Cubs Prospects: 3 pitchers primed to breakout in 2023

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Examining the farm system for the Chicago Cubs in 2023, the team has a plethora of prospects in the organization that appear imminently due for a breakout season next year. Sometimes, overall numbers won't do a player justice and it's the tweaks, adjustments, and smaller sample sizes you see at the end of a season for certain players that put them in the conversation to be on the verge of putting it all together. As we know, the High-A South Bend Cubs won the Midwestern League Championship and a big reason was due to stellar pitching. Let's dive right into it. Here are 3 prospects I'm willing to roll the dice on that we can list as candidates to have a breakout season in 2023.

3 breakout candidates - 3. Luke Little

Luke Little was drafted in the 4th round of the shortened 2020 draft by the Cubs. After only pitching 11 innings in 2021 in Rookie Ball, Little started the 2022 season with The Myrtle Beach Pelicans this year and swiftly showed he was better than his competition. He appeared in 20 games, starting 19 of them, and put up a stellar 2.91 ERA in 52.2 innings of work. He also recorded 84 strikeouts during that period and put up video game numbers that included a 14.4 in the K/9 department.

Subsequently, he was brought up to High-A with South Bend wherein a small sample size he continued to shine. He actually lowered his WHIP to 0.923, down from 1.310 with Myrtle Beach, and logged a 0.69 ERA in 4 appearances and 13 frames. Not a bad start at all to your professional career. For the 2022 season, Little's final line between both leagues was a 2.47 ERA with 101 strikeouts in 65.2 frames. He'll more than likely start the 2023 campaign in South Bend, where if he continues that streak it won't be long before he climbs rankings and winds up in Tennessee for Double-A ball.

Only 22 years old, Little has a very bright future ahead of him. When he really lets it fly, he's been recorded notching 105.0 MPH on his fastball. That is not a typo. Little is quickly emerging as one of the Cubs' pitching prospects that has truly high potential but is still a couple of years away from the major league level. If he continues to keep control and keeps mowing down hitters as he's made a living doing thus far, it will ultimately be sooner rather than later that you hear his name on a more national level.