Chicago Cubs Draft 2015: Do Cubs Go For Pitcher Or Position Player?


On Monday night, MLB has its 2015 draft. The Chicago Cubs, sitting in the ninth position, will again get a pretty good prospect. The question is, will Theo Epstein go after a pitcher this time, or will he continue to go after position players as he has the last few years?

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Chicago Cubs

Monday night is the night MLB teams try to improve their future. The draft brings hope to those teams that have struggled. Just look at the Chicago Cubs’ situation now. Four years ago they were a basement dwelling team without much help in their minor league system.

Cubs president Theo Epstein changed that by overhauling the minor league system. He also drafted well with a slew of top of the draft picks, and after also trimming the fat contracts, now has the Cubs on the doorstep of playoff contention.

Epstein had success by drafting position players while other teams drafted pitching. Now he has a plethora of offensive prospects on his hand and plenty of teams at his door looking to deal for them.

The question of the night will be this — will Epstein change gears and go with a pitching dominant draft, or will he continue to go with position players?

This year’s draft will be shortstop-heavy at the top. The top three picks are expected to be shortstops. This could be caused by the success Epstein had with his shortstops. Those players are usually the best athletes, and can move around the diamond more easily than other players. Starlin Castro, Addison Russel, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara were all originally shortstops, but only Castro is still currently playing that spot regularly.

At nine, most mock drafts have the Cubs choosing pitcher Carson Fulmer out of Vanderbilt.

Fulmer has an electric fastball. He can hit 97 miles per hour regularly, but can rear back and break 100 mph at times. He also has a great curveball that can confound hitters sitting on his fastball.

Fulmer is also a fierce competitor on the mound. He throws his fastball with conviction. He does not just throw it hoping for weak contact, he wants to throw it with a purpose. There is no wasted movement and he throws effective pitches.

The knock on Fulmer is his size. He is just 5-foot-11. Many scouts believe that with his height he may be pushed to the bullpen. The way he throws his pitches, however, I think he could be a good starter in the big leagues.

Another possible pick for the Cubs is center fielder Andrew Benintendi from Arkansas. This season, he hit .390/.491/.723, with 18 home runs and 22 stolen bases on 26 attempts. He also has good plate discipline. In 260 plate appearances, he has a 16 percent walk-rate ratio (42 walks) and an 11.5 percent strikeout-rate (30 strikeouts).

Benintendi has the power to play the corner outfield and the speed to play center field. The only question about him is his average arm.

Benintendi has a line-drive approach at the plate. He is able to pull his hands and pull the ball when the situation calls for it. SOme consider him a Jacoby Ellsbury-type player.

Another possible choice for the Cubs is outfielder Kyle Tucker from Plant HS (FL).

Tucker is projected to be a number-three hitter in a lineup. At his age, he already has a very smooth and controlled swing that is better than most of the older prospects in the draft. He has great balance at the plate, and his swing is not long. He can hit the line drive, and is able to get loft on the ball as well.

Tucker is 6-foot-4 and weighs 175 pounds and could play center field. Teams may want him to bulk up, however, and he should be a very good right fielder.

Tucker’s offensive abilities may be too tempting for Epstein to pass up. He’s had success with infielders, and Tucker, who could be the Cubs’ final top-ten pick in the draft for some time, could add success in the outfield.

So, in the end, what will Epstein do? I believe with the team he has, he will go with the best available player, and the best player available at nine is Tucker. Some scouts project him as a future All Star, and he is young enough where he could be in the minors for awhile, and can be an integral part of the second wave of prospects that can hopefully continue the new Cubs’ winning ways that the first wave is trying to start.

Next: Five Players The Chicago Cubs Should Get To Be Real Contenders

More from Da Windy City