The Chicago Cubs finally dipped into the high school pitching market when they selected left-handed pitcher Carson Sands (second from right above) in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Sands was one of the top players available and it would not have surprised experts if he had been selected on Day 1 of the draft.
Sands is likely to require an above-slot signing bonus, which the Cubs should be prepared to offer him after selecting players who may go below slot in the draft’s first three rounds. At 6-foot-3, 205-pounds Sands has nice size and throws his fastball in the low 90s. Sands also has a good feel for his changeup and projects to be at least a mid-rotation starter in the big leagues.
Sands was the second pitcher selected by the Cubs in the draft after Jake Stinnett, and as expected, he is a high-upside arm. The Cubs’ draft strategy this year continues on a trend of previous years as they have drafted position players in the first round for four straight years before moving on to pitchers with high ceilings.
This year the Cubs went a couple steps further, though, by continuing to select position players in rounds two and three. Historically position players have a better chance of making it to the Major Leagues than pitchers, but by the fourth round it was time for the Cubs to select a high-upside arm. As a left-handed pitcher, Sands fills more than one organizational need and should be the first of many arms selected by the Cubs as they attack the position with volume.