The Cubs were busy on Day Three of the draft, as the Cubs made ten picks in the MLB Draft on Tuesday. In case you missed any of the Cubs’ first 15 picks, you can find those below:
- First Round: LHP Jordan Wicks
- Second Round: 3B James Triantos
- Third Round: LHP Drew Gray
- Fourth Round: OF Christian Franklin
- Fifth Round: SS Liam Spence
- Sixth Round through Tenth Round
- 11th Round through 15th Round
Without further ado, let’s dive into the Cubs’ picks from rounds 16-20.
16th Round, 484th Pick: RHP Zachary Leigh
Sensing a pattern? The Cubs went heavy on pitching in their 2021 draft class. In the 16th round, the Cubs added RHP Zachary Leigh out of Texas State University. Leigh is not the biggest pitcher, standing at 6’0″ tall, but has put up some solid numbers as both a starter and a reliever in his collegiate career.
In 2019, Leigh closed games for Texas State, saving six games. However, he was also 3-1 in 21 appearances out of the bullpen as well.
In 2021, Leigh started the most games of his career. Although the numbers don’t jump off the page, he had great strikeout totals. He pitched to a 4-8 record, 5.03 ERA, and 87.2 innings in 15 starts. That said, he struck out 86 batters compared to just 30 walks, which was the best K/BB ratio of his career.
It’s uncertain what the plan is for Leigh with the Cubs, but given he’s a fifth-year college senior, he should easily sign with the organization.
17th Round, 514th Pick: SS Christian Olivo
In the 17th round, the Cubs added to their deep shortstop pool by drafting high school SS Chrsitian Olivo. Olivo played at Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. The Cubs have historically done well with amateurs from Puerto Rico, so there is a lot of intrigue with this pick.
Olivo is committed to play college baseball for Seminole State College, so given how late he was drafted, he very well may honor that commitment. Olivo has a nice swing from what videos indicate. He is a little smaller than most (5’11”) but he certainly brings a pretty swing and a body that can develop with time.
He has no problem barreling the baseball, as the next clip shows, but he is going to need to get stronger in order to be a dangerous hitter. There is a very good possibility that he goes to college in order to develop and potentially get re-drafted in a higher round once he grows.
18th Round, 544th Pick: RHP Dominic Hambley
Hambley becomes yet another right-handed pitcher drafted by the Cubs in 2021. Hambley was drafted out of Belmont Secondary School in British Columbia, Canada. He is a monster. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander is committed to play collegiately for Oregon State University, and given what he’s working with, he may choose that route.
According to Prep Baseball Report, Hambley has four pitches he’s working with. He has a fastball that sits around 93-94, but can max out at 95 mph. In addition, he has a mid-to-high-80s changeup, mid-80s slider, and high-70s curveball. Per Patrick Ebert, he still has to work on his command, as well as improving those secondary pitches, but he projects as a very good pitcher given his age.
I personally enjoy what Bryan Smith had to say about Hambley. He notes how difficult it will be to sign him given what the future looks like for this young man. However, if a higher pick somewhere else in the draft class decided not to sign, the Cubs should invest that money into Hambley and get him pitching in the Cubs organization.
Although an 18th-round pick, Hambley may be one to watch for Cubs fans as prospects begin signing with their draft teams.
19th Round, 574th Pick: RHP Daniel Avitia
Yes, another right-handed pitcher. The Cubs used their 19th-round selection on RHP Daniel Avitia from Alhambra High School in Arizona.
Currently, Avitia is committed to stay close to home and attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona, the same program Cubs’ draft pick Frankie Scalzo Jr. attended. That said, the Cubs could always lure Avitia away with the right compensation.
Avitia had an impressive senior season, which included a no-hitter in the first round of the playoffs. He also threw a complete game in the semifinals as well.
According to Perfect Game, his fastball tops out at 91 mph currently, but with a 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, the Cubs could develop this young man into quite the pitcher in time. Once again, just like with all the high school picks, its unclear if the Cubs have enough money in the pool to sign him away from his collegiate commitment.
20th Round, 604th Pick: LHP Wilson Cunningham
The Cubs used their final selection of the MLB Draft to select LHP Wilson Cunningham from JSerra Catholic High School in California. JSerra is a very good baseball program, so he is coming from a high pedigree school.
What’s interesting is that Cunningham is committed to play his collegiate baseball for the University of Chicago. For those that know about UChicago, it is a well respected university, only accepting very intelligent people. That said, although he’s not going to a massive baseball program, he is a 6-foot-8 tower of a human and the Cubs should at least talk to him about signing. He has the body frame to develop into a beast.
There isn’t a ton of information on this young man, but this is definitely a high-potential pick given his frame. You can’t teach size, but you can develop all the other skills Cunningham has to offer within the Cubs organization.
That wraps On Tap Sports Net’s Cubs Draft coverage. If you missed any of the picks, be sure to check out the links at the top of the article. Be on the look out over the next few weeks for more in-depth pieces on some of the draft picks, as well as which prospects ultimately sign with the Cubs.