Chicago Cubs: Pierce Johnson headlines list of prospects heading to AFL


It’s that time of the year where clubs from across the league, including the Chicago Cubs, obviously, announce a list of select prospects who will represent them during the Arizona Fall League.

According to, pitching prospect Pierce Johnson headlines their list that includes Corey Black, Willson Contreras, and Cael Brockmeyer just to name a few. The skipper who will be joining this handful of future big league players will be Myrtle Beach Pelican’s own Mark Johnson.

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He made two appearances for the Cubs during Cactus League play and didn’t allow a single run across four innings of work. After finishing the campaign with a solid 6-2 record, 2.15 ERA, and 66/31 K/BB ratio, Johnson will pick up Friday’s start against the Biloxi Shuckers — a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate.

Johnson, 24, is one of the team’s top pitching prospects and received an invitation to Spring Training back in March.

His stay with Chicago’s camp didn’t last long as he was one of the firsts to be cut, but found some praise in big league skipper, Joe Maddon who told reporters that he liked his delivery.

"“I like his deliver, I like his stuff. He’s a very intense kid in a certain way. He’s got an intensity about him. He’s driven, very directed – all kinds of good things. He’s getting ready for the season and getting his innings in. Everyone here believe’s he’s a major league pitcher, and now he’s got to get the time under his belt” – Maddon via Chicago Tribune in March."

There’s a good chance that he could end up with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs next season once camp breaks and eventually receive that call-up to the show within the next two-three years.

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The other four who will be joining the name’s mentioned at the beginning of the article are David Garner, Rob Zastryzny, Jeimer Candelario, and Mark Zagunis.

Zagunis is one of three Cubs outfielders in their top 10 prospects list along with Albert Almora and Ian Happ who both sit at the No. 5, No. 6 slots with Contreras rounding out this group at ten.

Zastryzny is a southpaw that was the first pitcher selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2013 draft where he signed a $1.1 million deal with a fastball that clocks in at around 92 miles per hour. He suffered a foot injury during the early part of the 2015 campaign which slowed him down just a tad.

The 23-year-old still has plenty of work that needs to be done, but could eventually find himself in the bottom half of the starting rotation or working out of the bullpen in a middle relief role.

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