6/8 Fifth round: Matt Szczur
In the fifth round, the Cubs selected outfielder Matt Szczur, a two-sport star at Villanova. He was the first .400 hitter for Villanova this season since 1997, batting .443 (77-for-174) to earn first team All-Big East honors. His batting average was fourth highest in school history and his .392 career average ranks fifth all-time for the Wildcats.
He led the team in eight different offensive categories and posted a .487 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage. His 13 doubles, seven triples and four home runs were all team highs for the year as were his 38 RBIs. Coming out of high school, he was a 38th-round pick by the Dodgers but opted to go to school.
Baseball America ranked Szczur as the second-fastest runner among all college position players in the Draft and the 19th best center fielder among all Draft-eligible players.
The junior from Erma, NJ, throws and hits from the right. In 2009, he led the team in hitting, runs scored, hits, walks and on-base percentage and tied for the lead in stolen bases. Szczur did not play baseball in ’08 because of a football-related injury. He was the only Division I college football player in the country in 2009 to register touchdowns as a rusher, receiver, passer and kick returner.
Yet here is something that makes Szczur even more special. In March, he donated bone marrow to an infant girl battling juvenile leukemia.
“I’ll miss a couple of baseball games but it’s a no brainer to do it,” Szczur told the Delaware County Daily Times in March. “One of my best friends back home is fighting cancer. If I could do anything for her, I would. So I figure I should do anything to help this little girl out.”
Szczur also is considered a possible NFL Draft pick.
“In my heart, I really want to come back,” he said in March about playing at Villanova his senior season. “I would say the chances of me coming back are pretty good. But it depends on how my year goes with baseball, what [Draft] round I get picked up in and how much money I would make. If I’m a first rounder, I’ve go to go. And anybody would agree with me, too.”
— Carrie Muskat