Ethan Flanagan – Pick by Jason Campbell/247 Spots

Day three of the draft was filled with a lot of great picks for the Cubs. They’re betting high on some guys that had rough seasons that they feel they can help coach up or help recover to their former glory status. One of those is left-handed pitcher Ethan Flanagan from UCLA. Flanagan finished his sophomore season the spring, but was draft eligible because of his age. He turned 21 on June 5 and that made him eligible and the Cubs were able to convince him to sign. I was extremely pleased with that because he might end up being the best pitcher they took that signed. He also had an undisclosed surgery this summer and hopefully he will be able to pitch in 2024 at some point.

Basic Information.

Age – 21
Height – 6 foot-3
Weight – 205
Throws – Left
From Newport Beach, California
17th round pick in the 2023 draft

One of my mottos about organizational development is that you can never have enough left-handed pitching. Ever! Once you think you’ve got enough, you need to go out and get more. And Flanagan fits that bill. 

Flanagan is a Starting Pitcher who had an outstanding freshman season at UCLA and then struggled a little bit this spring with injuries. Flanagan put up a 3.28 ERA in 62.1 innings, he struck out 76 and walked just 28. That’s about as dominating a campaign as you’ll see at D1. He was a freshman All-American and named to the first team all PAC-12. He was also selected to be a member of the USA National Collegiate Team in the summer of 2022.

Unfortunately, injuries cut his season in half in 2023 and the fact that the Cubs got the kid who was dominant in 2022 in the 17th round is a bit of a miracle. The numbers for 2023 are just not as spectacular as he only threw 31.2 innings has struck out 31. He appeared in just nine games, only starting six. His ERA was 5.12. That took a little shine off that freshman year, but injuries do happen.

After Will Sanders, getting Flanagan, and signing him is a huge get for the Cubs. He’s got the potential to be a front line starter. He just turned 21 and there’s no doubt and he’s ready to get going.

Here is what Future Star Series’ Joe Doyle had to say about Flanaga:

Flanagan was one of the most impressive pitchers in the Pac-12 during his true freshman year, fizzling down the stretch. Still, he parlayed that into offseason accolades and he’s picked right up where he left off. Flanagan can run it up to 94 though he’s more comfortably 90-91 with arm-side run. He’s got a mid-80s slider that’s his primary weapon, as well as a much slower curveball and a changeup that can flash, though it’s inconsistent. Skeptics points to a bit of effort in his delivery, signaling a potential bullpen role in his future, but that’s largely to be determined. There’s helium here as Flanagan missed his senior year of high school and has pronounced himself with conviction on campus. That said, he missed much of 2023 so teams are gambling on the durability.

113SSMatt ShawMaryland
268SPJaxon WigginsArkansas
381SS Josh RiveraFlorida
4113SPWill SandersSouth Carolina
5149CMichael CaricoDavidson
6176OFAlfonsin RosarioP27
7206SSYahil MelendezB You Academy (PR)
8236OFBrett BatemanMinnesota
92661BJonathon LongLong Beach State
10296SPLuis Martinez-GomezTemple College
11326OFZyhir HopeColonial Forge HS
123562B/OFCarter TriceNC State
13386SPSam ArmstrongOld Dominion
14416RPGrayson MooreVanderbilt
15446SPTy JohnsonBall State
16476RPDaniel BrownCampbell
17506SPEthan FlanaganUCLA
185363BBrian KalmerGonzaga
19566SPNick DeanMaryland
205963BDrew BowserStanford