Cubs Sign Top Picks Dunston Jr., Maples, Vogelbach and Baez at Deadline

The Chicago Cubs waited until the last moments to announce a few of their draft signings. One of them was Shawon Dunston Jr., their 11th round pick out of Valley Christian HS in California. His dad was the 1st overall pick by the Cubs in 1982 and played 11 seasons on the north side , appearing in 2 All Star games and was known for his cannon arm and the famous ‘Shawon-O-Meter’, a makeshift sign that kept a running total of his batting average.

Like his dad, junior has speed to burn. He once scored from second base on a dropped called strike and has been timed at 3.8 seconds to first, which is faster than Ichiro Suzuki. He also was timed at 6.68 in the 60 yard dash. He also inherited his dad’s arm, and mixed with his speed, will be able to handle center field in the pros.

The 6’2 175lb left y doesn’t have a lot of pop in his bat but that isn’t his game. He is a solid contact hitter with enough power to find the gaps for extra bases. He should be a headache for opposing catchers on the base paths too.

Dunston had a commitment to Vanderbilt, a baseball factory where commitments are strong enough for players to slip in the draft for fear of teams not being able to sign them. In the end, he decided to put college on hold and start his professional career at 18. He will report to Mesa, the Cubs Arizona League, when his contract is finalized and all the physicals are over.

The Cubs also signed their 2nd round pick, Daniel Vogelbach, a 6’2 250lb lefty from Bishop Verot HS in Florida. He is a first baseman with jaw dropping power who won the famed Power Showcase by hitting a 508ft bomb. Vogelbach hit .457 with 19 HR and 54 RBI as a senior and instantly becomes one of the Cubs top prospects for the future. It was reported that he received a $1.5 million signing bonus.

The Cubs 1st round pick, Javier Baez, also officially signed Monday night. The 6’2 200lb shortstop was considered to have the best high school bat in the draft and projects to a middle of the line up hitter with a move to 3B or a corner outfield spot likely. His bat speed is off the charts and his approach at the plate will allow him to become a big time run producer. He was reported to have received $2.65 million.

And the steal of the draft may have been 6’3 RHP Dillon Maples out of Pinecrest HS in North Carolina. Baseball America had him as the 47th best prospect in the draft but slipped to the Cubs in the 14th round because of his strong commitment to play football at North Carolina. The 19 year old has a mid 90’s fastball with a plus curveball and projects as a top of the rotation starter. The Cubs had to pay a hefty sum to pry him away from football however. It is reported he received $2.55 million, a number that top 5 picks often command.

All in all, the Cubs locked up some very talented players who could move through the system quickly and give Cubs fans a reason for optimism.

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