Chicago Cubs: Checking in on last season’s Rule 5 draft additions

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Luis Lugo #47 of Italy pitches in the bottom of the first inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 5 between Italy and Puerto Rico at Panamericano Stadium on March 12, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Luis Lugo #47 of Italy pitches in the bottom of the first inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 5 between Italy and Puerto Rico at Panamericano Stadium on March 12, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Alexander Vargas, RHP, Tennessee Smokies

As another international free agent, Alexander Vargas was signed by the New York Yankees back in 2013, when he was 16 years old. Vargas spent his first four seasons in the Yankees organization before the Cubs selected him in the third round of the Rule 5 draft.

Vargas’ career has been a mixed bag to this point. His first season went great as he finished with a 2.08 ERA in the Rookie league. In 2017 while pitching for New York’s Class-A Short Season team, Vargas made four starts and posted an impressive 1.88 ERA.

Last season, Vargas reached Double-A for the Yankees before he was swept up by the Cubs. Unfortunately for Vargas things have not gone as well as he or Chicago had hoped through his first season. Vargas has mostly pitched at Myrtle Beach, although he did make one start at Tennessee.

Through his first 13 appearances and eight starts for the Pelicans, Vargas is carrying a 4.58 ERA. One positive for him is his 3.78 FIP, and hopefully, it is something he can continue to build on, as well as the other parts of his game. Vargas’ single start for the Smokies went as well as anyone could have probably predicted. He gave up four earned runs across his five innings with zero strikeouts and three walks.

In his last two starts back at Myrtle Beach, Vargas has pitched 11 1/3 innings, giving up ten earned runs and striking out only four batters. He has managed to keep his walks at bay with just one per start. Thankfully, the Cubs have a plethora of young arms who continue to produce so Vargas will need to improve exponentially in order to receive his shot moving forward.

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