Making his first Triple-A start, top-ranked Chicago Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay took a no-hitter into the middle innings for the Iowa Cubs.
For years, the Chicago Cubs have developed high-tier position player talent. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora all come to mind. But it’s been years since Chicago drafted and developed a young pitcher with high impact skills. Adbert Alzolay could be the first.
The right-hander debuted with the Iowa Cubs on Friday night in Des Moines. The Cubs’ top-ranked prospect according to MLB.com took the mound against former I-Cubs hurler Eric Jokisch and the Nashville Sounds. And he did not disappoint.
The Sounds failed to put a man on against the right-hander through four. With a no-hitter into the sixth, Alzolay turned heads – to say the least.
He finished the night with six innings of one-run ball. He struck out six, allowed just a pair of hits and walked only two. The most exciting part? To get through those six innings, Alzolay needed only 75 pitches. 50 of those 75 pitches went for strikes. With his first taste of Triple-A action, there really isn’t a negative takeaway from this outing.
Just one start into his I-Cubs career, it’s far too soon to call for his promotion to the bigs. But there’s little doubt we’ll see him in Chicago in 2018. The rotation is largely set, of course. With the likes of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish, opportunity seems scarce.
Tyler Chatwood could potentially be a long man down the road – albeit an expensive one. Alzolay, at least out of the gates with the Cubs, projects as a bullpen arm. His fastball consistently sits in the high 90s, with a plus curveball. With time, we’ll see him further develop a change-up. But even with his curve and fastball, he could make a difference in the Chicago bullpen.
We’ll keep an eye on his future starts, but this first taste of Triple-A went well for Adbert Alzolay. So learn how to say – and spell – his name. Before long, we’ll be seeing it on the jerseys worn by fans at Wrigley Field.