Cubs finished off the draft on Saturday, ending the three-day event with 21 pitchers, six catchers, seven infielders and six outfielders with their 40 picks. How many of those 40 they sign, remains to be seen. Last year the Cubs inked deals with 22 of their top 24 picks but only added two more, including none of the last nine.
While the Cubs draft allotment is less than last year, they may actually have more money to spend on day three selections after reported under slot deals with their first- and third-round picks. Some of that money will be used to sign the three high school arms they drafted with picks 4-5-6 as well as seventh-round pick James Norwood. It should also be noted that not every high schooler is ready for the grind of pro ball and benefit from going to school.
Here's a look at picks 21-30.
Round 21— Charles White, OF, University of Maryland (Jr.), Throws: Left; Bats: Left.
Maybe its was the diving play in center that got Cubs second-round pick and Maryland RHP Jake Stinnett off the hook in the first inning during Saturday's Super Regional or the three-hit performance in the win over Virginia that got the 22-year-old drafted. Throw in the fact he grew up in the Chicago area and prepped at Naperville North, and the 5-foot-10 left-hander could be a fan favorite. White currently leads Maryland with 25 stolen bases and 49 runs scored. The all-time Maryland leader in steals (86), White has started 60 games and posted a .291 batting average this season en route to second team All-ACC honors for a second consecutive year. White was selected in the 29th round by the New York Yankees last year, and red-shirted his sophomore season after breaking his hand. He he decides to sign, he could start his pro career in Boise after a brief stop in Mesa.
Round 22— Joe Martarano, 3B, Boise State (Fr.), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
You have to like the Cubs thinking out of the box on this one. Choosing football at Boise State over a pro baseball career, the former Fruitland, Idaho two-sport prep star was the 391st pick in last year's draft. The Phillies couldn't work out a deal that would have allowed the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder to play college football and pro baseball. The team with a Class A affiliate in Boise may be able to swing a deal that allows the power hitting corner infielder a chance to do both. He made it know he wanted 1-2 round money even though he knew he was a 3-4 round talent because of his strong football commit. Since Boise doesn't have a baseball team, he was eligible for the draft again. Fans at Boise may get a kick out of seeing their linebacker taking hacks at the plate.
Round 23— Isiah Gilliam, OF, Parkview High School, GA, Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
According to reports, Jason McLeod has said he doesn't think they'll be able to sign the Georgia prep but admits they, like the rest of MLB, got a late start recruiting the 6-foot-2 switch-hitting outfielder. Gilliam only became draft eligible in the past few months and Scout'com's Kiely McDaniel was all over the story. Link to player page includes video of Gilliam and a complete story on the eligibility issue and a detailed scouting report can be found HERE . Gilliam is set to attend Chipola Community College and will be eligible for the draft next year.
Round 24— Daniel Spingola, CF, Georgia Tech (Jr.), Throws: Left; Bats: Left.
The 21-year-old went from a part-time starter as a sophomore to an all-conference performer and a draft pick in one season. A second-team All-ACC pick, Spingola enjoyed a breakout season in his first as an everyday starter, leading the ACC in hits (82) and finishing among the league leaders with a .319 average He also led the ACC in triples (eight) and swiped a team-best 15 bases in 16 attempts. His team-best .451 slugging percentage also included nine doubles and three homers as he drove in 36 runs. He teamed with Cubs 14th round pick Chesny Young at Marist High School to win back-to-back state titles in Georgia.
Round 25— Tyler Pearson, C, Texas State (Sr.), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
Cubs took their second college catcher of the draft selecting the former Rice catcher who transferred after 2011 and sat out 2012. Pearson was one of the best defensive catchers in the Sun Belt this season, leading the conference in runners caught stealing (25-50) and hit five homers. "I'm blessed and excited to be given the opportunity to continue my baseball career with the Chicago Cubs," said Pearson. "I can't thank my family, coaches and teammates enough for all they have done for me up to this point. I'm looking forward to what the future has in store. I want to thank Texas State and the coaches for giving me an opportunity to play for such a great program. I had a blast playing for the Bobcats these past two seasons and I expect big things from them in the future," Pearson said. The Lubbock, Texas native was drafted by the Indians in the 38th round in 2010.
