James Triantos, 3B, Madison (HS)
Report: A late addition to my board has been James Triantos, a SS (and RHP) out of Madison HS in Virginia. Triantos (SS, Madison HS) deserves some more publicity. His contact rate of 94% contact rate topped prep players in the showcase circuit last year with a similar max EV as Will Taylor, Harry Ford, and Colson Montgomery. Traintos has quite an arm and has good run times. He hails from Cubs area scout (and 2020 Stan Zielinski Scout of the Year) Billy Swoope’s territory. I also don’t think it would surprise me to hear the Cubs very interested in Triantos with an early selection. From my latest mock: “If there’s one player who could be this year’s Nick Yorke (who was a surprise mid-first round selection), I’ll say it is James Triantos.”
Drew Gray, LHP, IMG Academy (HS)
Report: Gray was announced by the Cubs as a pitcher, but on the MLB tracker as an OF. He is likely a LHP at the next level where he’s showcased elite spin metrics on his fastball. As a recent convert to pitching there isn’t a lot of wear and tear on the arm.
Christian Franklin, OF, Arkansas
Report: Franklin will show plus raw power. He has the ability to stick in CF at least early in his career. The bar for an above average CF in the majors is low. If Franklin is drafted by an organization with a strong hitting infrastructure, he could be a stud. However, his biggest risk is the significant swing and miss (28.4 K% for the season). Some scouts see a fourth-OF profile. He’s a dynamic athlete and a fan-favorite for Arkansas.
Liam Spence, SS, Tennessee
Report: A senior sign and a contact bat. Spence is already 23 years old so he should offer some savings since the Cubs have gone aggressive in this draft with impact talent in earlier rounds. Don’t let that discourage you on Spence. He’s a very talented player who had over 50 games in a row of getting on base for Tennessee this past season (fact courtesy of Nathanael Rutherford @Mr_Rutherford on Twitter).
Riley Martin, LHP, Quincy University
Report: The senior signs continue for the Cubs with Martin who carved up Division II hitters to the tune of a 3.55 ERA with 17.39 K/9 (!). On May 7th he threw a 7 inning, 3 hit, 1 run, 4 walk, 19 K outing.
Parker Chavers, OF, Coastal Carolina
Report: Another senior sign, but a high upside selection. Chavers could have gone in the 2020 draft, but clearly indicated a number teams weren’t willing to reach. His 2021, was a small step back in terms of productions, but he represents strong value in his upside.
Casey Opitz, C, Arkansas
Report: The senior signs continue with @PitchingNinja favorite, Casey Opitz. Optiz is believed to be one of the few college catchers to call his own games and he has a strong arm behind the plate. I wouldn’t count on the bat producing big numbers, but he’s a steady and reliable back-up catcher which is immensely valuable to develop.
Chase Watkins, LHP, Oregon State
Report: If you throw left-handed, the Cubs appear to have you on a list. Watkins is a “deep cut” and likely a pure scouting move. He is a 6’4″ lefty who only pitched in relief (4.88 ERA, 38 Ks in 31 innings) sporting an upper 80s/low 90s fastball. His primary secondary appears to be a curveball. The big question is starter vs reliever. His high in innings this season was three.
Peter Matt, OF, Duke
Report: Peter Matt, owner of two first names, stealer of hearts (possibly but I can’t verify) is another senior sign (23 years old) out of Duke. His power exploded this past season easily setting his career high at 15 in 2021.
Day 2 Wrap-up
The second day of the draft built upon the first perfectly. Today had everything, upside high school talent, toolsy players, small school selections, and shocking picks (Christian Franklin). I’ll have a wrap up of Day three of the Draft (likely won’t be live-blogging) and follow me on Twitter @IvyFutures.
If you get a chance, check out the more in depth breakdown of James Triantos, the Cubs second round pick.