After a frustrating 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, Cubs fans needed some positivity. That came in the form of signing their second-round draft pick and North Carolina recruit, third baseman James Triantos.
In order to pry him away from his UNC commitment, the Cubs had to get him to sign a significantly over-slot deal. Triantos, who was selected 56th overall, had a $1,276,400 value for that spot. The Cubs went way above that and signed him for $2.1 million.
For the draft, the Cubs had $6,779,400 of bonus pool money. Keep in mind, coming into this year, the Cubs were one of four teams to outspend their allotments each of the nine years with bonus pool rules. Needless to say, this type of move isn't surprising.
Drawing Alex Bregman comparisons, Triantos has a ton of upside. The quality and high frequency of contact he displayed in high school had many scouts buzzing. Buzzing to the point that he rose up draft boards late in the process. Triantos originally was set for the 2022 draft class but reclassified for this year’s draft. The power is yet to be determined, but the Cubs obviously feel there is room to grow in that department.
Triantos was recommended by area scout and 2020 Cubs Stan Zielinski Scout of the Year Award winner Billy Swoope. “Our scouts came back raving about James’ bat, his bat speed, his ability to control the zone, his plate coverage. It seemed like every time he made contact, it was loud, hard contact,” said Cubs’ Scouting Vice President Dan Kantrovitz.
Triantos was a shortstop and pitcher at James Madison HS, but the Cubs selected him to develop as a third baseman. The second-round pick set a single-season school record with 11 home runs while batting over .700 and striking out only twice. His arm strength will certainly play at the position, and if his bat is anything like Bregman’s, the Cubs will be in business a few years down the road.
For more on Triantos, including an awesome highlight reel video, check out fellow On Tap Sports Net contributor Ron Luce’s pick analysis article.