Chicago Cubs: 5 pitching prospects to call up in 2020

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Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field
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Justin Steele is coming back from Tommy John Surgery. His arrival to the big leagues could be slightly delayed.

The Chicago Cubs selected left-handed pitcher Justin Steele in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He had been progressing through the minors pretty consistently until 2017. Steele made 20 starts for High-A Myrtle Beach before sustaining an injury to his elbow that required Tommy John Surgey.

He came back at the end of the 2018 season and made six starts between Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee. Steele also played in the Arizona Fall League last season to help get himself ready for the 2019 season.

He was assigned to begin the season in Double-A Tennessee, which also protected him from the Rule 5 draft in the winter. He has made just four starts this season. In 10.2 innings, Steele has struck out 11 batters, but he’s walked seven as well to the tune of a 10.97 ERA.

Steele could right the ship in 2019, but he figures to be a long-shot right now to make the 2020 big league rotation. There is a lot of time between now and then, but he would need to consistently prove that he is healthy from the surgery in both Double-A and Triple-A Iowa.

Next. Team needs to sign Craig Kimbrel now. dark

"Steele averaged 3.7 walks per nine innings in his first four pro seasons but just 2.5 in his first year back after having his elbow reconstructed. He has simplified his delivery, allowing him to repeat it more easily and improve the frequency and quality of his strikes. If he can prove he can handle a full-season workload, he could help the Cubs as a mid-rotation starter. – via"

The Cubs have been notorious for be cautious with their top pitching prospects so it seems unlikely he’d be ready by next season.