Last cycle, the Cubs jumped the relief market, selecting Burl Carraway in the second round. He wasn’t the best pitcher available, potentially. He was, likely, the best reliever. If you’re one of those swept up in the bullpen mayhem, you may wonder who the best college relief arm is. That is a rather easy one to solve. It seems to be Kevin Kopps of Arkansas, who has been much better than the elite Southeastern Conference so far. The question is, in which round should he go?
Is Kopps the guy?
It's not overstating the point, Kopps' season, and his importance to that Arkansas team, are significant https://t.co/7HUEgsLtMN— Patrick Ebert (@PatrickEbert44) May 12, 2021
I ran my idea by Mason McRae. Kopps doesn’t throw 98 or 99. The six-footer from Sugar Land, Texas is “that guy” out of the pen for the Razorbacks, and he comes in whenever needed. He’s as likely to smash a rally in the fourth as the seventh. He’ll even come in with his team behind. SEC hitters don’t do much with him. Nobody does.
Kevin Kopps of Arkansas is having a stupid year:— Jackson Del Rosario (#6) Pac-12 Champion (@JacksonDels2) May 17, 2021
From Mason McRae, still my go-to on the draft, his draft board has Kopps in the 230 range.
In case you don’t want to look, Kopps rolls with his slider/cutter well more than anything else, but it tunnels well with a low 90s fastball. That doesn’t sound like it should produce the numbers above, but it does.
Could he be a better closer as a pro than in college? Probably, but pitchers come with heavy risk, and pure relievers come with limited upside. Carraway has been very up-and-down early in his career. Anything “funky” enough to throw hitters off might be as likely to stall out advancement in the pro game.
It isn’t that a reliever can’t have upside. It’s that jumping the market on relievers likely leaves a better hitter or starting pitcher on the board. On the board to move somewhat less slowly, but with a much bigger upside than a reliever.
Would you be good with the Cubs "jumping the market" on a reliever?
This poll is closed
Not interested in the draft.
Seven no-hitters in a year.
2021 Hagen Smith (Bullard TX) 7th No-Hitter of the season - Playoffs 2nd Round worked 90-92 w/ FB to both halves, 2/8 CB 71-73, SL 75-77 & CH 80-81. Varied tempo in the windup - 7 IP 18K @RazorbackBSB signee.— Perfect Game Texas (@Texas_PG) May 14, 2021
10-0, 67 IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 157K, 0.10 ERA, 0.433 WHIP pic.twitter.com/j2JC7Lzj8V
I think this lad broke an unwritten rules a few times here.
MAX FERGUSON CALLED GAME @Vol_Baseball takes Game 2 over No. 1 Arkansas! pic.twitter.com/7go7Ao7OSW— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) May 15, 2021
Chase Petty day in New Jersey pic.twitter.com/oJ7eFMly4k— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) May 17, 2021
Getting a Kath that can play to Chicago.......
A thread of 2021 draft videos:— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) February 15, 2021
HS season has started in warm weather states in the last week. One strong performer thus far is Arizona prep 3B Wes Kath @wesxkath (Arizona St signee), who hit 5 homers in 4 days, 2 of them below. Raw power is his best tool & it's showing up early. pic.twitter.com/RoZQ98PojL
Speaking of Jump, here’s Gage Jump.
Lucky 13... Gage Jump, LHP, J Serra HS with 13 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings allowing 1 hit in @JSerraLionsBB 2-0 win over O Lu setting up HUGE rubber match tomorrow. Jump is committed to UCLA #MLBDraft @UCLABaseball @GageJump1 @TheCanesBB @B_Sakowski_pg @VcervinoPG @JbrownPG pic.twitter.com/TaeKp1t3KQ— Perfect Game California (@California_PG) May 26, 2021
Connor Norby is probably a second baseman primarily, but oh, that bat.
Connor Norby has been playing his way into the second round all year long.pic.twitter.com/ZJJVTV9iwJ— (@mason_mcrae) May 25, 2021
Baseball America mocks Michael McGreevy to the Cubs (BA subscription required). I’m not a huge pitcher fan in the first round, but the guy turning in the names (Dan Kantrovitz) has impressed me more, recently than the guys before him. He’s a pitcher from UCSB, I have also described Shane Bieber, Dillon Tate, and Kyle Nelson, MLB Gauchos all.
The conference tournament turn bonkers this weekend, and the regionals are next weekend. In case a Cubs game turns non-competitive.