Editor’s Note: This is a guest post, written by a friend of the program, Scarey from Sons of Ivy. When it comes to Cubs prospects, few know the organization better than Scarey, and he’s offered to throw us some of his insights, teed up here for you with minimal editing from yours truly. Up today, the Cubs’ most surprising pitching prospect success story, Trey McNutt.
In his first full year as a professional baseball player, Trey McNutt is taking on all challenges.
Kenneth McNutt, or Trey as he prefers, was drafted as a 32nd round pick in the draft last year. McNutt wasn’t especially notable at Shelton State Community College, but the Cubs did their homework and put in an over slot bonus offer that was the equivalent of about a 6th round pick. He signed on the dotted line and got to work in the Arizona Cubs and was quickly promoted to A- Boise to finish out the 2009 season.
To start out 2010, McNutt was once again in Boise but was quickly promoted to A+ Daytona. Just nine starts after his A+ promotion, McNutt was then elevated to AA Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. I am not a believer in using wins/losses record to evaluate a pitcher, but that doesn’t make the fact that McNutt took his first loss in August any less impressive. This while he sported a 2.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 10.6 strike outs per nine innings. Also noteworthy? McNutt just turned 21.
McNutt has credited his quick progression to an increase in fastball velocity since entering the Cubs system. From an interview written in The Daytona Beach News Journal, McNutt explained, “I got drafted and my arm just started getting stronger and stronger — don’t know if it’s because I just played longer and it kept building, but it just jumped.”
The 6’4 205lb McNutt pairs his dominating fastball with a late breaking power curve. He is working on a third pitch he can throw consistently, but scouts have noted that his fastball and curve are plus pitches that can get him to the big leagues. He’s already pulled in one accolade this year as a Midwest League All-Star with the Peoria Chiefs, he’s working on being named the 2010 Cubs minor league player of the year and, in my opinion, has the possibility to be a Baseball America top 100 prospect. [ed. I'm not sure McNutt will be able to beat out Chris Archer for the Cubs' system's pitcher of the year, let alone player of the year - but it's nice to have enough top prospects to be able to have such a discussion.]