Breaking down Cubs’ new prospects after dealing 3 relievers at trade deadline

Mychal Givens and David Robertson, two of the players the Cubs dealt Tuesday, celebrate a win over the Red Sox with catcher Yan Gomes earlier this season.

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The 2022 MLB trade deadline didn’t deliver the fireworks some expected from the Cubs, who had two of the market’s biggest bats in Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. Instead, three relievers saw their way out of town in smaller deals, the sort that happen every year as teams try to bolster their bullpens for the stretch run.

The returns from those deals don’t constitute the grand haul that general manager Jed Hoyer secured last summer, when several veterans turned into a group of prospects, including Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcantara — now two of the best talents in the organization. But the farm system still needed arms, and it added at least two good ones.

Hayden Wesneski, RHP

Age: 24
MLB prospect ranking: No. 8

The return from an unexpected trade of reliever Scott Effross, Wesneski arrives from the Yankees organization in the midst of a solid season at Triple-A. If you were fretting the loss of Effross, who’s under team control through 2027, let me introduce you to Wesneski’s “frisbee slider,” a highlight that’s had Yankees fans drooling since March.

Hayden Wesneski, Sick 82mph Frisbee Slider. 🥏

22″ of horizontal break.

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 18, 2022

When people talk about an “out pitch,” they’re picturing something like that. Wesneski’s slider doesn’t even need to sit near 22 inches of horizontal movement to be one of the nastiest in baseball. According to Statcast, among pitchers to throw 100-plus sliders this season, only 11 have averaged horizontal movement of 17 inches or more. Twenty-two inches, even if not repeatable on every pitch, is eye-popping.

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Wesneski pairs that slider with a fastball that MLB Pipeline says can reach 98, forming the foundation of a solid arsenal that’s allowed him to post a 3.51 ERA in the International League this year, well below the 4.58 league average. He has not quite been dominant, with a .267 batting average on balls in play helping to fuel his performance. His 4.00 FIP may be more indicative of how he’s pitched.

Ben Brown, RHP

Age: 22
MLB prospect ranking: No. 11

Five years ago, the Phillies gambled in the 33rd round on the lanky Brown, who has developed enough since to become the centerpiece of the deal that sent 37-year-old reliever David Robertson to Philadelphia.

What makes Brown exciting is the leap he has taken at the High Single-A level in his second season since returning from …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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