With the 2022 Cubs season turning ugly in a hurry, most of the attention has turned toward the trade deadline, minor leagues and, now, the MLB Draft that now is on the horizon. The draft in years past took place in mid-June but now begins on July 17 during the All-Star Break.
This is perhaps the most important draft for the Cubs in years, as the nosedive after the 2021 trade deadline landed the club the seventh overall pick, their highest since 2015, and it presents the Cubs with a crucial opportunity. The top of this year’s draft is undeniably bat-heavy, and it gives Jed Hoyer a chance to find a cornerstone to anchor a flourishing Cubs system.
Cubs: 4 options with the seventh pick in the MLB Draft: Jace Jung
Brother of former Rangers eighth overall pick Josh Jung, Jace Jung has the potential to be the second top half of the draft pick in the family. Jung is a near-consensus top 10 pick and his stock comes exclusively from his bat.
Jung offers everything you could ask for in the batter’s box. He has a career slash line of .328/.468/.647 with an OPS of 1.116 in his three seasons at Texas Tech. Jung sports 60-grade power according to Pipeline but unlike many other prospects with this sort of power, the 21-year-old infielder does not sacrifice contact or strikeout at a high rate as a result.
Jung also has a 60-grade hit tool and struck out in just 16 percent of his college plate appearances. In fact, Jung has walked more than he’s struck out in college, walking in 20 percent of his plate appearances.
The downside with Jung is his defense. He originally started out at third base before he was moved to second base because of his weaker arm. Keith Law speculated on his big board that he may not even stick there and may need to move to left field long-term. Despite this, Jung still offers the potential to be a force in the middle of the lineup, and should certainly be on the Cubs’ radar.