Now that NCAA D1 baseball is fully underway, the draft is beginning to move closer and closer to a full time interest for me. While no date has been officially set for this year’s draft, the scuttlebutt was that teams wanted to move the draft back to June again as last year’s was just too close to the trading deadline. So, maybe the draft doesn’t move back to early June as before, but late June is a definite possibility.
Today is all about looking at some rankings of where some major publications have players ranked. Rankings are different from mock drafts as those are all over the place. This year’s rankings tend to be pretty similar in terms of names at the top of the draft, but the individual assessments are pretty varied. Let’s take a look at who the top publications have slotted in at number seven where the Cubs will select their first pick.
Prospects Live – Daniel Susac – C – Arizona
In all the publications, this was the highest rank for Susac, a rather large young man who has immense power potential from both sides of the plate. Prospects Live even compared him favorably to last year’s number 1 pick, Henry Davis out of Louisville. Dylan Lesko, Brock Jones, and Jacob Berry all fall in behind Susac. Even our very own Greg Zumach has Susac slated in at 7 with prepster Cam Collier just ahead at 6.
FanGraphs – Elijah Green – OF – IMG Academy
Green is a physical specimen at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. He’s already demolishing baseballs this spring against elite competition. In the other rankings, he is usually a top 4 player. I would be stunned if he lasts this long in the actual draft. Surprisingly, FanGraphs has Cal Poly SS Brooks Lee ahead of him at 6 and Oklahoma 3B Peyton Graham at 5. I got a good look at Graham last week and there’s a lot of physical projection left there. I would not be surprised to see Graham start to get mentioned more in the top 10. As for Green, it is very hard for me to see him being there at 7.
Baseball America – Dylan Lesko – P – Buford, Georgia
This ranking is actually from a mock draft, but Lesko has been the name du jour this spring for the Cubs and for good reason. I really like him as he is the ace the Cubs lack in their system. Still, a lot of things can happen in front of the Cubs that could cause another player to fall into their lap. Or, we could see an ascending player like Cam Collier pop into the top 10. Then again, it would be hard to pass up Lesko. Check out Kiley McDaniel’s video from yesterday’s game.
MLB Pipeline – Brock Jones – OF – Stanford
The more I read up and see Jones, the more I like him. I used to think he was just a banger, but he’s actually extremely athletic at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. Here is what Pipeline said of the youngster.
Jones oozes with confidence and started to really tap into his tools in 2021 to back that up. He has an intriguing power-speed combination, using a fairly simple and conservative setup to get into a good position to hit. He makes good swing decisions with a short stroke and has very strong hands, with plus pull raw power. While he’s close to maxed out from a physicality standpoint, that’s not a concern because of plus speed that pairs nicely with his instincts on the basepaths.
ESPN – Jace Jung – 3B – Texas Tech
A polished hitter, Jung would be a safe pick with his experience in USA Baseball and the fact that his brother was also a high pick. As a pro, he might slide over to 2B where his bat would play up a bit. He’s a very good hitter, but does he have that greatness in him? That’s what I want to know.
With only two prepsters in this list, that is possibly going to change over the next two months when I revisit the rankings. We shall see if Cam Collier works his way into the top 10 on the other lists. Peyton Graham is another name who is moving up. That’s the thing that is both frustrating and cool about draft rankings, they are always in a constant state of flux right up to the draft.