Chicago Cubs: Most likely September call-ups who can contribute
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs Call-up Candidates: Dylan Maples
Dylan Maples, a former 14th round pick of the the Cubs, has pitched at three different levels this season. The right-hander appeared in games for Myrtle Beach, Tennessee and Iowa in 2017, with varying levels of success.
With Myrtle Beach, he dominated – pitching to a 2.01 ERA and notching 44 strikeouts in just 31 1/3 innings. Although not quite as dominant with Double-A Tennessee, he still caught the attention of fans thanks to an eye-popping strikeout rate. Maples averaged north of 18 strikeouts per nine. He continued that swing-and-miss tendency with Iowa, averaging over 14 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
The downside? In 2017, Maples averaged more than five walks per nine. One might hope that number is an outlier, but it’s in-line with his career average of 5.6 BB/9. Still, he’s got a filthy repertoire.
"Maples is throwing better than ever, ranging from 94-100 mph with a fastball that has some run and sink. When it was trying to develop him as a starter, Chicago had him concentrate on improving his fastball command, which cost him some feel for his curveball, his best offering as an amateur. His hard downer curve in the lower 80s is back in his arsenal, and he also has developed an upper-80s slider that’s even more of a wipeout pitch."
Bringing Maples up to Chicago represents a high-risk, high-reward move. He can blow away hitters – but he may get himself into more trouble than opposing hitters cause him, simply by falling behind in the count and walking hitters.