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The Cubs select Jordan Wicks 21st overall in the 2021 MLB Draft

The Cubs take a college lefty with their first pick.

NCAA Baseball: Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

With the 21st selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Cubs selected LHP Jordan Wicks out of Kansas State University.

In a class that isn’t particularly loaded with left-handed pitching, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Wicks is regarded by many as the top lefty in the draft. His best weapon is a low-80s changeup, and his fastball sits in the low 90s. He also throws a low-80s slider and occasionally mixes in a curveball, though that’s clearly his least developed pitch.

There are reasons to be skeptical of Wicks. There’s a lot of effort in his delivery, and he hasn’t really been dominant at the collegiate level aside from his four-start 2020 season, when he posted an 0.35 ERA with 26 strikeouts and four walks over 26 innings. Wicks, who had a 3.61 ERA with 86 strikeouts and 26 walks over 84.2 frames as a freshman, posted similar numbers during his 2021 season, posting a 3.70 ERA with 118 Ks and 28 BBs. He struggled to prevent runs against Big 12 opponents, putting up a 4.47 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 18 walks in 50.1 innings. But at least he has a lot of experience against elite college competition, meaning his transition to pro ball shouldn’t be too massive of a jump.