2023 MLB Draft: Four Guys That Should Be Available at 13 for the Chicago Cubs

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Matt Shaw SS Maryland

Athletic: #7

Fangraphs: #23
MLB.com: #18

Matt Shaw is an interesting player. He can hit for contact and he can hit for power, so it’s the bat that will likely make him a first round pick. He’s hit over 50 home runs while in college with 46 of those coming in his sophomore and junior seasons. This year he walked more often (43) than he struck out (42) and he showed some speed and baserunning prowess by stealing 18-19 bases he attempted.

MLB.com points out in their scouting report that he’s turned a lot of heads due to his ability to hit with a wooden bat as well. While Kyle Teel struggled a little bit in the Cape Cod League, Shaw mashed. He put together a .360/.432/.574 slash line and came away as the MVP of the league. That kind of thing really matters to front offices and even if he can’t stick at shortstop long term the bat may be Major League ready by the end of the 2024 season. 

Keith Law of the Athletic had the Cubs taking Matt Shaw in a mock draft a couple of weeks ago. He referenced the current Front Office’s interest in advanced metrics and mentioned Shaw’s numbers:

"Shaw is one of the best pure hitters in the draft class with metrics to match, something the Cubs are clearly aware of given their choice of Cade Horton with their first pick last year. "

Keith Law

Fangraphs has a good write up on him that compares his compact 5’11 frame to Dan Uggla, but also talks about some of his drawbacks. His arm may limit him to second base, which isn’t a massive problem as the Cubs still covet middle-of-the-diamond kinds of players. 

A couple of weeks ago I covered Matt Shaw as a potential fit for the Cubs at 13 and said this:

That being said, the thing that gives me a bit of concern is that they discussed his inability to cover the upper third of the plate which reminds me of a college bat that I was sure was the real deal. He put up stellar contact and power numbers and was drafted in the first round and now finds himself in AAA due to that same inability to catch up to the high fastball. I’m not saying Matt Shaw is Keston Hiura, I’m just saying that the profile of a player that can only cover ⅔ of the plate scares me a bit.