Here at North Side Bound, Greg Zumach and I have been doing draft content about twice a month. Greg usually does a mock draft and interviews while I tend to look at what other publications are saying about who is going where and which prospects are rising in the rankings and which ones are falling.
We are now about seven weeks away from the draft and there’s still a lot of uncertainty at the top of the draft about who is going first, who has the highest potential, signability, and who’s going to be there for the Cubs at number seven. The names at the top of the draft probably will not change very much over the next few weeks.
This draft is known for its bats at the of the draft. There are a few prep pitchers sprinkled in the first round, but the second round has a lot of college pitchers who are going to be available and could be a steal. There could even a big bat or two still hanging around as we discussed earlier this spring.
The Cubs third round pick will be the 86th selection. There will be another very good player available at that spot.
For today, let’s see who each of the major publications has ranked at 86 and what other prospects are nearby that could be a good fit.
At 86 – Connor Staine – RHP – Central Florida
When you throw in the mid 90s in a 6-foot-4 frame, you are going to get attention. Hence, Staine. However, I would be hesitant in taking him. I am sure the Cubs pitch lab would love to get their hands on him, but there have been some injury issues in the past.
Nearby – I like Jake Madden from NW Florida State, a junior college, is a projectable pitcher in a 6-foot-6 frame. However, the guy I want in this spot is Robert Moore, a power hitting 2B from the University of Arkansas. He is rated at 96. Here is what Pipeline says of Moore’s talents.
A switch-hitter listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Moore derives power from his bat speed and aggressive approach at the plate — though almost all of his pop comes from the left side and he went deep just four times in his first 35 games this spring. While he looks to drive the ball, he doesn’t chase pitches or swing and miss excessively. He draws a healthy amount of walks and plays quicker than his fringy speed on the bases.
At 86 – They have LSU commit Jaden Noot slotted here. A big bodied pitcher already, Noot can throw in the low to mid 90s and needs some work on his secondaries. I know an organization that can help him.
Nearby – Robert Moore is not staring the Cubs in the face at 86 this time. He’s in the high 20s for BA. Instead, Vanderbilt 1B Spencer Jones is close as is Oregon SS John Kasevich. Both of those would be excellent selections. However, the name I like here in BA’s ranking is Louisville C/1B Dalton Rushing. Rushing hits baseballs hard and has had success in the Cape Cod League. So, he has some experience against advanced competition. He’s also athletic enough to take his left handed stroke to the outfield and give it a go with his plus arm out there. What I also like is that he just turned 21.
At 86 – Prep SS Christorpher Paciolla is penciled in here. He’s a big kid with some room for some more weight who is probably better at 3B in the long run. What I like most is he doesn’t strike out much. It might take a bit of money to sign him as he has committed to UCLA.
Nearby – This part of the draft is loaded at Prospects Live. There is fireballing Ben Joyce from Tennessee. College arms Carson Palmquist of Miami and Bryce Hubbart of FLorida State would both be on the board. AND, Robert Moore is right here for the taking as he is ranked #87 on their board.
The thought of Moore is exciting as he is a switch hitting prospect who grew up around the game as his father is the Royals’ GM Dayton Moore. Getting Robert would be a very good selection.