Cubs Draft: Hunter Goodman could prove to be an underrated addition

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Hunter Goodman could be a target for the Cubs with the 21st pick in the draft.

Every so often, discussion of the amateur draft will make the rounds months before the actual event. It is essential to understand the club’s direction and what they may do when it comes to that first-round pick. This upcoming year may be just as crucial as ever as the new Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer looks to set a precedent for future success.

One prospect who may not have been considered by many as a first-round talent is now starting to eek his way up the board and should be available when the Cubs select at pick number 21 next June. It is difficult to determine the direction the team could go as it is anyone’s guess as to the choices and determination surrounding the current core and what that could look like next season.

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Hunter Goodman is that prospect as the one who has skyrocketed. As a freshman at Memphis University, the C/OF played in 55 games, slashing an impressive .326/.367/.573 and posted a .940 OPS. He tallied 31 extra-base hits, mashing 13 home runs and driving in 67 runs. The 20-year-old added 11 stolen bases to his campaign.

This past year before the season was shut down Goodman was hitting .357 through his first 17 games. His OPS had jumped to a strong 1.159 along with a .743 slugging percentage. One crazy statistic for Goodman was his eight home runs and 31 RBI in just 70 total at-bats.

Regarding his long-term power and stability at the catching position, he has the arm strength and wherewithal to stick as a backstop. Goodman’s strength is one of his best features and something that teams will unequivocally value in a prospect. Areas of need have been his blocking and receiving skills; however, it has been reported Goodman is working to improve in those areas.

Goodman also needs to improve his strikeout numbers as he registered 55 strikeouts as a freshman in 239 at-bats and has back-to-back seasons striking out over 20 percent. Still, as someone similar to Kyle Schwarber, it would not be a surprise to see the Cubs take a chance on Goodman next year.

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The Cubs are loaded with depth at the catcher position, and if that desire to trade Willson Contreras grows larger, Goodman would provide added talent to the pool. As we inch closer to the draft, keep an eye on the kid from Arlington.