McNutt, Bour Among Cubs' Late-Round Finds

CHICAGO—The Cubs have enjoyed seeing several late-round picks bloom into prospects this summer.

Righthander Trey McNutt was 2-0, 3.86 in his first 21 innings with high Class A Daytona. That came following a July promotion after he posted a 6-0, 1.51 record with 70 strikeouts in 59 innings over 13 starts with low Class A Peoria.

First baseman Justin Bour, a 25th-round pick in 2009 from George Mason, was batting .280/.379/.435 and led Peoria with 10 home runs and 62 RBIs.

Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita credits scouting director Tim Wilken for coming up with the late-round gems.

"It's all Tim and his staff," Fleita said. "He's one of those guys that after the first five or 10 (rounds) in the draft is still grinding away and reminding the staff that there is no letdown until after the 50th (round) in the draft."

Catcher Michael Brenly was hitting .314/.375/.402 for Daytona and ranked second on the team in both average and on-base percentage.Brenly, 23, was drafted in the 36th round in 2008 out of Nevada-Las Vegas.

"There's always still a big leaguer on the board and that's always kind of been the way he does things," Fleita said. "For Timmy Wilken, the draft isn't over until the last pick is taken. And you are starting to see that. McNutt was taken in the 32nd round."

Although high draft picks who earn huge bonuses are still generally on a longer leash in most organizations, the Cubs say they give everyone an opportunity to succeed.

"It doesn't matter where you come from or what round you go in, if you make the major leagues, they are not going to ask how much money you signed for, what round you went in or even how old you are," Fleita said. "They want to know if you can play. That's how we treat them here. I kind of forget where they came from and what round they went in on purpose. They are all big leaguers until they prove differently."


• Lefthander J.R. Mathes broke Triple-A Iowa's career wins record when he notched his 39th I-Cubs win in a 10-2 victory against Round Rock on July 23.

• Double-A Tennessee catcher Robinson Chirinos won his second Southern League hitter of the week award July 19. Chirinos, 26, was hitting .314/.402/.593 in 226 at-bats.