The Chicago Cubs delivered on their promise and have signed the No. 4 overall pick, catcher Kyle Schwarber to a $3.125 million bonus quickly, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.
The Cubs save $1.5 million that can be spread throughout the rest of the 2014 draft class.
Preceding the Cubs’ pick, the Houston Astros selected high school left-hander Brady Aiken with the first overall pick, the Miami Marlins drafted hard-throwing right-hander Tyler Kolek in a bit of a surprise move, as man anticipated the team would take Cuban-American and Miami native Carlos Rodon, who fell to the Cubs’ crosstown rival, the Chicago White Sox at third overall.
Schwarber hit .341 with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games for Indiana with a .437 on-base percentage and 116 walks.
He was touted as the country’s best amateur catcher by Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He led the Big Ten with 18 home runs in his sophomore year, a school record, while slugging .647 with a .456 on-base percentage this season. As a sophomore, he led Indiana to their first College World Series and first conference regular season title in 81 years.
With his 6-foot-0, 235-pound frame, Schwarber could be moved to left field and third-rounder Mark Zagunis to be the organization’s main catching prospect.
Schwarber joins an impressive group of young talent within the Cubs organization that includes Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, and Kris Bryant, the second overall pick in last year’s draft.
The early signing has Schwarber scheduled to join short-season Class A Boise in time to play in Friday’s season opener.