Chicago Cubs Rumors: 3 potential prospects for the Rule 5 draft.
2) Corey Julks (OF)
The second prospect the Cubs should take under consideration is Corey Julks. Julks is the number 30th-ranked prospect in the Houston Astros organization according to MLB. Julks was drafted in the 8th round out of the University of Houston in 2017. The Astros can really develop their players and Julks is not any different. However, there are five outfielders on the Astros' 40-man (including Yordan Alvarez) at the moment and they are all major league players. Julks is 26 years old, and just not where the Astros want him to be right now, and that is why they decided to leave him unprotected.
In 2022, Julks made a huge jump in his production at the plate. He slashed a solid .270/.351/.503 in triple-A this past season. The 26-year-old also made a massive jump in power. He hit 31 home runs and had 89 RBI. His previous season's high in home runs was just 14. Julks also stole 22 bases on the year. This uptick in production is very encouraging to see, and because he spent the whole year facing triple-A competition, Julks should be at the top of the Cubs rule 5 draft board.
The Cubs are in need of an outfielder this off-season. Of course, Julks is not the outfielder that will put them over the top, but he will be able to help out when the starting outfielders have off days. Julks started 46 games at third base for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys this past year, and although he is a much stronger defender in the outfield, the Cubs could certainly use the third base help as well. This is a player who seems to be major-league-ready at the plate. He might be more of a corner outfielder and an average defender, but his hitting stats in 2022 definitely earned him a shot at the big-league level and the Cubs should seriously consider him.