Alex Lange, RHP, LSU
With a pick earned by the loss of Dexter Fowler, the Cubs selected a tall right-hander for the future. Lange, 6-4, works up to 96 MPH with his fastball, and uses a slurvy pitch as his main secondary offering. Also in the mix is a change-up, but like Little, Lange’s change-up needs work before it is big league ready.
In 2016, Lange did not impress many. He posted an 8-4 record with a 3.79 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 111 2/3 innings pitched. Lange also walked 49 batters in 2016 and offered up 92 hits in 17 starts.
Lange’s 2017 season was much better. The right-hander won nine games for the Tigers and posted a 2.92 ERA. In 2017, Lange tossed 111 innings and increased his strikeout total to 134 while also lowering his walks to 40. That increase in strikeouts paired with a decrease in walks is a good sign in the progression of a pitcher.
Also trending in the right direction for Lange is his opponent batting average. In 2016, batters hit .270 off Lange. This season, opposing batters hit just .233.
All the numbers seem to be trending up for Lange, who will look to carry his college success over to professional ball.
If Lange can remain healthy, and continue to refine his change-up, there is no reason he can’t be a middle of the rotation or even top of the rotation talent.
Unlike Little, Lange projects to remain a starter. This will bode well for the Cubs, who hope Lange will only take two or three years to reach the majors.