Chicago Cubs: Top five minor league moments of 2019
Chicago Cubs: Domination in South Bend
It should be old hat by now how dominant 21-year-old Brailyn Marquez has been since signing with Chicago out of the Dominican Republic a half-decade ago. Marquez began his season with 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball and seven strikeouts. It was precisely what would come to be somewhat expected from the big lefty.
Finishing his 2018 season at South Bend, Marquez started back at South Bend to begin last season. After the flashy first start, he struggled to find the strike zone and posted an 18.7 percent walk rate over his next four starts. Thankfully, Marquez also posted a 30.7 percent strikeout rate in the span, so it became relatively forgettable.
Fast forward three months to the end of July. Marquez was making what would be his second to final start in Class-A, and he sure did go out with a bang. Facing the Cleveland Indians Class-A squad, Marquez racked up 14 strikeouts over six shutout innings. He also did not walk a batter. It was one of the best starts by a Cubs minor leaguer I have ever seen and rivals at the top of the list as an all-time excellent performance.
Marquez would go on to make four consecutive starts, two for South Bend and two for Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach following his promotion, where he did not allow a run. A total of 22 innings pitched with a strikeout rate of 40.5 percent and an opposing average of .058. Marquez finished the year with a combined 3.13 ERA over 22 starts and showed the organization why he would be the ‘ace’ of the future.