Chicago Cubs: Checking in on the Cubs top five pitching prospects

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs signed Marquez in the international amateur market in 2015. He has quickly become the team’s top pitching prospect.

In 2015, the Chicago Cubs signed Brailyn Marquez to the largest contract for a left-handed pitcher in the international free agent market at the age of just 16 years old. He pitched his first full season in the Dominican summer league in 2016 to the tune of a 1.48 ERA in twelve starts. In 54.2 innings, Marquez gave up just one home run while striking out 48 batters.

He did have 13 wild pitches and walked 23 batters in 2016, but these numbers have improved each year as Marquez has started moving up in the farm system. Coming into the 2018 season, he was ranked as the 27th best Cubs prospect. He made ten starts for the Eugene Emeralds in 2018 and finished with a 3.21 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. His 26.4 percent strikeout rate was a career best, but he also had his career-worst home-run to fly ball (HR/FB) rate at 11.9 percent.

Marquez was called up to the South Bend Cubs at the end of the 2018 season, making two starts. An extremely small sample size, but he finished with a 2.57 ERA and seven strikeouts in seven innings. So far in 2019, the southpaw has made just one start in South Bend, pitching 3.2 innings but did not allow a run and struck out seven batters.

Scouts have this to say on his pitching arsenal (via

"Marquez’s fastball topped out at 95 mph in 2017 and sat at 93-96 and peaked at 99 last season with typical four-seamer riding action. His secondary pitches can vary wildly in consistency, with his breaking ball showing flashes of becoming a plus power curve but also devolving into a slurve when he doesn’t stay on top of it. His changeup is less reliable, showing some life but often arriving too firm in the low 90s."

Marquez figures to spend the majority of 2019 in South Bend, but he could quickly get promoted to high-A Myrtle Beach if he keeps this up. His projected arrival in the major leagues is 2021. Additionally, he was not included in the MLB Top 100 prospects at the beginning of the season, but he could easily slide into the mix when the mid-season Top 100 is released.