6/5 Cubs pick C Kyle Schwarber

With the fourth pick overall in the First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs selected Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber. It’s the third straight year the Cubs have taken a position player in the first round. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein chose outfielder Albert Almora in 2012 and third baseman Kris Bryant in 2013.

One of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, presented to the top Division I catcher in the country, Schwarber batted .358 with 14 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .659 slugging percentage his junior year at Indiana. In his final eight games for the Hoosers, he batted .469 (15-for-32) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and a .938 slugging percentage. He was named the Big Ten tournament’s most outstanding player and selected to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Bloomington Regional.

A native of Middletown, Ohio, the junior was majoring in recreational sports management at Indiana. In high school, he was a four-time MVP, and second team All-Ohio linebacker.

“I was 8 or 10, and I was a catcher,” Schwarber told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “and my grandmother said to me, ‘I want you to be like Johnny Bench.’ I said, ‘Who’s Johnny Bench?’ She said, ‘The best catcher to ever play the game.’ She told me all about him.”

Schwarber did meet Bench during a national tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y., and had a picture taken with the Hall of Famer.

He was not drafted out of high school.

“In football, the middle linebacker is the field captain, and it’s the same for a catcher in baseball — you’re the field manager,” he told the Enquirer. “You control the staff — they trust you, and you trust them — and you have to know where everyone’s playing. You direct. It’s a big responsibility. I love it.”

Hoosiers baseball coach Tracy Smith’s wife, Jamie, is from Middletown, and urged her husband to look at the catcher.

“It’s still amazing when I think back to recruiting him,” Smith told the Indianapolis Star last year. “It wasn’t like we had to beat out a bunch of people to get him. He was a relatively unknown player, thank goodness.”

Whether Schwarber will be a catcher in the big leagues remains to be seen. He loves the role.

“Catching is what I really want to be doing,” he said. “There’s no other position I want to play. I like catching because it’s down and dirty and gritty. It’s an awesome position.”

In 2013, he was selected the best catcher in the country by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He actually became a catcher because of his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, he said he couldn’t focus at any other position.

“I was the kid who was all over the place, left and right,” Schwarberg said.

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 12:30p ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1p ET.

– Carrie Muskat

26 Comments

Why haven’t they called him up to a Wrigley yet? What, exactly, is the delay?!

took the wrong Greyhound Bus when transferring buses in Des Moines.

Well, the Cubs drafted a Catcher 1st round. Listening on TV, reading the article, I am very pleased. I know others wanted a different pick, but hey, the Cubs were pretty weak at that position.
Now lets all hope for the best. I can see the Cubs getting to the WS with a Schwarber behind the plate. :)

Won’t be a catcher……..and we may never see a WS in our life time.

Ah…I was waiting for Cubs Talk to explain why this means the Cubs will never win a World Series. Now if Doug can post an 800-word pedantic essay how we’re all missing the real point and this perfectly fits into the Cubs’ under-slot strategy, we’ll be in business.

Well, it does fit into their strategy. 7 words

Doug – that’s awesome! That made me laugh. It does fit into their strategy. And on top of that, he’s a high OBP, “control the strike zone” type of cat. So it will be fun to see how it plays out.

USA TODAY concludes Schwarber likely projects as an outfielder professionally, Jasper. I hope they are wrong, as the young man seems to covet the catching position, and wants to remain there.

jhosk, I dont understand what USA Today has to do with the Cubs Scouting Department, coaching staffs along a youngsters way? I am sure he will be very well coached after signing and starting his career.
If Scouts and actual experts think he can Catch, I would go with their opinions over any media.
I just wish him huge success where ever he plays and hopefully as you say, he wants to catch.

Well one of the 3 I was preparing to see drafted… It’s a great pick if he can stay at catcher… A terrible one if he can’t

Well Petry i guess you covered your first round selection, what would your 45th selection be,and if it is great, that is great, but if he is terrible would that mean he is terrible,great comment.Glad you had the input,by the way how is that Veras signing that I took heat from you and someone else about since day one going,still going for that 26 win mark some us Cub fans talked about at the 60 game break,Go CUBS!

