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.
For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.
The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.
Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.
Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.
Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Fred Mitchell, Seth Gruen and Jason Goch join David Kaplan on the panel.
The Cubs bats come alive against the Giants while Theo says there have been plenty of trade rumors but no trade talks. Do the Cubs need to make a deal?
Plus, Ray Ratto joins Kap to talk about the Warriors struggles and the guys debate if LeBron is playing his final game in a Cavaliers uniform.
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: