Draft Preview: Funkhouser Is Still Around, Will He Fall to the Cubs?
Last night, 77 young men had their dream come true with their selection in the MLB Draft. Some high profile names were taken lower than expected, some were taken higher, and some prospects just fell and were not selected. As you are probably already aware, the Cubs were not involved with any of them, though there will be a lot of good players left when they make their first selection in the draft at #27 in the third round. In all, the Cubs will make eight selections today and you can follow rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 pm on MLB.com only.
Here are five names Cubs could take with their first pick at #104:
It has been my dream that he would fall to the Cubs, but I don’t know that he gets there. If he does, the Cubs would get a top 5 talent and a pitcher who redeemed himself in the second half of the season. Funkhouser has four quality pitches that he’s had trouble commanding in the past.
At 6’2” and 195 lbs, he reminds me of Zach Hedges. When you watch him throw, though, he’s got better stuff. He throws a 93-95 FB and mixes in an upper 70’s slider. He does have some projection left, but not much. The RHP hails from Mishawaka, Indiana and is committed to Indiana University.
The closer from Cal-State Fullerton would be a very good pick. As a reliever, he flashes an excellent fastball in the 95 mph range and is considered to be the best closer after the already-taken Zach Burdi from Louisville.
The RHP from St. Mary’s threw three shutouts in a row this year. He has a nice frame at 6’3” 200 lbs and he is the kind of small school selection the Cubs have made the past few years. He throws in the mid-90’s and needs some work on his secondaries.
The 21-year-old draft-eligible sophomore tore it up for South Carolina after missing time from TJS. At 6’2” and a 195 lbs, the right-hander touches 95-96 mph and adds in a mid-70’s 12-to-6 curveball, which is just not fair. He also has a change with a bit of a fade. Webb has a lot of negotiating power and would cost a large portion of the pool. He might be worth it though.
Wow, this list is all pitchers. I do think that is the direction the Cubs will go and I think they’ll lean toward a college pitcher. With just $2.3 million to spend on the whole draft, they are more than likely to take a senior. This regime has gone with bats first in the past, but there are plenty of pitchers available today with high upsides, something the Cubs would like to have more of in their system.
If forced to order them by preference, I would go with Funkhouser, Hockin, and then Burnes. I think whatever was wrong with Funkhouser was more mental than physical. He wants to be a pro and I think he will prosper at the next level, either as a starter or a reliever.
Five bonus names
Zach Linginfelter – RHP – HS – Big kid, not a lot of projection, but has a big arsenal; would cost a pretty penny.
Cooper Johnson – C – Mundelein – Great defensive profile, bat is coming along.
Brad Deebo – C – HS – Nice LH bat, don’t know if he would stay at catcher though.
Drew Harrington – LHP – Louisville – Can start, can relieve, ACC pitcher of the year; very solid pick.
Zac Gallen – RHP – UNC – He is what he is. Not a high ceiling, but he is very good now.