Chicago Cubs: Re-hashing some of Theo Epstein’s recent draft picks

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: 2013 1st round – No.2 overall 3B Kris Bryant

The 2013 draft still haunts me, knowing how close the Cubs were to missing on Kris Bryant. Thankfully, the Houston Astros took a hit for Chicago after selecting starting pitcher Mark Appel with the top overall pick.

This one is the most comfortable choice of them all. Bryant slashed .353/.486/.702 with a 1.188 OPS in three seasons at the University of San Diego. In his final year as a Torero, Bryant smashed 31 home runs and carried an OPS over 1.300.

Since then, Bryant has been named both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player and has helped to anchor this Cubs starting lineup. His 2019 campaign was a significant bounce back from the year prior, and still in his prime should have many more years of quality production.

Mark Appel, unfortunately, never amounted to much in professional baseball. Appel was drafted three different times, two of which landed him as a top ten pick. Disappointingly, injuries and inadequate production in the minor leagues led Appel to retire in 2018. For the Cubs, this will always be the draft where Bryant was the guy who almost got away.