Chicago Cubs: Evaluating Jon Lieber’s underappreciated body of work

Jon Lieber, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tannen Maury/Getty Images)
Jon Lieber, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tannen Maury/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jon Lieber, Chicago Cubs (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lieber was a significant factor when he joined; The 2001 season was a massive statement as he pitched lights out baseball.

There have been many pitchers for the Chicago Cubs organization, but probably the most unrecognized might be Jon Lieber. After nearly spend a decade and a half playing professional baseball, Lieber would shine during his 20 win performance in 2001.

Along with other Cubs, Lieber is another athlete that most of us nowadays don’t mention that often and discuss his time in the Windy City. Lieber pitching arsenal includes a fastball, a slider, and a changeup. Probably the best pitches to have in your repertory.

From a small town to the big stage

The 6’3 righty out of Council Bluffs, IA began his collegiate career with the hometown team. He went to Iowa Western Community College from 1988 to 1990. He decided to continue his college career and transfer to South Alabama.

Over the next two years, Lieber had great success for South Alabama. As he posted 12-5 records in both years. At the end of his junior year in college. The Cubs selected Lieber in the ninth round of the 1991 MLB draft. He decided to stay at South Alabama for his senior year leading him to become the Sun Belt Conference player of the year and was named a third-team All-American.

Kansas City Royals drafted Lieber in the 1992 MLB amateur draft. A little over a year after being drafted by the Royals, he got traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. After bouncing around from starter and bullpen during his first three years, Lieber eventually becomes apart of their starting rotation for his last two seasons at a Pirate. Leiber was 38-47 before the Pirates traded him to the Cubs for an outfielder named Brant Brown during the 1998 offseason.