Cubs go for high upside in Duane Underwood in 2nd round

With their 2nd round pick the Cubs select..

Duane Underwood

  • RHP
  • 6' 2"
  • 185 lbs.
  • Pope High School, Marietta, Ga

Now this is the kind of pick many of us were hoping for.  Heck, I didn't even have to find a new picture from my preview piece this morning.  The Cubs rolled the dice on one of the most talented, yet engimatic high school arms in the draft.

Underwood has the stuff of a first round pick but his performance has been uneven and that seems to have scared some teams off.  Underwood has easy heat and can get his fastball up to 97-98 mph, sits 91-94 with good downward movement. He also has a big slow curve which needs to be tightened up a bit but shows potential.  He already throws a decent change-up which he commands well.  He's a good athlete with a clean delivery and sound mechanics.

Some concerns include that his velocity is inconsistent both within games and also from start to start and he doesn't pitch well when he gets into trouble.  He's a good kid, very coachable, so the Cubs are probably thinking they can correct those flaws.

Of course, Almora is the best player in this draft and the Cubs had a couple of solid supplemental picks, but Underwood has a bit of that "wow factor".  He's a high risk, high reward guy.

Really like this pick.  Might be my favorite one considering the round and upside

Here's the MLB scouting video and analysis...


Filed under: MLB Draft

Tags: Cubs, Duane Underwood, MLB Draft


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    They still need to draft a left tackle for the Bears.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    And a shooting guard for the Bulls.

  • This draft is making me very happy. Although I would have been happier without the new slotting rules, the picks are making me forget the Hayden Simpson type picks of years prior.

  • In reply to stork:

    Me too. They would have gone crazy if they could spend.

  • Also like this pick a lot, the velocity dips don't concern me as long as it isn't injury related and the mechanics are sound, which seems to be the case. The kid is 18 and with some professional instruction/tweaks should hopefully get consistent velocity and tighten the curve. His upside in round 2 certainly works for me

    On another note, this draft is looking pretty good to me thus far, I am a fan

  • In reply to Andrew13:

    Big fan of this draft. Underwood is actually 17. Lots of room to grow here.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    17? Nice, even better..

  • In reply to Andrew13:

    Turns 18 in July.

  • im loveing the picks this year high upside talant so far ill have to give the cubs A or A- for this draft so far

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    I'm giving them an A. I liked all 3 of those pitchers and Almora is as solid as you can get.

  • I really liked this pick too and thought Underwood would go last night. I wasn't a big fan of the sandwich picks last night based on who else was available, but everything I read says they are solid arms with some upside. Underwood probably has more upside than either one, which could make him a good value at 67.

    I think they will be a little safe this draft and try to build a foundation in the minor league system. Once they have that, I think the team will look for a few more home run type picks. You can afford to miss on a high upside guy when you've got that base built.

    This is all part of the building process...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Underwood probably has best upside of pitchers so far, but easily has the lowest floor.

  • Looks like we got Ryan McNeil, another righthander from HS in Rd 3. I was kinda hoping that we'd go for Kyle Twomey there, since he slid out of Rd 2. He went six picks later to the A's.

    It sounds like McNeil wasn't expected to be picked before the 5th round, but I guess our scouts like him more than most. He's committed to Long Beach State and we'll have to talk him out of it.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Just did a write-up. I wanted Twomey or Lovegrove. McNeil my least favorite pick, but like I say, I'm a draft geek but my info pales in comparison to what Theo and co. have. So I'll trust them on this one.

  • John, thanks for all the work and info on the draft picks, without it I would be completely lost!
    My question is regarding signability. Are these HS picks likely to sign because they were drafted so high or is that still up in the air? Could the kid drafted in the second round just head off to college and how likely is that?
    And maybe that's why McNeil was picked so high so they can give him more?

  • In reply to Manny:

    It's a great question. I think they might be able to save some money on Pierce Johnson, the RHP in the suppl. round too. McNeil may not take a discount, tough, because he has a scholarship offer from Long Beach State.

    Josh Conway is another option in the 3rd, just came off TJ surgery and probably won't want to risk going back.

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