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A Starling joining a Starlin?

Aramis Ramirez connects for two-run double Sunday against Cardinals fourth inning. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images

Aramis Ramirez connects for a two-run double Sunday against the Cardinals in the fourth inning. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images

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Updated: July 15, 2011 12:05AM

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson and . . . Bubba Starling? Or maybe Archie Bradley?

Or, knowing Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken, the Cubs might use today’s ninth overall draft pick on a player none of the so-called media draft experts are paying attention to.

One thing’s for sure as the Cubs head into today’s payoff for finishing with one of the worst records in baseball last year:

‘‘You’ve got to get it right, absolutely,’’ assistant general manager Randy Bush said. ‘‘Obviously, it’ll be huge for us to nail that No. 9 pick.’’

It’s the Cubs’ highest pick in the June amateur draft since they selected slow-developing third baseman Josh Vitters third overall four years ago.

Starling and Bradley, two-sport prospects with big-time college football offers to play quarterback, are among the players the Cubs are said to be ­interested in who might be available when they pick.

Starling, a Kansas high school kid who has committed to Nebraska, is ­considered an athletic outfielder with raw hitting ability and power potential.

Bradley, who has committed to ­Oklahoma, is a right-handed pitcher from Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School with a mid-to-upper-90s ­fastball.

The Cubs also have been linked to LSU center fielder Mikie Mahtook, a power-speed player with an ­exceptional arm.

Wilken, barring a surprise pitcher falling to No. 9, suggested the Cubs will seek a position player.

The Cubs also have a chance to get a high-level prospect with the 68th overall pick in the second round — 11 slots earlier in the draft than they got current rookie DJ LeMahieu out of LSU in 2009.

‘‘There will be quality at 68, I have no doubt,’’ Wilken said of a draft that seems weaker than most in left-handed pitching and middle-infield depth.

Whoever those picks become, they figure to be an especially important part of a rebuilding effort that doesn’t have a free-agent spending spree coming in the foreseeable future.

Theriot ‘hunted’ slider

Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot said he was ‘‘hunting the slider’’ from former Cubs teammate Carlos Marmol in the ninth when he got one on a 2-2 count for the game-tying hit.

‘‘Playing behind him as long as I have, I’ve seen guys go up there and hunt the slider and not even come close to it because it’s so good,’’ he said. ‘‘I just got lucky to get a pitch that I can handle. Had he thrown me a heater right there, I probably would have just fouled it off or not have been able to handle it.’’


Until Albert Pujols lined a 2-1 fastball over the center-field wall in the 10th inning Sunday, he had been 0-for-12 against Cubs pitcher Rodrigo Lopez in his career.

Carlos Zambrano has allowed three earned runs in 21 innings over his last three starts (1.29 ERA). The Cubs lost two of the three.

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