Chicago Cubs News: Prospects of the Month for May 2023

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Pitcher of the week: RHP Nick Hull (23 Years Old)

4 G, 18.1 IP, 1.47 ERA, 22 K, 0.98 WHIP, .164 BAA

There were plenty of performers at Myrtle Beach that could have easily been the selection for player of the month, but Hull is the one that caught my eye. He had fewer strikeouts than Brody McCullough. He gave up more runs than Jackson Ferris. He walked more batters than Grant Kipp. But he maintained a WHIP under 1.00 through 18.1 innings and held opposing batters to a .164 batting average. To put that into perspective, Eric Hosmer held a .234 batting average before the Cubs DFA’d and subsequently released him. Eric Hosmer would have been a significant upgrade compared to what teams were able to do against Hull for the entire calendar month.

So who is Nick Hull? He pitched for Grand Canyon University last season before being drafted by the Cubs in the 7th round and he was given a whopping $25,000 signing bonus. That bonus, which was more than $200,000 less than the slot was worth, allowed the Cubs to select high school players with upside such as the aforementioned Ferris, Christopher Paciolla, Nazier Mule, and Mason McGwire.

Guys that sign those kinds of under slot deals that are signed out of a mostly online university aren’t supposed to be valuable pieces to a franchise. They aren’t supposed to strike out more than a batter per inning and average less than a baserunner per inning against them. And yet here is Nick Hull. 

Could he be a nobody in June? Sure. But right now his FIP is saying that this is who he truly has been so far this year. He hasn’t gotten flukey luck with BABIP or had an exceptionally high strand rate when batters get on base. He’s just been a good, solid pitcher and it’s exciting that as a franchise we can begin to overlook those because we have so many guys that profile to be better than “good, solid pitchers.”

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