Chicago Cubs: Five prospects who will play in Chicago this season
Chicago Cubs: Steele could be a diamond in the rough for staff
While his numbers from last season certainly wouldn’t indicate that Justin Steele is on the edge of glory, there’s reason to believe the big right-hander could be just around the corner for a team that needs a few youngsters to step up and join the rotation in the next couple years. Steele, a 24-year-old left-hander originally chosen in the fifth round by the Cubs back in 2014, has always possessed the stuff to be a part of an MLB rotation. Harnessing that pure stuff, however, has always been the issue.
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If Cubs Insider and Bleacher Nation are to be believed (and they almost always are), there’s a very good chance that Steele suffered from some “bad luck” given his dominant repertoire and that he also could have learned a thing or two from fellow southpaw, Cole Hamels during their time together last Spring Training.
With a mid 90’s fastball that rides up in the zone and looks even faster than it is, Steele could be just as effective as Marquez going forward if he can harness his change and plus curveball.
If the Cubs could find a way to get any of Marquez, Alzolay, or Steele to stick as permanent fixtures in the rotation, that would be a huge win for the Cubs. That would allow the front office to round out the rotation without dropping tens of millions of dollars in free agency next winter.
Keep an eye on Steele during the spring and into the summer, and expect to see him at some point in 2020 getting some time out of the bullpen or maybe even spot-starting towards the end of the season.