Chicago Cubs: Another pitching prospect punches ticket to CWS in Omaha

Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

Earlier this month, teams added talent via the Major League Draft. The Chicago Cubs made a surprising first-round move and later added a Texas southpaw.

Last year, then-newly drafted Chicago Cubs pitcher, Alex Lange, helped lead his team to the College World Series. Now, he’s attempting to work his way through Chicago’s minor league circuit with the goal of reaching the big leagues.

Hopefully, pending any setbacks, Lange will take the mound as part of Theo Epstein’s blueprint for success. Trust in Theo and the process. It’s working.

A year later, yet another prospect under the Cubs is looking to conquer the world of collegiate sports after the Texas Longhorns claimed their series over Tennessee Tech on Monday. It’ll be their first College World Series appearance in four years and a 36th overall trip, the most all-time.

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Meanwhile, the North Siders are in Milwaukee battling the Brewers in an important early June series.

For those who haven’t paid much attention to the draft, the Cubs selected southpaw Josh Sawyer with the 488th pick. Sawyer was one of many Longhorns who received that important first call, most importantly, Kody Clemens.

I was hoping Clemens would end up in Chicago but it looks like we’ll have to settle for a Sawyer/Clemens showdown in the future.

Until then, these two young men, we’ll have the opportunity to watch them play together on June 16.

Can he stay healthy?

Injuries happen, no matter the activity. There is no way around it. In Sawyer’s case, the 23-year-old had undergone three surgeries between late April 2016 and most recently on February 18 of this year.

A former 32nd round draft pick by Toronto in 2013, has since rebounded nicely from his injuries. On Monday, he worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings over Tennessee Tech, striking out and walking two.

He currently holds a 1-0 record and an ERA of 3.52 with a 32/20 K/BB ratio through 30 2/3 innings of work. In those relief appearances, he has only managed to record three strikeouts four times.

Potential workhorse

Sawyer has been used to work an inning or two over the course of his young career while picking up 11 starts in 2015. Eventually, he has the ability to turn into a middle-relief workhorse for the Chicago Cubs in the future.

Something every manager in the league respects and wants on his roster. We’ll surely have more on Sawyer when the Longhorns square off against the Arkansas Razorbacks on June 17. Right now, start time is either at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. central, all on ESPN.

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I’m hoping my Longhorns (yes, I’m a Texas fan) can pull it off against a team that has outscored opponents between 60-30 over their last six games.

Hook ‘Em for Augie, boys.