Chicago Cubs: 5 biggest steals on Day 3 of 2019 MLB draft

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

1. Nelson Maldonado, OF (Florida)

Nelson Maldonado is smaller in stature, standing at just 5-10, 195 pounds but the Chicago Cubs should be excited about grabbing the former Florida Gator in the 21st round of the 2019 MLB Draft. He was a four-year starter in Gainesville and finished with a combined 0.292 batting average, 31 home runs and 149 RBIs.

He put up a career-best 0.332/0.393/0.571 slash line in his senior season to go along with 10 home runs and 41 RBI’s. Maldonado has also shown early success in wood bat leagues slashing 0.308/0.444/0.517 with 4 home runs and 22 RBI’s in 35 games of the 2016 Northwoods League.

His defensive profile is not going to “wow” anyone but he hit very well in arguably the best conference in college baseball, the SEC. Maldonado injured his arm in the 2017 season, which prompted the move from right field to full-time designated hitter for the Gators after he was still experiencing issues in the spring of 2018.

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He projects to be a left fielder but has a strong chance to stick as a designated hitter. With the DH potentially coming to the National League, there is a likelihood for Maldonado’s bat to stick around in the Cubs organization.