By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Cubs finished the season third place in the NL Central with a record of 84-78. Cubs fans are worried at this point as the team is facing tough competition in a division with teams like the Brewers, the rival Cardinals, and a improving Cincinnati Reds team. The Cubs organization faces a difficult decision as star players like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo could be headed out the door with the next few years of free agency looming. The Cubs need improvement in scouting pitchers, and with a good class of pitchers in this year's draft look to see a lot of new pitchers in the Cubs farm system. The Northsiders will leave it to scouting director Dan Kantrovitz to put their retool for the future hopefully on the right foot here in the MLB Draft. These five picks are my takes on players Kantrovitz should select for the future of Cubs Baseball on the North side.
Round 1: Pick 16
Garrett Mitchell OF UCLA
With outfield prospects like Brennan Davis only in Single A this is a smart pick by Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs. Garret Mitchell brings a good left hander that can be a great defender in center field along with good speed and hitting for average. Scouts are concerned about his power developing , but with the smart pick in Round 1 expect him to soar through the Cubs farm system.
Round 2: Pick 53
Cole Henry RHP LSU
The Cubs fill their need in pitching with this pick in the second round as they take the right hander Cole Henry. Henry brings to Chicago a strong IQ of pitching which is a great trait to have as a future MLB pitcher. The LSU right hander also features a good three pitch mix of a solid fastball , a 12-6 curve ball, and a good fading change up. This is a good pick for the Cubs in Round 2.
Round 3: Pick 88
Taylor Dollard RHP Cal Poly
The Cubs have needs at the pitching position , and they hit a home run with this pick by taking Dollard the right hander. The Cal Poly junior takes his talents of command and good consistency at the pitcher's mound. Theo Epstein hears the cries of Cubs fans for better pitching prospects to aid the aging MLB club rotation .
Round 4: Pick 117
Casey Schmitt 3B San Diego State
Cubs star third baseman Kris Bryant could be out the door in the next few years as a free agent , and the Cubs take Schmitt as a long term developed option for third base This is a smart pick as Schmitt can develop under Bryant and be ready if the Cubs have a hole to fill if Bryant leaves Chicago.
Round 5: Pick 147
Brainden Ward OF Washington
The Cubs finish off the draft by taking another college outfielder they hope can make it to the major league club in a few years. Brainden Ward can do just that as the left handed hitter brings good defensive skills and a bat with average contact hitting. Ward has time once he joins Chicago to develop his hitting and lowering that strikeout rate to eventually be a good piece in the Cubs organization.