The Cubs picked four positional and four pitching prospects on the second day of the MLB Draft. After going with offense early on day one, they finally picked up their pitching for Eugene this year and South Bend next year.
With the 98th overall selection, the Cubs took outfielder Jimmy Herron out of Duke with their first pick of the day. Herron has huge potential with strong numbers at Duke this past season in a tough conference. There’s no reason he should have fallen to where he did, but it is likely because MLB Pipeline reports Herron will need a Tommy John surgery. Still, he slashed .298/.416/.454 this past season with Duke in 60 games. Good speed with potential at the plate as the Cubs may have selected the steal of the draft here.
With the 128th overall selection, the Cubs took righty Ethan Roberts from Tennessee Tech. Roberts pitched out of the bullpen all but twice with the Golden Eagles primarily pitching multiple innings at a time. His versatility only strengthens this pick. The Cubs seem to like drafting these types of relievers, so they couldn’t go wrong with Roberts here. He had a career 3.01 ERA with 238 strikeouts at Tennessee Tech.
With the 158th overall selection, the Cubs took infielder Andy Weber from Virginia. The Cubs are looking to restock the farm system with young hitting and positional talent, and they couldn’t go wrong with Weber. He absolutely raked this past season for the Cavaliers, hitting .344 with 49 RBI in 209 at-bats. Just like first-rounder Nico Hoerner from Monday, Weber is another pure hitter that’s a perfect fit for the Cubs with good potential.
With the 188th overall selection, the Cubs took righty Kohl Franklin straight from high school in Oklahoma. Franklin is the first risk of the day for the Cubs with raw potential. Franklin is another one of those draft steals that could have been picked higher if it weren’t for a fractured foot. We only have fastball velocity numbers on this kid, but Franklin looks pretty good on the charts. His best fastball velocity topped out at 91 mph, better than 93.82% of pitchers in his same class.
With the 218th overall selection, the Cubs took outfielder D.J. Artis from Liberty University. The numbers on Artis look very good, who slashed .292/.460/.457 this past year at Liberty in 219 at-bats. To put those numbers into perspective, those are the worst of his career. Yet, those are good numbers for a 7th rounder. Artis batted over .350 in each of the past two seasons. He’s another speedy outfielder that has proved he can really hit. Another potential steal for the Cubs here.
With the 248th overall selection, the Cubs took righty Zach Mort from George Mason University. Mort was a starter this past year after being a reliever in ’16 and produced strong numbers. He went 6-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts with 3 complete games and 1 complete game shutout. Mort’s sample size with 105.1 innings is good enough to give us an idea of what he can bring. Seems like the Cubs got a big potential starter in the 8th round.
With the 278th overall selection, the Cubs took righty Derek Casey from Virginia. Casey has been a starter for much of his career, producing his best numbers in 2015. He sat out 2016 after undergoing elbow surgery and just wasn’t as dominant. This past year, Casey was back on his game nearly two years after surgery, producing a 7-4 record with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts. If Casey can put this injury behind him and produce numbers like he did in a strong ACC conference, there’s a lot of hope here.
With the 308th overall selection, the Cubs took infielder Luke Reynolds from Southern Mississippi with their final pick of the day. Reynolds just finished his freshman year and had incredible results. Reynolds batted .389 with 15 homers and 61 RBI for Southern Miss helping them to a 44-18 record. Those are by far the best offensive numbers we’ve seen from a Cubs positional player pick in this draft. Reynolds was named the 2018 Conference USA Player of the Year with a bright future ahead. The Cubs got a steal with their 10th round selection.
Day three of the MLB Draft on Wednesday finishes Rounds 11 through 40 starting at 11:00 AM CT. It took two days just to get through ten rounds in the draft, so these picks will be rapid fire with loads of talent still waiting to be selected.