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Cubs plan to take best available player at No. 4

CHICAGO -- The last two years, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has selected a position player with his first pick in the First-Year Player Draft. What will the team do Thursday with the fourth pick overall?

"We're going to take the best player for us," general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. "We will take a lot of pitching over the course of the Draft. What we do at No. 4 is still a mystery.

"The only team that can really know what they're going to do is No. 1," he said of the Astros, who have the first selection.

In 2012, nine of the Cubs' first 12 picks were pitchers, and last year, they chose 11 pitchers in the first 15 selections.

In his latest mock draft,'s Jim Callis predicted the Cubs would take Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto in the first round if North Carolina State pitcher Carlos Rodon isn't available.

The 2014 Draft will take place from Thursday through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on and MLB Network on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on and broadcast on MLB Network.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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