At Chicago Cubs camp, another top prospect in C.J. Edwards made his 2014 debut, and the results were certainly promising. This time of year, Spring Training has been going on for over a month and Opening Day is in sight. But for the Cubs’ front office, there was another reason to be excited about the future, and to take in a little more spring action before the games start to count for real.
Against the San Diego Padres, Edwards made his first appearance in a Cubs uniform, throwing 2.2 innings. He was brought over last summer from the Texas Rangers in the deal that also included slugger Mike Olt in exchange for pitcher Matt Garza. Edwards is a hard-throwing right hander who has an electric fastball. Last season at the minor league level he showcased his promising stuff to the tune of a 1.86 ERA, 155 strikeouts, a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio, and only one home run allowed. Down the road, those numbers will certainly play at Wrigley Field.
Edwards will likely spend the full 2014 season down at double-A Tennessee to continue developing his ability and mechanics. The one thing that he will need to improve upon is his body frame. Edwards has a tall, skinny body that will likely need to be bulked up in order to withstand a grueling 180-plus innings out on the mound each season. Among current big-league pitchers, his makeup can be compared to a Chris Sale or Tim Lincecum.
With many of the Spring Training headlines rightfully going towards the Cubs’ offensive prospects such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora, it is a welcomed change of pace to see some young talent on the pitching side. Edwards was named the no. 42 prospect on the MLB top-100 list for 2014, and is one of seven Cubs on the list.
For the front office and fans alike, it is encouraging to see a potential future frontline starter get some work during camp. After one outing, the future looks promising.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.