Cubs prospect DJ Herz has the makings of an impact power pitcher

(Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The growth of DJ Herz has been a wonderful sight to see. The young Chicago Cubs prospect has made major strides in his development to this point in his professional career, and the Herz train is not going to be slowing down anytime soon.

A couple of seasons back, Herz began his transition to the next stage for his development. Now, in the present day, the left-hander is taking part in an offseason program in Arizona, where he has been with fellow future talents honing their skills for the upcoming season.

Herz is still very young, having just turned 21 years old six days ago, but has already displayed the temperament of a seasoned arm looking to build himself up to that next level. The Cubs believe in the young southpaw and, more importantly, Herz believes in himself.

Chicago Cubs hoping to successfully develop young arms, including DJ Herz

Herz leveled up his game in a big way in 2021. He started three games in High-A, with 16 innings, and posted a 2.81 ERA. Herz spent most of his time in 2021 at what was formerly Class-A in South Bend, where he threw 65 2/3 innings and managed a 3.43 ERA. In total, Herz finished his second season in the system with a ridiculous 40.5 percent strikeout rate.

It is pretty amazing to follow the progression of Herz, who is a former eighth-round selection. First, the 21-year-old lefty sat between 94-96 on his fastball, which was well before any of his development had officially begun. Since, Herz has worked a ‘Vulcan’ changeup into his repertoire and continues to develop his curveball.

The Cubs have helped Herz significantly by developing a disciplined meal plan and an offseason throwing routine that will help him stay loose and ready to roll when Opening Day comes around. Of course, it helps that Herz is already such a natural athlete as he was a multi-sport star in high school.

Prep athletes can be a challenge when it comes to baseball. It is one of only a couple of sports in which a kid can be drafted at such a young age, and the amateur nature of whether someone will develop into a star is usually a long process with many points along the way.

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Herz fell way under the radar with his talent level, and possibly the fear of a pick not working out is what allowed him to fall in the draft as far as he did and further allowed the Cubs to draft him so late. However, in what has been a wonky last couple of years and an unknown future ahead, there is consistency with Herz, and his possibilities are endless when it comes to his future in a Cubs uniform.