Cubs' 2021 MLB Draft Guide and Top Prospects to Target

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2021

Cubs' 2021 MLB Draft Guide and Top Prospects to Target

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    Gary McCullough/Associated Press

    After winning their third division title in five years with a 34-26 record last season, the Chicago Cubs hold the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft.

    The Cubs had top-10 picks four years in a row in the early 2010s, which helped them establish their franchise core with the likes of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber. With their recent success, they have spent more time picking at the back half of the first round, selecting high school shortstop Ed Howard with the No. 16 overall pick last year.

    The Cubs have picked No. 21 overall just once before, selecting Rutgers right-hander Bobby Brownlie in 2002. He failed to reach the majors in seven professional seasons.

    Who will the Cubs target this time around?

    Ahead we have broken down three prospects who should be on their radar when their pick comes up in the 2021 MLB draft.


    The 2021 MLB draft will kick off Sunday, with the event coinciding with All-Star Weekend in Colorado and spanning three days and 20 rounds.

RHP Michael McGreevy, UC Santa Barbara

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    John McCoy/Associated Press

    The Cubs have had a tough time developing pitching talent in recent years, though there is some hope that Adbert Alzolay and hard-throwing prospect Brailyn Marquez are the start of bucking that trend.

    Still, a dearth of pitching throughout the organization could mean they focus on adding a quality arm with their first selection.

    UC Santa Barbara junior Michael McGreevy is one hurler worth keeping an eye on late in the first round after he turned in a breakout spring for the Gauchos.

    After pitching out of the bullpen as a freshman, the 6'4", 215-pound right-hander posted a 0.99 ERA in four starts before the 2020 season was halted. That put him on the MLB draft radar, and his stock soared this spring, as he went 9-2 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a brilliant 115-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 101.2 innings.

    His plus command and polished four-pitch repertoire should allow him to move quickly through the minors and help give him one of the highest floors among this year's college arms.

OF Jud Fabian, Florida

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    Gary McCullough/Associated Press

    A potential top-10 pick at the start of the spring, Jud Fabian showed enough swing-and-miss during his junior season at the University of Florida to slide down draft boards, but he is still a first-round talent.

    He slugged 20 home runs in 269 plate appearances to rank among the NCAA leaders but also went down on strikes 79 times for a 29.4 percent strikeout rate while hitting .249 on the year.

    He performed better as the season wore on, hitting 13 of his home runs in 30 conference games against tough SEC competition, and in a thin class for college bats, he still offers some of the best upside on the board.

    The biggest question is whether the Cubs are willing to roll the dice on a 45-hit/60-power profile, as that's not a player they have generally targeted early in the past.

SS/3B Colson Montgomery, Southridge High School (IN)

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    A terrific athlete who is the all-time leading scorer in basketball at Southridge High School in Indiana, Colson Montgomery had a strong summer on the showcase circuit last year before leading his high school team to a 3A state championship this spring.

    The 6'4", 190-pound infielder will likely outgrow his shortstop position once he begins his pro career. But with a solid hit tool and 60-grade power potential, he should have no problem shifting to third base, where his strong arm and run-producer profile fit well.

    Montgomery turned 19 in February, making him one of the older prep players in this draft class, which means he will be draft-eligible once again in 2023. That gives him some leverage in bonus negotiations, though he should still be signable away from a commitment to the University of Indiana.

    If the Cubs are not sold on any of the arms available at No. 21 overall, Montgomery may well be the pick, provided he's still on the board with several other teams in the Cubs range also looking like potential fits.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.