Cubs Minor League

Why Cubs feel Burl Carraway could potentially make an immediate impact

4 weeks agoTony Andracki

When Nico Hoerner made his MLB debut last September, he also became the first guy from the 2018 Draft to reach “The Show.”

There is still so much unknown about baseball’s future this summer and fall, but maybe the Cubs could again have the first member of a draft make the big leagues in 2020.

That’s how highly the Cubs and others around the game feel about 2nd round pick Burl Carraway.

Selected with the 51st overall pick, he is a left-handed reliever who struck out 89 batters in 51 innings over his last two college seasons.

Relief pitchers are typically able to rise through the minor-league ranks faster than other positions and Carraway comes highly touted out of Dallas Baptist University.

The Cubs don’t want to rush Carraway or put unnecessary pressure and expectations on him, but they also could see him making an impact in the big leagues in the near future.

“He’s got a dominant and elite fastball-breaking ball combination,” said Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz on the latest Cubs Weekly Podcast. “It’s one that he could strike out major-league hitters today. It’s that good and that exciting and that electric.

“That being said, we’re not gonna rush him. There’s gonna be some things we want to work with him on, whether it’s consistency or pitch design, but he’s close. He’s really close. He’s an exciting, impact talent that I think we’ll be watching at Wrigley Field pretty soon.”

If and when the 2020 MLB regular season gets underway, the Cubs will likely have a larger roster than the original 26 spots that were in place for this year. Plus, there will be a taxi squad of players available close by, staying ready in case anybody on the active roster suffers injuries or tests positive for COVID-19 and has to be quarantined for two weeks.

With the testimonial from Kantrovitz on Carraway’s ability to get big-league hitters out immediately and the fact that he’s a lefty, it wouldn’t be completely insane to see him added to the taxi squad or even potentially get a look down the stretch of the shortened season.

At the very least, Carraway’s readiness bodes well for his future and the future of the Cubs bullpen.

“He arguably had the best fastball and breaking ball in the entire draft and I think it’s not gonna be very long at all until he makes his impact pretty well known to people,” Kantrovitz said. “I think he’s gonna become somebody that Cubs fans are going to really enjoy watching pitch. He’s got a ton of energy, he’s got just dominant stuff and he’s a lot of fun to watch.”

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