Chicago Cubs may have their future bullpen waiting in the wings

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport /
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(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Jesus Camargo – Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The second player of this group is Pelicans relief pitcher Jesus Camargo, whom the Cubs signed as an undrafted amateur free agent back in 2014 from the Mexican League. Surprisingly, Camargo has already logged three full professional seasons in the United States, with 2019 being the fourth – despite his being just 23 years of age.

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As a member of the Mexico City Red Devils, Diablos Rojos del México, Camargo pitched just 2 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. The following season, the Cubs signed him, and Camargo joined the Rookie League as a member of the Arizona Cubs. There, Camargo flourished.

His first year, he tossed 46 1/3 innings. The young hurler saw action in 11 games, starting seven of them and finished the campaign with an outstanding 3.30 ERA. Camargo pitched to a 2.93 FIP and recorded a 30.2 percent strikeout rate to just a 6.4 percent walk percentage.

In 2017 as a member of the Low-A Eugene Emeralds, Camargo pitched even better. Over 60 1/3 innings, Camargo posted a 29.2 percent strikeout rate and a low 2.39 ERA. The walks increased slightly; however, he did not surrender a long ball, finishing with a 2.89 FIP.

Camargo slowly worked his way through the system, recording a 2.62 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with South Bend in 2018, and is off to another decent start this year. From 2017 to 2018, he saw a significant dip in his strikeout rate, however from last year to this year he slightly improved it, again.

Through his first 11 games on the new season, Camargo has a 2.52 ERA. Unfortunately as is the case with most pitchers rising through respective ranks, Camargo did see an increase in his FIP and xFIP, as well as his walks.

Nonetheless, Camargo is someone of intrigue mainly because he is still really young and does possess a ton of experience already. For him to succeed moving forward, this young prospect will need to develop back into the strikeout pitcher he was in the lower levels. He will most likely never reach starter territory; however, there is a realistic shot Camargo does reach the Show as a staple reliever.