Cubs will be much busier in MLB draft this year
The Cubs will have the 27th and 30th overall picks in the MLB draft Monday and four of the first 105 selections.
That compares favorably to last season, when the Cubs didn’t have a selection until No. 104, which they used on Oklahoma State right-hander Thomas Hatch.
The two first-round picks will come with nearly a $7.5 million signing-bonus slot.
“Last year we actually went to the beach,’’ senior vice president of scouting Jason McLeod said of drafting so late. “It was pretty laid back. I doubt we’ll be doing that this year. I know we won’t be doing that this year.’’
The Cubs famously selected hitters in the first drafts under team president Theo Epstein, with Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber among the success stories.
McLeod said the team isn’t necessarily eyeing pitching this time.
“The most impact player available,’’ he said. “We’re not going to try to invent a pitcher there. I’d love to be talking [Monday night] and say, ‘We got a pitcher that we’re excited about.’ But I don’t know if it’s going to fall that way.’’
McLeod described this year’s draft as “one of the more volatile years to try to do our projections.
“You maybe don’t have as many of the top-end college position players as in [other] years.
“There have been some injuries to some high school [pitchers]. So I think it’s a little more volatile in terms of what teams are going to do in front of us.
“It makes it a little harder for us, but it doesn’t change the way we prepare for it.’’
Contributing: Gordon Wittenmyer