We are back for day two of the 2023 MLB Draft. I will be live blogging this afternoon. All you have to do is just click your refresh button on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

It was a late night last night as the Cubs took Matt Shaw in the first round, and Jaxon Wiggins in the second and we are set for eight picks today beginning at number 81. There are a lot of good players left and we’ll see just where the Cubs’ strategy takes them throughout the day.

I have several questions that I would like to see answered in picks three through 10.

1. Will there be a big over slot deal for one of today’s picks?

We probably will have to wait a few weeks before the signings are announced. But if we hear a big prep name in the first two hours, we will have a pretty good idea of who the money was saved for.

2. Are the Cubs going to go heavy on pitching this year or heavy on the bats? Or, will it be like last year and they take 15 pitchers and only five hitters?

We should get a good sense of this direction by the end of the day. Tomorrow, that could change things.

3. Cubs have taken two college picks so far in the first two rounds. Will they continue to go to the college route or will we see some prep players start to work their way into this class?

That ratio is going to be interesting to see at the end of the day tomorrow on how the Cubs divvied up their picks.

4. My final question of the day is: Are the Cubs going to dip into the D2 pool again this year like they did last year?

This year‘s players of the year in Luke Napleton and Kade Bragg are going to be out there to be taken, and whether the Cubs take them will remain to be seen. We could just see the Cubs just stick in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, and Pac 12.

I’m going to get some lunch and a walk in right now before round two starts. Then I’m going to open about 6-8 tabs so when the picks come in and I can just find the information on each tab.

Cubs picks today – 81, 113, 149, 179, 209, 239, 269, 299

1 P.M. Day 2 Begins…

Round 3

With the 81st pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected….Josh Rivera, SS, Florida. A definite up and comer, the Cubs are getting an ascending player who will continue to bloom under pro instruction. He hit .348 this year with 19 HRs in an elite conference.

He has good size at 6-foot-2 and room to add some muscles.

I really like this kid as he’s pretty athletic and can play more than just SS.

Here is what Pipeline said of him:

This year, though, he’s been healthy and shown he can impact the ball a lot more effectively. He’s not necessarily a pure hitter, with a bit of an unbalanced setup at the plate, but he’s been barreling up the ball all spring, with an advanced approach that has led to very few strikeouts and a healthy walk rate. All of that has enabled him tap into his raw power consistently.

Round 4

The Cubs took Will Sanders, a RHP from South Carolina. The big Gamecock was considered first round talent that struggled with injuries to his foot this spring. Still a big arm with a track record in a tough conference, and he’s had big K totals each of the last three years.

I like the pick a lot. He will be one to blossom under pro instruction, too.

Here is what Joe Doyle said of Sanders:

Sanders has the massive size and stuff to headline a rotation at any level. He’s got the mid-90s velocity and consistency with the fastball that scouts like to see, though to this point, he’s had a hard-time missing bats with the pitch. That’ll need to change at the next level if he’s to start and get through a lineup more than once. Sanders’ go-to out pitch has been a solid slider with good shape and great consistency. He’s also got some of the best feel for a changeup at the top of this class. Developing a more-effective fastball is the most important move for Sanders in his immediate future.

Round 5

With pick 149, the Cubs took catcher Michael Carico out of Davidson. He is only 20 years old – that’s interesting!

Only played in 21 games this spring but had a great 2022. He hit 21 dingers with 57 RBI and hits left-handed.

He dealt with a broken wrist this spring. That is not conducive to hitting. Wonder how long it takes him to settle back into hitting normally?.

Ranked #110 on MLB Pipeline.

Here is what MLB Pipeline wrote of his skill set:

Carico has some stiffness to his left-handed swing, but he has the strength and bat speed to produce solid power from left-center to the right-field line. He struggled in the Team USA trials against better quality pitching, so there’s some question as to how good he’ll be versus tougher competition. He may not produce high batting averages, but his pop and his plate discipline are real. 

Round 6

This is the first pick that sent everyone on Twitter scrambling as the Cubs took OF Alfonsin Rosario from P27 Academy and is originally from the DR but has been in Lexington, South Carolina. At 6-foot-6 and 215, he does not look like he has an ounce of fat on that frame.

Here is what Joe Doyle of Future Star Series thought of him:

Rosario hasn’t been in the United States long. He transferred to P27 for 2022 and immediately began getting scouts attention. It’s a big, barrel-chested body with significant bat speed and some athleticism as well. Rosario has present power and has the chance to develop into a middle-of-the-order thumper. A fringy runner, Rosario’s profile is buoyed in the outfield by an elite throwing arm and profiles extremely well into right field.

7th Round

The Cubs take Yahil Melendez at 209 for their seventh round pick. He is a shortstop out of the B You Academy in Puerto Rico. He comes in at 6-foot-3 and 165 pounds. Hits left handed.

Round 8

The Cubs took OF Brett Bateman from the University of Minnesota. He bats and throws from the left side. He hit .354 this spring.

The 5-foot-10 170 pound has also torn up the Cape this summer which looks like it caught the Cubs attention.

Here’s Joe Doyle explaining Bateman’s Junior season success:

Bateman is coming off a fantastic season with the Golden Gophers where he hit .355/.451/.407 and walked 11 more times than he struck out. Bateman’s biggest tools are his approach at the plate and his instincts on the base paths and in the outfield. He’s a plus runner with a willingness to turn on the jets to put himself in scoring position. Bateman doesn’t possess much bat speed and will probably never be a guy who hits for much power at the next. He’s a singles hitter who will expunge value from his legs at the next level. He could go on day three.

9th Round

1B Jonathon Long from Long Beach State might be my favorite pick in the second half of Day 2. Big pop. He hit .312 this spring with 15 dingers. It is rare for the Cubs to take a first baseman but Long fits that bill.

Joe Doyle said…

After two impressive seasons at LBSU, Long got the invite to the Cape this past summer and really impressed. He possesses a reasonably polished hit tool, but the raw power is plus and he has a steady approach at the plate with a discerning plan of attack. It’s a bit of a louder, handsy load and firing mechanism at the plate, but he’s made it work against premium stuff. Long has split time between third base at school and first base for Yarmouth-Dennis. He’s a fairly average athlete, though his first-step quickness has led some evaluators to suggest his future is likely in left field or at first base.

Round 10

And the final pick of the day is Luis Martinez-Gomez, a RHP from Temple College in Pomona, California, a junior college.

He’s decent sized at 6-foot-2 and 178 lbs. and just turned 20. I really like his arm action.

Here is what Jim Callis said on the broadcast…

I will be live blogging again tomorrow starting around noon.

I am probably going to chill out for a couple hours now and then go back and check out the haul from today. I may make a video as I don’t feel like writing tonight…or not.