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Cubs executives visit potential Draft pick Gray

Cubs executives visit potential Draft pick Gray

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs are finalizing prep work for the First-Year Player Draft, to be held June 6, and Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, led a group of front office executives to Oklahoma to meet Wednesday with right-handed pitcher Jonathan Gray.

The Cubs have the second overall pick in the Draft, and they are expected to take Gray or Stanford right-hander Mark Appel -- whomever the Astros do not select with the No. 1 pick. Last year, Appel rejected a $3.8 million offer by the Pirates, who selected him eighth overall.

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Epstein was joined Wednesday in Oklahoma City by general manager Jed Hoyer, scouting and player development director Jason McLeod, and Jaron Madison, director of amateur scouting.

The Cubs have $10.56 million allotted by Major League Baseball for Draft bonuses to their top 10 picks.

A junior at Oklahoma, Gray has a plus-plus fastball and a power slider, and he will throw an occasional curve. He has been drafted twice before; in the 10th round in 2011 by the Yankees, and in the 13th round in 2010 by the Royals.

Appel also has been taken twice before. Besides being the eighth player taken overall last year by the Pirates, he was the Tigers' 15th round selection in 2009.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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