Cubs look to add pitching depth in third day of the draft

Area scouts earn their keep during the third day of the draft as the Cubs make 30 picks

Its the third day of the 2017 draft and the Cubs have already made 11 picks, eight pitchers and three position players. The Cubs used their first five picks on college pitchers, selecting LH Brendon Little and RH Alex Lange in the first round. Only two of the first 11 picks were preps—outfielder Nelson Velazquez (5th round) and pitcher Jeremy Estrada (6th round). Look for the Cubs to add more pitching depth on Day 3. Keep refreshing this page as NSR will be updating this story throughout the last 30 rounds.

Cubs 11th Round Pick (#345)— Rollie Lacy, RHP, Creighton

A red-shirt junior, the 6-foot-4 right-hander was a three-time All-Big East first-team selection and in 15 starts this spring, posted a 5-2 mark with a 2.54 ERA. The Minnesota native logged 88.1 innings, recording 83 strikeouts while walking 18.  

Cubs 12th Round Pick (#375)— Ben Hecht, RHP, Wichita State

A native of Effingham, Illinois, the right-hander spent his first two college seasons at Lincoln Land Junior College in Springfield and earned a scholarship to play with the Shockers. Hecht recorded eight saves this season in 28 appearances and fanned 41 in 30 innings while walking 12. 

Cubs 13th Round Pick (#405)— Austin Upshaw, IF, Kennesaw State

Spent two seasons at the Big South school after beginning his college career at Georgia Perimeter College. The native of Buford, Georgia, had a career slash line of .339/.397/.517 with 15 homers and 77 RBI. Upshaw earned first-team all-conference honors as a first baseman this year and didn’t commit an error during conference play.

Cubs 14th Round Pick (#435)—Luis Vazquez, SS, Alberto Melendez Torres School

The second high school player drafted by the Cubs out of Puerto Rico. Keep an eye on this diamond in the rough as he wasn’t rated by Baseball America as one of the top players coming out of Puerto Rico.

Cubs 15th Round Pick (#465)—Jared Young, 2B, Old Dominion

For the third straight year the Cubs have drafted a Monarch, taking P.J. Higgins in 2015 and adding Connor Myers last year. Young, a native of Canada, slashed .367/.441/.580 in his only season at ODU. He began his college career at Minot State in North Dakota and then transferred to Connors State Community College. 

Cubs 16th Round Pick (#495)—Brandon Hughes, CF, Michigan State

A second-team All-Big Ten selection, the fleet-footed centerfielder was seventh in the NCAA with 30 stolen bases and slashed .330/.382/.473 with five homers and 34 runs scored. The switch-hitting Michigan native made seven relief appearances on the mound as a freshman. Look for Hughes to be in Eugene shortly after he signs.

 

Cubs 17th Round Pick (#525)— Peyton Remy, RHP, Central Arizona College

The Cubs first JUCO player since taking Brendon Little with their first pick. As a freshman, Remy made 12 starts and posted a 4.25 ERA with 58 punchouts over 59.1 innings. He tossed 85 innings this year, fanning 90 and sporting a 3.28 ERA. The native of Parker, Colorado has a scholarship off to New Mexico State. 

Cubs 18th Round Pick (#555)—Casey Ryan, RHP, Hawaii

A reliever for Hawaii, the 6-foot-4 senior recorded two saves and appeared in 18 games, posting a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings with 21 K and 5 BB. He started his college career with two years at LA Pierce College as a two-way player.

Cubs 19th Round Pick (#585)—Chris Singleton, OF Charleston Southern

A prep star at Goose Creek High School in South Carolina, Singleton spent three season with the Buccaneers, slashing .286/.351/.398 during his career and swiped 18 bases this spring.

Cubs 20th Round Pick (#615)—Brendan King , RHP, Holy Cross

King worked his way from the bullpen as a freshman to the Friday night starter, tossing three complete games while going 5-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 80.2 innings as a senior. King fanned 62 and walked 30. He earned first-team All-Patriot League honors as a sophomore and junior.

Cubs 21st Round Pick (#645)—Sean Barry, RHP, San Diego

Used primarily as a bullpen arm during this two years at San Diego, Barry went 5-1 with a 4.43 ERA with 54 K in 42.2 innings as a senior. Played his freshman season at High Point University and then transferred to Santa Barbara Community College.

Cubs 22nd Round Pick (#675)— Skyler Messinger, SS, Niwot High School

The Colorado prep is committed to Kansas and has the frame and power to move to a corner infield spot. Cubs could have the extra bonus money to keep him from college.

Cubs 23rd Round Pick (#705)— Brady Miller, RHP, Western Oregon

A native of Gilbert, Arizona, Miller led the Wolves with 10 starts and went 5-2 with a 3.50 ERA with 57 K over 54 innings. The junior could return for his senior season and try to improve his draft stock at the Division II school.

