Cade Horton – Pic by Todd Johnson

That draft came in went in a hurry. I am still getting used to the draft just being 20 rounds and not feeling exhausted afterwards. Mock drafts are already out for next year. I’ve seen four already and, needless to say, we’ll talk about those later. With the four full season affiliates being off this week, there will be no “Breakdown” post tomorrow. I am just going to wait a week as it’s hard to do a breakdown of just three games.

This year‘s draft class is already so much different than the last couple of classes. It’s heavy on Division I players, in fact, the Cubs took 16 of them. It’s heavy on position guys as the Cubs took 11. And that is going to be the strangest thing because it has been a while since we’ve seen a lot of draft picks come into the system and play right away. That is mainly because the last two classes have been pitcher heavy.

So, when November comes, we should have a pretty good idea where some of these position guys will land on our winter prospect lists. Most of the pitchers will still be a guess and I doubt we will see much out of them in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Where to Rank Them All

Matt Shaw should land somewhere in the 3 to 5 area for me. It just depends how good of a wooden bat hitter he is. Is there going to be some power? Will he use all fields? And, where are the Cubs assigning him? That’s going to have a huge influence on his ranking because his performance/production will be affected.

Both Jaxon Wiggins and Will Sanders are not going to pitch for different reasons. Wiggins already missed and is on a rehab from Tommy John surgery while Sanders missed time this spring. However, he did get in 50 innings. We could, however, see 10-20 innings from Sanders.

Josh Rivera is hot! He is my favorite pick of this year‘s draft just because of his versatility and athleticism. I am hoping to see him play for South Bend, but that’s from a personal standpoint. It’s just so I can take pictures of him but it’ll be interesting to see where he’s assigned. It should be where the Cubs think he will best develop this year. But where he goes on a prospect list is different story. He could be slotted anywhere between six and 15 that’s a pretty wide range, but I am trending more towards the back half of the top 10 rather than the top half of the teens.

Before the draft, Michael Carico was playing on the Cape and doing some damage. After suffering a wrist injury this spring, he might be the player that I need to see more of than any other draft prospect because I’m just not that familiar with him at this point. If I had to guess a range, I would say he could probably be in the late teens or early-to-mid 20s.

As for the other 15 draft picks, we’re just gonna have to wait and see how they do this summer and how they don’t do this summer. We have physical specimens like Rosario, we have guys with excellent approaches like Bateman, and then there are the power guys like Jonny Long and Brian Kalmer that we’re just going to have to see play out. A breakout draft prospect could come along and blow everybody’s mind just like Hayden McGeary did this year. The fun part is being surprised between now and the middle of September.

In other news…

MLB Pipeline published an article about their favorite draft pick for each team and they and I agree that this is Josh Rivera. The fact that he is the senior probably dropped his stock a little bit. Luckily, the Cubs snagged him up in the third round.

The Smokies also got some good news for the second half – No more tack balls!!!!! I don’t think anybody liked them. As a result, the pitching prospects in Tennessee hopefully will get back to normal and the Smokies should be smoking with a lot of those arms in the rotation and bullpen!


Cubs are entrenched as one of the top 10 systems based on value over at FanGraphs. That’s cool!

As well, Cade Horton took huge jumps into the top 40 prospects at both Baseball America and Prospects Live this week. I would not be surprised to see him top 20 in the fall lists. Horton was ranked 31 at BA while Matt Shaw made the top 100. And we should see Kevin Alcantara back there soon if he puts up back-to-back good months. At Prospects Live, Horton was all the way up to 26. PL still has Alcantara on their list at 78, and Ben Brown is at 101.

Pictures of the Week

Here are some shots that I took in Davenport on Friday. A Ferris Wheel in the background always wins!

Baseball Card Update

For the past 10 summers, one of my hobbies is that I make baseball cards of Cubs prospects using templates I make of old Topps baseball cards. Originally, I started off with 1960s and 70s cards and then expanded into the 50s in the 80s. I continued to expand my template base over the past five years and now have 90s, 00s, 10s, and even 20s. I  used to keep my collection over on my Cubs Central Facebook page. I decided to just get rid of Cubs Central on Facebook to simplify things for me. So, I just posted my baseball cards on NSB and that’s what I did on Wednesday this week. There are over 5000 cards for you to peruse. It was fun seeing cards of guys from 2014 and 2015 as some of those names had been forgotten, but were quickly remembered. Names like Chesny Young, Bryant Flete, and Matt Rose were fun to see along with Rashad Crawford and John Andreoli.

Here are the links to all the years! Have fun browsing!

2023 April
2023 May
2023 June
2023 July

Coming up on North Side Bound

With no “Breakdown” post tomorrow because of all the time off this week, I’m going to roll with a draft pick profile of pitcher Will Sanders. Later in the week, Michael Carico will be profiled. Tuesday Transactions will be back as usual, and I’m going to dig into the recent success of Cole Roederer on Thursday…hopefully. And then I’m going to have an affiliate update at some point this week on Myrtle Beach’s extremely young rotation. I am pretty excited about the last piece just because of the promise of a bunch of 19 to 21-year-olds.

Jam of the Week

I always thought The Fixx were way ahead ahead of their time. I just loved the sound of the guitars and synths. No one else sounded like them and I loved that. The other night during the rain delay, this song came over the loudspeakers. So, I had to break out the old CD collection for the road trip yesterday. Good times!