Chicago Cubs 2022 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: The Cubs had a pitcher-heavy draft and only signed four position players—three of whom were selected on day three. OF Andy Garriola (17) was a .323/.376/.614 hitter with Old Dominion for his career, but he struggled in the Cape Cod League and in a brief, four-game pro debut. C Haydn McGeary (15) put up even gaudier numbers in his career with Colorado Mesa (.448/.522/.930) and was solid in an 18-game debut in the Arizona Complex League and Carolina League—he hit .273/.343/.409 with a 110 wRC+.
Best Power Hitter: Both Garriola (17) and McGeary (15) probably have the best power of the class now, with 90th percentile exit velocities in the 105-106 mph range in their pro debuts. But SS Christopher Paciolla (3) has a projectable frame and a chance to hit for above-average power potential as he adds strength.
Fastest Runner: OF Ke’Shun Collier (20) wins this category by default as a center fielder who is a threat on the base paths. Collier stole 18 bags in 24 tries (75%) with Meridian (Miss.) JC this spring. He played just three games in the ACL during his pro debut this summer, but got his first pro stolen base in his second game.
Best Defensive Player: Paciolla (3) has soft hands and good defensive actions and instincts at shortstop, though he played all over the infield in his pro debut this summer. His arm could get to above-average in the future, which would be an asset for him if his range forces him to move into more of an everyday third base role.
Best Fastball: RHP Cade Horton (1) pitched in the 94-95 mph range and touched 98 with Oklahoma this spring. The pitch has great velocity, but it also has high spin rates and impressive carry up in the zone, and is a 65-grade offering. RHP Nazier Mule (3) was touching 100 mph as a 17-year-old. His natural arm talent is tremendous and he has plus fastball potential even after pitching more around 92-96 during the spring.
Best Secondary Pitch: Horton’s (1) slider is a 65-grade offering and has earned some 70-grade evaluations as well. The pitch is a hard breaking ball that he relied on heavily and has been up to 90 mph at best. RHP Will Frisch (6) generated a 40% whiff rate with an upper-80s changeup that is a plus pitch.
Best Pro Debut: Many of Chicago’s 2022 draftees weren’t activated this summer, but McGeary (15) logged 73 plate appearances and posted a 110 wRC+ overall between Rookie ball and Low-A Myrtle Beach. He played catcher, first base and DH’d.
Best Athlete: Mule (3) was an impressive shortstop with raw power in high school. While he was never a great runner, he showed impressive body control and athleticism in the infield and the Cubs are hoping that translates to the mound where he has significant upside.
Most Intriguing Background: RHP Mason McGwire (8) was one of many players in the 2022 draft class with big league bloodlines. His father Mark was a 12-time all-star who hit 583 home runs over a 16-year career. Horton (1) was a two-way player in high school and also played quarterback for his football team, and was one of the biggest risers during his draft-eligible sophomore season in 2022 after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Closest To The Majors: RHP Brandon Birdsell (5) was older for the class, but has the pure stuff to move quickly in a bullpen role if he’s not stretched out as a starter. Horton also has the pure stuff to move quickly.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): McGeary (15) is the most obvious choice given his pro debut, but RHP Mathew Peters (12) is another interesting name. He showed a mid-90s fastball with solid riding life in a brief pro debut.
The One Who Got Away: RHP Brock Blatter (19) was the only player the Cubs didn’t sign in their 2022 draft class. Blatter ranked as the No. 407 prospect on the BA 500 and has a low-90s fastball and multiple high-spin breaking balls. He will start his college career with Alabama.