High school careerEdit
Pawelek was a four-time letterwinner in baseball with a win-loss record of 36-2. He set the Utah state mark for career strikeouts with 476. The Cubs took Pawelek 20th overall in the 2005 Amateur Baseball Draft. He signed the same day.
Pawelek started his professional career in 2005 with the Arizona League Cubs before finishing the season with the Class-A Boise Hawks. In 2006 he remained in Class-A, finishing with a 2-5 record and 2.51 ERA in 15 starts. Pawelek logged 52 strikeouts in 61 innings and gave up one home run.