6/7/2014 7:22 P.M. ET
Cubs take chance on high school underclassman
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- A few months ago, Isiah Gilliam was a high school underclassman at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga.
Then news broke that Gilliam -- who transferred three times in high school and was twice classified as a freshman -- was in his last year of high school athletics, with his four-year eligibility clock exhausted after this season, according to the Georgia High School Association.
Scouts scrambled to check out the 6-foot-2, 215-pound switch-hitting first baseman from the school that produced nine-year veteran and current Padres Minor Leaguer Jeff Francoeur, and the Cubs liked what they saw in the 17-year-old, selecting him in the 23rd round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
It was a whirlwind turnaround for Gilliam and his family, as Gilliam's father told USABaseball.com that the process for making sure his son was Draft-eligible happened in three days.
"Four hours later, I started getting calls from scouts," George Gilliam told USABaseball.com
A cross-checker told MLB.com earlier this year that Gilliam "has a short, quick bat," and estimated him going as high as the second round, but a strong college commitment caused him to slide to the 23rd round.
"Not sure if we'll be able to sign him, but if anything, it's going to help us build a relationship with him so that if he does go to college, we're that much further ahead than the other clubs," Cubs senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod said.
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."
Cubs get Stinnett's teammate in Round 21
CHICAGO -- Maryland outfielder Charles White grew up in Naperville, Ill., and on Saturday, he was drafted by his hometown team.
The Cubs selected White in the 21st round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.
White is a college teammate of right-hander Jake Stinnett, the Cubs' second-round pick, at Maryland, which on Saturday won its first game in the NCAA Super Regionals against Virginia. White went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Stinnett earned the win, allowing three runs (two earned) in six innings.
This season at Maryland, the speedy center fielder is hitting .284/.366/.396 with 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts.
White's father, Brian, played one year of rookie ball in the Cubs' organization in 1983.