Chicago Cubs: Jose Quintana is a dark horse Cy Young candidate

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

A sleeping giant on the horizon

Jose Quintana began his 2017 campaign on the South Side and finished his season on the North Side. For the White Sox, Quintana started 18 games finishing with a 4.49 ERA. He held opposing hitters to a .244 average but found himself still hit hard.

Correspondingly, in the 14 starts Quintana made for the Cubs, he saw a significant positive swing.

To point out, Quintana’s ERA dropped to 3.74. Another critical point is that opposing hitters also hit just .227, a seventeen point drop. Important to realize Quintana saw almost every single other stat move positively. His strikeout rate increased from 24.6 percent to 28.3 percent. His walk rate dropped from 9.0 to 6.1 percent. Most importantly, his FIP decreased from 4.02 to 3.25 along with his xFIP move from below-average (4.13) to great (3.24), according to Fangraphs.

Heading into the 2018 season, Quintana has an excellent opportunity to cement himself as a front of the line starting pitcher.

It remained to be seen how this year’s rotation would shake out. Eighty percent of the rotation could be another teams “ace.” After the addition of Yu Darvish, a shift occurred in the rotation. Now, Quintana finds himself as the projected No.4 starter. He literally could not find himself in a better spot for success.