After a very busy start to the MLB Draft, the Chicago Cubs continued a pattern on the final day of the 2022 MLB Draft. In rounds 11-15, the Cubs selected four more pitchers to add to their pipeline. So far, here is what the Cubs have done:
Without further ado, here are the Cubs picks in rounds 11-15.
Pick No. 323: LHP Brandon Noriega
With the No. 323 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected LHP Brandon Noriega. Noriega is an interesting prospect because he was not drafted out of high school or college, but rather out of the Draft League.
Admittedly, Noriega’s numbers in the Draft League are a bit underwhelming. Although he racked up 14 strikeouts in 11.0 innings of work, he carried a 4.91 ERA. That said, the lefty is creating some buzz with his stuff that he brings to the table.
Numbers aside, Noriega’s stuff is what excites the Cubs. A solid lefty with experience in the bullpen is exactly what the Cubs, and any team, is looking for at this point in the draft. Although a bit of an unknown to the general public, Dan Kantrovitz, Carter Hawkins, Jed Hoyer, and company know what they’re looking for in arms for the future. Plus, a guy that touches mid-to-high 90’s is worth taking a flier on.
Pick No. 353: RHP Mathew Peters
With the No. 353 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Mathew Peters from Indiana Institute of Tech. The fourth-year college sophomore is worth getting excited about if you’re the Cubs and their fans. Although he was once an undersized kid, Peters has blossomed and can now touch 101 mph on the radar gun.
Again, at this point in the draft, the Cubs are taking fliers. Most of these guys are high upside, low risk players. Ideally, working in the pitching lab will allow some of these arms to develop into successful big league pitchers. Worst case scenario, they’re bullpen guys with electric stuff.
Although a bit of an unknown, it appears destiny was at work with this pick. Peters has been donning Cubbies gear for some time now.
Pick No. 383: RHP Luis Rujano
With the No. 383 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Luis Rujano. Surprisingly, the Cubs scooped a player still on MLB.com’s top 250 this late in the draft. However, based on his scouting report, it’s understandable why he slipped so far.
According to MLB.com, Rujano is very raw, but definitely shows his tools on the mound. He has a fastball that touches 96 mph, but routinely sits in the low-90’s. In addition, he has a tight slider and solid changeup. However, he struggles to consistently control those pitches at 19 years of age.
Insert the Cubs. With the pitching lab and the coaching in the minor leagues, the Cubs must believe they can help Rujano with his inconsistency. Given his raw stuff and 6-foot-4 frame, Rujano projects as a lovely prospect assuming he receives proper coaching.
Patience is key with a prospect like Rujano. However, if the Cubs can be patient with him, he might pay big dividends down the road.
Pick No. 413: RHP Shane Marshall
With the No. 413 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Shane Marshall from the University of Georgia. That said, this pick is certainly puzzling. Go ahead and google Shane Marshall. He was primarily a catcher at the University of Georgia in his four years there.
Seriously, he was more of a hitter than a pitcher. In 2021, he pitched a single inning for the Bulldogs. In 2022, he only pitched 0.2 innings. Although he hasn’t pitched much in college, there is something there that the Cubs must like.
Again, the Cubs are stockpiling pitching. Although the tape is limited, there is something with Marshall that made the Cubs take a flier on him in the 14th round. Whether it’s pure stuff, his athleticism, or something else, the Cubs have another arm to develop and potentially see pitch at the MLB level.
Pick No. 443: C Haydn McGeary
With the No. 443 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected catcher Haydn McGeary. McGeary was the lone position player selected in this group on Day Three and only one of four position players selected overall in the 20 rounds of the draft.
The Colorado Mesa product was sensational in 2022. In fact, he hit .481 and earned a laundry list of D2 honors with the program. McGeary becomes the second D2 player the Cubs have taken a flier on in this year’s draft.
Although a D2 player, he can hit. No matter the level, a player hitting nearly .500 is worth exploring. In the 15th round, this is a pick that makes sense for the Cubs. Not only is he a great hitter, but McGeary is also a catcher, a position the Cubs lack depth at. Although he may fly under the radar, having more catching depth is never a bad thing for a team likely about to deal their All-Star catcher.
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