2012 MLB Draft Results for the Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have a long way to go before they will contend, and the draft is where they plan on building the team.

The draft is not the boon of talent that most imagine it to be. To put things in perspective, when Keith Law did a redraft of the 2002 draft, Randy Wells was the 28th selection. So if a team gets a major leaguer out of the draft, they did a good job. If they get an everyday player, they’re doing great, and if they get a star, they killed it.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Cubs draft.

Round(Overall Pick)

1(6) Albert Almora (R/R) – Center Fielder, Mater Academy Charter School (HS)

Almora is a polished player for a high schooler and may be the best defensive center fielder in the draft. He has a great arm that would play in right and can run enough to cause a bit of chaos on the basepaths. He gets good reads on the ball out of center and should stick there. Almora should hit and hit for power, although neither tool is elite (think .280+/20). He has a good approach already that will hopefully help him cruise through the minors.

Comparisons to Adam Jones seem fitting, but should Almora become the player the Cubs hope they drafted, he would have more value than Jones thanks to better OBP and defense. Almora could be a perennial All Star, but may never be a serious MVP candidate. Almora has a high floor and a very good ceiling, and when mixed with his strong character, work ethic, and leadership, should become an excellent player.

Cubs ETA: 2015/2016

1C(43) Pierce Johnson – Right Handed Pitcher, Missouri State (JR)

Johnson would be a first rounder if not for a forearm strain, which could become a recurring issue. He successfully came back from injury and pitched well, with a low-90s fastball, a hard curve, and a changeup that needs work for Johnson to become a starter in the majors. He profiles as a mid-rotation guy or better (not an ace).

Cubs ETA: 2015

1C(56) Paul Blackburn – Right Handed Pitcher, Heritage High School (HS)

Blackburn probably didn’t take much time for the Cubs to pick, as he has an intriguing skill set this far in the draft. His fastball sits in the low-90s/upper-80s with projection for more velocity as he grows, with a good curveball and solid changeup to go with it. He’s another guy who is pretty polished right now that could end up as a mid-rotation starter.

Cubs ETA: 2017+

2(67) Duane Underwood – Right Handed Pitcher, Pope High School (HS)

Underwood is another interesting arm for the Cubs, with a fluid and smooth delivery that launches mid-90s fastballs. He also has a solid changeup and curveball, but lacks feel for either pitch. His velocity varies from start to start, dipping into the high mid-80s. Even so, Underwood turns 18 in July and has mid-rotation or better upside.

Cubs ETA: 2017+

3(101) Ryan McNeil – Right Handed Pitcher, Nipomo High School (HS)

McNeil isn’t quite the guy the other three pitchers are, but that’s why he was available in the third round. He can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, but has a lot of work to do before he starts to become a true prospect, but he is big and could be a back-end starter or reliever if things work out.

Cubs ETA: 2017+

4(134) Josh Conway – Right Handed Pitcher, Coastal Carolina (JR)

Conway blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery this season, but projected as a sandwich round pick prior to the injury. He throws a fastball, slider, and changeup, but none of them are above average. Ideally, he’d be a back-end starter.

Cubs ETA: 2017+


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