After Day Two of the MLB Draft, the Cubs have added four left-handed pitchers, three outfielders, a shortstop, a catcher, and a third baseman. The Cubs used their first five picks as follows:
- First Round, 21st Pick: LHP Jordan Wicks
- Second Round, 56th Pick: 3B James Triantos
- Third Round, 93rd Pick: LHP Drew Gray
- Fourth Round, 123rd Pick: OF Christian Franklin
- Fifth Round, 154th Pick: SS Liam Spence
As for the rest of the Day Two selections for the Cubs, we’ll break those players down, starting with the Cubs’ sixth round pick.
6th Round, 184th Pick: LHP Riley Martin
The Cubs have not been shy about adding arms in this draft, especially of the left-handed variety. In the sixth round, the Cubs continued that pattern by adding in-state LHP Riley Martin.
Martin played his college ball at Division-2 Quincy University in Quincy, IL. After searching his numbers, he was a workhorse at Quincy. In five years, Martin started 55 games (56 total games) and had a career 30-11 record with a 3.85 ERA. In addition, he racked up 352 strikeouts to only 150 walks in 308.1 innings. Despite the high strikeout numbers, 152 of those came in his fifth season alone.
He was dominant in 2021, pitching to a 9-3 record, 3.55 ERA, and those 152 strikeouts. To those strikeout numbers, he only walked 34 batters in 78.2 innings. He was sensational for the Hawks over five seasons and started double-digit games in every season expect for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
The 23-year-old should sign for his slot value, or lower, given the fact he’s an older prospect. That said, the Cubs continue to add high upside left-handed arms to their prospect pool.
7th Round, 214th Pick: OF Parker Chavers
Chavers had a great collegiate career at Coastal Carolina. In three seasons dating back to 2018, Chavers slashed .319/.426/.530 with 27 home runs and 129 RBI’s. In addition, he hit 36 doubles and scored 134 runs.
Chavers’ best stastical season came back in 2019, where he slashed .316/.435/.612 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI’s in 57 games. Unfortunately, even with the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he missed all of 2020 after shoulder surgery. His power numbers suffered a bit in 2021, possibly a result of the surgery, but his average and RBI numbers were still very solid. As Chavers continues to get stronger post-surgery, he should be able to return to a 2019-like form at the next level.
Chavers likely fell because of the drop-off in numbers post-surgery. At the pace he was on, including entering 2020 as a preseason second-team All-American, he likely would have been picked higher in the draft. This pick feels similar to the Cubs’ fourth-round pick, in the sense that he could be a steal at his draft position.
8th Round, 244th Pick: C Casey Opitz
With their eighth-round pick, the Cubs added to their already loaded catching prospect pool. With the 244th pick, the Cubs selected catcher Casey Opitz out of the University of Arkansas.
Opitz’s college numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, but he is a switch-hitter and has four years of collegiate experience. An older catcher with lots of experience and hits from both sides of the plate is appealing this late in the draft.
Despite the lack of offense, the experience and his defensive value are incredibly intriguing. For example, check out his arm:
During his four-year career, Opitz slashed .252/.363/.342 with five home runs and 62 RBI’s in 143 games. Again, despite the lack of offensive numbers, the experience and defensive ability are by far the exciting tools Opitz possesses. Here’s more of what he has to offer:
9th Round, 274th Pick: LHP Chase Watkins
The Cubs used their ninth-round selection to add yet another left-handed pitcher to their prospect pool. With the 274th pick in the draft, the Cubs selected LHP Chase Watkins out of Oregon State University.
Unlike majority of the Cubs’ pitching picks through the first ten rounds of the draft, Watkins is not a starter. He made 25 appearances in his only season at Oregon State, but no starts. In his 31.1 innings of work, Watkins recorded a 3-4 record, 4.88 ERA, and 38 strikeouts. Watkins walk numbers were a bit high, walking 15 batters, but there is upside that the Cubs see with Watkins.
According to Baseball America, there is potential for Watkins to return to the starting rotation if that is the desired role for him. However, there is certainly upside with leaving him as a reliever and developing him into an elite reliever. Watkins has great size, as the 6-foot-4, 217 pound lefty would be a mountain on the mound. Working in the Cubs’ pitching lab could mean a great career as a reliever for the ninth-round selection.
10th Round, 304th Pick: OF Peter Matt
With the Cubs’ final Day Two selection, the team chose OF Peter Matt from Duke University. Matt played four seasons at the University of Pennsylvania, slashing .304/.407/.437 with four home runs and 65 RBI’s in 113 games. In his lone season at Duke, Matt stepped it up slashing .297/.358/.566 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI’s in 54 games.
Matt appears to be a bit of a late bloomer, really hitting his stride as a fifth-year collegiate player. Nonetheless, the Cubs add more outfield depth to their prospect pool with the big right-handed hitter. The 6-foot-2, 220 pound outfielder should sign for slot value, or less, at 143.9K for his tenth-round slot.
Be sure to get your Day Three draft coverage with On Tap Sports Net. The Cubs added a lot of talent on the first two days and figure to do the same on day three.