The Cubs announced Thursday that they’ve signed three of their five picks from the 2020 amateur draft: left-hander Burl Carraway (second-round), left-hander Luke Little (fourth) and right-hander Koen Moreno (fifth). Chicago announced early this week that it had signed first-rounder Ed Howard, leaving only third-round pick Jordan Nwogu unsigned. Carraway received a $1.05MM bonus that checked in south of his No. 51 slot’s $1.44MM value, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Little’s $492,700 bonus matches his slot value, and Moreno’s $900K bonus is nearly triple his $367,900 slot value.
FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen ranked Carraway 44th in this year’s draft class, touting the Dallas Baptist lefty’s power fastball/curveball combo. Carraway pitched just 9 1/3 innings before the season shut down this year, but he’s tallied 51 frames dating back to Opening Day 2019 and racked up 89 strikeouts with a 2.47 ERA along the way. He’s considered by virtually all scouting reports to be a pure reliever. Control (or lack thereof) is the biggest knock on the 6’0″, 173-pound Carraway — a concern that is evidenced by his 28 walks, a hit batter and 10 wild pitches since the beginning of the 2019 season. That red flag notwithstanding, he was a Top 100 draft prospect not only at FanGraphs but at MLB.com (49), ESPN (53), Baseball America (72) and The Athletic (90).
At 6’8″ and 250 pounds, the left-handed Little doesn’t really live up to his name, but he boasts an upper-90s heater that can surpass 100 mph. Like Carraway, he’s a left-handed reliever with some control issues but a promising arsenal of raw pitches. Signed out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas, Little had been committed to South Carolina but will instead turn pro. Baseball America (121), FanGraphs (149) and MLB.com (166) all had him in the draft’s top 200 talents. In 44 1/3 innings of JuCo ball, he punched out 86 hitters but also issued an alarming 39 walks.
Moreno, the long high school draftee of today’s bunch, is a 6’2″, 170-pound righty with a four-pitch mix, including an 88-92 mph fastball and a changeup that both FanGraphs and BA tab as his best secondary pitch. BA listed him 128th, calling him a “projection arm in the true sense of the definition” thanks to room to fill out his frame, raw athleticism and natural spin on a pair of breaking pitches that still need refinement. He’d been committed to East Carolina but will join the Cubs on an over-slot deal.