MLB Draft Day 3 (Rounds 11-20)

MLB Draft 2021

The Draft concludes on Tuesday with rounds 11-20 at 11 am CST on

01-021: LHP Jordan Wicks – Kansas State ($3,132,300)
02-056: 3B James Triantos – James Madison HS VA ($1,276,400)
03-093: LHP Drew Gray – IMG Academy FL ($627,900)
04-123: OF Christian Franklin – Arkansas ($464,500)
05-154: SS Liam Spence – Tennessee ($343,400)
06-184: LHP Riley Martin – Quincy ($263,700)
07-214: OF Parker Chavers – Coastal Carolina ($206,500)
08-244: C Casey Opitz – Arkansas ($168,500)
09-274: LHP Chase Watkins – Oregon State ($152,300)
10-304: OF Peter Matt – Duke ($143,900) did a nice recap with quotes from Vice President of scouting Dan Kantrovitz regarding all of the Day 2 picks if you are looking for a little more info.

I will try to update this post a few times throughout the afternoon as the Cubs 11-20th round picks come in, but I am going to be in the car for the latter stages, so I will probably not get all of the picks posted until later tonight.

11-334: RHP Gage Ziehl – Penfield HS (NY)

This is a nice prep upside selection. Will almost certainly take over the max $125K allotted for 11-20th round picks. Gage Ziehl surrendered just 1 run over 42 innings on his way to being named the Class AA Player of the Year in New York.

Throws in the mid-90s with a slider and change. Big rpm guy. Ziehl is lauded for repeatable mechanics which should help him profile as a starter in pro ball.

Here’s a nice article on him for some additional info.

12-364 OF Teo Banks – Permian HS (TX)

An OF with speed and power. Tulane commit. Also capable of low-90s of the mound. He’s already got a decent amount of strength, but with a broad shouldered frame he figures to add even more. There is a lot to like about his athleticism.

13-394 RHP Erian Rodriguez – Georgia Premier Academy (GA)

A long, loose athlete with good arm speed. Already up to mid-90s in games, reports of 97 in side session. I’ve only seen a little video, but it is exciting. Basically a hard thrower at this point who needs to develop his secondaries according to scouting reports.

14-424 RHP Frankie Scalzo Jr. – Grand Canyon University

A hard throwing senior, Frankie Scalzo served as the closer for Grand Canyon University. Pairs the fastball with a good curve.

15-454 3B B.J. Murray Jr. – Florida Atlantic

A switch hitting 3B. Swing looks a little long, but the bat speed seems fine. Not sure there is much projection left, but he hit 14 home runs this year. Will have to see if the power translates to wood bats but given his bat speed and build I think it should.

16-484 RHP Zachary Leigh – Texas State

Fifth year senior. Had control issues at times, but improved those as his career went along. His overall numbers are not impressive though. Maybe Cubs believe a conversion to relief can unlock more potential. Was an all-state defensive back in high school.

17-514 SS Christian Olivo – Leadership Christian Academy (PR)

Cubs yearly dip into the Puerto Rican prep ranks continues. Olivo features a simple line drive stroke at the plate. Not a lot of bat speed, but he should hit for contact. Committed to Seminole State Junior College so he could be a tough sign. Will be draft eligible again next season.

18-544 RHP Dominic Hambley – Belmont Secondary School (BC)

From the British Columbia prep ranks. Could be a really tough sign. Hambley is 6.3 220, up to mid-90s with a high-70s curve, and mid-80s change. Oregon State commitment which might be tough for Cubs to buy out.

19-574 RHP Daniel Avitia – Alhambra HS (AZ)

Projectable 6.3 frame. Committed to Grand Canyon University, where the Cubs just plucked 14th rounder Frankie Scalzo Jr. Athletic, with long levers. Fastball currently tops out around 90-91. The kind of kid who can take a jump once he fills out. In the meantime you would look to mold him in the pitch lab.

20-604 LHP Wilson Cunningham – JSerra Catholic HS (CA)

A 6 foot 8 inch 185 pound lefty. Sounds like a project. Obviously a lot of projectability with that frame.

Interestingly, a University of Chicago commit. Excellent student. Could be another tough sign.

Undrafted Free Agency

It will be hard to know how many undrafted free agents teams will pursue this year given the 180 man roster limitations in the Minors. Teams can offer players up to $20K signing bonuses. Given Cubs went prep heavy on Day 3, I would expect a couple of veteran college signings, in particular a catcher or two.

