In July, the Chicago Cubs added 20 players to their system through the draft. Some of them have been underwhelmed, some of them have been injured, and some of them appear to be legitimate stars in the making.
Regardless of how good some of these guys have looked, none of them have earned the fanfare of Los Angeles Angels first baseman, Nolan Schanuel, who made his professional debut last week after just 21 minor league games.
We gave a scouting report on the players the Cubs drafted immediately following the draft and if you want to take a look at that you can find it here:
And if you find yourself questioning why the Cubs would spend their first-round pick on a middle infielder you can see our coverage of that decision here.
Here’s an update on how the 2023 Chicago Cubs draft picks have fared in their first taste of professional baseball.
1st Round Pick: Matt Shaw SS (University of Maryland)
21 Games Played: .378/.433/.585 3 HR, 2 3B, 4 2B, 9 SB, 12 RBI, 14 R
Matt Shaw was the right pick when the Cubs took him and he’s done nothing to change that opinion. He mashed in the three games he played at Rookie Ball and has continued to mash in the 18 games he’s played at High-A South Bend after skipping Low-A Myrtle Beach altogether. If he continues on this track for the remainder of the season he could start next year at AA and potentially find himself with the major league squad during a playoff push in September.
2nd Round Pick: Jax Wiggins RHP (University of Arkansas)
Injured, no game action yet
We talked about the Jax Wiggins pick immediately following it and praised the pick. Nothing has changed in that time as Wiggins hasn’t done anything since then. He was a potential first-round pick coming into the season that got hurt and the Cubs were able to steal him in the second. He has a ceiling of a mid-rotation arm and a floor of a late-inning high-leverage reliever thanks to good velocity and a solid breaking ball.
3rd Round Pick: Josh Rivera SS (University of Florida)
17 Games Played: .222/.275/.365 1 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B, 7 RBI, 12 R
Rivera was arguably the best senior in the draft and the Cubs snagged him in the third round. He hasn’t hit the ground running as hoped, but he skipped Low-A Myrtle Beach just like Shaw did and some players need a little slower of a buildup. He dominated in his three games at Rookie Ball and at this rate will likely open next season back at High-A South Bend before getting a shot at Tennessee.
4th Round Pick: Will Sanders RHP (University of South Carolina)
Injured, no game action yet
Much like Wiggins, Sanders was once a projected first-round pick. What the Cubs have been able to do with late-bloomer Cade Horton this season can’t be overstated and if they’re able to do the same thing with either Sanders or Wiggins (let alone both), this will be an extremely successful draft.
5th Round Pick: Michael Carico C (Davidson University)
5 Games Played: .083/.353/.083 1 RBI, 4 BB, 4K
At the time of the draft, this was one of my favorite picks due to Carico’s ungodly college numbers. He’s only played in five games as a professional and he finds himself at Low-A Myrtle Beach so there is absolutely time for him to turn this thing around and the fact that he’s walked as often as he’s struck out implies that he has the makeup to come out of a slump to start his career.