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Cubs take LHP Jordan Wicks, White Sox take SS Colson Montgomery at 21 and 22 in first round of draft

MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds predicted Wicks will be the first player in the draft to reach the big leagues.

Fans watch during the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft Sunday in Denver.
Fans watch during the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft Sunday in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP

DENVER — The Cubs and White Sox picked back-to-back at Nos. 21 and 22 Sunday in the first round of the MLB Draft.

The Cubs took Kansas State left-hander Jordan Wicks, a 6-3, 220-pounder with a mid-90s fastball and what analysts covering the event on MLB Network called the best changeup in the draft. Analyst Harold Reynolds predicted Wicks will be the first player in the draft to reach the big leagues.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Wicks said. “It’s something you dream about. And I just couldn’t be happier to be wearing blue right now.”

Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz called Wicks the best college lefty in the draft and said he was in the top 10 overall on the team’s internal draft board.

“To get one of them was definitely exciting,” Kantrovitz said.

The Sox took Indiana high school shortstop Colson Montgomery, a 6-4, 205-pounder projected by some scouts as a third baseman. Montgomery, who hits from the left side, said moments after the pick that he wants to be a shortstop. He was his high school football team’s starting quarterback and the basketball program’s career scoring leader.

He seems to have picked the right sport.

“Especially with this moment here,” he said, choked up. “So I guess I made the right decision.”

Sox director of amateur scouting Mike Shirley was in on Montgomery from the start of his high school career.

“He’s famous,” Shirley said, “and he really piqued my attention early on.”

Catcher Henry Davis, a first-team All-American at Louisville, went No. 1 overall to the Pirates. At No. 2 to the Rangers went Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter, son of longtime big-league lefty Al Leiter. Mississippi State pitcher Will Bednar, the Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series, went 14th to the Giants.

The remaining 19 rounds will unfold Monday and Tuesday.