3rd-round pick Nwogu signs deal with Cubs

Club has agreed with all five of its 2020 Draft picks

July 22nd, 2020

CHICAGO -- There were a number of traits that drew the Cubs to outfielder Jordan Nwogu in the 2020 MLB Draft. He had a rare combination of size and baserunning ability, coupled with some elite exit velocity numbers as the University of Michigan's leadoff man.

Now, Nwogu is one step closer to Chicago.

"The journey to Wrigley begins," Nwogu wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday night that included a photo of him wearing a Cubs sweatshirt while signing his first pro contract. The Cubs announced the deal Tuesday morning.

According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, Nwogu received a $678,600 signing bonus from the Cubs, who took him in the third round of the Draft. That was the final piece of the signing puzzle for Chicago, which previously reached deals with shortstop Ed Howard (first round), lefty Burl Carraway (second), lefty Luke Little (fourth) and righty Koen Moreno (fifth).

Before the collegiate season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 21-year-old Nwogu was batting .353 with two homers and an .845 OPS through 15 games for the Wolverines. In three years at Michigan, he hit .334/.430/.545 with 20 homers, 23 doubles, 79 RBIs and 97 runs in 125 games.

"We prioritized tools -- no doubt," Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz said after the Draft. "And, I think in his case, there's impact speed, there's impact power -- and I think probably the latter is what stands out the most.

"He impacts the ball about as hard and as loud as anybody in college baseball today."

After being selected by the Cubs, Nwogu said the organization was "a really good fit" for him.

"There's a lot of things that excite me," Nwogu said. "Wrigley Field, I've been there to watch games. The environment. The fan base."

Kantrovitz noted that it is difficult to find a power bat in the MLB Draft and said Nwogu's plate discipline and speed made him an even more intriguing prospect. Over his three collegiate seasons, the outfielder had 63 walks, struck out 96 times and stole 30 bases.

"He's proven that he’s one of the elite hitters in college baseball," Michigan head baseball coach Erik Bakich said after the Draft. "But the thing that Cubs fans are going to see here really quickly is there is no finish line with this kid when it comes to growth and improvement. He is a relentless worker."