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MLB Chicago Cubs

Ranking The Top 5 Pitching Prospects For The Chicago Cubs

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Ranking The Top 5 Pitching Prospects For The Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field Chicago Cubs
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

While the Chicago Cubs have one of the best minor league systems in all of baseball, the majority of their top prospects are of the offensive variety. For the most part, the Cubs lack high-level pitching prospects who have ace potential. That said, they do have some very interesting arms who are certainly worth keeping an eye on. Here are the top five pitching prospects in the Cubs' system.

Just Missed the Cut

Jen-Ho Tseng Chicago Cubs
Official Facebook Page of the Kane County Cougars

Just Missed the Cut

Jen-Ho Tseng
Official Facebook Page of the Kane County Cougars

These players did not quite make the top five, but they are very interesting pitching prospects who I feel should be mentioned:

RHP Jen-Ho Tseng
LHP Rob Zastryzny
RHP Tyler Skulina
RHP Corey Black

5. RHP Paul Blackburn, Low-A

Paul Blackburn
Official Twitter of Paul Blackburn (@PaulyB_34)

5. RHP Paul Blackburn, Low-A

Paul Blackburn Chicago Cubs
Official Twitter of Paul Blackburn (@PaulyB_34)

Paul Blackburn is a very raw prospect who the Cubs are bringing along slowly. While he may not reach the majors anytime soon, Blackburn is an impressive pitcher with obvious talent. He throws a mid-90s fastball to go along with a good change-up and a very promising breaking ball. Blackburn can struggle with control, but he has been much better at that this season. He has legitimate middle of the rotation upside.

4. RHP Kyle Hendricks, Triple-A

Kyle Hendricks Chicago Cubs
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

4. RHP Kyle Hendricks, Triple-A

Kyle Hendricks
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks does not have top of the rotation stuff, nor does he show much upside. However, the Cubs' 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year has impressive control, command and poise on the mound. Hendricks throws his fastball in the low 90s, has a good change-up, a solid slider and changes speed on his pitches very well. Hendricks will never be an ace, but he will be a solid back of the rotation pitcher for a long time.

3. RHP Arodys Vizcaino, Advanced-A

Arodys Vizcaino Chicago Cubs
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

3. RHP Arodys Vizcaino, Advanced-A

Arodys Vizcaino
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arodys Vizcaino has the best pure "stuff" in the Cubs' system. He mixes a high 90s fastball with a slider that has incredible downward movement. Control and command has been an issue, as has his ability to stay healthy. Right now, Vizcaino is pitching out of the bullpen, but I think the Cubs will give him a chance to start eventually; expect him to move rapidly up the system. Vizcaino represents plenty of risk, but his upside is through the roof.

2. RHP Pierce Johnson, Double-A

Pierce Johnson Chicago Cubs
Official Facebook Page of the Kane County Cougars

2. RHP Pierce Johnson, Double-A

Pierce Johnson
Official Facebook Page of the Kane County Cougars

Pierce Johnson is one of the most talented and polished pitchers in the Cubs' system. Johnson throws a mid 90s fastball that has nice downward movement, an impressive, sharp curveball, and a change-up that needs some fine tuning. Johnson struggles with control at times, but the talent is obvious. He still needs some development, but Johnson has a bright future ahead of him.

1. RHP C.J. Edwards, Double-A

C.J. Edwards Chicago Cubs
Official Facebook Page of the Daytona Cubs

1. RHP C.J. Edwards, Double-A

C.J. Edwards
Official Facebook Page of the Daytona Cubs

C.J. Edwards is currently resting a sore shoulder, but the injury does not seem serious and he should return soon. Edwards has a slender frame, and that makes some scouts wonder whether he can continue as an SP. That said, nobody questions his stuff, as he has baffled opposing hitters throughout the minor leagues (1.81 ERA and 11.9 K/9 in 204 innings pitched). Edwards has great talent, and he is the closest thing the Cubs have to a potential ace.