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Today’s question comes from Thufir Hawat via email. Thanks for the question!
Here at North Side Bound, it’s always draft season. Todd and Greg tackle their first draft question. We’ll have a lot more content later in the winter.
I’m incredibly excited about this upcoming draft, but let me tell you that there are some prospects really peaking my interest. One of my absolute favorites is TCU’s Brayden Taylor. The shortstop could move off the position down the road, but should be a strong candidate to stick at third or second. It’s the bat that headlines the whole package. From the left side, he offers all-star upside. Just watch that clip below. It’s beautiful.
Diving into the data, Taylor combined the ability to hit the ball hard (hard hit % of 34%; college avg 31%), make contact (83%; college avg 77%), and barrel the ball (9.7%; college avg 4.6%). He handles velocity and breaking balls better than average. There’s a strong chance he’s in my top 6 players when I debut my rankings this winter, but if he’s there when the Cubs pick I’d rush to the podium (where I’d be promptly escorted out by security; worth it).
A few other names to consider: Jacob Wilson (in first embedded tweet above), Arjun Nimmala, Jack Hurley, and Maryland’s Matt Shaw.
Today, I am all about about Tanner Witt at the 12 spot. He will be coming off of TJS but he’s your stereotypical big Texas workhorse with a mid 90s heater and three other pitches. If he bounces back well in his rehab, he might not be available at 12. If that happens, 3B Brock Wilken from Wake Forest would be a nice power bat. Huge frame, What helps Wilken the most is experience in the Cape Cod League where he hit .302/.430/.519 with 6 dingers in 36 games. I am 100% sure my thoughts will change over the next 8 months, but the Cubs are going to get a very, very good player at 12. If they somehow get into the top of the lottery with their 1.10% chance, then this question gets really interesting as I would be all over Max Clark.
We will be back next week, maybe, with Episode 5 of our mailbag! We will see you then!
Offseason Mailbag Series
Episode 1 – Canario and Davis to Chicago
Episode 2 – Cade Horton in 2023
Episode 3 – Nazier Mule
Episode 4 – Who’s Your Guy in the Draft
Episode 5 – Rule 5 Predictions
Episode 6 – Is the System for Real
Episode 7 – Weakness
I like Brayden Taylor too, but Bradfield’s the most electric athlete in college baseball