Chicago Cubs: 5 pitching prospects to call up in 2020

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(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field
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Oscar De La Cruz is back from his 80 game suspension last season.

The former 2017 number one prospect for the Chicago Cubs appeared to be on the fast track to the big leagues. That was until he was popped with an 80 game suspension last July for testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Oscar De La Cruz accepted the suspension without an appeal.

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The Cubs signed him in the 2012 International Free Agent Market. The converted shortshop had just begun pitching but he was hitting 92 mph on his fastball as a 17-year old. He left off at Double-A Tennessee prior to his suspension, so it made sense for the De La Cruz to begin his season back at High-A Myrtle Beach.

He made just three starts there, tossing 15.0 innings while striking out 17 batters to the tune of a 1.20 ERA. That was good enough for the Cubs to promote him back to Double-A Tennessee. He has made just two starts there so far, but has been awesome. De La Cruz has pitched 11.0 innings, striking out 12 batters with a 0.82 ERA.

Walks have been an issue for him this season as he’s allowed 10 free passes in 26.0 innings. Hopefully he can get his command corrected as the former international prospect is already 24 years of age. If he continues on the upward trend, he could get a promotion to Triple-A Iowa near the All-Star break and potentially break camp with the big league club in 2020.