Picking Up Pitchers, Part Five

The fifth in a series featuring the seventeen pitchers the Cubs drafted in 2012— Chad Martin (10th round) and Michael Heesch (8th round)

The Cubs drafted a pair of Midwest arms with picks #8 and #10, selecting a Chicago area native and tall righty from the University of Indiana.

Chad Martin, RHP, 10th round, pick #314, Indiana

After signing on June 18, the 6-foot-7 right-hander made his debut against the Diamondbacks in the Arizona Rookie League and before his first pro inning was done he had allowed four hits and a pair of runs. The former Hoosier only got one out his next time out, yielding two hits while walking a pair. His next three games he was perfect: retiring all nine hitters he faced, five on strikeouts, including the side for his first pro save against the Mariners. Martin's roller coaster season continued as he gave up five runs on seven hits his next three games with a BAA of .333. The rest of the season Martin was nearly flawless, posting a 1.96 ERA over his final seven games with a BAA of .181. He completed his first pro season appearing in 14 games with a 5.06 ERA and WHIP of 1.625. He fanned 17 and right-handed hitters batted just .191 against him in 56 PA.

Martin was a jack of all trades for Indiana his senior year, making nine starts and appearing in 10 other games as he finished the season 2-3 with a 4.79 ERA. He allowed 80 hits in 67.2 innings with 47 strikeouts and a BAA of .303. Martin pitched well at the end of the season including a five-hit, 8.1 inning victory over Northwestern as he retired 17 straight batters. Pitching in a college-high 71.1 innings as a junior in 17 games, Martin made eight starts with two wins, two saves and his .255 BAA was fifth best in the Big Ten. He started his college career at Vincennes University, missing most of his freshman year, and then threw 45.1 innings as a sophomore, striking out 44 in 11 games. He played at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, winning the 2007 state championship. Martin is the first Hoosier drafted by the Cubs since they took Brian  Greene in the 26th round back in 1995.

Even though he spent four years in college, Martin is still relatively new to the mound, logging under 200 innings. With his future in the bullpen, the right-hander is likely to stay in Arizona and prepare for the Northwest League opener in June with Boise.

Michael Heesch, LHP, 8th Round, Pick #254, South Carolina-Beauford

The 6-foot-5 left-hander signed shortly after the draft and on June 23, made his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning of relief against the Royals. Heesch got a save in his next game and was promoted to Boise in the Northwest League for the final two months of the season. He didn't allow a run or a walk his first six games, pitching 12 innings with 12 strikeouts for the Hawks. He ran into trouble his next three outings yielding 12 hits in 5.2 innings in three games as seven earned runs crossed home plate. With Boise in a pennant race, Heesch got back in rhythm getting credit for the win in three straight games, pitching two innings of scoreless relief in each appearance. He pitched in both NWL playoff series allowing two runs in two innings against Yakima in the semi-finals and then pitched 3.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts against Vancouver in the deciding game and was in line to get the win before an eighth inning rally by the Canadians. Heesch ended his first pro season with 25 strikeouts and only one walk in 25 innings, leading all 2012 draft picks with a 1.05 WHIP.

An all-stater at Prairie Ridge High School as a senior, Heesch helped the Wolves to the 4A title in 2008 throwing a four-hitter against the defending state champs in the state semi-finals. He went 10-1 with 107 strikeouts in 87 innings. The Crystal Lake native stayed close to home spending the next two seasons pitching for the University of Illinois-Chicago. He started four games as a freshman making his college debut against Texas with an inning plus of hitless relief. Heesch pitched in 21 games allowing 54 hits in 53.2 innings with 32 strikeouts and 17 walks. He started 16 games as a sophomore for the Flames, going 6-6 with a 5.68 ERA but decided to transfer to South Carolina-Beauford to continue his career. He didn't take long to make a mark, setting the school record with 78 strikeouts, including 12 against Embry-Riddle. He continued to improve going 9-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 122.1 innings as a senior, earning second-team NAIA All-American honors. He had 118 strikeouts while walking only 13.

Heesch has tremendous control and with his size, could move up the minors rather quickly as a left-handed reliever. He packs 245 pounds on his frame and should be in the Kane County bullpen to open 2013.

This is the fifth in a series featuring the 17 pitchers the Cubs drafted and signed in 2012. It takes a look at their career before the draft, how they pitched after turning pro, and where they may start 2013. Its also serving as a free look at future subscription only stories that NorthSidersReport will start running soon.

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