The Chicago Cubs today completed the second day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The club thus far has selected 10 players. The third and final day of the draft is tomorrow with rounds 11-40.
The Cubs selected right-handed hitting catcher Mark Zagunis out of Virginia Tech with their third pick, and took left-handed pitcher Carson Sands out of North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Fla., with their fourth selection. In the fifth round, the Cubs selected left-handed pitcher Justin Steele from George County High School in Lucedale, Miss.
Zagunis was recommended by area scout Billy Swoope, Sands was recommended by area scout Tom Clark and Steele was recommended by area scout JP Davis.
Zagunis, 21, batted .330 (69-for-209) with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 39 RBI in 53 games for Virginia Tech this season, his junior year. He walked 32 times (compared to 20 strikeouts), which contributed to a .426 on-base percentage, and stole 16 bases. He was named All-ACC Second Team for the second time in his career and was a 2014 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist.
Zagunis owns a .338 (213-for-630) batting average in three seasons at Virginia Tech, recording a .430 on-base percentage thanks in part to 85 walks and only 74 strikeouts. He has recorded a .979 fielding percentage (17 E/797 TC) primarily at catcher, but has also seen time in the outfield. With 52 career stolen bases, he is just the second Hokie to record at least 50 stolen bases since the school joined the ACC.
Sands, 19, was 11-1 with a 0.58 ERA and one complete game in 14 outings, 12 starts, for North Florida Christian this past season. He struck out 100 in 60.2 innings, good for an average of 14.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, while walking just 24. At the dish, the left-handed hitting Sands batted .361 (26-for-72) with 12 RBI.
Sands, who posted a 1.28 ERA while going 7-2 in 11 games (nine starts) in his 2013 junior season, has committed to Florida State University. He pitched for Team USA for three summers, winning a gold medal with the 18-and-under team in 2012.
Steele, 18, was 5-1 with a 0.98 ERA in eight games for George County this past season. He struck out 92 in 43.0 innings, good for an average of 19.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. He walked just 12 and held the opponent to a .109 batting average while throwing two no-hitters. He was named 5A Player of the Year by state coaches.
Steele went 14-4 with a 1.62 ERA in three high school seasons at the varsity level, striking out 210 in 125.1 innings of work for an average of 15.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings while issuing just 40 walks and allowing one home run. He has committed to the University of Southern Mississippi.
Through the first two days, the Cubs have selected eight pitchers (five right-handed and three left-handed) and two catchers. Additionally, the Cubs have selected seven college players and three high school players.