He may not be Kris Bryant or Javier Baez, but Albert Alzolay has the potential to be the Cubs’ next big star to make his way through the Chicago Cubs farm system.
Alzolay is a 23-year-old righted starting pitcher from San Felix, Venezuela and he was signed as an international free agent on November 26th, 2012. He is currently pitching in the minor leagues with the Cubs Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs.
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He is thought of like a “power starter.” His fastball sits comfortably between 94-96 MPH. But he can reach back and hit 98 MPH on the gun when the situation warrants.
He’s got a great slider as well that has a substantial break and sits around 78-80 MPH. His changeup is the one pitch in his arsenal that still needs work.
But if he can work on that, there’s a chance that he could follow someone like Chris Sale’s career path.
In just five years in the Cubs’ organization, Alzolay has sped his way from Rookie Ball to Triple-A, and he has dominated each step of the way.
In his first five seasons, Alzolay has compiled a 31-21 record with a very respectable 3.45 ERA while averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings.
The belief around baseball is that he will arrive in Chicago before the end of 2018, but I really don’t see that happening unless there is a long-term injury or continued struggles for Tyler Chatwood or Jose Quintana. However, I do see Alzolay being a “September call-up” when the rosters expand to 40.
For many scouts, they believe that Alzolay is a No. 3 starter when the time comes. But after watching the tape? It does feel like he has the potential to be a No. 1 or No. 2 for the Cubs. There is still a lot he has to do as far as polish and refinement. But don’t be fooled. It really feels as if this kid is the real deal.