In just a little over five months, Major League Baseball will hold its annual amateur draft. The Cubs will be picking at number 13 in the first round, followed by a comp pick after the second round at number 68. Their third round pick will be number 81 followed by a 4th round pick at 112 and a 5th rounder at 148. Then every 30 packs thereafter they will have a selection.

Currently, I don’t have a guy that I like more than any other for number 13. However, I do have a few players I really like scattered throughout the top 100. Some of them could move into the first round and some of them could stay right where they are at or even fall a little bit.

By the time spring break comes for me in late March, I am going to have enough information to start to examine just exactly who could be there at 13. 

Anyway, here at five D1 college guys I’m going to be interested to see how they progress over the next couple of months.

1. Tanner Witt – The starting pitcher from Texas is a player that I fell in love with three years ago coming out of high school. At that time he reminded me of Kerry Wood quite a bit. In 2022, Witt missed most of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. I am going to be looking at how he bounces back from said surgery. What kind of force he can be for the Longhorns and just exactly how he is used as a pitcher? Will he just get a couple inning starts or will the Longhorns throw him in all the way? Or will he come out of the bullpen?

2. Homer Bush, Junior – This much is clear, Grand Canyon University is turning into a powerhouse of a baseball program. Bush is an incredible athlete at 6-foot-2 to begin with, but in fall ball it looked like he started to put some things together that could propel him to having a great spring season. The power improved, and he’s hitting the ball harder which is something the Cubs like to see. Combined with 70 grade speed, he could shoot way up if the power plays.

3. Jack Hurley – The left-handed hitting outfielder from Virginia Tech had a really good 2022 campaign in three different formats. He was a stud at Virginia Tech in the spring as he played first base because Gavin Cross was out there in the outfield. Now that Cross is gone, Hurley will move back to his natural position from first base. Hurley also played in the Cape Cod league and did well and along with playing for USA baseball. That’s a lot of boxes to cross off in a career let alone in one season. He has a mixture of power and speed that the Cubs could find intriguing.

4. Cade Kuehler – Campbell University is also turning into quite a little baseball factory. What I like most about Kuehler is that he already has an incredible floor with a mid to upper 90s fastball that can top out at 98. And he has a plus slider that sits in the mid 80s. Those are two pitches that the Cubs are falling in love with as an organization. He could be a guy that might work his way all the way up from round two to round one by the beginning of April.

5. Carson Montgomery – The big right hander out of Florida State has a pitch mix that eerily shadows the aforementioned Kuehler with the mid to upper 90s fastball and mid 80s slider. However, Montgomery is not nearly as polished, but he could be even better as it’s just a matter of Montgomery gaining control and command. There was word he adjusted his delivery. We shall see how that works out. Montgomery is only going to be 20 years old at the time of the draft just like Cade Horton was this year. How Montgomery looks in the first couple of starts could give us an inkling of whether or not the Cubs might be interested. Then again, as we saw last year with Horton, once a guy figures some things out, they can take off really fast.