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OF Herron leads Cubs' college-heavy Day 2

Seven of club's eight Draft selections come from collegiate level
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Cubs went with the more established players on Day 2 of the MLB Draft on Tuesday, with seven of their eight selections in Rounds 3-10 coming from the collegiate level.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Cubs Draft pick

CHICAGO -- The Cubs went with the more established players on Day 2 of the MLB Draft on Tuesday, with seven of their eight selections in Rounds 3-10 coming from the collegiate level.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Cubs Draft pick

Four of the draftees are right-handed pitchers. The Cubs also picked two center fielders, a second baseman and a left-handed-hitting third baseman.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.

Here are the Cubs' Draft picks from Rounds 3-10.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Round 3: CF Jimmy Herron, Duke
In April, Herron became the first player in Duke history to hit 50 doubles and steal 50 bases in his college career.

Herron, 21, was drafted by the Yankees in the 31st round of last year's Draft, but he elected to play another summer league season and a third year with the Blue Devils. After batting .338/.443/.481 with 10 doubles and four home runs in the Cape Cod League last summer, the speedy center fielder boosted his Draft stock. A .298/.416/.456 junior season at Duke added more consistency to his already solid offensive resume.

Herron's development will be put on hold, though. According to MLB Pipeline, Herron will need Tommy John surgery. The valued bonus of his third-round, 98th overall slot is $570,600.

Round 4: RHR Ethan Roberts, Tennessee Tech U
Roberts, 20, showed a ton of upside in his junior season at Tennessee Tech, striking out 96 and walking just 20 through 71 innings.

Roberts, who was almost exclusively used as a reliever with the Golden Eagles, made his first start of the 2018 season on Monday at No. 4 Mississippi, facing elimination from the College World Series.

The right-hander was up to the challenge. Roberts tossed seven scoreless innings before allowing four runs in the eighth. However, the game was all but decided at the point after his team jumped ahead 10-0 after six innings.

Tennessee Tech also won the third and final game of the series to advance to the NCAA super regional round, the first in program history.

Roberts was at a restaurant in Jackson, Tenn., where the team stopped for lunch on the way back from Oxford, Miss., on Tuesday when he got the good news. When he last talked to his adviser, Roberts said, he was told he'd probably go later Tuesday or early on Wednesday, but that he should keep his phone on just in case.

"We get back on the bus," Roberts said, "and Jordan's name pops up on my phone, that's my adviser. I was like, 'What's going on?' He goes, 'Dude, you're going to be a Cub if you say yes to this.'

"I was like, 'Holy crap, this is actually happening.' It was just an overwhelming amount of emotions I felt today."

Remarkably, Tennessee Tech was the only school to offer Roberts a baseball scholarship when he was looking for colleges. Now, he's a fourth-round pick.

"I love those guys, guys that get overlooked by people and come in and just dominate," Tennessee Tech coach Matt Bragga said. "He's going to be a good one, man.

"It will not surprise me in the least if he's up in the big leagues in 2-3 years. It will not shock me at all."

Round 5: 2B Andy Weber, Virginia
Weber has benefited from a steady progression in his three years at Virginia. This season, he led the Cavaliers in every major offensive category, and his .344 average ranked second in the ACC.

A left-handed-hitting second baseman, Weber said he was watching the Draft live on MLB.com when his name was called. Shortly after, he received a call from the Cubs.

"It's a great feeling to get drafted by the Cubs' organization," Weber said, adding that he is going to sign with the team, though he doesn't know his first Minor League assignment yet.

Consistency was the word Virginia coach Brian O'Connor used to describe Weber, who reached base in 51 of his 54 games played this season, including a stretch of 32 straight games.

"His progression here has been really impressive," O'Connor said. "He started driving the ball better this year. He's an intelligent, well-rounded player."

Weber attributed his improvements at the plate to an adjustment in his stance.

"I used to have a more spread-out stance. It wasn't comfortable," Weber said. "Now, I am more in rhythm and have better control of the bat."

Round 6: RHP Kohl Franklin, Broken Arrow Sr HS (Okla.)
Franklin, 18, is committed to the University of Oklahoma, and he was both a standout shortstop and pitcher in high school. Franklin's fastball currently ranges between 88-91 mph, according to Perfect Game, but at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, his fastball velocity should increase as he matures.

"Kohl has nowhere near reached his ability yet compared to where he's going to be in the future," Shannon Dobson, his high school coach, said. "That's a good thing for a guy coming out of high school."

Dobson also coached D-backs reliever Archie Bradley, a first-round selection in 2011, at Broken Arrow High School. Bradley, Dobson said, was further along in his development than Franklin is right now.

Franklin is the nephew of former MLB reliever Ryan Franklin, who played 12 seasons and was an All-Star with the Cardinals in 2009. His father, Jay Franklin, is a MLBPA certified player agent who represents Bradley.

"Kohl has been around a lot of big league clubs and players," Dobson said. "He knows the lifestyle."

Video: Draft 2018: Cubs draft RHP Kohl Franklin No. 188

Round 7: CF D.J. Artis, Liberty University
Artis won Big South Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016 and Player of the Year in 2017. His numbers declined in his junior season this year, but they are still impressive.

A line-drive contact hitter, Artis' collegiate career has been far from that of the modern big leaguer. He walks more than he strikes out, 166 walks to 103 strikeouts in three seasons, and his power consists more of doubles than home runs.

Despite his 218th overall selection, Artis, 21, was the 136-ranked prospect in this year's Draft class, according to MLB Pipeline.

Video: Draft Report: DJ Artis, College center fielder

Round 8: RHS Zach Mort, George Mason U
Mort, 21, enjoyed a breakout junior season at George Mason, going 6-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts.

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-hander, Mort was a bulldog for the Patriots this year, tossing 105 1/3 innings, which led the Atlantic 10 conference. He was one of two pitchers in the conference to record more than 100 strikeouts.

Perhaps the most impressive stat for Mort this season was he allowed just 13 walks compared to his 108 strikeouts.

Round 9: RHP Derek Casey, Virginia
Casey was almost a Cub four years ago, when he passed on a $900,000 offer from Chicago and instead chose to attend Virginia to further develop as a pitcher with the Cavaliers.

Had Casey signed with the Cubs in 2014, they would have selected him in the third or fourth round, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Casey went 7-4 with a 3.48 ERA this year. He recorded 106 strikeouts over 95 2/3 innings.

Casey missed the entire 2016 season at Virginia after undergoing Tommy John surgery. But even after the setback of a major injury, Casey is comfortable he made the right call when deciding to go to college.

"Yeah, it was a lot of money at the time," Casey told the Times-Dispatch, "but at the same time, you have to make the mature decision of, 'How long will that money last you, and how long will a college degree last you?'

"Looking back on it, I think I made the right decision, no doubt about it. I don't regret it at all."

Round 10: 3B Luke Reynolds, U Southern Mississippi
Reynolds has a ton of power. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound third baseman batted .389/.551/.699, with 15 homers and 61 RBIs in 62 games this season.

Reynolds transferred from Mississippi State a month into the 2016 season after he didn't play a single game. That was after he got 92 at-bats with the Bulldogs as a sophomore.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, Reynolds had to sit out the entire 2017 season at Southern Mississippi, making it two full years without playing a college game.

Still, there was little doubt Reynolds could still rake. The left-handed hitter posted a .306 average with 10 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBIs in 108 at-bats in the New England College Baseball League last summer.

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

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