With under three weeks left to the minor-league regular seasons, these are not final numbers, but they’re close.
This is an updated list (through August 20) of Cub pitching prospects ranked according to the formula K9-(H9+BB9). That’s strikeouts per nine innings minus the sum of hits-per-nine and walks-per-nine. Thus we only look at four numbers–innings, hits, walks, strikeouts. What else is there? Well, age is a factor. The lower the age, the higher the upside. The years work against you when you’re 25 and over, because you won’t get better and thus won’t be as good in the majors as you are now. But in the spirit of keeping things simple, I would rather not try to quantify the age factor. The reader will be expected to keep two balls in the air, the player’s age and my right-column number based on innings, hits, BBs and Ks.
According to this ranking, the ten top starting pitchers on the Cub farm are De La Cruz, Matusz, Paulino, Clifton, Morrison, Twomey, Bloomquist, Kellogg, Miller and Zastryzny, in that order. Matusz has a small data sample and is currently on the DL. If we only looked at Zastryzny’s 81 innings at Iowa, he would place sixth (at -2.33) behind four low-minors prospects plus Matusz. So Zastryzny’s recent call-up was earned.
The top ten relievers on the list are Patton, Leathersich, Rivero, Pena, Araujo, Farris, Cheek, Sarianides, Eregua and Griggs. Patton is already up, Leathersich is still rehabbing from TJ surgery, and Rivero is 28, so Felix Pena was the logical recent call-up.