3 Surprise Cubs Who Will Make the 40-Man Roster

Which surprise Chicago Cubs players could end up making the 40-man roster

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Edwin Escobar, LHP

The Chicago Cubs are taking dart throws on left-handed pitchers with a number of the aforementioned "reclamation project" types of pitchers coming in as non-roster invites, and Edwin Escobar has a chance to be a great story among them.

Escobar actually was teammates with Cubs big-money free agent pickup Shōta Imanaga in Japan for seven years, something that may not ultimately be a major factor but certainly could make for a great talking point throughout the season.

10 years ago, Escobar was considered one of the better up-and-coming prospects for the Boston Red Sox, but after a couple of years struggling to make it in the MLB, Escobar went and had a very successful career over in Japan. His career ERA over seven seasons was 3.17 and he averaged nearly a strikeout per inning.

As of last season, Escobar's fastball was apparently sitting around 96 MPH and you obviously hope that power lefty arm can translate at the MLB level. Of course, Cubs president Jed Hoyer was over in Japan doing in-person scouting this past season, and if he was over there to get a great look at Shōta, then he undoubtedly got a great in-person look at Escobar as well.

You love the process of throwing darts with low risk at guys like this, and there's plenty of upside if that power and velocity can translate back to the big leagues in 2024 for the Cubs.

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