After a busy first two days, the Chicago Cubs were primed to continue adding talent to their prospect pool. In case you missed it, here are the links to the Cubs’ first ten picks in the draft:
- First Round: LHP Jordan Wicks
- Second Round: 3B James Triantos Jr.
- Third Round: LHP Drew Gray
- Fourth Round: OF Christian Franklin
- Fifth Round: SS Liam Spence
- Sixth through Tenth Round
Now, let’s take a look at the players the Cubs added in rounds 11-15.
11th Round, 334th Pick: RHP Gage Ziehl
With the 334th pick in the MLB Draft, the Cubs added yet another pitcher. This time, the team added high school arm Gage Ziehl out of Penfield High School in New York.
Ziehl is a high upside high school arm, displaying strong tangibles as a young athlete. Indicated in the above tweet, Ziehl has a low-90s fastball and a low-80s slider, a nice two-pitch mix for the high schooler. Ziehl’s stats back up his stuff, as he went 5-0 with a 0.17 ERA this past season. In addition, he tossed a no-hitter in his high school quarterfinals, and a one-hitter in the final. Those two performances helped the Patriots secure the Section V Class AA championship this summer.
Ziehl was a stud hitter in high school as well, but the Cubs drafted the New York product as a pitcher. He is committed to play collegiately at the University of Miami, so there is no guarantee he signs with the Cubs. That said, he could prove to be a nice addition this late in the draft if he signs.
12th Round, 364th Pick: OF Teo Banks
In the 12th round, the Cubs selected OF Teo Banks out of Permian High School in Texas. Banks was both a pitcher and outfielder in high school, but the Cubs announced him as an outfielder.
Banks is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete committed to play at Tulane University. As noted, he was a pitcher too, topping out at 93 mph on his fastball per Perfect Game. However, the bat is incredibly explosive, as indicated in his 3-for-3, three home run game.
Per Texas High School Baseball, in a shortened 2020 season, Banks still slashed .453/.500/.849 with five doubles, two triples, four home runs, 20 runs scored, and 20 RBI’s. To think those numbers are from a shortened junior season is crazy.
Just like many Day Three high school draft picks, there is no guarantee that Banks signs with the Cubs. That said, there is clearly a really good bat there that could develop at the next level.
13th Round, 394th Pick: RHP Erian Rodriguez
In the 13th round, the Cubs continued adding arms, this time selecting RHP Erian Rodriguez out of Georgia Premier Academy in Georgia. Rodriguez has good size, as the 6-foot-3, 190-pound pitcher is committed to play college ball at Northwest Florida State College. He was considered the #11 overall high school player in the state of Georgia.
In the limited footage of Rodriguez, he displays really good velocity with the fastball. In the clip below, you can see him hovering around 92-95 consistently, quite good for a high school arm.
In addition, he throws an upper-70s breaking ball and has good control, both positive signs for such a young pitcher. The Cubs liked what they saw by snagging him, and with the lack of commitment to a major college program, he may be a very sign-able player.
14th Round, 424th Pick: RHP Frankie Scalzo Jr.
Continuing their run on arms, the Cubs added yet another right-handed pitcher, this time it was collegiate arm Frankie Scalzo Jr. out of Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Scalzo originally began his collegiate career at San Jose State University, but transferred after appearing in only 11 games for the Spatans.
In 2019, Scalzo began as a starting pitcher. However, after struggles, the team moved him to the bullpen where he excelled. After a tough 2019, Scalzo settled in during the 2020 season, pitching 11 scoreless innings with a save in six appearances.
Despite a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Scalzo returned in 2021 to pitch to a 2-2 record, 2.12 ERA, 12 saves, and 31 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. In his 25 appearances, he only walked 11 batters, greatly improving on his 2019 numbers.
Scalzo has good size, as the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior was a major piece of the Grand Canyon bullpen in 2021.
In addition, Scalzo can hit 97 mph on the gun, per D1 Baseball. If that is the case, it seems like the Cubs may have found a late-round gem to develop into a legit bullpen arm for the future.
15th Round, 454th Pick: 3B BJ Murray Jr.
To cap off their 15th-round selection, the Cubs chose 3B BJ Murray from Florida Atlantic University. The 6-foot-0, 205-pound infielder had a stellar 2021 season after struggling the two years prior.
In 2021, Murray slashed .311/.424/.584 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI’s. What’s most impressive, Murray only had four total home runs between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The Nassau, Bahamas native put together a stellar 57-game campaign this season, en route to being drafted. He seems to be pretty good in the field as well:
The Cubs made it a priority to draft third basemen in this year’s draft. There is a good chance this is simply due to a lack of depth at the position, in comparison to positions such as outfield, shortstop, and catcher. Murray should sign, given he’s a collegiate player. That said, he is only a sophomore technically in school, so who knows what could happen. However, we will lean on the idea that he should sign.
Be sure to tune in to the next edition of the Cubs draft articles, highlighting rounds 16-20. Make sure to catch all the other great draft coverage here at On Tap Sports Net.