Pawelek Used to Rewards

Left-handed pitcher Mark Pawelek, the Cubs' No. 1 draft pick this June, is used to rewards.

After all, he's been earning them since he was in Little League, when Pawelek's father paid him by the strikeout, by win, by ERA, and so on. Last week, he earned another incentive: his Class-A debut.

Pawelek was promoted to Class Low-A Boise of the Northwest League after posting a 2.72 ERA and .170 opponents average in 14 outings (13 starts) in the Arizona Summer League for the Mesa Cubs. He allowed 25 hits in 43 innings and struck out 56 while allowing 21 walks.

After Arizona League play ended for the year, the 19-year-old rightfully earned a chance to compete at Boise as a late birthday present to close out his season. (Pawelek turned 19 on August 18.)

Pawelek debuted at Boise on Friday night, working three innings and allowing one unearned run on six hits. He faced 15 batters and struck out four while walking one.

Even before his birthday, Pawelek had already learned a quick lesson from his stint with the Mesa Cubs.

"Can't throw a fastball past everybody now," he said. "You have to throw your pitches at the right spots. If you make a mistake, they'll give you headaches."

Fortunately, Pawelek hasn't made too many since signing with the Cubs on the very day he was drafted. He has yet to serve up a home run all year; same as his senior season at Springville High School in Utah, when he did not allow an earned run all year.

"I feel like I'm doing pretty good," Pawelek said. "I go out and throw my game, just as before. The only difference is the competition is so much tougher now."

Pawelek figures to make at least one more start at Boise before the Northwest League's regular season play ends Wednesday. The Hawks enter Sunday's game against Yakima a full two games back of first place Spokane (34-38) in the Eastern Division.


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