I would also expect the Cubs to pursue some starting pitchers to absorb some innings. They drafted a lot of starting pitchers, but they were all preps outside of 1st rounder Jordan Wicks. The other 4 college pitchers the Cubs drafted are projected as relievers.

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  • Michael: Thanks for all the great posts, on the minor leagues system and now on the draft. I hope the Cubs can sign those big upside high school pitchers

  • In reply to bruno14:

    I'm starting to wonder as the Cubs continue to draft prep guys on day 3 here if they are trying to get the rights to as many as they can, with the idea that they probably can't sign all of them, but feel they can find comparable college UDFAs similar to what college talent they can draft in 11-20th rounds.

  • Michael,

    Thanks again for the articles. Day 3 of draft very surprising to see CUbs draft 7 high school players from rounds 11 to 20. Especially taking two other high school players in 2nd, & 3rd round.

    Stranger draft for Cubs, but guess I like it. See how many end up signing. Cubs hopefully will find a few non drafted free agents to surprise. Recently have ok track record with a few later round picks.

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    Michael, thanks for all the work you do. Could you explain why the Cubs had X amount of money to spend and another team had Y?
    Thanks again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Not Michael.... but each draft position has a $ slot assigned to it. You just add up each team to arrive at the total. The bigeest differences are the massive differences in slot values in the 1st round and comp picks that vary by team, I hope that helps

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    In reply to stv711:

    But I thought I read that the Cubs had maybe $6M to spend whereas other teams had much more?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Cubs have about 6.5M total. A couple of teams have twice as much. Essentially the top couple of picks have a slot value that totals the Cubs allotment for all 10 rounds. Plus there are comp picks for losing a qualified FA, as well as competitve balance picks for small market clubs. Cubs got neither of those types.

    So, the Pirates for instance picked 1st overall and also got some competitive balance picks. So their total is like 13M.

  • Michael,
    . What are the odds of signing these guys with college commitments ?
    What is the signing deadline ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Deadline is quicker than it used to be. I think like 3 weeks.

    Wouldn't shock me if a couple of the prep guys go unsigned.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael,
    OK, when do the trade rumors start ?

  • Banks already has posted that he is going to Tulane.

  • Thanks for the great insight on their picks, Michael. There's a solid piece in the Trib today where Kantrovitz explains what their thinking was and that they won't be able to sign them all due to their allotment.

  • Seemed like an odd draft to me, but I guess that is why I am not the one making decisions. In a normal 40 round draft, I can see picking up some HS commits to build a relationship with if they do not sign. In a 20 round draft, I want to make sure that I get 20 players that I know will be signing. I would have picked up more players in positions of organizational need like 1B and then take my chances on picking up some of the high schoolers as UDFA. Unless this was simply another cost saving move, why waste draft picks in a condensed draft on any commit who is on the fence?

  • I have no complaints with the Cubs draft this year, yet anyway. One my favorite picks was Casey Opitz. If one views catching as a defensive first position, he would be a big plus for any org. Not having a good backup behind the plate has been a detriment for Ross and Contreras. Calling up underdeveloped minor leaguers does not work often and worn out vets can be risky. I didn't think that it would as big of an issue, but this season it was. I don't think Casey with all the defensive nuances covered will be mlb ready as soon as he can hit a little.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I do think Casey

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I enthusiastically agree on Opitz. There is an article about him on the Cubs' MLB site, and is illuminating. For one thing, it shows (in my mind) that Kantrovitz' team shows intriguing insight with their draft selections. They wanted Opitz because he can really help pitchers during the game with pitch calling and strategy, not just for his rocket arm. They see him as a contributing factor to improve pitcher development in their system. That's how good he is working with pitchers.

    To me, that is where Yadier Molina is really strong with the Cardinals. It's not the bat, it's how he manages each pitcher as well as calling the pitches in the game. I always thought Miguel Montero had those same strengths, and think that remarkable pitching from the rotation in '16 is due in some degree to his abilities to call the game and get the most out of each pitcher.

    Opitz is along these same lines, from what I've read.

  • It looks like the Cubs picked 4-5 in the 11-20 group who were all possibilities to sign. Not all will sign. I’m sure they will try to get the top 10 wrapped up as quickly as possible and then throw some money around at the next 10. With all players not drafted in the top 20 only eligible for the same bonus from every team, I’m guessing they have a few players targeted to sign as free agents.

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