UPDATED: Cubs draft catcher from Indiana; first-rounder could end up in Boise

Chicago's first-rounder could begin his pro career with the Hawks.

tphibbs@idahostatesman.com © 2014 Idaho StatesmanJune 5, 2014 

Boise hawks, memorial stadium, kris bryant

Boise Hawks third baseman Kris Bryant is welcomed by teammates as he crosses the plate after hitting a three-run home run Friday July 26, 2013 against the Spokane Indians at Memorial Stadium in Boise.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

The Chicago Cubs selected catcher Kyle Schwarber from Indiana University with the fourth overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday. The left-handed hitting junior is one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award given to the top Division I catcher. He hit .358 with 14 home runs and 48 RBIs this spring.

ORIGINAL STORY

The Chicago Cubs — and their affiliate Boise Hawks — load up on new players with this week's Major League Baseball Draft.

The first two rounds are Thursday (live coverage begins at 5 p.m. on the MLB Network and MLB.com), with rounds 3-10 on Friday and the final 30 on Saturday.

The Cubs own the No. 4 overall pick, and if history is any indication, the player selected could suit up at Memorial Stadium this season.

Chicago's past nine first overall selections have made appearances with the Hawks, including shortstop Javier Baez (2011), third baseman Kris Bryant (2013) and Albert Almora (2012), who were rated as the No. 6, No. 8 and No. 15 prospects by MLB.com before the 2014 season.

Last year, seven of the Cubs' top 10 selections played in Boise.

Houston, which picks first for the third consecutive season, Miami and the Chicago White Sox select ahead of the Cubs.

The top of the 2014 draft class is pitcher heavy, with Brady Aiken (LHP from Cathedral Catholic High in California), Carlos Rodon (LHP from North Carolina State), Tyler Kolek (RHP from Shepherd High in Texas), Aaron Nola (RHP from LSU) and Tyler Beede (RHP from Vanderbilt) all possible top-10 selections.

"We're going to take the best player for us,'' Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer said on MLB.com. "We will take a lot of pitching over the course of the draft. What we do at No. 4 is still a mystery.''

The Cubs drafted 11 pitchers with their first 15 selections last year, and nine of their first 12 picks in 2012 were pitchers.

In his mock draft, MLB.com's Jim Callis predicts the Cubs will take Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto in the first round if Rodon isn't available.

Boise, which plays in the short-season Class A Northwest League, opens against Tri-City on June 13 in Memorial Stadium.

CUBS' PAST 10 FIRST SELECTIONS

• 2013: Kris Bryant, San Diego, 3B. Second overall selection, currently with Double-A Tennessee Smokies. Bryant played 18 games in Boise last season, registering 23 hits with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 16 RBIs.

• 2012: Albert Almora, Mater Academy Charter School (Fla.), OF. Sixth overall selection, currently with Class A Advanced Daytona Cubs. Almora played 15 games in Boise, batting .292 in 65 at-bats with 19 hits, seven doubles, one home run and six RBIs.

• 2011: Javier Baez, Arlington Country Day School (Fla.), SS. Ninth overall selection, currently with Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Baez played two games in Boise, and had one hit and one RBI.

• 2010: Hayden Simpson, Southern Arkansas, RHP. Drafted 16th overall, currently inactive. Simpson played 15 games in Boise, going 2-4 with 47 strikeouts, 22 walks and a 6.18 ERA.

• 2009: Brett Jackson, California, OF. Drafted 31st overall, currently with Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Jackson played 24 games in Boise, with 29 hits, one double, one triple, one home run and 15 RBIs.

• 2008: Andrew Cashner, TCU, RHP. Drafted 19th overall, currently on the disabled list with the San Diego Padres. Cashner played six games in Boise, going 1-1 with 16 strikeouts, 19 walks and 4.96 ERA.

• 2007: Josh Vitters, Cypress High (Calif.), OF. Third overall selection, currently with Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Vitters played 68 games in two seasons in Boise, recording 89 hits, 25 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 38 RBIs.

• 2006: Tyler Colvin, Clemson, OF. Drafted 13th overall, currently with the San Francisco Giants. Colvin played 64 games in Boise, registering 71 hits, 12 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs and 53 RBIs.

• 2005: Mark Pawelek, Springville High (Utah), LHP. Drafted 20th overall, currently inactive. Pawelek played in 37 games in Boise from 2005-08, going 6-9 with 87 strikeouts and 57 walks.

• 2004: Grant Johnson, Notre Dame, RHP. Drafted 66th overall (second round), currently inactive. Johnson never made an appearance in Boise.

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