Chicago Cubs: Five intriguing non-roster invitees to keep an eye on

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A hurler who has quickly made a name for himself

In terms of the young arms invited to camp, right-hander Dakota Mettes may be the most intriguing. Mekkes, 24, was drafted in the tenth round of the 2016 June Amateur Draft out Michigan State. He was not talked about much when drafted considering how late he was taken but has slowly become more recognized by fans who pay attention to the Cubs farm. There was even speculation he could come up last year, but it never happened.

Mekkes has pitched in every level of the farm since his debut with the organization in 2016. He has a career 1.16 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 147 innings. He has strictly been a reliever. Last season he pitched in both Tennessee Smokies and the Iowa Cubs, where he pitched to a 0.81 ERA in 22 1/3 innings.

The young righty’s strikeout numbers are very good, though worth noting he does not throw very hard. He throws a fastball, slider and change and uses a lot of deception in his delivery to fool batters. His biggest weakness are free passes. Last year between Tennessee and Iowa he sported a career-high 4.9 BB/9, luckily his ability to strike guys out and not get hit hard helped him around it.

Mekkes could very well see MLB time later this season, and hopefully, he shows his abilities off well in spring ball.