Boise State linebacker Martarano drafted by Chicago Cubs

Posted on June 7, 2014 

The Chicago Cubs picked Boise State linebacker Joe Martarano in the 22nd round (No. 649 overall) of the Major League Baseball draft on Saturday.

It is possible Martarano could play with the Boise Hawks this summer.

"The ideal situation would be the Cubs take him and get (to play) with the Hawks," Victor Martarano told the Idaho Statesman last week. "We're crossing our fingers for that deal."

Joe Martarano, through a Boise State spokesman, said he prefers to sign before addressing his baseball career.

If he does sign, Martarano, who turns 20 at the end of July, will begin his career at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz. Boise, home of the Cubs' short-season Class A affiliate, is his next likely stop.

"A lot of people are going to want to come out and see him," said Todd Rahr, the Hawks' general manager. "I think there's a good chance we're going to see him. But I don't expect him to be here opening day (June 13)."

Martarano, from Fruitland High, turned down $100,000 from the Philadelphia Phillies last summer after being selected in the 13th round. Martarano did not have permission from the Boise State football program or then-coach Chris Petersen to play baseball.

This year, however, Martarano (6-foot-3, 241 pounds) has been given permission to sign and play professional baseball. Martarano is not giving up football and will be in Boise for the start of fall practice, his father Victor told the Idaho Statesman.

"This is a unique situation, but Joey Martarano is a special athlete," Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement. "We're proud to have him as a member of the Boise State football team, and we want to see him achieve his dreams. If that includes baseball, Joey knows we are here to support him."

Martarano was a slugging third baseman for Fruitland. The Cubs selected him as a third baseman.

Selections made after round 10 can be signed for $100,000 (or less) without impacting the bonus pool of money allocated for higher-round draft picks, according to Major League Baseball rules.

Martarano redshirted in 2013 for Boise State. He is expected to be a backup linebacker this fall, while contributing on special teams and possibly playing offense at fullback or H-back.

Other locals in the draft:

• Centennial High graduate Chase Harris selected in the 14th round (No. 412 overall) by Philadelphia. Harris, an outfielder, played at College of Southern Idaho and New Mexico. Harris is a Boise native.

• Rocky Mountain High grad Issac Anderson (College of Southern Idaho) was selected by the Reds as a pitcher in 19th round (No. 575 overall).

• Eagle High graduate Andrew Ely (Washington) was selected in the 32nd round by the Chicago Cubs.

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