The 2016 Major League Baseball Draft has come and gone, and it’s time for teams to negotiate deals with their draftees. The Chicago Cubs didn’t have a pick until the third round, due to their free agent signings.
They spent that pick on Thomas Hatch, a Redshirt sophomore, who was the Cowboys ace for much of the season, helping them to their first College World Series in 17 years.
For the season, Hatch finished with a 2.14 ERA, he made 19 starts, pitched 130 1/3 innings, walked just 33, struck out 112, and an opponent batting average of .233, that’s what an ace should do.
What’s an even more remarkable feat, Hatch only gave up four runs in the entire postseason — that spans from regionals, super regionals, and the College World Series.
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Going into his last start vs Arizona, he had a 26 inning scoreless streak over the entire postseason.
Hatch wasn’t the only Cowboy that the Cubs drafted, as Trey Cobb was also selected by the Cubs in the 12th round. Cobb has spent time as both a starter and a reliever this season, most of his time at Oklahoma State has been spent out of the bullpen.
At the next level, Cobb would project better as a reliever. He’s got strikeout stuff, with 100 K’s in 81 2/3 innings, to go along with six saves. Over Cobb’s career, he has totaled eight saves and only made 13 starts, with 12 of them coming this season.
Hatch’s fastball sits anywhere from 90-93, with some nice secondary breaking stuff, including a sharp slider, that sits from 79-82. The Chicago Cubs front office emphasized the need for impact pitching in this draft, wanting to find a future ace, and they loaded up on pitching.
Hatch certainly has the potential to move through the minor league system quickly, and be a good starter in the Major Leagues, but this front office has been careful with their pitching prospects during their tenure.
In total, the Cubs had 38 picks in this draft, and they spent 27 of them on pitchers. It’s clear now that this front office really wants to load up on pitching prospects, the same way that they did with hitting prospects, which has paid off for them so far.