Out of baseball a year, Martarano picked by Cubs

Boise State practice-squad football player could sign after being drafted in Round 22

Out of baseball a year, Martarano picked by Cubs

CHICAGO -- Joey Martarano hasn't played baseball in the past year, but that didn't keep the Cubs from selecting the Boise State linebacker in the 22nd round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

Martarano is a 6-foot-3, 241-pound athlete from Fruitland, Idaho, who spent this past season on the Boise State football team's scout team, where he was named defensive scout player of the year.

According to Idaho's KTVB.com, an anonymous scout said Martarano "has more natural power than anyone I've ever seen."

Cubs senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod agrees.

"He is a guy that was well-known on the amateur circuit because he's so strong and physical," McLeod said.

The Cubs aren't the only team to take a chance on the two-sport standout. The Phillies drafted him in the 13th round last year and offered him a $100,000 signing bonus, which he rejected. Martarano was eligible this season because Boise State doesn't have a baseball program.

But McLeod said the Cubs are going to make a run at signing Martarano, and he seemed confident a deal where Martarano plays baseball and football can be reached.

"We know the kid loves to play baseball, and obviously, he plays for the football team," McLeod said. "That's one where we're going to have a lot of conversations and I wouldn't be surprised if you do see him playing in a Cubs uniform."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.