The Chicago Cubs have been rather busy over the course of the 2022 MLB Draft. In this draft, the team is taking shots on players with crazy upside, although perhaps not the safest prospects. However, it is a refreshing approach compared to what the team has done in past years. Here is what the Cubs have done so far:
Without further ado, here are the five picks the Cubs rounded out the draft with.
Pick No. 473: RHP JP Wheat
With the No. 473 selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP JP Wheat from Next Level Academy in Alabama. The high school righty has good size with his 6-foot-5 frame. Big bodies are like a blank canvas for pitchers.
According to Prep Baseball Report, Wheat's fastball sits around 95 mph. In addition, his curveball sits in the low-70's. Coming out of high school, those are strong tools for the Cubs to mold into a big league pitcher. Not saying he is guaranteed to make it to the majors, but having the raw tools is a step in the right direction.
The big right-hander is committed to play college baseball at Georgia Tech. However, the Cubs sounded pretty confident that they'll be able to sign majority of their draft picks. That level of confidence is great for the Cubs and allows them to continue stocking the pipeline moving forward.
Pick No. 503: OF Andy Garriola
With the No. 503 selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected just their third position player. The team chose OF Andy Garriola from Old Dominion University.
Garriola has impressive numbers coming out of college. After three seasons (redshirted in 2020), Garriola has been named a Freshman All-American, All-Conference USA three times, and a Second-Team All-American. In addition, his collegiate numbers jump off the page.
In 58 games this past season, Garriola hit 25 home runs and drove in 80 runs. He also hit a solid .322, added 18 doubles, and scored 57 runs. Although listed as both an infielder and outfielder, he's listed as exclusively an outfielder on the draft board. No matter where he plays, his bat has major upside to translate at the MLB level.
Pick No. 533: RHP Garrett Brown
With the No. 533 selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Garrett Brown from the University of Georgia. Brown became the second UGA pitcher selected by the Cubs after taking Shane Marshall in the 14th round.
Brown missed the entire 2021 season due to elbow surgery. However, he returned in 2022 and posted average numbers. His ERA isn't flattering, sitting at 7.71, nor are his 17 strikeouts compared to 25 walks. In addition, he only worked 25.2 innings for the Bulldogs in 2022.
At this point in the draft, the Cubs are taking risks. Brown's numbers may not be there, but there is something in his stuff and tools that the Cubs like. Perhaps it is his 6-foot-7 frame. Perhaps they see room for growth with assistance from the pitch lab. Whatever the case, Brown is another name the Cubs add to their massive pool of pitching prospects.
Pick No. 563: RHP Brock Blatter
With the No. 563 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected RHP Brock Blatter from Billings Central Catholic High School in Montana. Blatter is 6-foot-6 and the final pitcher the Cubs selected in the 2022 Draft.
Blatter is the No. 1 high school player coming out of Montana according to Perfect Game. In addition, his fastball (the only pitch listed) plays at 91 mph. Although not overwhelming, his size allows for added growth physically which should help the fastball velocity play up.
As with any high school prospect, Blatter is committed to play college ball. Currently, his commitment lies in the SEC with Alabama. If the Cubs get their way, he'll be developing in their system rather than in Tuscaloosa. Nonetheless, Blatter presents an intriguing body and arm for the Cubs to tinker with.
Pick No. 593: OF Ke'Shun Collier
With the No. 593 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected their fourth position player. OF Ke'Shun Collier marks the Cubs' final pick in the 2022 Draft.
Collier is the smallest player selected by the Cubs. However, don't be fooled by his 5-foot-8 stature. Collier can do one thing incredibly well, and that is hit. This past season for Meridian Community College, he did just that.
In 41 games, Collier slashed .378/.494/.504. Although he only hit one home run, he still drove in 32 runs. He also walked 23 times, was hit by pitches 10 times, only struck out 17 times, and stole 18 bags. Despite not having elite power, Collier shows a strong bag of tools at the college level.
At this point in the draft, taking a flier on Collier is a perfect case scenario for the Cubs. He can hit, steal, and profiles well for what baseball might look like here in a few years.
What's On Tap Next?
Now that the All-Star game and MLB Draft are both in the rearview mirror, the Cubs' season will resume on Friday. Although they have a couple of days off, the Cubs venture to Philadelphia for a three-game set with the Phillies. Friday's game is set to start at 5:05 p.m. CDT.