Talk about making a good first impression.
The Cubs selected UCLA’s Chase Strumpf with their second-round pick (64th overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday night. He’s a talented prospect, which became clear minutes later when the Bruins second baseman slammed a three-run home run in an NCAA super regional game against Loyola Marymount.
Check out the time stamp on MLB’s official draft account tweeting out Strumpf’s selection:
TWO MINUTES EARLIER!
It was an incredible night for Strumpf, who also doubled for the Bruins in a series-clinching 6-3 victory over the Lions. UCLA will likely face Michigan in a three-game super regional series later this weekend as it battles to make the College World Series in Omaha.
The Cubs may have gotten a winning pick in the second baseman. ESPN’s Keith Law rated him as the 57th-best prospect in this year’s class, noting that a down season dropped him from being selected higher up.
Strumpf had a monster sophomore season for UCLA in which he batted .363/.475/.633 with 23 doubles and 12 homers in 58 games, per D1Baseball.com. However, the 21-year-old lost nearly 80 points on batting average this season, and while he’s still earning walks at a high rate, his overall batting line has dipped to .285/.422/.489.
That allowed the Cubs to select Strumpf with their pick late in the second round, which might end up looking smart if he’s more like the 2018 version of himself than the 2019 version.
Based on Monday night’s showing, you can see why the club’s scouts would be optimistic about Strumpf’s potential as a smooth-swinging middle infielder. It’s fair to say it’s a night he will remember.