Chicago Cubs ace Justin Steele named April All-Star by

San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Although he wasn't quite as sharp as in his previous starts, Cubs left-hander Justin Steele closed out the month with another effective outing on Sunday in Miami. Prior to the contest, the southpaw was named an April All-Star by, tapped as the top starting pitcher in the National League.

Here's what they had to say about Steele and the American League selection, Yankees right-hander and five-time All-Star Gerritt Cole.

"A more contrasting pair would be nearly impossible to come up with. Steele, the relatively anonymous soft-tossing lefty, and Cole, the flame-thrower with the big contract for the most famous team. But that’s the thing about pitchers: All that matters are the results."

Steele entered his final April start with some eye-popping numbers: a 1.19 ERA, 368 ERA+ and 0.890 WHIP in five starts. He and Marcus Stroman have combined to give the Cubs a legitimate 1-2 punch atop the rotation and Steele has really built upon his breakout stretch from late last season.

Justin Steele is ready to spearhead the next great Cubs pitching staff

After we bore witness to a World Series-winning Cubs team built on homegrown position players, Jed Hoyer and his front office has compiled a much more balanced group of young talent this time around, including a ton of young arms. Steele is just the first to make a major impact at the big league level, but he's unlikely to be the last.

Since the start of the 2022 campaign, the former fifth-round pick has compiled a 2.77 ERA, 3.24 FIP and 1.259 WHIP across 29 starts, spanning 149 1/3 innings. He's gotten stronger with each passing month during that stretch, culminating his his dominant performance in the month of April.

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There's a long ways to go in the 2023 season, but the early returns have been impressive from Steele. If he can keep up this level of performance moving forward, we won't just be talking about him as a potential All-Star come July, but a legitimate Cy Young candidate when the dust settles this fall.