Cubs: Can the team start developing a pipeline of young pitching?
There are too many arms on the roster to go too in-depth, so we will touch on a few of the more intriguing options on the depth chart and dive into the talent level of those guys who could have a bright future ahead.
Of all of the guys listed, one of the underrated talents is left-hander Jack Patterson. The lefty is not a top prospect but has produced a sturdy consistency between 2018 and 2019. In his first year, Patterson notched a 2.83 ERA between Rookie ball and former Low-A Short Season.
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In 2019, Patterson began at Low-A and rose to Triple-A Iowa. Between the jump, to include a stop at Double-A Tennessee, Patterson posted a 1.69 ERA. At High-A Myrtle Beach, Patterson finished a 23 2/3 inning run without allowing a single tally.
As a 32nd round selection, Patterson has found a groove through his mid-90s fastball and biting curve, which drives his groundball rate up and will play well with Wrigley. He likely ends up as a reliever, with a chance of landing at the back end of the rotation.
Right-hander Ben Hecht is another name to keep an eye on, especially as a future closer. The 25-year-old played a year at Illinois State before transferring to Wichita State. Hecht was not effective in college but found his footing after landing with the Cubs in 2017. Three years in, Hecht has compiled a 3.37 ERA in 133 1/3 career innings.
He has served as a closer in each of the past two seasons, with six saves at South Bend in 2018 and five collective saves in 2019 bouncing between Tennessee and Myrtle Beach.
The Pelicans were his best stop as the right-hander notched a 2.57 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 35 innings. Hecht has benefitted from a transformative development, and if his 2019 season is a glimpse into who he can become, there is a chance we see him in a couple of years in the closing role.