Chicago Cubs: Is Dakota Mekkes a name we need to be familiar with?

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(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /
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Dakota Mekkes is dominating competition with the Iowa Cubs. Could he be the next prospect that the Chicago Cubs promote to the big leagues?

Dakota Mekkes is quite possibly the next great Chicago Cubs pitcher that few are currently talking about.

The Cubs selected Mekkes, 23, in the 10th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Michigan State. At 6’7″, Mekkes’s presence on the mound alone could be quite intimidating.

Intimidating presence

Height is not everything. Still, what Mekkes has done during his time in the Cubs’ farm-system should have opponents quite concerned.

Mekkes progressed quickly through the Cubs’ farm system to his current role with Triple-A Iowa. No matter the level, though, he has downright dominated opponents, posting a 1.12 career ERA in the minors.

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Although his career ERA is spectacular, Mekkes’ numbers as a whole are worth diving into. He has pitched 121 innings spanning 73 games (all as a reliever), allowing just 24 runs (15 earned) on 65 hits.

Opponents have hit a minuscule .157 against Mekkes, which is obviously very impressive. What might be even more eye-catching is that he has racked up 155 strikeouts compared to just 54 walks.

What’s up next?

Basically, Mekkes has been nearly untouchable during his time in the Cubs’ farm system. And yet, he is not even considered to be one of the team’s top 30 prospects.

Where does this leave Mekkes and the Cubs? Well, 2018 has seen the Cubs create a carousel, if you will, of Triple-A Iowa relievers. Truly, it is no secret that the team is doing what it can to take some burden off of its primary relievers.

In 2017, the Cubs’ bullpen posted a 3.26 ERA in the first half compared to a 4.48 ERA in the second half. By October, the group looked downright taxed, especially in the NLDS and NLCS.

2018 promotion possible

This season, the Cubs have rotated Anthony Bass, Luke Farrell, Justin Hancock, Cory Mazzoni, Randy Rosario and Rob Zastryzny in and out of their bullpen.

Of course, all of the aforementioned pitchers have performed well. More importantly, they have also taken some of the burden off of the “main arms.” With how Mekkes has pitched, it seems like the Cubs will give him a chance at some point in 2018.

Next: Morrow, Heyward come up big

It could be hard to crack the Cubs’ roster considering their bullpen’s 2.68 ERA is third-best in the MLB. If given a chance, though, one has to feel good about Mekkes’ chance of being successful in the MLB.

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