Christopher Paciolla – Pic by USA Baseball
The hardest part about doing draft pick profiles is finding information about high school prospects. If they’re in the top 250 on MLB Pipeline or the top 600 on Prospects Live, you can get a paragraph quote or two, but the best place to always start is with Mom because she has the best video, the best pictures, and that is true for Christopher Paciolla.
The Cubs took Paciolla in the third round of the 2022 MLB Draft. He was the only position player the Cubs took the first two days. The shortstop out of Temecula Valley High School will probably move to third base as a professional.
Height – 6-foot-2
Weight – 185
Throws – Right
Bats – Right
Age – 18 (in March)
From – Temecula Valley HS (CA)
Drafted 3rd Round in 2022
In high school, Paciolla played 94 games in his career and hit .394 with a .482 on base percentage. This past year, he hit four home runs and drove in 21 in 29 games. But Paciolla’s recents stats are not really transferable to the minors, but his potential is.
Four years ago, Paciolla played on the 14U USA Baseball team. At the time, he was listed at 6-foot-2 and 155 pounds. So, over the past four summers he’s put on 30 pounds. And there’s still plenty of more room to add another 15 pounds or more to his frame.
Almost every major publication praised Paciolla for his power, angle of attack, and bat speed. On defense, they like his arm and his hands. And he also said that he’s just lacks speed on that side of the ball. As a result, they all see him moving to third base which is a more reactive position.
Here’s what Prospects Live had to say about the youngster:
Paciolla is a big, strong infielder with significant bat speed at the plate. There’s some moving parts in his setup, load and swing, but when Paciolla is on time he can generate as much juice as anyone on the west coast. Paciolla isn’t fleet of foot, but he has fluid motions on the dirt with decent range. As he continues to mature, his profile might be forced to third base, but he certainly looks the part of an impact player at the next level.
One of the coolest things I found about Paciolla was a data set (pictured above) from the Prep Baseball Report that gave us some numbers to attach to his skills and also could serve as a baseline for him going forward. For example, his bat speed is at 75 right now, which is going to increase as he gets stronger and lifts weights on a regular basis as a professional player. I also like the fact that he hits the ball hard now with an average exit velocity of 98. That ball is coming off the bat pretty good for an 18-year-old kid.
His 60 yard dash time came in at 7.19. There will be very few times where he’s going to be required to run 60 yards in a sprint. Usually the only time baseball players do that is on a double or triple. Baseball is much more quick twitch type of reactions rather than time over distance.
When it came to his arm, his average exit velocity for throwing was at 82 miles an hour. That will get better over time as the Cubs work to strengthen every muscle in his body. He might even be able to play the outfield if needed in the future. It’s not uncommon for high school kids to come in and switch positions. It happens all the time.
What impresses me most about Paciolla is he’s already got a pretty good eye at the plate right now and he can drive and lift at an early age. There’s potential for more as he continues to add weight and to add strength. It’s not rocket science, but it’s easier said than done.
He should be spending the rest of this summer in Mesa and will probably start out next year in extended spring training unless he has an amazing off-season and the Cubs think he’s ready to handle Myrtle Beach at 19 next year. It’s been done quite a bit the past two summers!