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Cubs finish first night of 2014 First-Year Player Draft


CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs tonight made two selections in the opening rounds of the 2014 Major League First-Year Player Draft, including left-handed hitting catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana University with the fourth overall pick. In the second round, the Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Jake Stinnett out of the University of Maryland.

Schwarber was recommended by area scout Stan Zielinski, and Stinnett was recommended by area scout Billy Swoope.

Schwarber, 21, owns a .341 batting average (238-for-697) with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons with Indiana, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. He has walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He owns a .984 career fielding percentage, primarily at catcher while also playing some outfield, and has thrown out 51 of 154 (33 percent) of attempted base stealers.

The six-foot, 240-pound college junior from Middletown, Ohio, hit .358 (83-for-232) with 14 home runs (tied for seventh-most in the nation) and 48 RBI for the Hoosiers in 2014, adding career-highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks (compared to 30 strikeouts) and 10 stolen bases while starting all 59 of Indiana's games. Schwarber, a left-handed hitter, recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, good for a 1.123 OPS.

Schwarber registered a .992 fielding percentage (3 E/383 TC) this season, and threw out 16 of 43 (37 percent) of attempted base stealers, en route to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

Stinnett, 22, posted a 2.65 ERA (33 ER/112.0 IP) and a 7-6 record in 16 games, all but one in a starting role, for Maryland this season in his senior year. He struck out a school single-season record and Atlantic Coast Conference-high 130 batters, good for an average of 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, and walked just 27. Stinnett also led the ACC in complete games (four) and innings pitched, and became the seventh pitcher in program history to throw a no-hitter when he turned the trick in game one of a March 1 doubleheader against Massachusetts.

Stinnett began pitching full-time in 2013, posting a 2.83 ERA (20 ER/63.2 IP) in 16 games (nine starts), after splitting time on the mound and in the field (primarily at third base) his first two seasons with Maryland. The six-foot, four-inch, 205-pounder was selected by the Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 draft, but did not sign. Stinnett is a graduate of Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, Calif.

The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT with rounds three-through-10 and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.

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