Cubs Bolster Emeralds Roster With Top Draft Picks

By Alex Stimson / Eugene Emeralds | July 3, 2019 4:15 PM

The Eugene Emeralds, proud Minor League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, today received a total of ten new players in what amounted to a major roster overhaul on the heels of the 2019 MLB Draft. 

In total, the Emeralds' new crop of talented young players is comprised almost entirely of 2019 draft picks, save for one player. The group is highlighted by four of the Cubs' top five draft picks, all of which have previously played at PK Park during their collegiate careers (Ryan Jensen - 1st Round - Fresno State | Chase Strumpf - 2nd Round - UCLA | Chris Clarke - 4th Round - USC | Josh Burgmann - 5th Round - Washington). 

The Emeralds also received former Oregon State standout John Pomeroy who was previously a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. 


Ryan Jensen - RHP

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 1 | Pick 27

Last Season w/ Fresno State: 12-1 (15 APP | 15 GS), 1 Save, 2.88 ERA, 100.0 IP, 27 BB, 107 K

A second-team All-American last season, Jensen climbed up draft boards after a phenomenal junior season that saw him named the Mountain West Pitcher of the Year. Jensen led the conference in innings pitched (100.0) while finishing second in strikeouts (107), fourth in opposing batting average (.217) and fifth in ERA (2.88). Earlier this year, Jensen pitched at PK Park against the Oregon Ducks (see below). The hard-throwing right-hander guided the Bulldogs to a 5-1 win while tossing 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts while allowing no runs and just one walk. 

Watch: Youtube Video



Chase Strumpf - INF

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 2 | Pick 64

Last Season w/ UCLA: .279 (65-for-233), 14 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 44 RBI, .416 OBP, .473 SLG%, .888 OPS

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 2: .182 AVG (4-for-22), 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .406 OBP, .318 SLG%, .724 OPS

Like Jensen, Strumpf is no stranger to PK Park having played for the UCLA Bruins for the past three seasons. As a junior last season, Strumpf helped guide the Bruins to a program-record 47 regular season wins, culminating in a PAC-12 Conference title that the Bruins clinched during the regular season's final series against the Oregon Ducks at PK Park.

Tweet from @MLBDraft: It's what you'd call a good day for Chase Strumpf.The @UCLABaseball 2B rocked this dinger right after the #Cubs snagged him with the No. 41 overall #MLBDraft pick.



Chris Clarke - RHP

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 4 | Pick 132

Last Season w/ USC: 5-2 (27 APP | 0 GS), 8 Saves, 1.03 ERA, 52.1 IP, 18 BB, 60 K

Another PAC-12 product, Clarke is a second-team All-American that dominated West Coast hitters last season. The California native finished third in the PAC-12 with eight saves while holding opposing hitters to just a .170 average. 

Tweet from @USC_Baseball: Congrats to @topher_clarke on being selected in the 4th round of the #MLBDraft by the @Cubs!#FightOn | #USCtotheMLB



Josh Burgmann - RHP

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 5 | Pick 162

Last Season w/ Washington: 4-6 (14 APP | 14 GS), 3.99 ERA, 79.0 IP, 22 BB, 101 K

The third PAC-12 product taken by the Cubs in their first five 2019 selections, Burgmann finished second in the conference with 101 strikeouts last season. Three years ago, Burgmann was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, but opted to attend Washington. 

Tweet from @UW_Baseball: Hey @Cubs fans, here is what you're getting in 5th round pick Josh Burgmann.#DaWgStrong // #ProDawgs



Darius Hill - OF

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 20 | Pick 612

Last Season w/ West Virginia: .315 AVG (75-for-238), 25 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 41 RBI, .376 OBP, .521 SLG%

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 2: .306 AVG (11-for-36), 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .325 OBP, .472 SLG%, .797 OPS

One of eight Mountaineers selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, Hill leaves Mogantown ranking eighth all-time in program history in hits (229). Hill helped lead WVU to 38 wins in 2019, highlighted by the Mountaineers being selected as one of sixteen NCAA Regional host sites. 

Tweet from @WVUBaseball: Congratulations to Alek Manoah, Darius Hill and Nick Snyder, who have been named to the @ABCA1945 All-Region Team!📰������



Nelson Maldonado - OF

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 21 | Pick 642

Last Season w/ Florida: .343 (71-for-207), 14 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 43 RBI, .408 OB%, .575 SLG%

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 1: .278 AVG (10-for-36), 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .333 OBP, .500 SLG%, .833 OPS

A four-year starter for the Gators, Maldonado led the team with a .343 average last season while belting a career-high 10 home runs. An SEC Academic Honor Roll in back-to-back years (2017 & 2018), Maldonado got it done on the diamond and in the classroom during this time in Gainesville.

Tweet from @GatorsBB: As a senior, @NellyNel0221 had a career-best year ��� leading the team with a .343 average with a career-high 10 home runs. Maldonado is the first Gators player drafted by the Cubs since outfielder Brian Leclerc in 2007.



Zac Taylor - OF

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 25 | Pick 762

Last Season w/ Illinois: .321 AVG (53-for-165), 12 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 29 RBI, .405 OBP, .612 SLG%

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 1: .400 AVG (16-for-40), 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, .444 OBP, .850 SLG%, 1.294 OPS

A first-team All-Big 10 selection last season, Taylor led the Fighting Illini in a number of offensive categories (runs, total bases, slugging percentage, steals, triples) despite missing 14 games due to injury. Taylor, an Illinois native, transferred to Illinois after spending his first two collegiate seasons at Houston.

Tweet from @IlliniBaseball: He can run. He can hit. He can go get anything in center field. @zactaylor15 can play.You're going to like that pick, @Cubs fans.



Jacob Olson - OF

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 26 | Pick 792

Last Season w/ South Carolina: .254 AVG (54-for-213), 14 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 37 RBI, .333 OBP, .502 SLG%

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 1: .298 AVG (11-for-38), 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .349 OBP, .447 SLG%, .796 OPS

Olson started in 56 games last season as a senior, leading the Gamecocks with 13 home runs. Drafted out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Olson instead opted to pursue his education at South Carolina after first attending West Georgia Tech JC. 



Jake Washer - C

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft | Round 29 | Pick 882

Last Season w/ East Carolina: .301 AVG (62-for-206), 10 2B, 0 3B, 17 HR, 55 RBI, .393 OBP, .597 SLG%

A former all-conference and Johnny Bench Award candidate, Washer absolutely mashed at the plate for the ECU Pirates who posted a 47-18 record last season before falling to the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA Super Regionals.



John Pomeroy - RHP

Acquired: Free Agent, 2019

This Season w/ AZL Cubs 2: 0-0 (4 APP | 0 GS), 1 Save, (1 OPP) 1.35 ERA, 6.2 IP, 1 BB, 11 K

Pomeroy joins the Emeralds having played college ball just up the road in Corvallis for the Oregon State Beavers. Drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, Pomeroy signed with the Cubs this past offseason as a free agent. After a strong start to 2019 while playing Rookie ball in Arizona, the native of Mossyrock, Washington got the call up to Eugene. 


Infielder and second rounder Chase Strumpf is slated to make his Emeralds debut tonight against the visiting Everett AquaSox while the remaining new additions will likely make their respective Ems debuts during the team's current homestand. You can purchase tickets to Emeralds baseball games by visiting or by calling (541) 342-5367. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More