The Full Dillon Maples Experience Was on Display

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The Full Dillon Maples Experience Was on Display

Chicago Cubs

Welcome back to the big leagues, Dillon Maples. And thank you for treating us to the full Dillon Maples experience.

By that, I mean the extraordinarily talented 26-year-old righty made his 2019 big league debut last night, walking the first two batters he faced … and then striking out the next three.

It’s so very easy to see why we remain enchanted by the prospects of Maples commanding his pitches well enough to stay in the big leagues. He can do things like this:

Our minor league guy, Bryan, especially wanted to get a look at Maples – who was breaking back out at Iowa over the past couple weeks – and he shared his observations in great detail:

The biggest thing for Maples, in my view, is being able to consistently throw his high-90s fastball in the strike zone. I’m not even talking about locating it precisely. The slider is so uniquely nasty – and he can usually pretty consistently throw it for strikes or for wipeouts – that he just needs to be able to keep hitters slightly honest with the fastball. And it’s a great fastball, too, with plenty of velocity and life. He just has to be able to throw it for strikes.

Maples, together with Carl Edwards Jr., likely has the best two-pitch combo in the entire organization. Sure, lots of orgs have guys like that, and the real separator is the ability to locate and command. But if you want an elite reliever, the plus-plus pitches are where you have to start. Maples is special like that.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.