The Chicago Cubs took their first step toward re-tooling their farm system in 2019 by selecting RHP Ryan Jensen.
The Cubs may have taken a leap of faith in their 27th pick. Rated by MLB.com as the #99 ranked prospect, the flamethrower ends up going #27 to the Cubs in Monday evening's draft.
The college right-hander projects well as a possible relief pitcher because of his fastball, which grades a 70 on the 20-80 scale. However, as noted on the live MLB Draft broadcast, the Cubs should let him break in as a starting pitcher before deciding whether or not he's destined for the bullpen.
In college this past season, Jensen was 12-1 while also recording one save. He also struck out 107 batters in 100.0 innings pitched for Fresno State University.
Here's what MLB.com says about Ryan Jensen:
"Jensen has arm strength to spare, with a fastball that sits from 94-98 mph. He's able to maintain his velocity deep into his starts, showing plenty of 97-98 mph heaters in the seventh and eighth inning of his starts. When he finds his arm slot, it can have plus life, but he often loses it, causing it to be flat and very hittable. His slider will show flashes of being an above-average pitch, but it's not consistent. He does have an upper-80s changeup with some fade that might be average, but he doesn't use it much. Jensen has a tendency to over stride at times, which makes it tougher for him to repeat his delivery and command the baseball."
The Cubs got the fastball they wanted. If they can develop Jensen further, something that the Cubs have not done much of lately with prospects, especially with his secondary pitches, there is a chance he can be a solid starting pitcher down the road and a really good relief pitcher potentially sooner than that.
Featured Photo: FRESNO STATE ATHLETICS