Tuesday was an interesting one as the Cubs selected eight more players to join the organization. The day started off with a rapid selection of starting pitchers, including promising Keegan Thompson in the third round. As the day wore on, the Cubs drafted five pitchers and three position players.
At first glance, I like what the Cubs collected. They took some chances by selecting OF Nelson Velazquez, an extremely raw player from Puerto Rico. He could be a star or a bust. Erich Uelmen might be a sneaky sign. Cal Poly-SLO is not a magnet for players, but the Cubs got Casey Bloomquist from there two years ago.
I think almost all of today’s picks will sign, though 6th round pick Jeremiah Estrada might go to UCLA rather than play for the Cubs.
Here are some brief notes and some video on each player taken by the Cubs today.
Keegan Thompson – SP – Auburn
Pitchability is a major plus
22 years old
Came back with a very good season after having TJS, but his stuff is still coming around. He appeared in 15 games as a starter with a 2.41 ERA, striking out 75 while walking only 17 in 93.1 IP. MLB.com discussed his stuff in a brief video clip.
I like that he has overcome adversity with TJS and now focuses on getting batters out versus blowing everyone away. His curveball is a plus pitch. Like Thomas Hatch, and likely Alex Lange, he may be move a bit faster or at the least start higher at Myrtle Beach next year.
Thompson was also a former teammate of Trevor Clifton and Tyler Alamo on USA Baseball.
Erich Uelmen – SP – Cal Poly SLO
21 years old
Improving rapidly from year-to-year
Same school as Casey Bloomquist
Uelmen threw 98.1 innings this year. As a result, I doubt if he sees significant action this year. His junior-year stats are outstanding. He struck out 100 with a 2.93 ERA and only walked 23. Baseball America spoke highly of him (BA #273). He comes across as an ascending player.
Nelson Velazquez – OF – Puerto Rico
Originally came to the US and went back. He is very much unrefined and relatively unknown, though I did find an article in Spanish that detailed a game in which he crushed two home runs. He was the third ranked position player from Puerto Rico behind Heliot Ramos and Ricardo de la Torre (who went one pick behind in the 6th).
Sounds like he is coming into his own and is likely destined for rookie ball in Mesa.
P.S. His stance makes him look like the spitting image of one Sammy Sosa.
Jeremiah Estrada – P – Palm Desert HS
Throws right, switch hits
Has some room to fill in on his frame
In 2016, he was one of the top pitchers on the summer All-Star circuit. His stuff was not as good in his senior season, but MLB.com ranked him at #93 in their Top 200.
It looks like he could be a hard sign.
#Cubs 6th round pick Jeremiah Estrada: “Most likely, I’ll choose UCLA… It’s longer, but I think it’s worth it.” 5/5
— Wes Saver (@Savermetrics) June 13, 2017
Ricky Tyler Thomas – P – Fresno State
I profiled him early in the season when he was going great.
I think he might get some rest this summer. Then again, he profiles as more of a reliever, so we could see him in Eugene out of the pen.
Austin Filiere – 3B – MIT
Hit 13 HRs every year
MIT has a baseball team?
Played well for Harwich in the Cape Cod League and played outfield there. He hit 7 HRs with 27 RBI in just over 30 games in 2016.
Per @ballskwok on Twitter, Peter Gammons did a nice write-up on him.
He should be in Eugene after he signs.
Chris Carrier – OF – Memphis
Still room to grow
He hit .330 with 16 HRs, 50 RBI and an OBP of .438 in his senior season. Like Filiere, Carrier will head to Eugene for most of the summer.
Brian Glowicki – RP – Minnesota
From Downers Grove
Glowicki recorded 16 saves with a 2.20 ERA during his senior year, striking out 39 in 32.2 IP. Opponents hit just .216 against him. A huge Red Sox growing up, Glowicki will have some adjusting to do.
Say hello to Eugene, he should love it there in the summer.