Round 26— Zach Hedges, RHP, Azusa Pacific University, (Jr.), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
Cubs should be able to lure the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder away from his senior year at the Division II school. The Damien High School product led Azusa Pacific's starters with a 2.74 ERA, while tossing a team-high 85.1 innings. Hedges' pinpoint control helped the junior register a 2.8 strikeout to walk ratio and a .232 BAA. Hedges finished with a 5-4 record, with two complete games and a save. The Glendora native, who appeared in 13 games, surrendered one earned run or less in 10 appearances. "Zach's self-motivated. He has quality character, he's a hard worker and driven. We're super excited for his progress as a player. To put himself in this position is exciting for him and speaks volumes about what kind of person he is. We're happy to see a guy like that get this kind of opportunity," said Azusa Pacific's head coach Paul Svagdis.
Round 27— Calvin Graves, CF, Franklin Pierce (Sr.), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
For the second straight year the Cubs went to the campus of Franklin Pierce and after drafting Trevor Graham in the 13th round last year, took the speedy outfielder. Graves earned ABCA All-East Region Second Team and All-Northeast-10 First Team honors in addition to an NEIBA All-Star selection. The 23-year-old put together a .319/.380/.386 slash line out of the leadoff hole in 56 games and finished the season ranked 18th in the country in stolen bases (31) and 27th in stolen bases per game (0.58). Among Northeast-10 leaders, he finished the season third in stolen bases (32-for-40, 80%), fourth in hits (67), tied for eighth in runs scored (38), 15th in batting average and 27th in on-base percentage. Graves provides more outfield depth for the minors.
Round 28— Jake Niggemeyer, RHP, Olentangy Liberty High School Ohio), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
The 6-foot-5 prep was ranked as a possible 6-8 round pick by McDaniel but fell to the Cubs in day three and will likely head to Ohio State, a commitment he made back in 2011. Niggemeyer finished with a 9-2 record and a 0.53 ERA in his senior year; and hit .350 average with 10 2B and 30 RBI. He was named OCC-Central player of the year and first team All-Ohio during his junior and senior seasons. His fastball was clocked at 94 and his head coach Ty Brenning said the 18-year-old has grown and matured during his senior season.
Round 29— Gianni Zayas, RHP, Seminole State College (J2), Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
Another one of the top junior college arms heading into the season that ended up with the Cubs organization in day three. McDaniel saw Zayas early in the season and filed this report. "Seminole will be a hot destination for scouts this spring with another righty that has top five rounds potential in who transferred from North Carolina State. Zayas sat 91-93 mph with an above average curveball that he was able to vary the tilt of at 77-80 mph and had excellent command of the pitch. He only threw one change-up in his two inning stint at 80 mph and it was out of the zone but he showed some feel for the pitch in warmups and has a more advanced feel for pitching than teammate Jake Cosart. The upside is lower but there's a potential 4th starter here from this short look, good enough for a 3rd-4th round grade." Still only 20, Zayas would be a great addition to the Cubs organization if he signs.
Round 30— Michael Cantu, C, Foy H. Moody High School, TX, Throws: Right; Bats: Right.
The two-sport Texas prep will likely honor his commitment to the University of Texas and refine his skills at the college level. Cantu has a power bat and a good arm, and was a projected fifth round pick by McDaniel and the 35th best draft prospect in Oklahoma and Texas area. Ranked by some as the top prep catcher in the state, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder also played quarterback and has been favored for his leadership and makeup. Texas recruiting coordinator Tommy Nicholson called Cantu's bat as powerful as any in the country for high schoolers. Cantu would be a great addition to the system but its likely the Cubs won't have the extra funds needed to lure him away from college.