Chicago Cubs: Kohl Franklin, RHP – No.14
Coming in at number 14 of the series is right-handed pitcher Kohl Franklin. A relatively fresh face in the Cubs’ pipeline, Franklin was selected in the 2018 draft by Chicago in the sixth round. At 6-4, 190 pounds, the 20-year-old is a lean, mean gun-slinging machine.
Franklin did begin his professional career at Rookie ball, appearing in five games to include three starts. Over a sample size of only 8 2/3 innings, Franklin struggled mightily to an uninspiring 6.23 ERA. In his defense, Franklin was just 18 years old when he made his professional debut.
Since then, however, Franklin has shown up and has changed things around for the better. In a complete 360, Franklin impressed in 2019. Moving up to Class-A Short Season Eugene, Franklin made ten starts.
Not going more than five innings a start, Franklin still finished his year with a 2.31 ERA over 39 innings. Regarding his walks and strikeouts, the young righty increased his strikeout rate from 21.1 percent in 2018 to 29.7 percent this year. He also cut his walk rate in half from 15.8 percent to 8.5 percent.
Franklin also did make one start at Class-A South Bend in 2019. In that start, he went three innings, giving up one earned run with five walks and three strikeouts. It is clear that Franklin is not ready for the next level, but he still has plenty of time. With the proper development and grooming, he can turn into something special.