The Cubs completed the second day of the amateur draft Friday, and things went as expected.
Through 10 rounds, the Cubs have selected eight pitchers and two catchers, with the draft continuing Saturday.
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In Thursday night's first and second rounds, the Cubs took catcher Kyle Schwarber and right-handed pitcher Jake Stinnett, respectively. Schwarber is out of Indiana University, and Stinnett is from the University of Maryland.
The Cubs went right back to a catcher Friday in Round 3, going with Mark Zagunis out of Virginia Tech. He batted .338 with a .430 on-base percentage in three college seasons. Zagunis walked 85 times with 74 strikeouts. That fits the pattern of the hitter preferred by the Cubs management team, led by president Theo Epstein.
After taking Zagunis, the Cubs went with seven pitchers in a row, three left-handers. Lefties Carson Sands out of North Florida Christian High School went fourth, and he was followed by fellow lefty Justin Steele from George County High School in Mississippi.
High school right-hander Dylan Cease went next, followed by four college pitchers: James Norwood out of St. Louis, lefty Tommy Thorpe from Oregon, James Farris from Arizona and Ryan Williams from East Carolina.
According to mlb. com: "Cease is one of the hardest throwing high school pitchers in the 2014 draft class, but he was dealt a significant setback this spring. He suffered an elbow injury that has kept him off the mound since March, leaving his future uncertain. When healthy, Cease throws his fastball from 91-95 mph, topping out at 97 mph."
Zagunis is said to be an athletic catcher who runs well.
The Cubs' draft strategy was transparent from the start. They would have liked one of the elite pitchers at the top, but three went in the first three picks overall.
So the plan was to take a position player first (and pay under the allotted draft "slot") and then load up on pitching in subsequent rounds, perhaps using some of the hoped-for savings on Schwarber for pitchers.
A local thrill:
Jim Kiss, who grew up in Carpentersville and who has had a law office there since 1978, threw out a ceremonial first pitch Friday at Wrigley Field.
A Cubs marketing rep said the pitch was a good one. Kiss is a lifelong Cubs fan.
This and that:
Nate Schierholtz got the first hit off the Marlins' Nathan Eovaldi in the fifth. It was the 500th career hit for Schierholtz. ... First baseman Anthony Rizzo is batting .394 (31-for-94) in 27 home games. ... Pitcher Jason Hammel has had 3 starts of 7 innings and no runs this season. ... Reliever Neil Ramirez lowered his ERA to 0.64 by striking out both batters he faced in the eighth. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 innings.