Chicago Cubs: 2019 MLB Draft grades for NL Central

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, MLB Draft
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs went heavy on relief pitchers with their first five picks. How does their draft match up against the rest of their division?

The Chicago Cubs have wrapped up another draft and took 22 pitchers. It’s been the recent trend the last couple years after taking the best bat available in the first few years in the Theo Epstein/Tom Ricketts era.

All of the position players have graduated to the big leagues or been sent off as part of a trade package for pitching. In the 2019 MLB Draft, the Cubs drafted several relief pitchers as their bullpen has blown 31 saves over the last two seasons, which is sixth most in the National League.

Guys like Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Brandon Morrow and Brad Brach can all be free agents after this season, so it was a smart strategy to stock up on bullpen arms. They also took several promising position prospects so the Cubs appear to have set themselves up nicely for the future.

But how did they grade compared to their division?

The Reds held the 7th overall pick. The Pirates and Cardinals selected back-to-back with the 18th and 19th overall picks, respectively. The Cubs and Brewers were back-to-back at the 27th and 28th overall picks, respectively.

Heading into the draft, here were the needs for each team:

  • Chicago Cubs: Starting pitching, relief pitching, middle infield, outfield
  • Cincinnati Reds: Starting pitching, middle infield, catcher
  • Milwaukee Brewers: Starting pitching, outfield, catcher
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: Starting pitching, relief pitching, catcher, outfield
  • St. Louis Cardinals: Starting pitching, outfield, second baseman

Now that all the dust has settled, here is a recap for each NL Central team and their respective grade for the first five rounds.