With this MOD, the Cubbies should be caught up with at least half of the pack right now. Today we're going to discuss potential targets at pick 45, beginning with headliners such as Jacob Gatewood (3B from CAL HS) & Michael Gettys (Georgia HS OF/RHP), who very well could fall to pick 45.
Gatewood looks like the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the draft, with immense raw power and a plus arm as well. Originally a top 5 prospect coming into this season, his hit tool (or lack thereof) has been brutally exposed this year, and the industry has backed away from him, as most expect him to go in the compensatory picks and get an over-slot deal there. Could be a superstar 3B/RF, or a Double-A flame-out.
Gettys, like Gatewood, has the talent of a top 10 pick, but he comes with considerable risk as well. He possesses one of the few 80 grades in the draft in his arm, whether it be from the outfield or on the mound. Most expect him to be drafted as an outfielder, due to not only his cannon arm, but he also has a potentially plus glove out in CF as well, giving him huge defensive tools. Speed is good, and he has solid to above-average raw power. I think the power/speed tools he has along with the terrific defensive ones will be too enticing for a team to draft him as a pitcher, and not as an outfielder. Will be a franchise CF, or a AAAA player that can't hack major league pitching, though that floor is pretty generous, considering his questionable contact skills.
Mac Marshall, LHP, HS (Georgia) - One of my favorite players in the draft, Marshall has an under-the-radar arsenal for a high school pitcher, already having a good changeup and a developing curveball. His arm speed for his change is excellent, and it should be a plus pitch in the future. The curve is his 3rd pitch, and it's an inconsistent offering at present, but it has the potential be a solid, possibly even an above-average pitch in time. The fastball is solid right now, sitting in the 89-91 range and has touched 92, and once he fills his 6'2" frame out, it should be a plus offering in the 91-94 range. Marshall's got a much better shot at falling to 45 than Gettys & Gatewood do, but he'd likely need an over-slot deal in order to sign.
Southpaw Justus Sheffield (TENN), and righties Spencer Adams (GA) & Michael Kopech (TEX) are three other high school arms that could be a great get at 45, should they fall there, but would likely require an over-slot deal as well.
Onto to the college candidates:
A.J. Reed, 1B, University of Kentucky - Reed is one of the better power-hitting prospects in the draft, and it's no surprise when you see how big he is, as he's listed at 6'4" 245. He's fairly unique, in that he has a plus arm, but just doesn't have the mobility to put it to use, and can only play 1B, where he should be an average fielder there. He has a solid approach at the plate and could get on-base at a good clip in the big leagues, and his hit tool is good enough for it not to hold his power back, though he will need to hit better against lefties in time.
Spencer Turnbull, RHP, University of Alabama - Turnbull would be the prototypical pick if our 1st selection wasn't an under-slot deal. He's polished and has a filled-out frame. He possesses two quality pitches right now with a mid 90s fastball and an above-average to plus curveball. His downfall is his 3rd pitch, his changeup. It has flashed here & there, but it's a below-average offering presently, and Turnbull would honestly be lucky if it were to develop into an average pitch. His command was average at-best at Alabama, and would need to improve by at least half a grade, if not by a full one, if he wants to maintain his ceiling, which is a good #4 starter, though he'd have a chance at being a solid #3 if the changeup were to make progress.
Matt Imhof, LHP, Cal Poly - Imhof is a personal favorite, and could very well be the pick at 45 if he falls and, again, if the #4 selection wasn't an under-slot guy. He has two above-average pitches right now in his fastball & slider, and his changeup has been a useful pitch at the very least. He's a big southpaw at 6'5" 220, and has a little more room to fill out his frame, which could bump his 89-93 mph fastball up a tick or two. His command is mediocre at-best right now, and it'll have to improve by a full grade if he wants to live up to his potential, but if he does do that and improve the changeup, he could be a sneaky good #3 starter.
Obviously I left out quite a few names, so feel free to list anyone in the comments below, as I'm sure I overlooked a good prospect or two.
Have been thinking it over a little bit, and while I wouldn't mind selecting someone like Aaron Nola at #4 and then selecting a high-ceiling kid at pick 45, I think I'm leaning towards taking the BPA. I remember there being some unrealistic drafts last year, where a team would take not one, but two tough signability guys with their first two picks, and not that many quality high schoolers made it to the 2nd round. This is a deep draft, though, so there will be some good prospects available at 45, we'll just have to wait & see which type of prospect we'll be targeting.