Cubs Draft: A ‘not too early’ primer on the 2021 MLB Draft

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Chicago Cubs
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Cubs Draft: Zack Gelof, Virginia, 3B

Multiple times over the last year, there have been the unrequited trade rumors surrounding superstar third baseman Kris Bryant. Unbeknownst is what will happen come Opening Day next season and whether Bryant will be in a Cubs uniform.

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Although the thought of a Bryant trade is disappointing, to say the least, there is a need for forward-thinking, and that begins with rebuilding the depth at the hot corner. Zack Gelof is listed as a shortstop but is believed to be the third baseman at the major league level from accounts around the game.

Gelof was in the middle of his sophomore season at the University of Virginia when the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. As a freshman, he came out firing on all cylinders, slashing .313/.377/.396 in 56 games. Gelof also swiped 16 bags in his freshman season, setting the stage for a guy who can create opportunities on the base paths.

Through his first 18 games this season, Gelof slashed .349/.469/.746 with a 1.215 OPS and five home runs and was on pace from his freshman year with four stolen bases in that span. According to scouts, he has a chance to be a potent offensive threat. A strength is his ability to put the bat on the ball and carries a smooth swing through the zone with quick bat speed.

He has size and strength to be a solid contributor, and the need may arise where the Cubs have to replenish their depth at third base within the next couple of years. If Gelof is available, it would not be a surprise as a potential fit.