The top Cubs Draft pick from every season

February 9th, 2024

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' all-time picks in the MLB Draft range from a National League MVP to plenty who never saw The Show. There are All-Stars and October heroes, as well as cup-of-coffee players you probably have forgotten.

Going back to the first June selection process in 1965, here is every top pick by the Cubs in MLB Draft history:

2023: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland (No. 13)
The Cubs grabbed one of the elite collegiate bats available in the 21-year-old Shaw, who was the Big Ten Player of the Year and received the Brooks Wallace Award (nation's top shortstop) in his final season with Maryland. In 62 games in his junior year, Shaw hit .341/.445/.697 with 24 homers, 20 doubles and 69 RBIs. He finished with more walks (43) than strikeouts (42), stole 18 bases and scored 80 runs. A shortstop in college, Shaw is versatile enough to move around the infield.

2022: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma (No. 7)
A strong finish to his '22 season with the Sooners helped Horton fly up the Cubs' Draft board. From the Big 12 title game onward, the righty spun a 2.61 ERA with 49 strikeouts against six walks in 31 innings, with the help of a slider that he added down the stretch. That strikeout total included a College World Series-record 13 in the championship loss to Ole Miss.

2021: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State (No. 21)
Wicks was the first first-rounder in Kansas State's history and the first pitcher from the college to go in the first three rounds. Widely regarded as the best left-hander in the Draft, Wicks set a school record with 230 career strikeouts in 203 innings.

2020: Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.) (No. 16)
The Cubs stayed local with a hometown prep star. Howard famously played for Jackie Robinson West in the 2014 Little League World Series. An athletic shortstop with good offensive potential, Howard began his pro career in '21 following the loss of the '20 Minor League season.

2019: Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State (No. 27)
Posted a 2.88 ERA in 16 appearances in his final collegiate season and averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings in his college career. Being developed as a starter in the Cubs' system.

2018: Nico Hoerner, SS, Stanford University (No. 24)
A standout middle infielder, Hoerner skyrocketed to the Majors by 2019, becoming the first player from the '18 Draft to reach The Show. He has continued to provide top-tier defense and a high-contact bat for the Cubs.

2017: Brendon Little, LHP, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (No. 27)
Little was developed as a starter for the first three seasons in the Cubs' system, but has since worked on converting to relieving. Through '19, the lefty had not advanced beyond Class A.

2016: Thomas Hatch, RHP, Oklahoma State (No. 104)
Traded to the Blue Jays in a July 30, 2019, deal for David Phelps to help Chicago's bullpen. Hatch reached the Majors in '20 with Toronto.

2015: Ian Happ, OF, University of Cincinnati (No. 9)
Happ reached the Majors by 2017 and had a standout rookie showing with 24 home runs and an .842 OPS. After bouncing between the infield and outfield, Happ became Chicago's regular center fielder in '20.

2014: Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana University (No. 4)
Known for his prodigious power, Schwarber launched 121 homers in parts of six seasons for the Cubs. His feats with the North Siders included many memorable October moments, including a return from injury in time to play hero in the 2016 World Series against Cleveland. The Cubs parted ways with Schwarber after the '20 campaign and he signed with the Nationals.

2013: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego (No. 2)
Bryant achieved super stardom almost immediately upon joining the Cubs. He took home the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2015, followed by the NL MVP Award in '16. He has made multiple All-Star teams and fielded the grounder that led to the final out to seal the '16 World Series triumph, ending the franchise's 108-year championship drought.

2012: Albert Almora Jr., OF, Mater Academy Charter School (Fla.) (No. 6)
Suited up for the Cubs across the 2016-20 seasons, providing a long reel of defensive gems as a center fielder. Almora also scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the '16 World Series.

2011: Javier Báez, SS, Arlington Country Day School (Fla.) (No. 9)
Known now as "El Mago" for his dazzling plays in the field and on the basepaths, Báez grew into one of baseball's best and most-entertaining shortstops. He was a key part of the core group that brought the 2016 World Series title and multiple division crowns and playoff berths. Báez has started in multiple All-Star Games and took home his first career Gold Glove Award in '20.

