The Cubs are going to get a very good player at pick number seven in the first round. That prospect should slide into the top five prospects in the system pretty quickly. But the Cubs will also get another good player at 47 and 86, which we looked at last week.
Beginning at pick 113 and every 30 picks thereafter, the Cubs will select 17 more players and it will be interesting to see just exactly who they get. Today, let’s take a look at some players who will be available at pick 113, which is the Cubs fourth round pick.
Let’s go to MLB Pipeline First.
Pipeline’s 113th ranked prospect is Kassius Thomas from Sierra Canyon High School in California. Thomas‘ greatest asset is his athleticism and he is still growing at 6-foot-1. He can sit in the low 90s. I don’t know if the Cubs are ready to gamble on a prep pitcher in the fourth round with other interesting names in and around that spot. However, he should be worth a deeper dive by the Cubs scouts.
The first name around 113 that catches my name is pitcher Brandon Birdsell of Texas Tech. I still remember him from high school and then again in junior college at San Jacinto as he played with Luke Little and former Cub pick and now National Mitchell Parker. But Birdsell has just got a rifle. If you can look past his injury history, which is plentiful, there might be something there. Whether the Cubs feel like they can do something with him will be one thing to keep an eye on as he’s definitely a high voltage arm.
Speaking of high voltage arms, Tennessee‘s Ben Joyce is sitting right there at 116. There are concerns with taking a college reliever that throws 100+ miles an hour. First and foremost is how long the arm going to throw 100+ miles an hour? Joyce has done it this year but will that stay with him for a career. That’s a loaded question because it won’t. It never does. So, does Joyce have other attributes to his arsenal besides velocity? How coachable is he? Does he take instruction well? Whoever takes Joyce is going to get an immediate arm but how long that arm lasts is a huge concern for most teams. That’s probably why he’s down in this area?.
One other possible pick in this range is Texas banger Ivan Melendez who just tore the cover off the ball in 2022. If this was a fantasy draft, Melendez would probably be one of the top 5 players selected just based on his offense. But the game is not just about offense. Otherwise, Melendez would be nowhere near the fourth round. But in a world that now has a DH in the National League, this type of pick is now a possible necessity for the Cubs. They can go out and get a DH and that’s all that guy is going to do his hit. I’m sure Melendez wants to play the field, but his career path is going to be very intriguing with whomever he signs.
Over at Prospects Live, they have Marcus Johnson of Duke at the 113 spot. He would be a big arm who still has some physical projection left in terms of adding weight. He is also very athletic and, for one, I like this guy, maybe even in the third round.
Prospects Live tends to have a lot of prep players around this number. I don’t know if the Cubs are ready to go that high with a prep pick in the fourth round. They might prefer a college bat like Melendez or they could go with a former pick in 2019 selection SS Ryan Ritter out of the University of Kentucky who would be more than available at the slot. The problem with Ritter is he still could technically go back to college, so the Cubs might have to pay a little bit more to get him. Birdsell is also still available at that slot.
Over at Baseball America, pitcher Troy Melton of San Diego is sitting right there at 113. The 21-year-old righty is much improved over last year when he was also draft eligible. What I like about Melton is that he has a rather young arm. He converted to pitching from catching and the differences from year-to-year are tremendous.
Melendez is also available and he actually is ranked in the 180s along with Birdsell while Ritter is not too far off of 113 and neither is Joyce.
As you can probably surmise, the Cubs are going to get a very good player in the fourth round!