The Chicago Cubs today made eight selections in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft, including five pitchers and three position players. The third and final day of the draft is Wednesday with rounds 11-40.
With their first three picks of the day, the Cubs selected RHP Keegan Thompson out of Auburn University (third round), RHP Erich Uelman out of Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo (fourth round) and OF Nelson Velazquez, a high school outfielder from Puerto Rico (fifth round).
Thompson was recommended by area scout Alex McClure, Uelman was recommended by area scout Tom Myers and Velazquez was recommended by area scout Edwards Guzman.
Thompson, 22, finished up his redshirt-junior season at Auburn, going 7-4 with a 2.41 ERA (25 earned runs in 93 1/3 innings) in 15 starts. He struck out 75 batters and walked just 17 in 93 1/3 innings of work. In his career with the Tigers, he is 19-10 with a 2.46 ERA (69 earned runs in 252 2/3 innings) in 41 outings, including 38 starts.
A six-foot, two-inch 210-pound righty, Thompson was named a Freshman All-American by numerous outlets in 2014 after posting a career-best 2.01 ERA (20 earned runs in 89 2/3) in 14 games (12 starts). He continued his success the following season, going 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA (24 earned runs in 69 2/3 innings), but underwent Tommy John surgery following the season and redshirted during the 2016 campaign.
A native of Cullman, Ala., Thompson graduated from Cullman High School where he was a two-time Gatorade Alabama State Player of the Year (2011, 2013).
Uelman, 21, posted a 2.93 ERA (32 earned runs in 98 1/3 innings) in 15 starts for the Cal Poly Mustangs this season, striking out 100 batters, while walking 23. In his final collegiate start, May 25 vs. UC Riverside, he tossed a complete-game shutout with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Overall, he recorded a 3.66 ERA (86 earned runs in 211 2/3 innings) with 187 strikeouts in 46-career outings across three seasons, including 30 starts.
A native of Las Vegas, Uelman graduated from Faith Lutheran High School, leading his team to a Nevada Division I-A championship in 2014 after going 9-1 with a 1.19 ERA.
Velazquez, 18, became the first position player and first high school prospect selected by the Cubs in the fifth round. A six-foot, 190-pound outfielder, Velazquez attended PJ Education school in Carolina, P.R.
Here is a look at the Cubs’ first 11 selections from the 2017 First-Year Player Draft:
Through their first 11 picks, the Cubs have selected seven college pitchers, one high school pitcher, two college position players and one high school position player.