2010: Hayden Simpson, RHP, Southern Arkansas University (No. 16)
Simpson spent two seasons in the Cubs' farm system before ending his pro career with the Southern Illinois Miners in the independent Frontier League in 2013.

2009: Brett Jackson, OF, University of California-Berkeley (No. 31)
Jackson reached the Majors with the Cubs in 2012, turning in a .644 OPS in 44 games. The outfielder also had a seven-game cup of coffee with the D-backs in '14.

2008: Andrew Cashner, RHP, Texas Christian University (No. 19)
For the Cubs, Cashner is best known as the main piece that went to the Padres in the Jan. 6, 2012, trade that reeled in Cubs cornerstone Anthony Rizzo. Cashner had a 4.29 ERA in 60 career games for Chicago on the front end of a 10-year Major League career with multiple franchises.

2007: Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS (Calif.) (No. 3)
Vitters appeared in 36 games for the 2012 Cubs, hitting .121 in his only taste of the Majors.

2006: Tyler Colvin, OF, Clemson University (No. 13)
Appeared in 221 games for the Cubs across the '09-11 seasons. Was traded, along with D.J. LeMaheiu, to the Rockies for Ian Stewart.

2005: Mark Pawelek, LHP, Springville HS (Utah) (No. 20)
Pawelek spent four seasons in the Cubs' farm system, but never advanced beyond a Class A affiliate.

2004: Grant Johnson, RHP, Notre Dame (No. 66)
Johnson climbed as far as Double-A while in the Cubs' system, but was pitching in independent baseball by 2009.

2003: Ryan Harvey, OF, Dunedin HS (Fla.) (No. 6)
Harvey played six years on the farm for the Cubs, topping out at Double-A in 2008. He then spent two years in the Rockies' system prior to spending two seasons with Lancaster in the independent Atlantic League ('12-13).

2002: Bobby Brownlie, RHP, Rutgers (No. 21)
Spent time in the Minor Leagues with the Cubs, Indians, Nationals and Braves before falling out of affiliated baseball in 2009.

2001: Mark Prior, RHP, USC (No. 2)
Prior was one of the most-hyped pitching prospect of his era. Praised for smooth delivery, the right-hander followed a strong rookie campaign in 2002 with a Cy Young Award-contending season in '03. That summer, Prior won 18 games, spun a 2.43 ERA, piled up 245 strikeouts and finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting. The righty also posted a 2.31 ERA in three October outings in '03, helping Chicago reach the NL Championship Series. Unfortunately, as fast as Prior soared to the upper-tier of Major League arms, his career collapsed due to injury troubles. He spent five seasons with the Cubs, ending with a nine-start '06 tour. As of '21, Prior was the pitching coach for the Dodgers.

2000: Luis Montañez, SS, Coral Park HS (Fla.) (No. 3)
Montañez found his way to the Cubs in 2011, when he spent 36 games in the big leagues during a return to the club that drafted him. That came after his initial taste of the Majors across the '08-10 seasons with Baltimore. An outfielder by the time he reached The Show, Montañez hit .223 in 129 career MLB games.

1999: Ben Christensen, RHP, Wichita State University (No. 26)
Christensen spent parts of six seasons in the Minors for the Cubs before finishing his pro career with a stint in Seattle's farm system in 2004.

1998: Corey Patterson, OF, Harrison HS (Ga.) (No. 3)
Patterson broke into the Majors with the Cubs in 2000 and spent parts of six seasons with the franchise. Over 589 games with the North Siders, the speedy center fielder hit .252/.293/.414 with 70 homers and 86 stolen bases. His best campaign came in '04, when Patterson had 24 homers, 32 steals and 91 runs in 157 games. He also had tours with the Orioles, Nationals, Reds, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Brewers in a 12-year MLB career.