KenlyCub, Veras was a gamble, at 5 Million and the Cubs Bullpen problems, tha last two years, this April 3 years: Veras was a gamble worth taking. Stewart was a gamble worth taking when there was no 3rd baseman to be found. Some work, some dont.
Maholm worked, Feldman worked.
Why bring it up?

i can admit I was wrong…. never tried side stepping that. Im no coward. I was wrong on Veras but the risk of 5mill on Veras has/does/will not have a huge effect on this team now or going forward so congrats you were definitely right. Pat yourself on the back. But realize it really didn’t effect this team. You can’t tell me Veras is the reason we are this bad.

I dont see where you were wrong, it was a decent gamble. It just didnt work out, it happens.

Actually 4 million,and the bullpen seems to be doing fine without him,by the way you also stated the Cubs would be hard to win more than 21 games thru there first 60,they are already there and counting.Pick the best player,not the need at a certain position,unless it is a for sure thing,ala Bryant.Giving Navarro that 4 million would look very good right now,I know he wanted more, just example given but i am glad to know that 4 million to you is a gamble worth taking.By the way,the second offering to Stewart was the stupid move. And yes some pan out and some dont.

By todays standards? 5 Million was a good gamble. I said the Cubs would not win 21 in the first 60?? I dont think so.

lol you seriously want Navarro over Castillo? Or do you mean as a backup now that Castillo is hurt? Why spend 4 mill on a backup? If you wanted Navarro as starter then realize Castillo and Navarro are currently the same .2 WAR value… and Castillo is cheap.

So the Cubs drafted a catcher ….a catcher who they will turn into an outfielder…….joining Almora, Soler, Jimenez, Hannerman and Brett Jackson……………best position player…..power hitter….lets hope so……………..so the question of the day is………..Do you think Schwarber will be here in September ??????……….nah, that isn’t the question……..are you excited with this pick?…….if not……who do you think we get next year with the top pick in the Draft?

Aloha Folks- Well I am out West and finally got to chime in. I wanted the Cubs to trade before (no draft in site) for a catcher, for example the Yankees at one point had so many. I have said this before, there is a reason today why catchers make good managers and coaches. I believe Kyle S. has the tools to be a very good catcher like Buster Posey, who at one point pitched in college and I am glad that the Giants kept him as a catcher with some time at first base to rest his legs but keep his bat in the lineup. I hope Kyle can be a player like this. Again, good job Cubs for getting a quality catcher into the system! Mahalo!

Aloha Folks- just a quick follow up, as this seems to be a unique year for the draft, I was hoping that our guy from “da Big Island,” would still available come the second round, Kodi Medeiros, but the Brewers snatched him in the 1st! He is in high school and has thrown consistently in the 90’s and has some wicked breaking ball action, plus he’s a lefty. Was dreaming he could bring the “Aloha Spirit,” to Chicago. Who knows, maybe in the future. Hope the next rounds go well for our Cubbies. Mahalo!

Hello k.g. Yes, Medeiros must be a good one, as he was taken relatively high at #12. Keep in mind Mike Trout was taken #25 a few years ago. The folks doing the drafting are not all geniuses is what I`m saying. Mike Papi went to Cleveland at #38. Papi`s high school coach, Gary Custer, is quoted in today`s local paper here in Pa. that he, Custer, has received some character calls about Papi in recent weeks from the Mets, Diamondbacks, and Cubs. So I want to thank the Cubs for showing some interest in my “boy,” if you will. It was unrealistic to expect the Cubs to draft him, as he was taken by the time the Cubs were ready to make their second pick. I want to call your attention to the #20 pick Casey Gillaspie, k.g. He`s from Wichita State and was taken by Tampa. I saw him play in February or March in Myrtle Beach vs. Coastal Carolina in a four game series. The dude can rake, please believe me. He seemed to get a knock almost every time he came to the dish in that series. And speaking of Tampa, thanks to them, the Cubs do not have the worst record in all of mlb, at least as of today, June 6th, the 70th Anniversary of “D Day.”

Fun fact: Casey Gillaspie is also the brother of current White Sox Conor Gillaspie, so there’s definitely some baseball talent in that family.

J.J. you agreed with Deancee,concluding what i said about the Cubs bats would start to warm up,you stated that all other teams bats would also,agreeing they would win no more than 21 games.

Was that in the same post you stated the Cubs would win 107 games this year and sweep the WS?
I know you did not state that as well as I know I did not state what you claim.

And it was 4 million,not 5 million.

Then at 4 million, it was a gamble.

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