Cubs draft Indiana catcher/OF Kyle Schwarber in 1st round - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Cubs draft Indiana catcher/OF Kyle Schwarber in 1st round

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The Chicago Cubs Thursday night chose Kyle Schwarber, catcher/outfielder, out of Indiana University with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“Kyle has been one of the premier performers in the college ranks the last few years. He displays what we look for in patience and power at the plate,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. “He is a high character guy we think teammates will rally around.”

Schwarber owns a .341 batting average with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons with Indiana, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. The 21-year-old has walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He owns a .984 career fielding percentage, mainly at catcher while also playing some outfield, and has thrown out 51 of 154 attempted base stealers.

He's six-feet and 240-pounds. This athlete from Middleton, Ohio, hit .358 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI in 2014 for the Hoosiers, adding career-highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks and 10 stolen bases while starting all 59 of Indiana’s games. He's a left-handed hitter and recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, which is good for a 1.123 OPS.

Schwarber registered a .992 fielding percentage this season, and threw out 16 of 43 attempted base stealers, which is on the way to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

In 2013, the 21-year-old college junior was named the top catcher in the country and First Team All-American by Perfect Game and the NCBWA after hitting .366 with 18 home runs and 54 RBI in 61 games. He recorded a .456 on-base percentage, walking 42 times, and slugged .647, which is the best in the Big Ten. He committed just three errors on the way to a .989 fielding percentage. He was named Academic All-Big Ten and joined USA’s Collegiate National Team after the season.

As a freshman in 2012, he started all 60 of Indiana’s games, including 54 at catcher. He posted a .300 batting average alongside a .390 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage while hitting eight homers and driving in 47 runs. Behind the plate, he threw out 27 would-be base stealers, good for second-most in the conference.

Schwarber is a 2011 graduate of Middletown High School in his hometown Middletown, Ohio.The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues Friday with rounds three-through-10 and finishes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.

Schwarber was recommended by area scout Stan Zielinski.

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