With picks at 7, 47, 86, and 113, the Cubs are likely to get four very good players in the first four rounds. It’s in the fifth round where the Cubs have to start thinking about bonus pools and strategies. Is there going to be a player that they need to sign to an above slot deal in the first ten rounds? Would that second round pick be someone that’s going to cost them an extra million? Technically, the Cubs could still get very good players at 143 and 173, but they could get a really good player in the second round if they had some extra cash from picks 5, 6, and/or 7.
As a result, the Cubs may be looking at using their fifth and sixth round picks to sign a couple of seniors in order to gain some bonus pool money to help sign someone to an above slot deal like they did with James Triantos last year or they might save another couple hundred thousand dollars just to roll with a player at the back of the draft like they did with Dominic Hambley last year. Or both could happen. Ideally, that fourth round pick is perfect for a senior sign as it could save a lot of extra money. However, with the talent level in this year‘s draft and picking at the beginning of the round, the Cubs may want to wait until the fifth round because the fourth round talent pool is still very good.
Here are the dollar values for the Cubs first six picks along with their overage and bonus totals for the first ten rounds.
1. (7) $5,708,000
2. (47) $1,660,400
3. (86) $735,200
4. (113) $538,400
5. (143) $402,100 – If the Cubs can get a senior in this slot to actually sign, they could save $300,000 or so.
6. (173) $303,700 – Samesies at this slot, probably a little less, like around $250,000..
Overage: $504,635 – Add in the savings from picks 5 and 6 and that would be a cool million.
So, who might be some senior signs the Cubs try and go out and get in the draft?
I have a few in mind.
Number one on my list is RHP Austin Peterson from the University of Connecticut. He only spent two years there after first pitching at Purdue and then Wabash Valley in nearby Mt. Carmel, Illinois. This past year he was one of the NCAA D1 leaders in Ks with 140 in 108 innings. At 6-foot-6, he is known for his ability to change speeds at will and a low walk rate. Hitters find all the arms and legs deceptive along with Peterson’s ability to throw strikes. He just helped lead UConn into the Super Regional which is taking place this weekend.
Triston Stivors is a closer for Texas State, the same school Zac Leigh came from. Stivors has the balls I like to see in a closer. He’s a bulldog out there and lives for the moment. In 2022, the right-hander had a 2.33 ERA with 77 Ks in 58 IP. he only walked 18 for a 4 to 1 K/BB ratio. That’s really good! At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, the Cubs could have something to work with here. In addition, I love his attitude. Check out what he does after defeating Texas, who was #1 in the nation at the time.
The name Daniel Warkentin should sound familiar because his brother Matt was signed as a minor league free agent last summer and is playing in Myrtle Beach. Daniel is a senior at Eastern Michigan and is a 6-foot-2 second baseman who has some pretty good pop. He hit .291 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI this spring. If the Cubs are able to draft and sign him, I don’t know much about his defensive metrics at this point and whether his arm is strong enough to play third, but the power profile plays up a little better there. We could also see him play first base with his size.
Another senior sign that I like is Jason Hinchman out of Tennessee Tech. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds and swings from the right side. He hit 26 dingers this spring and drove in 73 while hitting .372 with a .470 OBP. Those are some eye-popping numbers. With the National League now designated hitter friendly, the Cubs should actually go out and try and find players to fit that opening. Well, Exhibit A is right here.
The Cubs may have to scour more than D1 schools to find a perfect candidate that would be willing to sign for anywhere between $10,000-$100,000. That’s really the price it’s gonna take to free up $500,000 with those two picks. It can be done, it’s just a matter of finding the right player. The aforementioned players could also be taken just as regular picks, too, especially Anderson. We shall see.