Chicago Cubs: Keith Law’s farm system rankings has club in the bottom three
Chicago Cubs: What are the first-rounders up to?
The Cubs had the 27th and 30th overall picks in the 2017 first-year player draft, and following the season they had in 2016, it was an exciting thing for the club and fans alike. At 27th, Chicago selected a left-handed pitcher from State College of Florida in Brendon Little. Three picks later, a right-handed pitcher from Louisiana State, Alex Lange, got the call.
Little is still a member of the Cubs and is surprisingly just 23 years old. He began the season at rookie ball before moving to Class-A South Bend. Little pitched pretty well at South Bend, posting a 1.91 ERA over 28 1/3 innings with a 3.38 FIP before being called up to Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he struggled mightily. Positively he saw his strikeouts jump from 21.9 percent to 25.6 percent but also saw the ERA balloon to a 5.95 over 19 2/3 innings.
Lange, meanwhile, is no longer a member of the Cubs as he was a part of the deal, which brought Nicholas Castellanos to Chicago last season. He held his own at Double-A with the Cubs, pitching to a 3.92 ERA across 39 innings. His numbers with the Tigers Double-A club were far better.
In 2018 the team selected shortstop Nico Hoerner with the 24th overall pick out of Stanford. Hoerner has been amazing, destroying the minor league competition on his way to his debut in the show last summer. Hoerner hit .282 in 20 games and showed he is the Cubs’ second baseman of the future. The team should be calling him up at the end of April.
Last year the Cubs veered back to pitching and selected a right-hander from Fresno State in Ryan Jensen. Jensen only started six games for Low-A Eugene but finished with a 2.25 ERA and a 33.3 percent strikeout rate. Unfortunately, he also posted a 24.6 percent walk rate and a 4.49 FIP and 4.71 xFIP, respectively. A mixed bag of results.