Cubs Minor League Daily: A Question of Strikeouts - Who Are the Top Starters?

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Cubs Minor League Daily: A Question of Strikeouts – Who Are the Top Starters?

Chicago Cubs

cubs azl spring training logoI’m still in a pitching kind of a mood, so for today’s ‘how well do you know your minors’ question, I’ll stick to the mound.

Today, let’s focus on the starters. Can you name the Cubs’ starting pitching prospects (minimum three starts) who had a K/9 equal to or greater than 10.0 prior to the start of yesterday’s games?

Your first hint: there are four of them. And two of those four you should get very, very easily. I’m not even going to bother giving any more hints for those two; if the names aren’t in your head now, you haven’t been paying attention.

The other two, both lefties, were taken three rounds apart in the same draft year, one from high school, and one from college. The younger one made the most recent Top 40, but not the older one.

You’ve probably got the younger one figured out, at least within two guesses (that was probably too obvious a hint), but can you working out the fourth guy?

Answers at the end of the article … below the video of Jeffrey Baez blasting one.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Tacoma 8, Iowa 1
So here’s the good news – Iowa can go home now.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Biloxi 5, Tennessee 0
Biloxi 6, Tennessee 5
For eight innings Game One was a scoreless tie. Let’s not talk about the ninth.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Lynchburg 7, Myrtle Beach 4
Another good game for Baez.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 6, Lake County 4
Lake County was supposed to be the toughest stop on the long road trip. The Cubs have now won three straight in Lake County and have one more to play.

Other Notes

  • One of the highlights of Iowa’s roadtrip was the two-run homer Vogelbach hit Saturday evening. It is now also one of the highlights of the internet.
  • The typical Javy Baez homer when he played in the minors was a line shot that left the stadium in a hurry. The bomb Jeffrey Baez hit yesterday was a very different kind. It was clearly gone, by a couple of rows in fact, but it was a towering blast that had quite a bit of hang time. Click play below and you’ll see what I mean. I particularly the part where the left fielder has to hang out at the wall for a second and wait for the ball to show up.

  • And now for your answers. The easy two were Pierce Johnson (11.5 K/9) and Trevor Clifton (10.7 K/9). I suspect some of you were leaning towards Duane Underwood or Paul Blackburn, but even though they have both been excellent this season, neither of them have a season K/9 that high (although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Underwood finish the year in that vicinity). For the other two, you needed to look to the 2014 draft. In the fifth round the Cubs took lefty Justin Steele (11.3 K/9) from high school, and in the eighth they drafted lefty Tommy Thorpe (10.0 K/9) out of the University of Oregon. Getting Thorpe correct was made extra tricky by the fact that he has appeared in eight games this season, but only started four of them.

Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.