2023 MLB Draft: Mock Draft round-up for the Chicago Cubs and the 13th pick

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Enrique Bradfield Jr. (OF) Vanderbilt

.282/.427/.431 265 PA, 62 R, 10 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 44 BB, 33 K, 36 SB

This is the last player that Keith Law threw out as an option for the Cubs at 13. Fangraphs has him rated as the top player of the three that Law had as options as the number 15 overall player on their board. 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. 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.

In my opinion, if Bradfield is there at 13, he’s the pick. The data backs up that in order to get the best bang for your buck in the draft, you target college players and specifically college bats. Getting a center fielder with excellent speed and an all-fields approach that walks more than he strikes out in the best conference in college baseball is a huge win.