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Cubs open-minded about ‘dynamic’ 2-way draft pick Mule originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Shohei Ohtani 2.0?
OK, it’s way too early to place that projection on Nazier Mule, if not entirely unfair and unrealistic.
But at the least, the Cubs are open-minded about the future of Mule, their 2022 fourth-round draft pick (113th overall) who was a two-way player in high school.
“We thoroughly evaluated him both ways this year,” Cubs VP of scouting Dan Kantrovitz said Tuesday, after the draft concluded.
“We have some scouts that are really excited about him offensively too. He's just a dynamic, exceptional athlete.”
Mule, a University of Miami commit who doesn’t turn 18 until October, was one of the top-ranked prospects in the draft. He was No. 94 on MLB Pipeline and No. 96 on Baseball America.
And it’s easy to see why.
On the mound, the right-hander's fastball velocity already sits in the 93-96 mph range and has hit triple digits, according to Pipeline.
On the other side, Mule — who’s already 6-foot-3, 210 pounds – is an athletic shortstop with raw power and has registered triple digit exit velocities.
Kantrovitz said the Cubs first will evaluate Mule as a pitcher, where evaluators like Pipeline and BA say he has a brighter future.
But the organization will “remain open-minded as far as how his role might evolve,” Kantrovitz said.
“Just because we're going to start off with the evaluation one way doesn't mean we're going to typecast him into that role in particular,” Kantrovitz added. “He’s dynamic on both sides of the ball.
“That’s one of the reasons why we drafted him. I think we're gonna be open-minded to somebody that might be able to do both or however that evolves going forward.
“But we certainly don't want to close any doors there.”
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