2023 MLB Draft: The Guys That Are Underslot Options at 13 for the Chicago Cubs

We've done a deep dive on a handful of players the Chicago Cubs could draft with the 13th pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, now it's time to look at the under slot options.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Nolan Schanuel 1B Florida Atlantic

Athletic: #21

Fangraphs: #30

MLB.com: #26

Another wow. This year Schanuel batted .444/.612/.864 with 19 homers and the most staggering walks (71) to strikeout (14) ratio that I’ve ever seen. Let’s get all of the bad out of the way early: He’s a first baseman. He played against mediocre competition at Florida Atlantic. The walk numbers are almost twice as many as he had last season and nearly three times as many as he had as a freshman. 

But a .612 OBP? That’s Bonds-like. I don’t care what position you play or who you were playing against, to be able to be selective enough to get on base to that extent but not so selective that you give up power output or find yourself striking out more frequently is profoundly impressive. He had more at-bats this season than ever before but struck out less than he ever has before. He hit more homers, more triples, more doubles, and more singles than he’s ever had before and he stole 14 of the 15 bases he attempted to steal. The dude is a monster. 

MLB.com believes in the bat, but more than that they believe in his positional flexibility on defense as well:

"An average runner, Schanuel played first base almost exclusively for FAU over his first two seasons out of need. Some scouts think he’s athletic enough to handle an outfield corner, where he saw some time in the spring. That could raise his profile some, though it’s his advanced bat that could allow him to surpass C.J. Chatham (No. 51 overall pick in 2016) as the highest-drafted player in FAU history."

MLB dot com

Keith Law is less in love with his profile:

"Schanuel’s stat line might be the only one to rival Crews’, with a hilarious .447/.615/.868 line and 71 walks against just 14 strikeouts. He’s done so in Conference USA, not the SEC, so he hasn’t faced the same caliber of arms, and he’s limited to first base, which seriously dents his draft stock, as does a mediocre performance hitting on the Cape last summer."

The Athletic

Finally, Fangraphs compared him to a player that I have the Cubs trading for in my most recent trade piece for Cubbies Crib that you can find here:

"He is similar to Washington State alum Kyle Manzardo, a hit-tool driven first base prospect who is likely to hit enough to play a big league role, and maybe even make so much contact to buck trends and be a regular without huge power."

FanGraphs