MLB.com recently dropped a new mock simulation covering the first round of this June’s MLB Draft and have the Chicago Cubs drafting a catcher.
A month ago, a deal was reached between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association concerning the first-year player draft and what it will look like as the novel coronavirus continues to disrupt normalcy across the globe.
While we do know the draft will consist of a minimum of five rounds, with the ability to expand, fans remain unsure of when the draft will take place. The originally scheduled date, June 10, is one likelihood. It could also happen as late as July 20, per a piece from J.J. Cooper at Baseball America.
No matter the case, it will happen. That much we know. We also know the Chicago Cubs are slated to pick at number 16 overall. As the first-round talent outside of the top 10 has fluctuated, it remains a mystery who the Cubs see as a necessary fit. Enter Patrick Bailey.
As if we have not talked about catchers enough here at Cubbies Crib, we are doing just that once again with MLB.com’s latest draft report. The Cubs as we all know pick 16th this year, and with that comes a ton of available talent.
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One such name which I have become accustomed to, and would be happy with, is North Carolina State’s, Patrick Bailey. Bailey, who was in the middle of his junior year with the Wolfpack before the season was cut short, slashed .296/.466/.685 with a monster 1.151 OPS.
Regarding his overall power, it is impressive. Bailey hit 13 home runs as a freshman in 54 games with a .321 average and a .604 slugging percentage. This past season, Bailey was on his way to another double-digit home run count. Through his first 17 games, he posted a .389 ISO, mashing five home runs in just 54 at-bats.
Bailey improved many areas of his game since his freshman season. And while the offense is important, from a catching perspective, defense reigns supreme. He has been lauded for his above-average defensive abilities. His plus arm and ability to track without allowing balls in the dirt to pass by gives him a leg up above everyone. Lastly, Bailey keeps in charge of his game, which would be a positive thing for a fit with the Cubs.
The Cubs have an insane depth at the catcher position. It trickles down to rookie-level, with talent landing up and down the ladder. Bailey would only help to add to the talent, and give them a piece where other names could become trade bait as Bailey progresses through the system.
Bailey is someone who I am a fan of and, as stated above, would be happy if he did land in Chicago. He is a physical guy who provides a ton of prowess on both sides of the ball. As Willson Contreras helps to anchor the core, Bailey would be able to learn a ton from the backstop.
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The Cubs can and should continue to anchor their catching depth, especially if Minnesota starting pitcher Max Meyer is not available. It all starts with bringing Bailey in and helping him develop his talents in the system.