I put out a series of polls on Twitter last month posing as a tournament for you, the fans, to vote on what player(s) from the 2021 draft class you are most excited to see play in 2022.
The results were mostly unsurprising.
Besides the curious case of Wilson Cunningham (you can read about his fun draft story here: https://t.co/58uIxCYfuA), the Cubs signed 16 players from the 2021 MLB Draft.— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) December 30, 2021
Here’s a mini-tournament to see who you’re most excited to watch take the field in 2022! ⬇️
You guys can’t get enough of James Triantos, and I don’t blame you.
But with that mini-tournament in mind, I decided to take a look at the players I’m most excited to watch play this year from the draft class from last year!
James Triantos | IF, 2nd Round
The Friday Five is a list of five dudes every single week. There’s never any sort of ranking system involved. HOWEVAH! In a hypothetical scenario, if I were to rank the five guys I’m most excited for in order, Triantos would sit atop my ranking. So here he is at the top.
The hype has been surrounding this kid since the day our very own Greg Zumach brought him to our attention. Incredible bat-to-ball skills with an ability to put the ball in play with authority is really all you need to know. Let’s see him do his thing in Myrtle to begin the season.
Jordan Wicks | LHP, 1st Round
He was the first round pick for a reason. The same reason we loved watching Jon Lester pitch is the same reason why we should be excited for Wicks. There is so much bulldog mentality in the southpaw.
Wicks will also likely be challenged in 2022. In a system full of of teenagers and talk of “upside way in the future,” the former K-Stater might find himself moving up the system quickly, likely beginning with a quick trip to South Bend to begin the year.
Parker Chavers | OF, 7th Round
I’ve been on Chavers since the 2020 draft and now is not the time to back down. He’s a tooled up outfielder that really only fell down to the 7th round because of his injury history.
This kid plays a fearless center field which makes him incredibly fun to watch on defense in addition to his speed/power combo in the batter’s box. You guys weren’t nearly as hype about Chavers going into this year, but maybe that’s my fault — I should be talking about this kid more right here at NSB.
Zac Leigh | RHP, 16th Round
If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t think too much about the selection of Leigh back on draft day. I chalked it up as an easy sign in the late rounds for a guy that put up rough college numbers. I assumed the Cubs development staff would try to unlock something pretty quickly.
But now Leigh is being mentioned as a name to watch by national publications. The fastball ticked up several mph and the breaker is a doozy. We’re assuming relief-only, but who knows what the Cubs can do with Leigh after seeing them work with guys named Leeper and Ueckert.
Christian Franklin | OF, 4th Round
Much like Chavers, Christian Franklin is another tooled up outfielder. A second round talent according to plenty of draft experts, Franklin fell to the Cubs down in Round 4 partially due to his swing-and-miss problems at the plate.
But we already know that Franklin is going through swing changes and he is working hard to flatten out his bat path so he can do more damage against fastballs at the top of the zone. If those fixes really do help boost his hit tool a bit, you could be looking at a guy that stands out thanks to his all-around ability, even in a system filled to the brim with outfielders.
Feature photo of Jordan Wicks by Todd Johnson