Chicago Cubs Sign James Triantos as They Begin to Wrap Up Draft Class

The Chicago Cubs have signed second-round pick, James Triantos, according to multiple reports. James’ family confirmed the signing on social media. In addition to the high school infielder, the organization has also come to terms with two more high school players in Dominic Hamel and Christian Olivo according to multiple reports.

UPDATE: the deal is worth $2.1 million according to Jim Callis


The Cubs, under VP of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz, “kept the accelerator down” selecting Triantos who required a significant bonus to sign away from a UNC commitment. There were some within the organization that viewed Triantos as a first-round caliber player. Many fans craved high-upside prep talent in the lead up to this draft. In Triantos and Drew Gray, the Cubs filled that need right away. Triantos may have some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the organization.

Player Reports

James Triantos

Ivy Futures Report: James Triantos (SS, Madison HS) sported impressive batted-ball data. His contact rate of 94% contact rate topped prep players in the showcase circuit last year with a similar max EV as Will Taylor, Harry Ford, and Colson Montgomery. Traintos has quite an arm and has good run times. He hails from Cubs area scout (and 2020 Stan Zielinski Scout of the Year) Billy Swoope’s territory. I also don’t think it would surprise me to hear the Cubs very interested in Triantos with an early selection. From my latest mock: “If there’s one player who could be this year’s Nick Yorke (who was a surprise mid-first round selection), I’ll say it is James Triantos.”


Dominic Hambley, RHP

Report: Hambley showcases premier stuff on the mound and was viewed as difficult to sign away from his commitment to Oregon State. Hambley’s fastball operates in the low 90s with strong life. The Cubs are also encouraged by his high-spin slider. He will throw a changeup as a third pitch. Look to the Cubs to begin to develop him in the offseason at instructs.

Christian Olivo, SS

Report: Christian Olivo is an impressive defensive shortstop from Puerto Rico. As a 17-year-old in the MLB Draft League, Olivo showed solid bat-to-ball skills and hope that as an extremely young prospect he can grow into a solid offensive player. Olivo will take some time and will require a commitment with the Cubs’ High Performance and Performance Science department, but should make for an exciting follow in the future.


Wrap up

When the Triantos signing becomes official, it will complete the Cubs bonus pool round selections (the first 10-rounds). The signing of Dominic Hambley fulfills the “$200k bullet” that Chicago Cubs VP Dan Kantrovitz spoke about firing in his recent interview with .


2 thoughts on “Chicago Cubs Sign James Triantos as They Begin to Wrap Up Draft Class

  1. I must admit your excitement for this draft leads me to question my uncertainty and lack of enthusiasm. Much like Ed Howard last year (and similar to extreme example of 2011 pick Albert Almora), Jordan Wicks is a safe pick, someone with a nice floor who probably will be a MOR pitcher. Last year we avoided potential five tool talents like Garrett Mitchell for a great fielding and potentially slightly above average hitting SS. This year we took safe pick in Wicks while avoiding potential superstars (Gavin Williams, Ty Madden, Chase Petty). Triantos is similar, a high-rising hitter who was drafted about where he was ranked yet we signed for a significant premium. He is Howard with higher hitting potential but significantly worse fielding. Also it was great they drafted to have a sizable sum available for picks 11-20, but they then somehow had no arrangement with a player for this money? Indeed it appeared they just signed everyone they could and gave the rest to Triantos rather than holding it. There is no reason to draft someone in 12th or (especially) 11th who turns down the Cubs within hours of the pick being made.

    Rest of the draft was fine but the high floor/relatively low ceiling 1st and 2nd round picks and waste of 11th and 12th made this draft pretty weak, in my opinion. Albert Almora picks don’t win championships – riskier high end picks like Brennan Davis do. We take some good chances in later rounds (Chistian Franklin, Parker Chavers, Jordan Nwogu last year) but let our upper level picks ignore potential greatness for safe picks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up a lot of good points. My excitement comes from a few notes. First, after the draft I’ve had the opportunity to chat with scouts and evaluators who have really liked the Wicks selection. He does have a high floor, but there’s upside of being a number 3 or better starter. It’s not the sexiest pick, but we’re looking at a Top 50 overall pitcher in baseball and a player who you want starting twice in a seven game playoff round. The 2017-2020 Cubs would have been very different if they developed one pitcher like that. I know the Cubs are higher on Wicks as are a few evaluators who I really respect like Joe Doyle of Prospects Live. Joe talked about Wicks being drafted way too late if he went in the mid-teens. To get Wicks at 21 is a pretty solid coup. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Gavin Williams. If they went that way, I’d be very excited. Honestly I’m not as jazzed about Madden and Petty personally.

      The Cubs had really high grades on Triantos. His hitting profile was at or above most high school hitters talked about even in the the top of the first round. It’s hard to overstate how valuable that contact ability is in trusting him at the next level. No guarantees, of course, but it’s very helpful. I don’t think he’s a SS at the next level, but I don’t know if Colson Montgomery is either and I would have been fine with Montgomery at 21 if they went that way. Triantos has the ceiling of an above-average or better third baseman in my opinion.

      Dan Kantrovitz spoke about the draft in the recent interview. They went for 50/50 shots in rounds 11-20. That was their strategy. At the end of the day they’ll likely sign 3-4 of their HS picks from 11-20, which isn’t the easiest thing to do. They’re very high on one of the signees in particular though I’ll avoid saying right now.

      There is some pretty high upside in this draft. Both Wicks and Triantos could be above-average/occasional All-star performers at their positions and have the skill sets that give them a good chance of succeeding in those roles. Gray and Franklin are the high-risk/high-upside players you spoke about. And I bet there’s at least one big-leaguer out of their senior sign guys in Spence, Opitz, and Chavers. This draft has a bit of everything.

      There’s nothing wrong with wanting to shoot for higher risk. I would have taken Mitchell last year. I really like Howard, but I would have done that like you would have. There are other players in this class like Jackson Linn and Tyler Whitaker in a similar higher variance level that could have been options for one of the early picks. That’s the beauty of the draft in a way. We get to hypothesize how we would do the draft if we were running it. I’m so glad you’re into the process like I am. And I appreciate you reading and interacting. It makes it a lot more fun.


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