The Cubs drafted Brendon Little in the first round. (Sun-Times media)

Cubs sign top pick Brendon Little

SHARE Cubs sign top pick Brendon Little
SHARE Cubs sign top pick Brendon Little

The Cubs agreed to sign their top draft pick, left-handed pitcher Brendon Little, to a $2.2 million contract, Wednesday.

Little will receive less than the slot designation of $2.37 million as the No. 27 overall selection, meaning the Cubs will have more money to spend on other picks.

Little posted a 2.53 ERA in 85⅓ innings at State College of Florida.

Little, who turns 21 in August, was one of two players drafted in the first round. Alex Lange, a right-handed pitcher from LSU, was selected No. 30 overall.

Lange, whose slot value is $2.18 million, has yet to sign.

The Cubs made the official announcement Thursday.

Happ hot

Ian Happ became the second-fastest Cubs player to reach 10 career home runs since 1913 after he launched a two-run shot in his 34th game Wednesday.

Only Bob Speake did it in fewer games — 32 in 1955.

“The ball comes off the bat, man, it’s just different,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It comes off hot and loud. I really obviously anticipate that to continue. As he gets more acquainted with the league, I think you’ll see a higher batting average, also. Wow, when he hits it, it goes quickly.”

Road trip

The Cubs left Wednesday night for an 11-game, 11-day road trip to Miami, Washington and Cincinnati.

“We gotta go out there and be stronger than that,” pitcher Eddie Butler said. “We gotta be better than our schedule.”

The Cubs are 14-19 away from Wrigley Field.

“We’ve not gained our traction yet,” Maddon said. “But that’s because we haven’t played that consistent baseball anywhere, not even here.”

This and that

Shortstop Addison Russell’s wife, Melisa, declined to speak to Major League Baseball regarding domestic-violence allegations that surfaced two weeks ago when a friend commented on her Instagram post.

Russell said he has yet to hear from MLB about the investigation.

“I know the process of the next thing I need to do, as far as if there’s something going on, but I haven’t heard anything,” he said.

Russell filed for divorce June 12 in Florida, and his wife did the same three days later in Chicago, according to court documents.

• Outfielder Jason Heyward missed his third straight game after scraping his hand while trying to make a sliding catch Sunday.

Maddon said he thought about playing him Tuesday, but “he was not ready to hit.” He didn’t rule out a stint on the disabled list.

• Outfielder Kyle Schwarber returned after missing Tuesday’s game after he fouled a ball off his ankle Monday.

Schwarber walked and scored on Happ’s home run, and went 0-for-3 while batting third.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com


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