Now that the draft is just about three months away, I have been checking out a lot of the selections who might be in the top 200. That has involved some reading, some watching of videos, and doing some research on Perfect Game and PBR sites. As I get more information, I start to build some knowledge of guys that could be options for the Cubs.
My three favorite players in this year‘s draft are probably not going to be taken in this mock draft because they fall somewhere between 13 and 68. They are either too low of a prospect to take at 13 or too high of a prospect to take at 68 as they would likely be drafted by then. Those three players are left-handed pitcher Cam Johnson from IMG Academy, Tanner Witt from the University of Texas, who is recovering from Tommy John, and Homer Bush, Junior, who would probably fall somewhere after the Cubs third round pick.
Technically, there’s nothing to stop the Cubs from taking Johnson or Witt in the first round, although both would be reaches and there would be much better talent sitting there at 13.
What Greg Zumach and I decided to do today was to each come up with a five round mock draft and then we would get together and talk about it and see how those compare.
What I liked most about doing just five picks today was that there’s some really good talent going way beyond the fifth round for the Cubs to get. There are plenty of good players, who are going to be taken in the sixth, seventh, and eighth round, and possibly all the way through rounds 11 and 12 – the Cubs could get great value into day 3.
This amount of depth was created by the pandemic because a lot of prep players went to college in 2020 because they had no idea when they would begin playing professionally. So, they took the safe route and went to college where they had a much better chance of getting some action in for 2021.
Here are my five selections I took for the Cubs in my five round mock draft.
13 – Brock Wilken -3B – Wake Forest
The 3B from Wake Forest hits bombs. He is also one of the fastest rising guys in the draft. If he continues his current home run production rate, he’s not going to be available at 13. But for today, this is the guy you slide in at third for the next seven years. It’s probably not going to take him long to get to Chicago either considering his experience in the ACC. What I love most about Wilken is that he just turns on a baseball. He has great pitch recognition skills to go along with that powerful bat speed.
68 – Matthew Dallas – LHP Baincrest Prep
Dallas is a high school lefty who is committed to the University of Tennessee, and was one of the top pitchers for the U-18 team for USA Baseball this past summer. Playing USA Baseball is an incredible experience for any young player and that usually gives them a leg up for the draft because of playing against advanced competition from around the world. As for Dallas’ physical traits, he’s a big kid at 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds who still has plenty of room to fill in and grow over the next few years. Here is what Pipeline said of the young prospect:
All of his pitches have the potential for significant improvement once he adds more strength, which also will help his ability to repeat his mechanics deep into games. His competitive makeup also contributes to his mid-rotation upside.
81 – Parker Detmers – RHP – Chatham Glenwood
This is my homer pick because I used to live in and around the Springfield, Illinois area between 1979 and 1993. For Parker Detmers, he is slated to go follow in his brother Reid’s (who plays for the Angels) footsteps and go to Louisville. It would take a chunk of change to get him to change his mind. He’s a little bit bigger than his brother at 6-foot-5 and Parker is also right-handed. For Dan Kantrowitz to make this call, he’s going to have to be sure the Detmers family will sign on the dotted line.
113 – Andrew Walters – Closer- Miami
Walters is one of the top closers in the nation and he’s a big kid who throws upper 90s stuff right now. He’s not going to need a lot of adjustments and he’s probably not going to need a lot of time to develop. The fourth round would be the perfect landing spot for someone who could move quickly.
149 – Christian Little – RHP – LSU
I still find it hard to believe that this kid is still available on most boards, but he is. That lower ranking probably comes from a 6+ ERA on the Cape last summer, Still, he is a draft eligible sophomore who would be a steal. He spent his freshman season at Vanderbilt and then transferred to LSU. Little’s profile screams Cubs as he already has a good fastball (93-95) but needs some improvement on his secondaries, something the Cubs can do.
In selecting just 1/4 of the draft, it’s quite evident that the depth of this year’s draft class is pretty deep. The big disclaimer I would throw at this group would be that the Cubs could take a pitcher at 13 and he’d be better than what they got in the top arm in last year‘s class in Cade Horton. I would not be surprised to see Wilken continue to rise, but if Tanner Witt starts throwing anytime soon, that might change all my predictions. And how well Cam Johnson does throughout the spring could also change his ranking. And if Homer Bush, Junior, starts cranking out a lot more home runs and doubles and triples, that could be my dream come true for 13, 68, and 81.
Much want Little with a non-first
I’m impressed Wilken’s not 21 until the second half of June
Keep it up up up