Chicago Cubs Select James Triantos in Second Round of MLB Draft

With the 56th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Chicago Cubs selected James Triantos, 3B, Madison HS.

Ivy Futures Report: James Triantos (SS, Madison HS) sported impressive batted-ball data. 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.”

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Triantos reclassified to the 2021 ranks from 2022, where he was one of the better two-way prospects in that class. As a pitcher, he has a solid four pitch mix, primarily led by a FB in the low-90’s and an advanced CB in the high-70’s with great shape. He has a SL and a CH to boot in the low-80’s. Low-effort delivery, as well. As a bat, where most expect him to end up, he has a good feel for the barrel and shows off some sneaky pop for a guy who is 6’0″, 185. Hit 2 bombs at WWBA, including the longest of the tournament at 424 feet.

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Originally part of the Class of 2022, Triantos reclassified to join the 2021 Draft class, leading to scouts flocking to Virginia to check him out as he gained traction as a serious pop-up prospect. A two-way standout at James Madison High School, his future as a professional lies in his ability in the batter’s box, and he had so much helium that it looked possible he’d be the first player at Madison to get taken in the first few rounds since Jay Franklin was a first-round pick in 1971.

There are some polarizing opinions about Triantos and his upside, with scouts who like him really believing in the bat. Some see a future plus hitter with a feel for the barrel and good bat speed. There’s some surprising power given he’s not the biggest guy in the world, though he’s very physical. Detractors feel he can get stuck with a predetermined approach from the right side of the plate and can guess wrong.

Even fans of Triantos feel he won’t be a shortstop at the next level. He has the arm for the left side of the infield, with those who dream seeing a little Alex Bregman or fellow Virginia high school product David Wright, albeit a bit less athletic. The University of North Carolina recruit gets high marks for his baseball IQ and work ethic, another reason why he could hear his name called in the top five rounds.

MLB Pipeline

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Greg Zumach

Following the Cubs minor leagues and the MLB draft has been my passion since I became a fan. I try to focus on deeper dives into players along with MLB Draft content throughout the year.

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