Chicago Cubs: 2019 MLB Draft grades for NL Central

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs drafted three relief pitchers with their first five picks.

Here were the first five rounds for the Chicago Cubs:

1st round, 27th overall: Ryan Jensen, RHP (Fresno State)

Jensen projects to be a back end of the bullpen guy. His fastball touches the upper 90’s easily and compliments it with a solid slider. He was ranked as the 99th best draft prospect and this feels like a reach for the Cubs, but perhaps they felt he would not be there in the second round.

2nd round, 64th overall: Chase Strumpf, 2B (UCLA)

The Cubs needed middle infield help due to the unknown long-term future of Addison Russell, the impending free agency for Ben Zobrist, and David Bote better serving as a utility guy. They took second basemen Chase Strumpf who was ranked as the 41st best draft prospect. He’s an extremely offensive-minded second baseman, but there’s a lot to like in that bat.

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

McAvene was ranked as the 174th best prospect in the draft so perhaps another reach. However, he was terrific as Louisville’s closer this season locking down 7 saves in 30.1 innings of work. He throws an easy 100 mph and has a breaking ball that rates as a plus.

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

Clarke was the closer for the Trojans this spring and locked down 8 saves while allowing opponents to bat just 0.170 off him to the tune of a 1.03 ERA. The 6-7, 212 pound reliever features a fastball that touches 95 mph and a curveball that’s considered his “out” pitch.

Related Story. 3 draft picks who could see Wrigley in 2020. light

5th round, 162nd overall: Josh Burgmann, RHP (Washington)

The 6-0, 205 pound draft eligible sophomore completed his first year as a starting pitcher for the Huskies this spring. He made 8 appearances as a reliever in his true freshman season before needing Tommy John Surgery. Last season, Burgmann threw 79.0 innings and struck out 101 batters while walking just 22 in 14 starts. His fastball reaches 95 mph and compliments that with an above average slider and curveball.

Five-round draft grade: B-