MLB Draft – Day 1 (Two Possible Hawks)

2014-Draft1Day 1 of the MLB First Year Players Draft is complete, with the Cubs selecting a pair of collegiate players with their first two picks.

That bodes well for the Boise Hawks – as traditionally, the Cubs, more often than not, have sent their top collegiate prospects to Boise to begin their professional careers.  In looking back over the last decade – Grant Johnson (pitcher from Notre Dame) and Jake Fox (catcher from Michigan) were the only early collegiate draft picks that skipped Boise.

SchwarberThe Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber (pictured right – courtesy of  Doug McSchooler/Indianapolis Star) out of Indiana with the fourth overall pick.  I went on record with the Idaho Statesman (though the quote was not used in a story) that I believed the Cubs would want one of the Top-3 arms in the draft, but if they weren’t available, would take the best available player on the board – and preferrably a catcher – which is where Schwarber fits in.

The 6-0, 240 pound left hand hitter is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award after hitting 14 HR and driving in 48 runs in leading the Hooisers to the Big-10 title.  Analysts say that his probably has the most developed bat in the draft (we heard the same thing about Kris Bryant last year), but that he projects to be either a corner outfielder or a first-baseman.

If there was a first-round pick who skipped Boise, I could see it being Schwarber – just from the standpoint that the Cubs do not have a high-caliber catching prospect at either Kane County (Carhart, Brockmeyer, Remillard) or at Daytona (Contreras, Krist) – and may send him directly there (if they want to fast-track him up the chain).

StinnettWith the 45th overall pick (following the sandwich/compensation picks), the Cubs grabbed a solid arm in Maryland right-handed pitcher, Jake Stinnett (pictured left, courtesy of U. of Maryland Athletics).  The hard-thrower was the Terps Friday night starter and has a 7-6 record and a sub 2.50 ERA  – with his club set to open Super Regional play tonight against Virginia.  Stinnett, a senior, was a two-way player during his first two years of college, but has only exclusively pitched the last two years.  He wowed scouts against N.C. State – going toe-to-toe with No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon, tossing a shutout in a 10-0 Maryland win.  Stinnett was honored as an All-ACC pick

He is someone who will probably spend a couple weeks in Boise, but because he has thrown 110+ innings in college, will be limited to 1-2-3 inning stints before he is shut down before instructs – just as Rob Zastryzny and Tyler Skulina were a year ago.

Stinnett has a tie to the Treasure Valley, as his high school teammate from Rancho Buena Vista High – Joe Vaz – will be a senior at the College of Idaho.

Rounds 3-10 will begin today at 11 a.m. and be televised on MLB.com and MLB Network, with rounds 11-40 on Saturday.

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