Cubs Selected C/OF Kyle Schwarber with Fourth Overall Pick in the 2014 Draft

Months of speculation came to an end Thursday night when the Cubs selected catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber with the fourth pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The top three pitchers were off the board at the time. LHP Brady Aiken went to Houston, Tyler Kolek to the Marlins and the White Sox took Carlos Rodon with the third pick.

Jason McLeod said the Cubs were “enamored” with LHP Brady Aiken and Kyle Schwarber was the second player on the Cubs’ board. McLeod expects Schwarber to sign shortly and for under-slot which will leave bonus pool money for later picks. The Cubs first round slot allotment is $4,621,200.

In the release, McLeod said, “Kyle has been one of the premier performers in the college ranks the last few years. He displays what we are looking for in patience and power at the plate. He’s a high character guy we think teammates will rally around.”

Kyle Schwarber took batting practice at Wrigley last summer as part of Team USA according to a report from Patrick Mooney. Schwarber met with Theo Epstein during Spring Training and worked out the Cubs’ facility in Mesa.

Scout Stan Zielinski recommended Kyle Schwarber. And Schwarber will be represented by Casey Close.

Kyle Schwarber is expected to sign quickly and should report to Boise in the very near future. Schwarber is likely looking at a position change from catcher to either left field or first base. Schwarber told Jim Bowden after he was drafted that he hopes the Cubs give him a chance to stay a catcher but he will obviously do what the front office wants him to do.

Schwarber is a 6-foot, 230-pound lefty that according to Baseball America has shown “considerable improvement defensively” during his time at Indiana University. Schwarber “will still stab and boxes too many balls, and a long transfer can sabotage his solid-average arm strength.” He is athletic enough to play left field.

Offensively, he is a first round draft pick according to several reports. Schwarber has very good bat speed, hits to all fields with power and has tremendous strength.

In 57 games this season, Kyle Schwarber hit .348/.456/.643 with 15 doubles, six triples, 13 home runs, 42 walks, 28 strikeouts and a 1.098 OPS. During his three-year career at Indiana, Schwarber hit .338/.434/.601 with 40 doubles, 12 triples, 39 home runs, 114 walks, 89 strikeouts and a 1.035 OPS in 178 games.

Kyle Schwarber Video

MLB.com (16) and Baseball America (17) ranked Kyle Schwarber in the top 20 of the players that would be available in the draft.

Release from Cubs.com

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  • Tom U

    The Cubs just selected Maryland RHP Jake Stinnet with their second round pick.

    • EqDoc

      Looks like a good pick. Experienced college pitcher with not to much wear on his arm.

      • Gbarnett

        he only been pitching for his junior and senior year thats not really experienced lol but yes no wear and tear on the arm

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Tom…totally unscientific guess, but where would you put these first 2 picks in the rankings of all the Cubs current prospects?

      • Tom U

        Way too early to tell. If both sign relatively quickly, they will start their season in Boise. Schwarber has the potential to follow the same path of Kris Bryant if he shows that he can play passable defense behind the plate.

      • daverj

        I would rank Schwarber 6 right now in the following order. I don’t know enough about Stinnet to rank him, but I suspect at this point, he would not make the Top 10 and maybe not the Top 15.

        Bryant
        Baez
        Almora
        Soler
        Edwards
        Schwarber

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    in the first video he hits a HR off a lefty. sad that my first reaction was “well…Ricky still wouldn’t play him against lefties.”

  • gary3411

    Love the video on Stinnet. Good arm action and appearance of deception.

    Can’t say the same of Schwarber the swing just doesn’t seem as smooth as those top talent picks usually are (liked Conforto’s more), but this guy better stick in LF and sign for under or near 4mil or this is a disaster of a pick. As boring as the pick is, the guy has a legit shot at being a high OBP, obviously with power, 2 or 6 hitter playing LF. His ability to play left is the key.

    Stinnet almost certainly seems to be a pen guy, but could be a real good one. He’ll get a chance to start however. There are some solid 2-pitch starters out there (fangraphs had a cool article on them the other day) need a good good sinker to usually succeed at that.

    HIGH SCHOOL ARMS REST OF DRAFT PLEASE!! USE MONEY WE HOPEFULLY SAVE!

    • RynoTiger

      I’ll pick effective and productive swing over smooth swing. stop with the dramatics of “a disaster of a pick” until the guy actually gets chance to play in the minors.

      • gary3411

        if hes stuck at first base it is a disaster, period.

        • gary3411

          which I don’t think he will be, the guy can run he had 6 triples last year. so unless he’s incredibly uncoordinated he will be just fine in left maybe even average to slightly above average as his arm is solid.

          • Colton Mehlman

            he’ll be fine in left…. lol he was suppose to go to big 10 schools for football hes not slow or uncoordinated

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Some pretty titanic numbers for a college career. 6 triples this year? Big boy can run.

    Love to see him stick at catcher. If he can that would explain a ton about this pick. We are incredibly lean there and his bat is the closest to MLB ready in the draft.

  • Steve Baier

    Looks like a solid pick but as always with prospects, time will tell. Seems pretty polished offensively though.

  • Sanibelchuck

    It is interesting to note that the Minnesota Twins picked ss Nick Gordon. Nick is the son of pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon and the brother of Dee Gordon of the LA Dodgers. Is this going to be like the Joe Mauer/Mark Prior pick of the past?

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