Dan Kantrovitz

You never know about a draft class right away. You can look at a group of players and think that they might be something special or you could look at a class and wonder what the scouts were thinking. It takes years to look at a draft class to evaluate its success. Then, success is largely based on the number of players that make it to the majors. It could be anywhere from 5 to 7 years for that class to work its way through the minors.

For this year’s class, there are already a lot of things that I like about the players the Cubs took.

1. 11

The Cubs took 11 position guys this year, which is more than double of what they took in 2022. Of those 11, eight were college guys and three were high school players. And here’s the kicker – we are going to get to see a lot of them in action soon.

2. 16

The Cubs took 16 college guys in total, which is astounding for Dan Kantrovitz’s class. He’s not been afraid in the past to take high school kids, but not this year. He only took 2 prep guys on day two and one on day three.

3. Jaxon Wiggins

I really like this pick. I like the fact that the Cubs took a risk/gamble on an arm that has been injured and won’t pitch again this year. Then again, had Wiggins been healthy, he more than likely would not pitch this year. It’s just going to be a slow ramp up for him next year and he’ll hopefully be ready by June. That’s not a big loss of time for a guy who would not have pitched anyway in 2023, regardless of injury.

4. Josh Rivera

I really like the Rivera pick. The Cubs got a solid guy with power who has an excellent approach, is athletic enough to play anywhere on the field, and you he has a pretty good pop in the bat! That is really exciting. Add in the fact that he’s actually been through some adversity in his college career is a major plus.

5. Will Sanders

Will Sanders is just a stud. I know his numbers weren’t great this year, but when you’re a pitcher and you’re dealing with a foot injury, the last thing you want is pain, running through your legs as you’re getting ready to throw a baseball. It’s just a little bit distracting, and yes, I am being facetious. But Sanders was considered to be a mid-first round pick before the beginning of the season. I am really going to like him next year and he should start at South Bend.

6. Yahil Melendez

Anytime you can get a young shortstop who has an excellent frame at 6-foot-3, you get them. He’s only 17 and he will fill out over time but the Cubs found a diamond in the rough in Melendez. I do not do comps very often, But he’s reminding me of a young Luis Vazquez already in a lot of ways except for Melendez is much taller at a much younger age.

7. Grayson Moore.

He’s probably going to be the purest reliever of the bunch, but he is also built well and has the right work ethic to possibly be a starter. I don’t know if that’s the Cubs plan. But let’s just say he’s a reliever, I still love the pick. I think the Cubs are going to do wonders with somebody who loves to work hard and that is Moore’s reputation.

8. Buy Low, Earn High

Several of this year’s picks seemed to have a rough season in 2023 and their draft stock fell. Their talents and skill sets are still there, but their standing in the eyes of scouts fell tremendously. For whatever reason, whether it was an injury or a lack of production, they dropped. From Sanders to Carico to Trice to Flanagan, the Cubs are betting on those talents to return and in a big way.

9. Power

After a couple of days, I like to go back and take a closer look at some of the prospects the Cubs took. On the day of the draft, my focus is on getting the immediate info out on the pick. Grab a video, make a card, find a quote, find some basic information, and hit update in the editor. Now that it has been a while, power seems to be the operative word here for many of these guys. From Shaw to Rivera to Carico to Rosario to Long to Hope to Kalmer to Bowser, there are a lot of guys who can hit dingers. I like that a lot!

10. Drooling

I feel ashamed that I would think this but next year’s class is going to be legit in its first round depth, especially college pitching. I am already salivating over Thatcher Hurd and Josh Hartle. However, the pick many of us may be drooling over later this year is LMG – Luis Martinez-Gomez. The Cubs 10th round pick will receive pro instruction for the next 9 months and I am here to tell you, he is my breakout player from this draft for 2024. Book it!

I know there’s some other picks that you guys like and that’s fine. We’re all entitled to our own opinion, but these are the things that really caught my attention from this year‘s draft. In a year from now, there might be any of the other 15 guys, including Shaw or Rosario who pop. They all have the potential to do well because they were all drafted for having at least one excellent skill set. It’s now time for them to go out and use it and develop the other facets of their game.

Originally, I wanted to go and write some draft profiles of all the Cubs picks. I will get to them in due time as I have other articles I’ve been itching to write about some current guys as well as things that are happening in the system. So, I’m probably going to do about two draft profiles a week for the next nine weeks. I already dropped one on third round pick Josh Rivera. Next week I will have them on Will Sanders and Michael Carico.