Cubs 24th Round Pick (#735)—Braxton Light, RHP, Wallace State JC

A reliever in JUCO, the 5-foot-9 right-hander recorded nine saves for the Lions and fanned 50 over 38.2 innings. Light finished with a 1.86 ERA in 16 appearances in his second season.

Cubs 25th Round Pick (#765)—Mitch Stophel, RHP, King University

The Cubs get another reliever from a Division II school as Stophel spent his four years at King working out of the bullpen. The Tennessee native recorded three saves this year and registered 45 K in 38 IP and sported a 4.74 ERA in 19 games. 

Cubs 26th Round Pick (#795)— Bryce Bonnin, RHP, Barbers Hills HS

Committed to Arkansas, the right-hander sports a fastball in the low 90s and throws a slider and change-up. Not sure if the Cubs will have enough cash to lure the 6-foot right-hander away from college. 

Cubs 27th Round Pick (#825)—Darius Vines, RHP,  Oxnard College

A two-way player from the California JUCO, Vines hit .277 but was drafted as a pitcher after going 4-4 with a 1.94 ERA over 83.2 innings. The 19-year-old recorded 95 strikeouts (10.2 per/9) and held opponents to a .197 BAA.

Cubs 28th Round Pick (#855)— Kier Meredith, CF, Robert Glenn High School

The North Carolina prep is committed to Clemson after hitting .444 with 19 stolen bases and ranked as the top defensive outfielder among the prep class. Cubs may have the cash but unlikely they will be able to sign Meredith.

Cubs 29th Round Pick (#885)—Jake Steffens, RHP, Santa Clara

Granted a redshirt senior season, the Phoenix native was the team’s top starter, going 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA with 101 K in 102.2 innings. Steffens had Tommy John surgery during his junior season after earning all-conference honors as a sophomore.

Cubs 30th Round Pick (#915)—Cam Balego, IF, Mercyhurst College

A native of Pittsburgh, the senior slashed .367/.500/.698 with 10 homers and only fanned eight times while drawing 28 walks in 139 at-bats. Should see the middle infielder in Eugene soon.

Cubs 31st Round Pick (#945)— Ramsey Romano, IF, Cal State-Long Beach

Drafted by the Cubs out of high school in 2013 in the 35th round, Romano headed to Michigan and played 24 games as a freshman. He transferred to Yavapai Junior College and was part of their 2016 JC national championship team, hitting .410 with nine homers. In 61 starts for Long Beach this year, the San Diego native batted .313/.340/.382 with two homers and 39 RBI.

Cubs 32nd Round Pick (#975)—Hunter Ruth, RHP, Buchholz High School

With a commit to Florida and already having Tommy John surgery, its unlikely the Cubs will sign the right-hander with the fastball in the mid-90s. 

 

Cubs 33rd Round Pick (#1005)—Joe Donovan, C, Westmont High School

The Chicago area prep hit .523 with 16 homers and 49 RBI as a senior and is committed to Michigan. Another high school pick likely headed to college.

Cubs 34th Round Pick (#1035)—Andrew Karp, RHP, Florida State

A redshirt sophomore, Karp sports a fastball in the mid-90s but will likely go back to FSU to improve his draft stock. He made 12 starts and logged 61 innings, sporting a 4.87 ERA with 63 K in 61 IP. 

Cubs 35th Round Pick (#1065)—Ben Ramirez, SS, Eastlake High School

Committed to USC, Ramirez is a two-time member of Team USA as an amateur and the 18-year-old shined on the showcase circuit last summer. Another prep headed to college. 

Cubs 36th Round Pick (#1095)—Tanner Allen, CF, UMS Wright Prep School

Headed to Mississippi State, the left-handed hitting Alabama prep was a member of Team USA’s 18-and under squad and helped his high school team to a state title in 2016. The 19-year-old is likely headed to college.

Cubs 37th Round Pick (#1125)— Alex Cornwell, LHP, Maranatha High School

Another USC commit with a 90 mph fastball that produces ground balls.

Cubs 38th Round Pick (#1155)—Russell Smith, LHP, Midlothian High School

The Texas lefty stands 6-foot-8 and is likely headed to TCU. 

Cubs 39th Round Pick (#1185)—Cooper Coldiron, IF, Houston

Started his college career at Grayson Community College and hit .245/.355/.283 in 15 starts for Houston this season. Has a year of eligibility left but could sign.  

Cubs 40th Round Pick (#1215)—Jeffrey Passantino, RHP, Lipscomb

And with the final pick in the 2017 draft the Cubs took a 5-foot-9 junior from the Atlantic Sun conference. A starter all three seasons, Passantino was 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 15 starts, logging 96 innings and 95 strikeouts against just nine walks.

 


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