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Prep lefty Sands goes to Cubs in Round 4

Carson Sands has an impressive resume for a high school pitcher.

The left-hander has spent three straight summers pitching at Team USA's national training complex in North Carolina, and won a gold medal with the 2012 18-and-under team.

On Friday, the Cubs selected Sands in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

The lefty, who was attending North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Fla., has good size and a feel for his changeup, according to's scouting report.

Sands saw his stock rise with his teammate Matthew Railey because of the strength gains he made over the past year. That led to an increase in his fastball velocity, and he now throws in the low 90s, regularly hitting 94 mph, according to scouting reports. Sands also has a solid curve and good feel for his changeup.

Railey was selected 89th overall by the D-backs, while Sands was taken 109th overall.

Sands, who has signed to play at Florida State, has been tested, throwing a complete game to lead North Florida Christian past Coral Springs Christian, 1-0, on May 14 and advance to the state title game.

"Carson's good. In pressure situations, Carson pitches his best," Sands' coach Mike Posey said.

Sands and his younger brother, Cole, both played for Team USA. The two actually faced each other during a tryout for a travel team, and Cole was the batter. Carson struck him out on a changeup, and still has the video of the at-bat. The two help each other.

"We feed off each other when we pitch," Cole said in an interview last June with Baseball America. "You always have to have someone looking out for you and telling you what you are doing wrong when you pitch. He gives me great advice."

In the interview, Carson said the increase in velocity is because he's increased his strength and because of long toss sessions with his brother. The two would long toss every other day in the offseason.

"If it wasn't for long toss with Cole, I don't know if my arm strength would be where it is today," Carson said.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at noon CT.

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