A week from tomorrow, the major league baseball draft will take place. That got here quick! I am extremely prepared for this year‘s draft. A few weeks ago, Greg Zumach and I did a 10 round mock draft. It was a lot of fun and we actually did have some of the same players. I’m not going to do a 10 round mock today; I am going to just redo my first five picks.
I know just based on the depth of this draft and where the Cubs are picking, they should be able to get four really good players at picks 7, 47, 86, and 113. The kids will probably have some senior signs after that depending on who they draft in the second and third rounds. They may already have a couple over slot deals in place and depending on how much those are, they will shape the course of days two and three.
Let’s keep going!
With my first pick of the 2022 draft, the Chicago Cubs will want to select Cam Collier if he falls to the Cubs. If not, I think Parada would be the best college bat still available. There are those who like Jace Jung, but I prefer Parada just for power. I don’t care if he can catch well, I am on the philosophy of “have bat, will play.” 1B and LF and suitable destinations for his bat along with DH.
The Cubs’ second round pick is probably going to be an over slot deal. I would prefer they take Ian Ritchie, otherwise known as JR, with that pick. The youngster from the Pacific Northwest is known for his slider. He would easily become the Cubs best pitching prospect (If there is such a thing). Here is what MLB Pipeline had to say about the youngster.
Ritchie showed off three or four outstanding offerings this past summer, and it’s largely been more of the same this spring. He’s touched as high as 97 mph but typically sits in the 93-95 mph range with his fastball. His go-to breaking ball had been his curve, and he still throws it, but he featured a sharper low-80s slider that missed a ton of bats against good competition. He throws his changeup with good arm speed and similar velocity as his slider.
If Ritchie is gone or agrees to deal with another team, my next pick would be Noah Schultz from nearby Oswego. He is a 6-foot-8 lefty who already has some nice secondaries.
For round 3, I am rolling with Drew Thorpe from Cal-Poly. He sits in the low to mid 90s and he can fill up the strike zone. He comes already equipped with a plus changeup and an ability to vary his pace which has to upset hitters. He could move fast in the low minors, possibly getting to South Bend this year in a very limited role.
I am going off the reservation for round 4. SS Nicolas Perez from the BYOU Academy in Puerto Rico is my next pick. He is not well known in the US, but he is an amazing defender with a big arm and a guy whose bat has done well in international competition. He is one of the younger players in the draft at 17 and is 6-foot and 175 pounds with the chance to add more weight and to still stay at the position.
For my last pick today, I am sticking with Austin Peterson of U Conn, who I took in my ten round mock. The big 6-foot-6 righty is a top filler of the strike zone who misses a lot of bats with a wipeout slider already in tow. A senior, the Cubs will have to pony up more than usual for a senior sign, but it will be worth it!
I went a little pitching heavy in today’s five picks but that’s OK. The Cubs will have plenty of opportunities for all three of the arms I picked to play next year. Whether we get Parada or Collier, the Cubs are going to get a good player either way. I am not emotionally invested in either player. I just don’t want the Cubs to waste this high of a pick on a below slot deal.
We are now nine days away. Wow!