1997: Jon Garland, RHP, Kennedy HS (Calif.) (No. 10)
Garland spent eight seasons in the Majors with Chicago, but that was on the South Side with the White Sox. The Cubs dealt the righty to the Sox on July 29, 1998, for Matt Karchner. Garland developed into an 18-game winner and All-Star in 2005, when he won a World Series ring with the White Sox. In 13 seasons, Garland won 136 games in stops with the Sox, Dodgers, D-backs, Rockies, Padres and Angels.

1996: Todd Noel, RHP, North Vermillion HS (La.) (No. 17)
Noel had a standout showing in Rookie ball in 1997, posting a 1.98 ERA in a dozen games, but he never seized on that potential over a five-season career. The pitcher did not advance beyond Class A with the Cubs and finished his career with a stint in the Yankees' system.

1995: Kerry Wood, RHP, Grand Prairie HS (Texas) (No. 4)
Wood captured the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year Award with a brilliant opening act that included 233 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings. On May 6 that season, Wood famously racked up 20 strikeouts against the Astros in one of baseball's all-time great pitching performances. Injuries hindered Wood's career, but he topped 200 strikeouts four times for the Cubs. That included 266 in 2003, when he made the first of two All-Star teams. Wood reinvented himself as a closer later in his career. He spent 12 years with the Cubs, but also had stops with Cleveland and the Yankees.

1994: Jay Peterson, RHP, East HS (Mo.) (No. 15)
Peterson spent parts of five seasons in the farm systems for the Cubs and Reds, topping out at High-A in 1996.

1993: Brooks Kieschnick, OF, University of Texas (No. 10)
Kieshnick broke into the Majors with the Cubs in 1996 as an outfielder, hitting .345 with a .923 OPS in 25 games. He had stops with the Reds, Rockies and Brewers throughout parts of six seasons in the big leagues. With Milwaukee in 2003-04, Kieschnick was a two-way player. He hit .286 with an .837 OPS in 144 games in that stretch for the Brewers, while also posting a 4.59 ERA across 74 appearances as a relief pitcher.

1992: Derek Wallace, RHP, Pepperdine University (No. 11)
Traded to the Royals on April 5, 1995, as part of a deal that brought outfielder Brian McRae to the Cubs. Wallace appeared in 27 MLB games with the Mets ('96) and Royals ('99).

1991: Doug Glanville, OF, University of Pennsylvania (No. 12)
Broke into the Majors with the Cubs in '96 and hit .300 in '97, but was traded to the Phillies the following winter for second baseman Mickey Morandini. Glanville spent nine years in the Majors with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers, returning to Chicago for part of the '03 season.

1990: Lance Dickson, LHP, University of Arizona (No. 23)
Appeared in three games for the Cubs in 1990 and never reached the Majors again.

1989: Earl Cunningham, OF, Lancaster HS (S.C.) (No. 8)
Cunningham spent eight seasons in the Minors between stints with the Cubs, Angels and Rockies, but never reached The Show.

1988: Ty Griffin, 2B, Georgia Institute of Technology (No. 9)
Logged 576 Minor League games between tours in the systems for the Cubs, Reds and Cardinals.

1987: Mike Harkey, RHP, Cal-State Fullerton (No. 4)
Harkey reached the Majors with the Cubs in 1988 and went 26-21 with a 3.91 ERA in 71 starts for the North Siders in parts of five seasons. He also had stops with the Rockies, A's, Angels and Dodgers in an eight-year MLB career.

1986: Derrick May, OF, Newark HS (Del.) (No. 9)
May spent a decade in the Majors between stints with six franchises. He hit .282 in 384 career games for the Cubs.

1985: Rafael Palmeiro, OF, Mississippi State University (No. 22)
Palmeiro was traded to the Rangers as part of a nine-player swap on Dec. 5, 1988. He spent three seasons with Chicago to begin his 20-year career, which included 569 home runs and 3,020 hits with Texas, Chicago and Baltimore.

1984: Drew Hall, LHP, Morehead State University (No. 3)
Hall had a 6.41 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Cubs, who more famously picked Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in the second round of the 1984 Draft.

