After some recent draft rumors suggested that popular Cubs draft targets, Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State and Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge (HS) may not be available when the Cubs pick at 21st overall, it begged the question, “Who would you take?”
Notes: College Hitter Trey Sweeney led the pack here, but all four of the possible draft options had significant support.
Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois University
Report: Sweeney is a rising prospect who sports top-of-the-line hitting data. Sweeney both hits the ball hard and also does not whiff often (87% contact rate). He is a likely 3B at the next level. Sweeney has a chance for an above-average hit and power tool.
Notes: Gavin Williams and James Triantos paced the way in this vote. Ultimately the upside of a frontline arm like Gavin Williams was too much to pass up.
Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina University
Report: Williams shows off a top-of-rotation profile on the mound led by a plus fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. Williams also showcases a dynamic curveball thrown in the upper 70s to low 80s. His slider and changeup add in average third and fourth pitches that scouts feel should each be better with professional instruction. There has been chatter of concern over prior injuries, but a broken finger is hardly a long-term concern after 81+ dominant innings in 2021. His age of 22 may hold some teams back.
Notes: In a poll packed with a mix of high floors and high ceilings, the voters decided to side with the metrically amazing college bat of Aaron Zavala.
Aaron Zavala, RF, University of Oregon
Report: Standing just 6’0″, the Oregon rightfielder put on a bit of a show in the NCAA Regionals when he drove a double deep into the damp Oregon night. Zavala has a solid, accurate arm that plays well in right field. Zavala has solid weight transfer and stays balanced through the hitting zone. There could be some improvements in hip rotation to minimize wasted energy (which should be cleaned up with professional), but it’s a short, compact swing. His batting metrics are exceptional.
The Final Selection!
With the 21st selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, you selected (for the Chicago Cubs), Gavin Williams, RHP, out of East Carolina University. As you can see, it was a very close decision with all three possible options garnering significant vote totals.
Final Selection: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina University
It’s been a blast to have the opportunity to analyze this Draft class as I’ve started Ivy Futures, and while it’s been successful, I’ve also learned a lot along the way to improve when I start next year’s rankings. Thanks for joining me on this journey.