Chicago Cubs: This guy could be a stud in 2021
If what we witnessed in 2020 was no fluke, the Cubs best pitcher in 2021 might be up for debate. Most would go back and forth between Cy Young runner-up and shoulda-been winner Yu Darvish and the criminally underappreciated Kyle Hendricks. Funny enough, a third guy might be joining their ranks based on his performance.
That third pitcher, who could form a great top three for the Cubs if what we saw was real, is Adbert Alzolay. While Alzolay had been hyped in 2019 (and before) as having killer stuff and being a possible future member of the rotation in the big leagues, his short stint and fade from the spotlight took a little of that shine off. However, he came back to the bigs on August 19th against the Cardinals and put on a show. His innings and starts were erratic until the last week of the season, but there was also talk of Alzolay working on his slider in South Bend.
Fans got to see that work pay off in his last two starts of 2020, as he went nine total innings, only giving up four hits and two runs while striking out 15 against four walks. That’s not a typo- he literally struck out 15 in his last two starts of 2020 in only nine innings. Alzolay should get a shot to crack the rotation out of Spring Training, and if that work on the slider and adjustments are real, Alzolay could have the potential to be just as good as Hendricks and Darvish.
It’s been a while since there was excitement over Cubs pitching prospects, but 2021 could be the year to see multiple guys come up and make a difference.