This edition has a mix of two pitchers and two hitters, covering as wide a swath as possible. Looking eight to 12 years in the future, two of these guys figure to be entirely useful choices at the 16th overall pick. Which two, though? The MLB draft is fascinating because the decision aren't obvious. The guys who look good now are an injury or extended slump from being written off by many. I respect people who project, knowing the odds of them being accurate waver greatly with circumstance.
Dillon Dingler, catcher/center fielder, Ohio State
I recently had a podcast on Dingler. I prefaced it by commenting how much I loathe comps. And promptly placed a comp on him nonetheless. The hope with a comp is that a few people realize that players who may have similar struggles make for interesting comps, even if the results vary wildly.
Dingler will have to hit his way to success. He won't be Andrelton Simmons at any position. However, if the bat plays, he has enough versatility to Craig Biggio his way into a lineup on defense. (No, Biggio isn't the comp.)
Back when, a team took an athletic player fifth in the entire draft, and listed him as a catcher. His arm was strong enough for behind the plate, but concerns developed rather early. He zoomed to MLB, but he had problems getting used to the position at the MLB level. A position-hunt developed, and first base wasn't the answer, either. Eventually, the Braves tried Dale Murphy in center, and he was among the game's best players for a few years.
Whoever selects Dingler will have time to find him a position. It might be awkward at times, but until MLB, the blowback is minimal. Dingler will improve any organization that adds him, but the defense will be a concern. The bat? Less so, until Double-A, or so.
Here is some video of Dingler from 2019.
Asa Lacy, left-handed pitcher, Texas A&M
All he does is get hitters out. He's crafty, and I'd comp him in the Andy Pettitte range. (What did Pettitte peak out at from a velocity perspective? Did it matter?) I doubt he gets to 16, and doubt the Cubs choose him if he does. Fun cat to watch carve hitters, though. Here are some of his college career highlights:
Cade Cavalli, right-handed pitcher, Oklahoma
The last time the Cubs contemplated a right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma in the first round, they took the hitter from the west coast instead. That call worked out okay (Kris Bryant). Cavalli is a built 6-4 with a repertoire and some injuries in his rear-view. Contemplating Cavalli, I came up with a tolerable comp, as long as you don't take it as an over-under: Rick Sutcliffe.
The Red Baron was pre-video screen MPH readings, but he threw hard. Until his arm quit. Then, he adjusted. I tracked Cavalli as a second-round option, but he'll be gone well before pick 51. There's not any one thing that's a certainty with Cavalli, but the option for success is legitimate.
Here’s video of Cavalli from earlier this year:
Pete Crow-Armstrong, center field, HS (CA)
I'd sworn off PCA, as Twitter loves to refer to him. He's a defense-first center fielder, with holes in his swing when he tries for power. He sounds a bit like a southpaw, Albert Almora. Worse picks have gone earlier, but I'd dig a bit more certainty in his offense.
Eventually, I ran into an odd nugget that didn't change my mind, but merits a mention. His parents have both been actors. His mom (Ashley Crow-Armstong) is the mother of the lead actor in Little Big League. His dad Matt acted before taking up teaching. It's neither here nor there, but his genetics represent being able to perform. I'd still prefer more offensive production.
Here’s some video of PCA from 2019: