Chicago Cubs: Top 30 Prospects- No. 20 to No. 11
#19 Corey Black (RHP)
2015 Stats (Tennessee Smokies)
3-5, 4.92 ERA, 37 G, 9 GS, 86 IP, 74H, 101 K
Black was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. The Cubs acquired Black in mid-2013 in a trade for Alfonso Soriano. At 24-years-old, Black’s best pitch is his fastball. Sitting consistently at 92-95 mph, his fastball features a riding effort and has touched 100 mph.
He does have three other pitches: a slider, curveball, and change-up, that are all average or better. His mid-80’s slider is his second best pitch.
Black was a starter in his first three years as a pro and went 6-7 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 starts for the Smokies in 2014. Despite the success as a starter, he moved to the Smokies bullpen in 2015.
As a reliever, Black went 1-3 with a 7.09 ERA in 39 innings of work. He did, however, strike out 48 batters during that time. It looks like he is destined to be a reliever as he lacks control and command.
If he can figure it out as a reliever, he could be a closer with his upper 90s fastball and overpowering slider. Injuries could force his way to the big league roster in 2016. Otherwise, he is a likely September call-up with a chance as a full-time reliever in 2017.