Zyhir Hope – Picture via The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
When the Cubs drafted outfielder Zyhir Hope from Virginia, I wondered if they could sign him. The Cubs spent the first two days of the draft taking guys that were going to fit in pretty close to slot value. The Cubs got their man and he has a lot of big skill sets.
Height – 6-foot
Weight – 193
Bats – Left
Throws – Left
From Colonial Forge, Virginia
11th round pick 2023 draft
High school statistics are usually a little ridiculous for the top players. This is no different for Hope. This spring he hit .538 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. He also stole 29 bases. He also had three saves with a 1.25 ERA in 14.1 innings while striking out 23. It is the stuff of video games.
Cubs east coast scout Billy Swoope saw Hope three times this spring. The last two times he brought a different Cub scout with him to check out Zyhir. Hope originally had a commitment to attend the University of North Carolina where he was slated to be an outfielder.
Instead, Hope said that he would be going pro. Hope told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star why:
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” Hope said. “God has a plan, and I’m grateful to continue my career in the sport of baseball playing for the Cubs.”
In a recent showcase with Perfect Game, Zyhir showed off his skill set as he averaged 93.2 miles an hour exit velocity and peaked at 104. He also barreled baseballs at 69% which is a nice number if you’re looking for guys to have power.
When a high school prep player is taken, it’s uncertain how fast they’re going to develop and adjust. They are going from teams and leagues where they were the star and the best players in those leagues and now they’re going to play in a team filled with those guys. They have to stand out.
Here is what Dan Kantrovitz told Marquee about Hope:
“The younger a player is and the less of a performance track record they have, the more I think we probably, as an industry — and probably our strategy is — try to lean on some tools,” Kantrovitz said. “The toolsier a player is, the more options, the more pathways they probably have to succeed.”
Joe Doyle was equally profuse in his praise.
Hope is a super-athletic outfielder with a sweet lefty swing geared for power, loft and general impact. Hope has tremendous twitch and rotational power, generating massive exit velocities from a frame not necessarily built for that type of role. Power and athleticism in the field is definitely the calling card. Scouts want to see Hope hit a bit more against advanced competition, but if you’re buying into the showcase performances, Hope will have plenty of buyers. Scouts also think getting into a pro organization will improve his general athleticism in terms of foot speed and polish in the field. For now, he oozes projection but will need to add strength and training to maximize what he’s capable of. With all that said, a lot of teams like Hope as a LHP where he’s been up to 96, but more often sits 91-92, routinely grabbing 94 early in outings. Hope has the same impressive athleticism on the mound as he’s shown at the plate.
With Hope getting a head-start in Mesa this year, I’ll be excited to see how he finishes the season over the next two weeks before I start thinking about next year.
|4||113||SP||Will Sanders||South Carolina|
|7||206||SS||Yahil Melendez||B You Academy (PR)|
|9||266||1B||Jonathon Long||Long Beach State|
|10||296||SP||Luis Martinez-Gomez||Temple College|
|11||326||OF||Zyhir Hope||Colonial Forge HS|
|12||356||2B/OF||Carter Trice||NC State|
|13||386||SP||Sam Armstrong||Old Dominion|
|15||446||SP||Ty Johnson||Ball State|