The Chicago Cubs drafted a local prep prospect with their first-round selection and followed it up with a mix of college players before closing out the draft with another high school player.
Cubs fans must be patient as they evaluate this year’s draft while understanding that only years from now, they will be able to determine the success of this class.
Here’s our breakdown of the Cubs’ five picks:
Round 1: Ed Howard (SS, Mt. Carmel HS)
In the first round, the Chicago Cubs selected local high school product, Ed Howard.
The 18-year-old shortstop from Mount Carmel High School in Lynwood, Ill., is a toolsy and athletic young shortstop that can remind Cubs fans of a former No. 1 overall pick from yesteryear named Shawon Dunston.
While COVID-19 wrecked his senior season, as a junior at Mount Carmel, Howard hit .421 with 11 doubles, six triples, and three home runs across 35 games.
The Chicago Cubs have Javier Baez at shortstop and should be very patient with their new, young shortstop. All in all, fans should not anticipate his arrival to Wrigley prior to the 2024 season at the earliest.
Howard joins Albert Almora and Javier Baez as the only prep position players selected by the Cubs in the past 10 years after failing to succeed with Josh Vitters and Ryan Harvey in the prior decade.
Howard gives the Cubs’ system a nice boost with a top-100 prospect heading into 2021 season.
Round 2: Burl Carraway (LHP, Dallas Baptist)
The Cubs drafted college left-handed pitcher Burl Carraway from Dallas Baptist in Texas.
Carraway is a southpaw that could ascend quickly and help the Cubs’ bullpen sooner rather than later. During Carraway’s three seasons at Dallas Baptist, he struck out 89 hitters in 51.1 innings pitched across 38 games (37 in relief).
Carraway features a mid-90s fastball and a very good 12-6 curveball that baffled left-handed hitters in the NCAA the past two seasons.
Expect Carraway to begin his playing career in Single-A with a fast track to the North Side.
Round 3: Jordan Nwogu (OF, Michigan)
With the 88th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected Michigan outfielder Jordan Nwogu.
The physically-impressive outfielder offers raw power and good speed and should find himself as a solid corner outfielder in the Cubs’ farm system. Nwogu is built like a football linebacker and that physical build and overall athleticism makes him a high upside prospect for the Chicago Cubs.
Nwogu was a .334 hitter across his three seasons with Michigan, hitting 20 home runs and stealing 30 bases during 125 NCAA games.
Round 4: Luke Little (LHP, San Jacinto CC)
A left-handed San Jacinto pitcher from Matthews, N.C., the 6-foot-7 southpaw has a high-90s fastball with a serious power arm. Some scouts expect him to develop into an impact reliever rather than a starter but he needs to develop more consistency with his control and slider.
While control is the primary concern with Little, he could find himself mold into a talented MLB pitcher quickly if he improves his control in the professional ranks for the Cubs.
Little was reportedly clocked at 105 MPH in practice so take that for what it’s worth.
Round 5: Koen Moreno (RHP, Panther Creek HS)
The Cubs drafted East Carolina commit Koen Moreno with their final selection in the 2020 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-2 right-hander commands a 94 MPH fastball, slider, curve, and changeup. Although he can benefit from three years of college ball, the idea of playing for Cubs might be too tempting to resist.
The key for Moreno will be improving his command with repeatable delivery and balance on the mound. Moreno will only continue to develop more strength and maturity as he develops as a professional athlete.
The Cubs’ five picks have good upside especially with their initial first-round selection of Ed Howard. The third-round pick of Jordan Nwogu will be interesting to follow and the velocity of lefty Luke Little’s fastball will need to be met with command required to succeed against professional hitters. Left-handed Burl Carraway is most likely to reach the Cubs’ big-league squad first among their 2020 draft class.