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2018 MLB Draft: Cubs draft recap

A rundown of the 42 players the Cubs chose in this year’s Rule 4 draft.

Ethan Roberts, the Cubs’ fourth-round selection from Tennessee Tech
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2018 MLB Draft is now over, and there are 42 potential new members of the Cubs family.

The Cubs took 18 pitchers in the draft: 14 right-handers and four lefties. They selected three catchers, ten infielders and eleven outfielders.

Of course, not every Cubs choice will end up signing. But the top five picks will almost certainly sign (barring an surprise injury) and the top ten are probably 99% likely to sign. These days with the bonus pools, teams rarely draft anyone in the top ten picks without a strong confidence that they will sign.

The Cubs draft appears to be pretty college-heavy, with 28 of the 42 picks being from two- or four-year colleges. Only four of the first 27 picks were high-school players.

Six of the Cubs’ college draft picks will be taking part in NCAA Super Regionals beginning this weekend: third-round pick Jimmy Herron (Duke), fourth-round pick Ethan Roberts (Tennessee Tech), 16th-round pick Josh Sawyer (Texas), 17th-round pick Jake Reindl (Arkansas), 23rd-round pick Hunter Taylor (South Carolina) and 29th-round pick Levi Jordan (Washington). So this may be your last chance to see these players on television before they make the majors. If they make the majors.

Here are the 42 players the Cubs drafted along with some quick commentary on some players. If you want more details, you can read my take on the Day 1 picks or Tim Huwe’s analysis of the Day 2 choices.

  1. Nico Hoerner. SS. Stanford.

Great hitter, little power at present. May end up at second base. Rarely strikes out. Reminds me of Giants second baseman Joe Panik.

2. Brennen Davis OF. Basha HS (AZ).

Big (6’4”) and raw. Terrific athlete but hasn’t played much in HS because of basketball and injuries. Boom-or-bust-type, but strong makeup improves his chances.

2 (comp round) Cole Roederer. OF. Hart HS (CA).

Potential 5-tool player who also battled injuries in HS. Left-handed hitter who should stay in CF. Some makeup questions.

2 (comp round) Paul Richan. RHP. University of San Diego.

Four-pitch mix with potential for all four to be at least average. Upside isn’t high, but already polished and could move quickly through system. Back-of-the-rotation starter.

3. Jimmy Herron. CF. Duke.

Potential leadoff hitter, but weak arm could limit him to left field. Hit well in Cape Cod League last summer.

4. Ethan Roberts. RHP. Tennessee Tech.

Reliever who relies on cut fastball, but it’s a good one. Good command.

5. Andy Weber. 2B. University of Virginia.

MVP at UVA this year. Offense-first second baseman with good discipline. Power took a step forward this year.

6. Kohl Franklin. RHP. Broken Arrow HS (OK)

The nephew of Mariners and Cardinals pitcher Ryan Franklin. Big, like his uncle, with some projection left.

7. D.J. Artis. CF. Liberty University.

Short left-handed hitter who hits out of a crouch, making him even smaller. Unsurprisingly draws a lot of walks. Fast, but arm may keep him from being an everyday outfielder even if he hits.

8. Zach Mort. RHP. George Mason.

Can throw 93 mph. Name is Zach Mort, which should count for something.

9. Derek Casey. RHP. University of Virginia.

Turned down 900k from the Cubs in 2014 to go to UVA. (The Cubs ended up not drafting him because he told them he wouldn’t sign. The Cards did draft him and he went to UVA) Missed all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery and is still coming back. Three-pitch mix.

10. Luke Reynolds. 3B. Southern Mississippi.

Already 23 after transferring twice in college. Nice hitter who hits to all fields, but age is against him.

11. Riley Thompson RHP. University of Louisville.

First-round stuff with 25th-round control. Missed all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery. Boom-or-bust guy.

12. Cameron Sanders. RHP. Louisiana State.

The son of former Cub Scott Sanders. Yeah, I remember him with the Padres too and I had to remind myself when he pitched for the Cubs (1999). Mid-90s fastball with sharp curve. Control is a huge problem, but a potential setup man or closer if he figures it out.

13. Ezequiel Pagan. OF. Pro Baseball HS Academy (PR).

14. Riley McCauley. RHP. Michigan State.

15. Tyler Durna. 1B. UC-San Diego.

16. Josh Sawyer. LHP. University of Texas.

17. Jake Reindl. RHP. University of Arkansas.

18. Jake Slaughter. 3B. Louisiana State.

19. Layne Looney. RHP. University of Richmond.

20. Chris Allen. LHP. Marin CC (CA).

21. Carlos Vega. RHP. Southeast Missouri.

22. Jamie Galazin. OF. St. John’s.

23. Hunter Taylor. C. University of South Carolina.

24. Blake Whitney. RHP. South Carolina—Upstate.

25. Dalton Hurd. OF. Seattle U.

26. Julian Boyd. OF. St. John Bosco HS (CA).

27. Niels Stone. RHP. Indian River State JC (FL).

28. Mitchell Parker. LHP. Manzano HS (NM).

Tough sign with a commitment to Tennessee.

29. Levi Jordan. SS. University of Washington.

30. Drew Wharton. OF. Clemson.

31. Clayton Daniel. 2B. Jacksonville State (AL).

32. Jack Patterson. LHP. Bryant U.

33. Tyler Ras. RHP. Middletown North HS (NJ).

Two-way player in HS, but pro future is likely on the mound. Another tough sign with a commitment to Alabama.

34. Miguel Papon. SS. Leadership Christian Academy (PR).

35. Edmond Americaan. OF. Chipola JC. (FL)

Americaan is from Curacao and was drafted by the Diamondbacks and Rangers previously. Already 21, maybe he’ll sign now. Speedy CF with strong on-base skills. He must crowd the plate because he gets hit by pitches a lot.

36. Jacob Campbell. C. Craig HS (WI).

Good tools behind the plate but hasn’t been able to show them much because of injuries and Wisconsin weather. An Illinois commit, he’ll probably end up in Champaign.

37. Henry Villar. SS. Westminster Christian HS (FL).

38. Chase Hanson. OF. Edison HS (CA).

39. Pierson Gibis. C. Wauconda HS (IL)

40. Itamar Steiner. INF. Niles North HS (IL)

The two local players taken with the final two picks are both “feel-good” stories. Gibis missed his entire senior year in high school battling a rare pediatric cancer. Now healthy, he conducts blood drives because he wants to “pay back” all the blood that he received in treatment.

Steiner appears to be the son of local filmmaker and activist David Steiner who was killed in a bus accident in Uganda in 2016. Itamar was also injured in that crash.