After focusing on the infield on Day 2 two of the 2023 MLB Draft following the selections of Matt Shaw and Jaxon Wiggins on Day 1, the Cubs closed out the draft Tuesday by using nine of their ten picks on college players (six pitchers, three position players) while taking just one high school bat. Now comes the process of signing as many as they can and bringing them into the fold.
“We’re really happy with the way it unfolded,” Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz told reporters Tuesday. “There’s always a chance that there’s some surprises that sort of crop up between now and the signing deadline, and potentially a little leakage in certain places. But for the most part, I think when you look at it as a whole, I wouldn’t expect the signing process to be too eventful — in a positive way.”
Here is a recap of the Cubs’ 10 selections on Day 3 of the draft:
Round 11 (326th overall): Zyhir Hope, OF, Colonial Forge HS (VA)
Round 12 (356th overall): Carter Trice, 2B, NC State
After two strong years at Old Dominion, Trice transferred to NC State ahead of the 2023 season. He slashed .248/.348/.479 in his sole season with the Wolfpack while splitting time as an outfielder and designated hitter. He is also putting together a strong summer for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League with a .962 OPS in seven games.
Round 13 (386th overall): Sam Armstrong, RHP, Old Dominion
Armstrong is coming off a solid season for Old Dominion in which he started fifteen games and posted a 3.51 ERA. He struck out 72 batters and walked only 28 across 77 innings of work while posting a 1.260 WHIP.
He has thrown 10 innings across two appearances for the Harwich Mariners of the CCBL and has not allowed an earned run while posting a 4.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Round 14 (416th overall): Grayson Moore, RHP, Vanderbilt
Moore got better each season with the Commodores as he dropped a freshman year ERA of 9.00 down to 3.08 in 2023. He threw 26 1/3 innings across 12 appearances and struck out 36 batters compared to just 10 walks in the process.
He threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his lone outing for the Sanford River Rats of the Florida Collegiate Summer League and allowed just one hit while striking out six.
Round 15 (446th overall): Ty Johnson, RHP, Ball State
Just like Moore, Johnson got better each year for Ball State before posting a 4.53 ERA across 16 appearances in 2023. He featured a three-pitch arsenal of a mid-90s fastball, a Vulcan changeup and a slider en route to his 11.4 strikeouts-per-nine innings this past season.
Round 16 (476th overall): Daniel Brown, LHP, Campbell University
Brown appeared in just four games (pitched a total of one inning) for Campbell in 2023. Has a powerful fastball that touches triple digits, but clearly has a lot of room for development.
Said Kantrovitz: “I think that’s a good one that probably should raise some eyebrows. He threw, I think, a total of one inning this year. He had a little difficulty, I think, probably finding the zone, but frankly, to be fair to him, probably didn’t really get the chance that a guy with that kind of arm strength, in our estimation, deserved. We want to give him that chance. … Obviously, when you come into the system, haven’t pitched much in a game setting, and when you did it was scattered control, there’s going to be a lot of work to do there. I think he’s going to be somebody that just comes in with some pretty top-of-the-charts raw tools, if you will, from, a pitch-metric standpoint, a pitch-shape standpoint, and even just a scouting-eval standpoint. Just let our player development sort of work with him and see where we can go. But it’s not every day in the teams at the draft that you find a lefty that can touch triple digits and spin the ball the way he can and combine that with the athleticism. Should be a fun one.”
Round 17 (506th overall): Ethan Flanagan, LHP, UCLA
Flanagan has spent just two years at UCLA and holds two more years of college eligibility, but he has shown plenty of promise in his time with the Bruins.
As primarily a reliever in 2022, he posted a 3.28 ERA across 25 appearances while tallying 76 strikeouts to 28 walks. He started six of his nine appearances in 2023, which saw his ERA rise to 5.12.
Round 18 (536th overall): Brian Kalmer, 3B, Gonzaga
Kalmer transferred to Gonzaga after winning JUCO Player of the Year at Wabash Community College, and he dominated in 2023 with the Zags. He slashed .358/.454/.682 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs — all of which led Gonzaga.
Round 19 (566th overall): Nick Dean, RHP, Maryland
Dean spent four years as a starter for the Terrapins and posted a 13-6 record across 46 starts. His best season came in 2021 when he posted a 2.87 ERA with a 3.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 53 1/3 innings of work. He features a four-pitch arsenal of a fastball, a changeup, a slider and a 12-6 curveball.
Round 20 (596th overall): Drew Bowser, 3B, Stanford
The final selection for the Cubs in the 2023 MLB Draft, Bowser slashed .271/.342/.512 in 2023 for Stanford. He amassed 39 home runs and 139 RBIs across three seasons with the Cardinal while holding a 26 percent strikeout rate and an 8.5 percent walk rate.