Cubs conclude MLB Draft with ‘aggressive’ mindset on Day 3
Draft No. 2 under Dan Kantrovitz wrapped up Tuesday afternoon as the Cubs made their final selections in Rounds 11-20.
Due to the pandemic, the organization’s VP of scouting has had a pair of strange drafts to oversee to begin his Cubs tenure. But he’s pleased with the overall 2021 draft class and the infusion of talent into the Cubs system.
Each MLB squad has an allotted pool of money from which to draw as they negotiate a signing bonus for each selection. The higher the pick, the more money at a team’s disposal overall. The Cubs were picking 21st overall this year based on 2020’s standings, so they had an overall draft pool in the lower third of the league.
Kantrovitz and Jed Hoyer’s front office opted to swing big with the hand they were dealt, rolling the dice on some high school players on Day 3 of the draft.
“I didn’t expect for us to be in the mix to potentially sign some of the high school talent that we selected today,” Kantrovitz said. “I still don’t believe that we’re gonna be able to sign all the picks that we took today but certainly a few of them. That’s a rare position to be in on Day 3, to be able to buy a player out of college and send them immediately to professional baseball.
“That was probably a product of our strategy today, too. If you are strategic about how you’re managing your pool and if you have some flexibility going into Day 3, I think it enables you to be a little bit more aggressive. I think you saw the fruits of that play out today.”
In Kantrovitz’s assessment, each of the three days brought about something unique for the Cubs. They were ecstatic to see Jordan Wicks fall to them in the 1st round Sunday but also understood that selection would eat up a lot of their draft pool.
The Cubs then went with a pair of high school players to begin Day 2 and looked for potential bargains after that. But they came back aggressive on Day 3 with their final 10 picks.
“There’s probably gonna be some players that we were able to take a risk on and shoot for the stars and hope and some others where we have a little bit more cost certainty that they’re gonna sign,” Kantrovitz said. “It was really probably three different stages in retrospect in terms of how this draft unfolded for us.”
Here is the Cubs’ complete haul on Day 3 of the draft:
Round 11 (334th overall) – RHP Gage Ziehl, Penfield High School
Round 12 (364th overall) – OF Teo Banks, Permian High School
Round 13 (394th overall) – RHP Erian Rodriguez, Georgia Premier Academy
Round 14 (424th overall) – RHP Frankie Scalzo Jr., Grand Canyon University
Round 15 (454th overall) – 3B BJ Murray Jr., Florida Atlantic
Round 16 (484th overall) – RHP Zachary Leigh, Texas State
Round 17 (514th overall) – SS Christian Olivio, Leadership Christian Academy
Round 18 (544th overall) – RHP Dominic Hambley, Belmont Secondary School
Round 19 (574th overall) – RHP Daniel Avitia, Alhambra High School
Round 20 – (604th overall) – LHP Wilson Cunningham, JSerra Catholic High School