When Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod took their new posts with the Cubs last fall, they immediately acknowledged the lack of impact pitching prospects in the system.
They planned to rectify that with the First-Year Player Draft this week -- their Super Bowl, as McLeod called it -- but kicked things off with Albert Almora, a high school outfielder, sixth overall.
Theo and Co. took pitchers with the next seven picks, starting with Pierce Johnson in the supplemental round.
Rd. 2, Pick No. 67 -- Duane Underwood, RHP
Underwood is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander out of Pope High School in Georgia. He throws his fastball consistently in the lower '90s but can dial it up to 97-98 mph on occasion. He also features a curve and changeup, though he struggles to find consistency with both, according to MLB.com. John Arguello of CubsDen says Underwood has first-round upside and is a good athlete and very coachable. He's a high-risk, high-reward guys.
Rd. 3, Pick No. 101 -- Ryan McNeil, RHP
The Cubs continued their run on high-school pitchers with McNeil, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound righty out of Nipomo High School in California. His fastball typically comes in at 88-92 mph and has some sink to it, according to bbprospectreport.com. McNeil also features a slider and a changeup.