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And then there was one.

From the sound of his most recent tweet, the Chicago Cubs have finally signed second round pick, high school pitcher Duane Underwood: “Next week I will officially be a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs Organization.”

Underwood had been a Georgia commit, and had talked about going to school on occasion, so I reckon he wouldn’t have tweeted that unless it was solid. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of signing bonus he received.

Underwood’s signing leaves first rounder Albert Almora as the Cubs’ only unsigned player in their top 20 picks. The signing deadline is July 13.

Underwood was one of the youngest pitchers in the Draft (he doesn’t turn 18 until July 24), and he’s a very raw, very high upside type pitcher. It’s good to have him in the fold.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Now that Underwood is (or is soon to be) signed, the Cubs (and Scott Boras) should know to the dime how much they can spend on Almora without losing draft picks.  That pretty much sets Almora’s price tag.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Will Almora be the last Luke? I haven’t kept up to much on the draft picks signing.

    • rcleven

      Not Luke but he is the last of the top 20.

      • @cubsfantroy

        Cool, thanks.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          But he may not the be last, period.  He is the last of the biggish names for the Cubs.

          • João Lucas

            I guess there’s no chance at this point that we get Rhett Wiseman, is there?

            • nkniacc13

              very slim chance part depends on what Almora and Underwood signed for slot, a bit above slot or under slot

          • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

            When was the last time the Cubs signed all picks from the first ten rounds?

  • djriz

    Here is question for you legal beagles out there.
    Does Major League have to follow state labor laws when it comes to the players, or do they get an exemption? Some states have very restrictive labor laws when it comes to minors, and I’m just wondering what effect that would have on players like Underwood who is under 18 (even if for only 10 days).
    Thanks.

    • Colin

      Aren’t there 17 year old foreign players playing over here? That’s a good question I’m curious to know as well.

  • Jackalope

    Glad to have him signed. Not to be a jerk or anything, but shouldn’t he have said:

    “Next week I will officially be a [minor] League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs Organization.”

    • D.G.Lang

      He did say organization and not team. It is absolutely true that he signed with the Cubs organization and not the team.

      Technically speaking what he said was completely and totally true and not in any way misleading.

      When a player signs with an organization, the organization owns his contract. Even if the contract is a minor league contract, the organization which owns the major league franchise owns the minor league contract.

      The minor league teams are owned and operated by entities other than the major league organization even though the major league organization provides (owns) the players and coaching staff.

      • Drew7

        Kinda feel like I read almost the exact same thing this morning…

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    So what is the chances we sign Jake Drossner, William Fisher, Christian Botnick, Bryan Bonnell? And of course Rhett Wisemann?

    • North Side Irish

      I’d like to see the Cubs make a run at Hickman too…kid is a beast as a catcher already. But they probably need to get Almora signed and then see how much money they have left (if any) to make a run at any of these guys.

    • Tommy

      I wonder if Wisemann would have signed with anyone under 1st round slot money besides the Red Sox. Disappointing we couldn’t get this kid.

    • Scotti

      If the Cubs don’t sign Almora within a few hours of the deadline look for them to sign a couple of the later picks (not with the Almora money but with the extra on hand).

  • North Side Irish

    I was a little worried they wouldn’t get him signed since he went a little lower than expected, plus a solid commit to Georgia. He’s an intriguing prospect who has good stuff that is unfortunately a little inconsistent, though he is still just 17 years old.

    It sounds like there was a wide range of opinions on him and they varied based on what day people saw him. BA didn’t have him in their Top 100 leading into the draft, but KLaw had him #48, ahead of P. Johnson and Blackburn. I’ll be excited if he really does sign…the Cubs farm system can use all the high upside pitching prospects they can get.

  • Kevin

    Hopefully we sign all of them and Almora gets his slot value of $3.250,000.

  • Josh

    Very happy we have done well signing our draft picks. It makes me feel confident in the front office and it’s good to see us maximize our opportunities as far as acquiring talent in multiple ways. I am looking forward to seeing how these guys rank in our farm system at the end of this season and beginning of next. Really hope we can sign Almora. Then after the deadline we can be looking at a great farm system assuming we trade Garza, Dempster, and others. We are rebuilding the right way, except the bummer is it takes quite some time. Hope to see Vitters crack the ML lineup and make an impact and really make the job his heading into the offseason.

  • CityCub

    Any updates on almora and when he/if he plans to sign?

    • Vladimir

      The update is he’s only got 8 days. So even if Boras insists on waiting til the last second. Only 8 days to go. I think the Cubs handled Boras well this time. Sign all of the other high draft picks that way there is no notable names Boras can steal money from (IE: Well give us all of your remaining draft money) because they already have the guys they wanted signed (aside from very unlikely signs).

  • North Side Irish

    Underwood signed for above slot…

    Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA
    #Cubs, 2nd-rder Duane Underwood agree on $1.05 mil bonus ($769,600 pick value). Georgia HS RHP hits 98, spins curve at his best

    Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA
    #Cubs are still $276,200 under budget. So they can pay Almora up to $3,922,895 without losing a 1st-rd pick.

  • Featherstone

    I figured he went above slot. Not too bad though. Anyone got a scouting report on this kid?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Throws in the low to mid 90s, but has been clocked as high as 98.  His curve has plenty of potential as well.

      He’s a legit pitching prospect with at least a No 2 starter ceiling.  He’ll turn 18 later this month, so don’t expect him to rocket up the farm system in a hurry.

      • Featherstone

        Thanks Luke, sounds like the kind of arm our system is sorely lacking.

  • Kevin

    With Underwood signing over slot we can officially erase Rhett Wiseman from our wish list. So what are the chances signing LHP Jake Drossner, 23rd round, C William Fisher 24th Round, RHP Christian Botnick 34th round or RHP Bryan Bonnell 31st round? The Cubs have done a great job signing their picks, one or two more besides Almora would be a bonus.

  • supercapo

    Of the pitchers that the Cubs have signed in the draft, which ones profile as potential top of the rotation starters?

  • Jeremy

    Plenty of room to build stamina to hit 98 consistently as he’s only 17, not to mention that he has one of the best change ups in this years draft. He is easily the best pitching prospect in the minors, even ahead of Maples.

    • Jack Weiland

      Best change up? I hadn’t heard that, and it would be pretty unusual for a HS kid.

  • Jack Weiland

    Really happy he signed. Loved this pick.

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