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MCCC baseball star goes to Chicago Cubs


This past summer, James Pugliese became the first Mercer Viking to get drafted in over a decade when he was picked in the 18 round by the Chicago Cubs.

Pugliese, a right handed pitcher, spent June 7 in front of a computer screen watching the draft, not knowing which round his name would appear or what teams would contact him.

The draft is a quick process, which Pugliese called “overwhelming”.

When a player’s name gets called in the draft, the teams that are interested immediately contact the player.

“I was watching the draft going on and it kept going through the rounds and then the 18 round came up. Once that came up three teams called me, the Mets, the Braves, and the Cubs all at the same time,” he said.

Pugliese answered the Cubs, but due to the haste of the draft he did not have time to answer the Mets or the Braves. Despite not being able to talk to the Mets or Braves, Pugliese is pleased with the Cubs offer.

“I talked to the Cubs and said ‘I’d take you right now’. They put a number out moneywise, and we came to an agreement. We signed that night,” he said.

“I didn’t know when I was going to get drafted, but I was pretty excited about all of it,” said Pugliese. He continued, “I’m really happy I signed this year.”

Pugliese is not a new face in the Cubs organization. He has played for the Class R Arizona League Cubs before getting moved up to the Class A Boise Hawks in the Short-Season Northwest League.

“I enjoyed every moment of it, and I am still happy I made the decision to go and play because this is what I really want to do,” he said.

Last season for MCCC, Pugliese went 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 56.2 innings pitched. He allowing 30 hits, 27 walks, and struck out 71.

Pugliese graduated from Steinert High School in 2010, where he went 3-0 with seven saves his senior year. He also pitched out of the bullpen during the 15-year-old Bath Ruth World Series for Nottingham.

Pugliese will spend the off season on a tight work out and diet program before heading to Arizona for spring training.

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