Chicago Cubs: Team goes heavy on pitching in Day 2 draft picks

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs hope to follow a solid first day of the draft in which they took Ryan Jensen and Chase Strumpf in the 1st and 2nd round, respectively.

The Chicago Cubs had a productive first day of the 2019 MLB Draft in which they addressed two needs: pitching and the middle infield. They selected Fresno State pitcher Ryan Jensen with the 27th overall pick in the first round and UCLA second basemen Chase Strumpf with the 64th overall pick.

Let’s take a look at the player’s the team drafted on Day 2:

Round 3, 103rd overall: Michael McAvene, RHP (Louisville)

McAvene began his career at Louisville as a starter but his season ended prematurely as he neeed Tommy John Surgery in 2017. He came back in 2018 but as a reliever, making 11 appearances and tossed 10.1 innings with 15 strikeouts walked 7 and collected 2 saves.

This past season, he was pretty solid for the Cardinals, making 21 appearances while tossing 30.1 innings and struck out 46 batters while walking just 9. He also allowed opponents to bat just 0.160 against him while collecting 7 saves. Some scouts like his chances to be a starter given his stature at 6-3 and 210 pounds.

"McAvene shows good arm speed and has been up to 97 mph with his fastball, sitting mostly in the 92-95 mph range out of the bullpen. He has shown an above-average slider and a curveball that grades as a fringe-average offering. After struggling to control the ball pre- and post-injury as a freshman and sophomore, McAvene walked just seven batters through his first 27 innings this spring.- BaseballAmerica"

Round 4, 132nd overall: Chris Clarke, RHP (USC)

Another guy who has already had Tommy John Surgery. Clarke stands at 6-7, 212 pounds. He has slowly become just a bullpen guy. In his freshman season, he made 20 appearances (11 starts) tossing 73.1 innings with 44 strikeouts but allowed opponents to bat 0.325 off him.

In his sophomore season, he made just 6 starts in 18 appearances. He threw 57.2 innings and struck out 45 to just 18 walks and collected 1 save. Clarke had a breakout season in the bullpen last year for the Trojans making 27 appearances (0 starts), tossing 52.1 innings and struck out 60 batters to 18 walks. Opponents batted just 0.170 off him and he collected 8 saves.

"Clarke began 2019 as USC’s setup man and became the Trojans’ closer when Connor Lunn ascended to the rotation. He quickly took to the role and was effective in both one-inning and multiple-inning stints. Clarke is a 6-foot-7 righthander who looks the part of a major league reliever. His fastball sits 92-95 mph with sink, and he complements his heater with a 70-grade curveball that is his out-pitch. Clarke is a good athlete despite his size and fills up the strike zone. He had Tommy John surgery in high school and his stuff drops off when he pitches back-to-back days, but he’s shown the ability to be effective even at lower velocities. – BaseballAmerica"