You can’t really evaluate an MLB Draft until years down the road, so we don’t actually know if the Chicago Cubs killed it in this draft.
However, given the limitations of the bonus pool, the volume of over-slot-type talent they took, and the very small number of under-slot guys they took, it’s pretty impressive they still managed to sign 19 of their 20 picks.
The last two signings come from the high school pitching crop. First, the rest of the bonus pool went to second rounder Jackson Ferris, as expected:
That’s roughly the bonus amount associated with the 23rd overall pick. So, kinda the way we described it when the draft was happening: it’s as if the Cubs traded the 7th overall pick and the 47th overall pick for the 12 (approximately the slot value of what Cade Horton got) and the 23. Fair to debate whether that’s a good on paper trade, but it strikes me as a pretty good value.
Of course, what it *really* depends on is whether Horton and Ferris ultimately develop into big league pitchers worthy of being the focus at the top of the Cubs’ draft in a class that was otherwise believed to have been loaded on the positional side.
Meanwhile, the other new signing for the Cubs? Kind of a shocker: quality prep arm JP Wheat, the 16th rounder with a commitment to Georgia Tech. I did not think the Cubs would be able to get him for $125,000 – the amount they can offer without counting against the pool – but they did:
So that means a total of 19 picks signed from the team’s 20 selections, a fantastic result. Now develop the heck out of them …
Based on the reported bonus amounts, the Cubs spent their full bonus pool and the full 5% overage on their class (that’s the amount you can spend and just pay a tax, without losing a future draft pick). According to Savermetrics’ math, the Cubs literally spent that full amount within … five dollars.
The Cubs may or may not dip into the undrafted free agent class this year. A lot of clubs already have, but the Cubs indicated in their draft comments that they consider their system pretty full right now, and don’t want to bring anyone else in unless they’re certain that player is better than the “last” guy on their stateside roster limit. With trades on deck, too, it’s possible the Cubs don’t sign any UDFAs this year.