Chicago Cubs: Checking in on last season’s Rule 5 draft additions

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Luis Lugo #47 of Italy pitches in the bottom of the first inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 5 between Italy and Puerto Rico at Panamericano Stadium on March 12, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Luis Lugo #47 of Italy pitches in the bottom of the first inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 5 between Italy and Puerto Rico at Panamericano Stadium on March 12, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Rafelin Lorenzo, C, South Bend Cubs

The Tampa Bay Rays originally signed Rafelin Lorenzo in 2013 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic when Lorenzo was just 17 years old. After spending four seasons in the Rays minor league system, Lorenzo became Rule-5 eligible in 2017.

He was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a second-round Rule 5 pick, where he spent two seasons, both of which were pretty good. After never hitting above .250 in his professional baseball career, Lorenzo slashed .308/.333/.538 at Rookie ball his first year with the Pirates organization and followed it up the next season at Class-A by slashing .307/.315/.455.

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At the Rule 5 draft last season, Lorenzo was once again Rule 5 eligible, and the Cubs nabbed him. So far this season while at Class-A South Bend, Lorenzo is slashing a modest .263/.295/.404 with a .321 wOBA and 99 wRC+. He has three home runs and 12 RBI.

The Cubs have a deep catching depth between all levels, and it remains to be seen if and how Lorenzo ultimately fits into their plans. Over the previous two years, Lorenzo has managed to cut his strikeout rate down substantially while seeing an uptick in his walk rate.

Over his past ten games with South Bend, Lorenzo is slashing .258/.361/.323 with a couple of extra-base hits and an RBI. However, Lorenzo has managed to work his way to an impressive 13.9% walk rate and an above league average 106 wRC+.

From everything I have seen on Lorenzo, he displays a good amount of power and gives off a Carlos Santana type vibe and approach. Still just 22 years old, he does have time to build his production up and if all goes well could see the majors 2021-22.

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