Chicago Cubs prospect Ben Brown off to sizzling start in Double-A

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After firing four scoreless frames in his season debut on April 8th, Chicago Cubs top prospect, Ben Brown, took to the mound yesterday for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and recorded another 5.0 innings and seven strikeouts. That brings his early season total to 9.0 IP and 13 Ks, with a batting average allowed of .111. Check out some video of the 23-year-old right-hander mowing down the Montgomery Biscuits.

Getting up to 97 mph on his fastball was beautiful yesterday. After only two starts, he looks much more locked in than just a season ago. These are the types of outings that, should he continue on this pace, it won't be long until he is promoted to Triple-A Iowa and makes his first major league appearance after that.

Brown is now the #3 pitching prospect in the Cubs organization after Cade Horton and Jordan Wicks. If Brown continues at this torrid pace, I envision a scenario where he finds himself on MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospect list by the mid-season rankings due to a combination of stellar play, along with more and more prospects coming off the board due to losing their prospect eligibility. A little over a week ago, Horton slid into the top 100 spot for the Cubs, and he's already now listed at 93 due to other players being removed only 11 days later.

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For Brown, the key now is consistency. 96-97 on the heater plays at any level. So far, he has only walked two batters this season, so that control is something he must continue to harness on his secondary pitches. With the Phillies dealing him to the Cubs last season for closer David Robertson, the Cubs front office looks to be able to make this trade very worthwhile for the organization for years to come. He'll be in line for his next start against the Chattanooga Lookouts next weekend.