Cubs News and Notes: Cubs add mostly pitching on final night of MLB draft
|Friday, June 12, 2020, 8:32 AM- -|
CUBS NEWS AND NOTES
No Baseball: Day 79.
2020 MLB Draft: Last night, MLB finished the abbreviated 2020 June Amateur Draft, seeing all 30 teams draft prospects for Rounds 2-5. During rounds one and two, the Astros had to watch from the sidelines as the result of the punishment they received for their cheating scandal; they'll suffer the same fate during next year's draft.
The draft never holds any guarantees. First-rounders can go bust, while lower round picks may one day become superstars. Former Cub Brandon Kintzler has certainly made a name for himself, and he was a 40th round pick, not once, but twice. After failing to sign with the Yankees after being drafted during the 40th in 2003, Kintzler reentered the draft in 2004, finally signing with San Diego – again after being drafted in the 40th round.
After drafting shortstop Ed Howard (Mt. Carmel High School, Chicago) on Wednesday night, they used their second through fifth picks to add an outfielder and some pitching depth.
In Round-2 (51st pick overall), Chicago chose LHP Burl Carraway from Dallas Baptist College in Dallas, Texas. Before attending Dallas Baptist, Carraway was a product of the Texas A&M Consolidated baseball program.
Carraway's fastball dances in the upper 90 mph range, but the Cubs took a chance on this kid, as he's only thrown a total of 51.1 innings of college ball. Carraway's numbers would be higher, but oh, that damn pandemic… The young lefty has served only as a reliever in college, but Chicago has high hopes of transforming him into a starter.
In the third round (88th pick overall), the North Siders chose OF Jordan Nwogu from the University of Michigan. Nwogu was a walk-on at Michigan, initially failing to impress recruiters enough to earn himself a baseball scholarship. Nwogu had offers for football scholarships, but declined, to walk-on as a baseballer.
Looming large over the plate, the 6'3, 235 pound, 21-year old has an exceptional eye when standing in the batter's box. Defensively, his arm isn't overwhelming, and he doesn't have a ton of fielding prowess yet, but he certainly has potential. Over his three-year NCAA career, NWOGU has amassed a .334 batting average with 20 dingers, 23 doubles, and 30 stolen bases (125 games total).
ESPN's Kiley McDaniel opined, "There is huge raw power, there's big exit velo, he's had a pretty good performance. The issue is the swing, the pitch selection, the contact. Is it there? He's probably a left fielder. There have been some moments where he looks lost in the outfield, so it's pretty much just raw power."
In Round-4 (117th pick overall), the Cubbies selected LHP Luke Little from San Jacinto College North, located in Houston, Texas.
Serving as a reliever, this kid throws fire, with a fastball that has been clocked at 105 mph. Despite the name "Little," this kid is anything but small. Standing a whopping 6'8" tall and weighing in at 225 pounds, this kid has a body that can manufacture power.
2020 PitchingNinja Award for the Most ?? Quarantine Bullpen. ??— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 9, 2020
6'8" Flamethrower...and Oxymoron. pic.twitter.com/BzcbprwYBM
Moving on to the fifth and final round, the Cubs chose RHP Koen Moreno from Panther Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina. Moreno was the 147th overall pick in this year's draft. Moreno received his high school diploma last night as the draft was being conducted.
Moreno has a bit of an awkward delivery at times – a la Tyler Chatwood – but he's able to manufacture power and find the strike zone. I haven't gathered a lot of intel on this kid, but he seems to have a good attitude and a big heart – both fantastic attributes for a young athlete.
Speaking to Joe Mazur of ABC-11 in North Carolina, Moreno said, "You know I've done everything I can, so I'm just excited to see, you know, what I'll be doing the next couple of years. Not really nerves, just excitement.
"So, if I wasn't drafted in the first five rounds, I would have wound up going to ECU anyway," Moreno said. "That was my original plan."
Moreno concluded his interview by adding, "Whatever pathway I end up taking, I'm going to attack it with full force."
With that, MLB and the Cubs have concluded the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft. On Wednesday, Rob Manfred guaranteed "100 percent" that we'd see baseball back this year. I suppose all we can do now is sit and wait. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and stay safe.