Chicago Cubs: Pitching prospects are starting to show up
Alex Lange, RHP
Alex Lange, who just turned 22 years old, was drafted by the Cubs in the first round of the 2017 draft. As mentioned earlier, the Cubs selected Brendon Little with the 27th pick and nabbed Lange with the 30th pick.
Lange has less than ten innings of professional experience under his belt, but yet, he is listed as the Cubs’ number three prospect, according to minorleagueball.com. While Lange did not make much noise in his four starts at Low-A this season (4.82 ERA, 13 strikeouts), he was a stud in college.
In three years at LSU, Lange made 53 starts and went 30-9. Along with that, Lange tossed eight complete games and posted a 2.91 ERA in 350 innings.
At LSU, Lange averaged an impressive 10.4 strikeouts per nine, suggesting Lange’s tendency to be a strike-thrower.
Outlook and ETA
After three years of college, Lange is already more MLB-ready than some of the other arms in the system. Still, pitching in college is a different animal compared to pitching in the major leagues.
Lange gets outs with a fastball that he can run up to the mid-90’s but tends to set in the lower 90’s. His best pitch by far is his curveball, which could cause some strain on his arm over the years.
Whether or not Lange ends up in the bullpen will hinge on the development of his change-up. Right now, at least one scouting report is saying the pitch needs a lot of work. If the pitch continues to lag, Lange could become a two-pitch closer. However, the Cubs would no doubt love to see Lange start at the major league level, especially after he dominated opponents in college.
As stated above, Lange has more experience under his belt than some other prospects. That could speed-up his rise to the majors. The idea right now is that Lange would be MLB-ready by the 2019 season, hopefully giving the Cubs other option for the rotation.