When the Chicago Cubs traded for Carl Edwards, Jr. in the summer of 2013, he was intended to be the centerpiece of that deal, having posted stellar numbers throughout the minor leagues. But digging deeper, the story behind Carl Edwards is one that makes you want to cheer for him.
Carl Edwards was drafted in the 48th round, back when the draft was still fifty rounds in 2011. He decided to pass up college ball at Charleston Southern University, and instead, pursue a career with the Texas Rangers. The reason why Edwards passed up college ball? His best friend that he had grown up with, and played high school baseball with died in a car wreck. Both of them had wanted to play college baseball together, too. You can read more on that story, here.
Imagine being a guy like that, being always told he’s too small. Teams believing he didn’t have top tier talent, and he never let that stop him. Edwards has constantly worked to better his craft, constantly kept pushing to get where he wanted to be. He didn’t allow a single home run until after he got traded to the Chicago Cubs. Bear in mind, Edwards was a starter for his first two seasons. That is insane that he faced that many hitters over the course of nearly two full seasons, and gave up one single home run.
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Another thing to admire about Edwards is how he has no complaints about his role. He takes the ball whenever he is asked, regardless of the situation, or where the game is. You have to admire that about a guy. Edwards is such an easy guy to cheer for, because of all these reasons.
Aside from having a feel-good story, Edwards has been downright dominant for the Cubs. In 68 career major league appearances, Edwards has pitched to a 2.73 ERA, in 66 innings. In those 66 innings, Edwards has given up just 26 hits, 20 ER, with 92 strikeouts, and walked 28. Edwards, Jr’s opponent batting average is just .119. Those are just downright dominant numbers. In 2017 alone, Edwards has a 38.2 K%, and an almost unheard of .122 BABIP. Aside from being a feel-good story, he has the pitching skills to go along with it.
When the Cubs acquired Edwards, the plan was for him to be a starting pitcher. It looks like right now the Cubs made the right choice in converting him to a reliever. The Cubs just may have found their closer of the future for 2018 and beyond. Edwards sure is a fun guy to root for, and even more fun to watch pitch.