Cubs Prospect Statistical Update - The Pitchers

Alex Lange (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Alex Lange (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

While 2018 will go down as a disappointment for the club's two of the most talented young arms (Adbert Alzolay and Jose Albertos) in the system, we are beginning to see positive signs from both of the team's 1st round picks from last season, and a young lefty is starting to emerge as a power arm to keep an eye on in the future.

I had major worries entering the season that Alex Lange would eventually end up in the pen, but the tremendous strides he has made with his changeup this season has greatly eased that concern. It is unlikely he will ever post high strikeout rates in the Majors, or even the upper levels of the Minors, because hitters will be able to put his fastball in play, but as long as he keeps it out of the middle of the plate his two good secondaries should keep hitters off balance enough to help induce weak contact.

Brendon Little struggled with control earlier this season as he made adjustments to his delivery, and then missed a couple of weeks due to a minor injury, but he has made a number of encouraging starts this year as well. He has allowed 1 or 0 earned runs in 8 of his 14 games this season. Consistency is still an issue, especially with his changeup, but his fastball command is coming around and he is holding his velocity better than we saw at the end of last season.

Last season Brailyn Marquez was topping out around 94-95 but this season he is regularly hitting 97 with late life at Eugene. There are not many lefties with that type of velocity and it gives the 19-year old a tremendous building block for the future. His control is currently ahead of his command, but given his age and velo bump it is actually encouraging he is around the plate as often as he is. I have yet to see much of note in terms of his secondaries but the season, and his career, are still young. At the very least he appears to be emerging as power bullpen arm, something the Cubs don't have a ton of, especially from the left side.


I've mentioned many times this season that the Cubs have an abundance of 22-24 year old right-handed arms that are beginning to percolate to the upper levels of the Minor League system. The team invested a lot of capital in this type of player in the 2016 and 2017 drafts and the results have been solid so far. This group is unlikely to produce many impact arms as most project as back-of-the-rotation or middle relievers, but there are couple of intriguing power arms in the bunch that could emerge as something more. One of the few left-handers in this group, Justin Steele, has returned from August 2017 Tommy John Surgery with impressive early results in his rehab outings.


Below is a group of fringe prospects, mostly left-handed relievers, and I decided to add a couple of MLB veterans who are pitching well in Iowa that could potentially receive a call to Chicago if the need for further depth arises.


We are still in the realm of very small sample sizes for the 2018 draft class and the same also goes for the young arms that began the year on the AZL squads. Early returns on Paul Richan, Zach Mort and Derek Casey line up with the draft reports of them throwing a lot of strikes.




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  • Thanks for this post! Makes for a good distraction from the stinker of a game last night...

    I know it’s just Eugene, but I really like Marquez. Assad got me excited last year & seems more back down to earth in SB this year.

    I’ve liked Lange from before he was drafted. He seems to have that winning pedigree. I’d hate to see him or Alzolay included in any trades.

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    Thanks for this. Steele seems to be doing very well, is there any chance that he reach the majors this year, just the way Maples did last year?
    We need starters, do you see anyone from the Minor League roster contributing better than Farrell did last night?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I honestly don't understand the decision to go with Farrell over Underwood yesterday, especially since they were goig to send whoever started down for Butler today anyway.

    Underwood and Mills would be capable of giving you 4-5 innings right now, but I wouldn't expect anything beyond. Better than Farrell, but not by much. I haven't watched Casey Coleman yet, but he has put up decent numbers so far. He might be able to help in similar capacity if another emergency comes up. Hopefully Butler could do the same. Tseng is still struggling.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Clifton, Rucker, Robinson might be able to do 3-5 innings as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Still have hope Darvish and Smyly can give them something in September.

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    Farrell is only good in extra innings. Haven't they figured that out yet? I'm only half joking.

  • How come Dakota Meekes is not on any list. Has anyone every looked at his stats for the last 2 1/2 yrs. He should be listed for sure
    as a top 30 prospect for sure.

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