Cubs conclude second day of 2012 MLB Player Draft

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today completed the second day of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The club thus far has selected 17 players. The third and final day of the draft is tomorrow with rounds 16-40.

The Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Duane Underwood out of Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., in the second round (67th overall) and right-handed pitcher Ryan McNeil out of Nipomo (Calif.) High School in the third round (101st overall).

Underwood was recommended by area scout Keith Lockhart, and McNeil was recommended by area scout Tom Myers.

Underwood, 17, was 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA on the hill, striking out 75 and walking 34 in 50.1 innings pitched this past season for Pope. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder struck out 15 hitters in 6.1 innings of work, March 9 vs. Lassiter. At the plate, Underwood batted .337 (35-for-104) with seven doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBI. Underwood has committed to the University of Georgia.

McNeil, 18, logged a 1.10 ERA and held the opposition to a .175 batting average last season for Nipomo High School. He struck out 94 hitters in 57.1 innings pitched, good for an average of 14.76 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, while walking just 21 hitters. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound McNeil hit .392 (20-for-51) with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and 18 RBI. He has committed to Long Beach State University.

The Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Josh Conway out of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., in the fourth round (134th overall). The 21-year-old made nine starts last season, going 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA (13 ER/54.2 IP) and a complete game. He struck out 50, walked just 18 and held the opposition to a .222 batting average. Conway was selected by Atlanta in the 42nd round of the 2009 draft, but did not sign. He was recommended by area scout Keith Lockhart.

With the club’s eighth-round pick, the team selected left-handed pitcher Michael Heesch out of the University of South Carolina Beaufort. A Crystal Lake, Ill., native who graduated from Prairie Ridge High School, the 22-year-old attended the University of Illinois–Chicago for two years before transferring to South Carolina Beaufort. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 18 games, holding the opponent to a .246 batting average.

Through the first two days, the Cubs have selected 11 pitchers (nine righthanders and two lefthanders), one infielder, three outfielders and two catchers. Additionally, the Cubs have selected 11 college players and six high school players. 

Here is a look at Chicago’s first 17 selections from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft:

Rd. (pick No.)      Player                                Pos.            School                                                        Birthday            B     T      Ht.       Wt.

1 (6)                    Albert Almora                     OF               Mater Academy Charter School (Fla.)       4/16/1994           R      R      6-2       180

1A (43)                Pierce Johnson                   RHP             Missouri State University                         5/10/1991           R      R      6-3       180

1A (56)                Paul Blackburn                   RHP             Heritage High School (Calif.)                    12/4/1993           R      R      6-2       185

2 (67)                  Duane Underwood            RHP             Pope High School (Ga.)                             7/20/1994           R      R      6-2       205 

3 (101)                Ryan McNeil                       RHP             Nipomo High School (Calif.)                     2/1/1994             R      R      6-3       210

4 (134)                Josh Conway                      RHP             Coastal Carolina University (S.C.)            4/12/1991           R      R      6-1       175

5 (164)                Anthony Prieto                   LHP             Americas High School (Texas)                  11/16/1993         L      L      5-11     170 

6 (194)                Trey Lang                           RHP             Gateway CC (Ariz.)                                     5/18/1992           R      R      6-3       225

7 (224)                Stephen Bruno                   INF              University of Virginia                                11/17/1990         R      R      5-9       175

8 (254)                Michael Heesch                  LHP             University of South Carolina Beaufort     5/15/1990           R      L      6-5       260

9 (284)                Chadd Krist                        C                  University of California, Berkeley            1/28/1990           R      R      5-11     190

10 (314)              Chad Martin                        RHP             Indiana University                                     5/17/1990           R      R      6-7       230

11 (344)              Rashad Crawford               OF               Mundy’s Hill High School (Ga.)                 10/15/1993         S      R      6-3       185

12 (374)              Justin Amlung                    RHP             University of Louisville (Ky.)                    5/21/1990           R      R      6-1       180

13 (404)              Bijan Rademacher              OF               Orange Coast College (Calif.)                  6/15/1991           L      L      6-0       200

14 (434)              Corbin Hoffner                   RHP             St. Petersburg College (Fla.)                    7/30/1993           R      R      6-5       235

15 (464)              Carlos Escobar                  C                  University of Nevada                                12/31/1990         R      R      6-2       185