Exclusive: Cubs Sign Eighth-Round Pick

Cubs area scout Lukas McKnight said prior to the start of this year's annual major league draft that the Ohio Valley/Western Pennsylvania region was one of the most heavily scouted areas in the country this past year. One such product from that region was RHP Billy Muldowney, the Cubs' eighth-round draft pick from the University of Pittsburgh.

Both McKnight and Muldowney confirm the 21-year-old has signed a professional contract with the Cubs. In his final season with the Panthers in the Big East, Muldowney was 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA. He fanned 99 batters in 82 2/3 innings and finished his two-year Pitt career second on the school's all-time strikeout list with 188 in 166 1/3 innings.

He joined the Big East following his freshman year at Duke.

"Billy Muldowney is a guy I saw last year as a sophomore. He was a guy I really took a liking to," said McKnight, a former catcher in the Cubs' farm system. "I was impressed partly because of his stuff, but also because of his makeup on the mound. I don't want to short-change him, because he has really good stuff, but I think it's his competitiveness and his makeup that will take him to the next level.

"He's got three good pitches to work with and has good command and movement on all of them. He's just a guy you can really see making it to the big leagues. We knew he probably wasn't a first-round talent, but he was one of those guys I really targeted."

Pitt head baseball coach Joe Jordano described Muldowney as a hard-nosed competitor with a bulldog mentality on the mound.

"He's got a tremendous competitive spirit," Jordano said. "I'm very excited to watch his progress and I think he'll make a great pitcher for the Chicago organization. He's got command of three pitches. His fastball is around 89 to 92 miles-per-hour. He's got a good, solid breaking ball and a plus changeup. He's got the full package."

Muldowney became the first Pitt pitcher taken in the first eight rounds of the draft in the last 25 years. He was also the first player from the university to be drafted by the Cubs.

An exclusive interview with Muldowney will follow shortly.

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