We are still a month and a half away from the 2023 MLB Draft, but with amateur seasons drawing closer to their end, the clarity at the top of the draft – as in, which players comprise the top talent (apparently it’s among the best groups in recent memory in the top 5/6, thanks a lot draft lottery). So it’s a good time to look at some of the latest mock drafts, and it’s also a time when we start getting more of them …
- Chicago Cubs
Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR)
I’ve heard the Cubs linked to prep infielder Kevin McGonigle and this is probably the top spot where Florida RHP Hurston Waldrep is in play (who has some similarities to Chicago’s first rounder last year, Cade Horton). Some scouts also think Tommy Troy and (Matt) Shaw are targets here. Meyer, however, has one of the best collection of pitcher traits in recent memory, with other recent comps to him going at least this high. He has true frontline potential but isn’t as polished at this stage as some of the other elite prep arms that have traits of that caliber: Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, Jackson Jobe and Dylan Lesko.
13. Chicago Cubs – Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
Shaw is one of the best pure hitters in the draft class with metrics to match, something the Cubs are clearly aware of given their choice of Cade Horton with their first pick last year. I could see them going for Stanford shortstop Tommy Troy or Vandy centerfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr., as well.
13. Cubs: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest (No. 9)
He might not have Lowd stuff (sorry, couldn’t resist), but he’s been extremely consistent and has an ERA under 2.00. He’s had back-to-back seven-inning shutouts, which certainly doesn’t hurt his stock.
- Cubs — Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
The clear-cut best college catcher in the class has been on a rampage all season. He’s hitting .423/.482/.665 with nine home runs and 20 doubles and he has lowered his strikeout rate to 9.2%—though he was never a huge strikeout guy in the first place. It’s an excellent foundation of athleticism with plus arm strength who should benefit from professional catching development. The swing won’t be for everyone, as it’s full of violence and effort, and his approach might need to be toned down in pro ball, but Teel should be the beneficiary of a down catching class and he’s played his way into the middle of the first round.