs and it sure sounds like he’s going to sign (not clear how much he’ll take to sign as the 8th rounder, but I can’t imagine it’s under slot):
  • Things look good in the 9th and 10th rounds:
  • Mat Peters will need a whole lot of refining, but I can’t argue with taking a guy in the 12th round who can throw 101-103mph, and then trying to help him on the command side of things:
  • IMG Pitching Coach Steve Frey tells the Tribune that Cubs second rounder Jackson Ferris has that good old fashioned “fire in the belly.” Also, the “it factor.” Basically, Frey is saying that Ferris is a good pitcher, yes, but there’s something extra there.
  • A little more Cade Horton data:
  • And a big write-up on Horton and Ferris at The Athletic:
  • Among the comments in there:

There will be those who still feel it was safer to go with a position player in a draft where the college players were a strength. But the Cubs clearly have faith in their player development group to get Horton to where he needs to be to impact the big-league club in the future. VP of pitching and assistant GM Craig Breslow had been in regular contact with Kantrovitz regarding the draft as early as the spring and Horton became a focus by May.

Horton’s slider is the standout offering, and while the fastball is a 70 pitch according to scouts on velocity alone, it plays more average. In the end, his best self could look like Lance McCullers Jr., the Astros righty who leans heavily on his breaking balls over his fastball. The heater for Horton is an area the Cubs will focus on, along with likely adding a pitch that can move arm-side to counter his sweeping slider. The current belief is it could be a power changeup, but those types of decisions will become more concrete once Horton is signed, has gone through his physical, begins working with the staff in Arizona and goes through a session in the Pitch Lab.

  • Shane Marshall is the converted catcher the Cubs are drafting to be a pitcher:
  • Stray notes from the always-interesting Lance Brozdowski:


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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.