Enrique Bradfield Jr. OF Vanderbilt
This is the last player that Keith Law threw out as an option for the Cubs at 13 in his first mock draft. Fangraphs has him as their 15th best player in the draft. Ironically though, they don’t project him to be an everyday player due to a lack of offensive power.
That being said, there was a lot to like about Bradfield’s game. Fangraphs scouting report compares him to Juan Pierre but with a better approach at the plate due to his elite speed and ability to spray singles to all fields.
If you could bottle his sophomore season or even his freshman season he’d likely be a top-ten pick, and he might still be. His freshman season he was all hit and no power, with a .335/.450/.412 slash line. He stole an incredible 47 bases but was caught six times and he only hit one home run.
His sophomore year he was a better version of himself even if his slash line was less impressive at .317/.415/.498. He hit eight homers as a sophomore and he “only” stole 46 bases but more importantly he was only caught once.
This year he’s been worse across the board. He carried a .275/.406/.425 slash line with fewer home runs, triples and stolen bases than his sophomore season and was caught stealing seven times this year while stealing 37 bases. That being said, the rough junior season is probably the only way that he would be available to fall to the Cubs at 13, because if he’d continued to produce at the level he had been he could’ve gone as high as top-five.
Something I said a couple of weeks ago was:
Prior to Nico Hoerner this season the Cubs had not been able to develop a true leadoff hitter since Dexter Fowler left for the Cardinals. As Joe always said: “you go, we go.” That wasn’t specific to Fowler, that’s true of any leadoff hitter. The difference between having a guy that can get on base and stay in a pitcher’s head on the basepaths, and not having that guy is massive, and Bradfield was able to do that against the best competition in the country in the SEC.
Any of the four of these guys would be a great pick. The offensive-minded catcher with the athleticism to make a move to the outfield if the glove lags behind the bat in terms of development, either of the offensive-minded middle infielders with a history of success on the Cape with wooden bats, or the leadoff hitting center fielder with legitimate 80-grade speed, there’s not a bad option. The Cubs may need some help for one of these guys to still be available at 13, but if any/all of them are, they’d be solid additions that could help the Major League squad in this window of contention.