The severely shortened draft put a much greater emphasis on undrafted free agency, which opened Sunday morning. It took a couple of hours for some Cubs news to hit the wire, but they ended up being among the most active teams over the course of the day. As of post time, the Cubs have officially signed seven prospects according to Baseball America.
Bradlee Beesley (OF): 5-10, 175 lbs, B/T – R/R, Age – 22
An outfielder from Cal Poly, Beesley was the first prospect to sign. While his college numbers were respectable in terms of average and OBP, Beesley made a name for himself in the Cape Cod League by hitting .368 in 2018 and .280 in 2019. He began his Cal Poly career in the middle infield but moved to center as a sophomore.
Scott McKeon (IF): 6-0, 185 lbs, B/T – R/R, Age – 22
Shortstop Scott McKeon is my favorite signing of this group because he’s hit wherever he’s played the last four years. He started out at Brunswick Community College, where he batted .434 and .399 in his two seasons. He began playing for Coastal Carolina as a junior and hit .341 that first season.
He had a .359 average with four dingers in just 16 games before this season shut down. His bat-to-ball skills should play well in the Cubs system, but I wonder if he is going to learn a new position. That quick, compact swing is one the Cubs will find room for.
Chants go BACK-TO-BACK BOMBS to get the scoring started this afternoon. Makenzie Pate gets his first career HR in a @CoastalBaseball uni, while Scott McKeon smacks his first of the szn. CCU up 13-0 over Maryland headed to the bottom of the 5th. My work here is done ✌️ pic.twitter.com/OPPUKeGPPT
— Kacy Hintz (@KacyHintz) February 28, 2020
Scott Kobos (LHP): 6-2, 200 lbs, B/T – L/L, Age – 22
Almost immediately after McKeon’s signing was announced, CCU tweeted out that left-handed pitcher Scott Kobos was inked by the Cubs. Originally an outfielder as a freshman at UNC Asheville, Kobos transferred to St. Johns River CC where he played both ways.
When he got to Coastal Carolina, Kobos began to focus on pitching and was making the move to being a full-time starter this year. Over the past three summers, he’s grown two inches and gained 45 pounds while adding a few mph on his fastball this spring. The heater is said to top out at 95, so the Cubs have to like the way his career is trending.
Graham Lawson (RHP): 6-2, 229 lbs, Age 24
Lawson was a senior reliever at South Carolina who made six appearances this spring, striking out eight over six scoreless frames. Lawson is already well built and certainly doesn’t need to worry about trying to add to his frame. He was previously drafted by the Nationals in the 12th round in 2018, but chose to return to school and promptly had Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2019 as a result.
Ben Leeper (RHP): 6-0, 201 lbs, Age -23
Leeper was a redshirt senior for Oklahoma State in 2020 and was doing the best work of his college career with 14 strikeouts in 7.1 innings for the Cowboys this spring. He missed all of 2017 and struggled upon his return in 2018, but started to put things together last spring and was regularly getting his fastball regularly into the mid-90s, sometimes hitting 96.
Bailey Reid (RHP): 6-2, 205 lbs, Age – 22
Reid, the closer Reid from NAIA Westmont has not allowed a run since 2018. The righty reliever struck out 43 batters over his last 22.1 innings going back to 2018.
Jacob Wetzel (OF): 5-11, 220 lbs, B/T – L/L, Age – 20
Late in the afternoon, Wetzel was signed out of Frederick Community College in Maryland. As a freshman in 2019, he hit .377 with six home runs and 55 RBI in 50 games. The left-handed hitting machine has had a difficult journey, originally earning a full ride to Old Dominion before struggling with depression his first semester. He sought help and eventually left ODU, eventually finding a new home at Frederick. He’s since added 25 pounds and was hitting .333 before the pandemic.
The Cubs are also rumored to have signed right-handed pitcher Angel Gonzalez Martinez from Puerto Rico. The young 17-year-old hit 94 mph in a Perfect Game showcase, which was up five ticks from a previous showcase. He is listed at 6-foot-1 and 168 pounds, so there’s a lot of room to fill out. This signing has not been confirmed yet.
The interesting thing to take note is that most of the pitchers are slated as relievers, with Kobos having an outside shot at starting. I am surprised the Cubs have not signed any catchers yet, but it’s still very early. According to MLB rules, the Cubs can sign free agents up until seven days before the next draft. Once a player enrolls in college, they cannot be signed.
We will update more signings in a later post.