Chicago Cubs: A top 10 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft should now be the aim

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Over the course of a 162-game season, there’s always a potential for things to go haywire. Unfortunately, this season did just that, with the Chicago Cubs floundering in the standings and shifting focus to the future after a massive sell-off at the July trade deadline.

If the season ended today with projected standings, it would net the Cubs a top 10 pick. To be more specific, the eighth overall pick in next summer’s MLB Draft. Okay, a top 10 pick? Not too shabby.

Now, we can all agree. Teams purposely tanking just for a draft pick is bad for baseball. Right now, there is no rule to penalize a big league organization that decides to take that path. While baseball pundits debate the sanctity of “mailing it in,” there is a level of common sense that comes with that course of action. It centers around the simple fact that there are sometimes circumstances where this strategy actually makes sense. Yes, Mike Trout was not a top 5 or even a top 3 pick, but a high-caliber profile such as Trout is one example where most would entertain such an idea.

Chicago Cubs: Jockeying for a higher draft pick

Here’s the thing: I’ve never believed that a team should purposely tank. However, in certain situations, it becomes easier to be less upset by the notion. In the case of the Cubs, this is one of those instances. Should the Cubs call each of their top prospects up and throw caution to the wind? Absolutely not. Service time rules and options still apply even if you’re about to finish 1-161.

The Cubs have 12 games remaining in one of the saddest and strangest seasons in a long time. However, there is a source you can follow along with projected draft order as Tankathon provides daily updates. Hypothetically the highest the Cubs could get to would be the top five; however, that is unlikely. Yet, two of the top 10 projected teams, Minnesota and Pittsburgh, remain on the schedule.

Looking at the teams Chicago would need to jump, I would say there may be a chance they get to a fringe top-five pick. Interestingly, there is a prospect who the Cubs should consider looking at who recently re-classed as the number three-rated prospect in the 2023 draft class who may be an under-the-radar option as many teams are swooned by the current upcoming crop of players.

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Whether the Cubs reach the peak of a top 5 pick in the coming weeks, there is still a strong class of talent across the prep and collegiate scope. In this rebuild, talent is essential, and the Cubs have a unique opportunity on their hands heading into next summer and the 2022 MLB Draft.