The Chicago Cubs were busy on Day Two of the 2022 MLB Draft. After selecting SS Christopher Paciolla, RHP Nazier Mule, and RHP Brandon Birdsell in rounds three through five, respectively, the Cubs continued to add arms. Ironically enough, all five players in rounds six through ten are right-handed pitchers.
The Cubs have made it a priority to have a plethora of arms in their pipeline. After the first two days of the draft, it appears they have a plethora of that desired talent. Let’s take a look at each of the Cubs’ picks.
No. 173: RHP Will Frisch, Oregon State
With the No. 173 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Will Frisch out of Oregon State. Frisch predominantly served as a reliever in his time in college, but started a handful of games in his career. In two seasons with the Beavers, Frisch owns a 2.42 ERA. Although elite in not giving up runs, Frisch’s walk rate is a little concerning. In 67.0 innings, Frisch allowed 30 walks compared to 66 strikeouts. Although he walked six batters in 10.1 innings of work his first season alone, the overall numbers are still a little high for a reliever and might indicate control issues.
Nitpicking aside, Frisch was in line to be the lead pitcher for Oregon State before injury this season. He has high leverage stuff and has impressive numbers to back it up. Ideally, he could have shown growth in 2022, but rather lost the season. The Cubs clearly see something in him going forward, especially for a guy with experience starting and in the bullpen.
No. 203: RHP Nick Hull, Grand Canyon University
With the No. 203 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Nick Hull out of Grand Canyon University. This is the second straight year that the Cubs have selected a pitcher from Grand Canyon University. Last season, the team selected RHP Frankie Scalzo Jr. with the 424th pick. Despite being a lesser known school, Grand Canyon appears to produce pitchers.
In five seasons at GCU, Hull pitched to a 4.04 ERA in 220.2 innings across 79 appearances. Although he only made 25 total starts (16 in 2022), Hull impressed with 214 career strikeouts compared to just 98 career walks. Those numbers are all impressive, especially after a rough freshman year in 2018.
The ERA might not look sexy for his career, but Hull was really good as a reliever in 2020 and 2021, then followed that up with a strong 2022 when he was a starter. The career numbers don’t look the best due to his first two years, but Hull looks like an intriguing arm for the Cubs.
No. 233: RHP Mason McGwire, Capistrano Valley High School (CA)
With the No. 233 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected high school RHP Mason McGwire. Does that name look familiar? It should. Mason is the son of long-time Cardinal and famed slugger Mark McGwire.
McGwire is a big kid. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher comes out of high school sporting a solid fastball and a nasty splitter. That said, he is committed to play college baseball at Oklahoma, so the Cubs will have to compete with that commitment and sign him away.
Although his fastball sits at 92 mph, McGwire will likely add velocity as he fills out his big frame. Ideally, the Cubs would like to keep him in their pipeline, but there is that glaring Oklahoma commitment to keep an eye on.
No. 263: RHP Connor Noland, Arkansas
With the No. 263 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Connor Noland from Arkansas. The 6-foot-2 college righty has plentiful experience as a starting pitcher at the collegiate level.
In four seasons with the Razorbacks, Noland carried a 3.85 ERA in 226.2 innings of work over 52 appearances (41 starts). In addition, the righty struck out 202 batters while walking only 56 over four seasons. Noland likely would have pitched more if not for the COVID-shortened season, but his numbers are certainly impressive entering the draft.
Not only is Noland a pitcher, but he was also a quarterback at Arkansas. His duel-sport ability is certainly something that may intrigue the Cubs. Two-sport athletes are typically hyper-athletic, meaning there is room for the player to grow and adapt easily. In Noland’s case, he may thrive with the Cubs thanks to their state-of-the-art Lab.
No. 293: RHP Brody McCollough, Wingate University (NC) – D2 pitcher of the year
With the No. 293 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Brody McCollough from Wingate University. The D2 product was the Division II pitcher of the year in 2022. He also becomes the highest drafted player from Wingate.
In 189 innings of work over his collegiate career, McCollough racked up 258 strikeouts. In addition, he pitched to the tune of a 2.95 ERA over the course of his career at Wingate. In 2022, McCollough threw 63.2 innings, striking out 110 batters, walking only 24, in addition to holding a 2.40 ERA.
On Day Two, the Cubs wanted high leverage arms. McCollough is no different after posting impressive numbers. Collegiate level be damned, he was sensational for Wingate.
What’s On Tap Next?
The MLB Draft resumes on Tuesday, July 19 with rounds 11-20. The Cubs will round out their draft class for the 2022 iteration of the event and continue building a hopeful contender for the future.
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