1983: Jackie Davidson, RHP, Everman HS (Texas) (No. 6)
Davidson spent seven years in the Cubs' farm system, but never saw the Majors.

1982: Shawon Dunston, SS, Thomas Jefferson HS (N.Y.) (No. 1)
Dunston spent 12 of his 18 Major League seasons with the Cubs, amassing 1,219 hits in his time with the North Siders. He was a two-time All-Star for Chicago and was part of the long-time infield partner with second baseman Ryne Sandberg and first baseman Mark Grace.

1981: Joe Carter, OF, Wichita State University (No. 2)
Carter appeared in 23 games for the Cubs in 1983, but was part of the blockbuster trade in '84 that brought pitcher Rick Sutcliffe to Chicago. Carter went on to star for Cleveland and famously launched a walk-off homer for the Blue Jays to win the '93 World Series.

1980: Don Schulze, RHP, Lake Park HS (Ill.) (No. 11)
Schulze appeared in five games for the Cubs across the 1983-84 seasons. He also pitched for the Indians, Mets, Padres and Yankees.

1979: Jon Perlman, RHP, Baylor University (No. 12)
Perlman broke into the Majors with Chicago in 1985, but only logged six appearances for the franchise. He also had stops with the Giants and Indians in a brief big league career.

1978: Bill Hayes, C, Indiana State University (No. 13)
Hayes appeared in five games for the Cubs between the 1980-81 campaigns.

1977: Randy Martz, RHP, University of South Carolina (No. 12)
Martz spent parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Cubs (1980-82) and White Sox ('83). He had a 3.78 ERA in 67 games for the North Siders.

1976: Herman Segelke, RHP, El Camino HS (Calif.) (No. 7)
Segelke worked three games for the Cubs during the 1982 campaign.

1975: Brian Rosinski, OF, Evanston Township HS (Ill.) (No. 4)
Rosinski spent seven seasons in the Cubs' farm system, but did not reach the Majors. Chicago did nab Hall of Fame closer Lee Smith in the second round of the 1975 Draft.

1974: Scot Thompson, OF, Knoch HS (Pa.) (No. 7)
Thompson enjoyed an eight-year career in the Majors, including six with the Cubs. He hit .255 across 408 games with the North Siders.

1973: Jerry Tabb, 1B, University of Tulsa (No. 16)
Tabb appeared in 11 games for the Cubs in 1976 and later had stints with Oakland in '77-78.

1972: Brian Vernoy, LHP, La Quinta HS (Calif.) (No. 15)
Vernoy never advanced beyond Class A in four seasons within the Cubs' farm system.

1971: Jeff Wehmeier, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory HS (Ind.) (No. 16)
Wehmeier spent three seasons in Chicago's Minor Leagues, but did not climb beyond Class A.

1970: Gene Hiser, OF, University of Maryland (No. 19)
Hiser hit .202 in 206 games for the Cubs across parts of five seasons from 1971-75.

1969: Roger Metzger, SS, St. Edward's University (No. 16)
Metzger appeared in only one game for the Cubs in 1970. From there, he enjoyed another decade in the Majors between tours with Houston and San Francisco.

1968: Ralph Rickey, OF, University of Oklahoma (No. 15)
Rickey spent six seasons in the Cubs' farm system, topping out at Triple-A. He never reached the Majors.

1967: Terry Hughes, SS, Paul M. Dorman HS (S.C.) (No. 2)
Hughes went 1-for-3 in his only two games for the Cubs in 1970. He also had stints with the Cardinals ('73) and Red Sox ('74).

1966: Dean Burk, RHP, Highland HS (Ill.) (No. 5)
Burk pitched in Chicago's Minor Leagues for six of his seven professional seasons.

1965: Rick James, RHP, Coffee HS (Ala.) (No. 6)
James reached the Majors in 1967, appearing in three games for the Cubs with one start. Chicago's best pick of the first MLB Draft was lefty Ken Holtzman, who was selected 61st overall.