The Cubs had two first round picks in this year’s MLB draft at no. 27 & no. 30. With both of those picks, they decided to take two pitchers; RHP Alex Lange from LSU and LHP Brendon Little. Little was taken with the 27th pick and Lange was taken with the 30th pick.
At No. 27 Brendon Little was a good pickup for the Cubs, however, I’m wondering if they took him too early. This season at State College of Florida (a junior college) he started 15 games and posted a 5-3 record. He only pitched 85 1/3 innings and had a 2.53 ERA which is good. The one thing that jumps out at you is the 133 strikeouts he posted this season, averaging 14.03 strikeouts per game! So you know this guy has strikeout capability. Hitters also have a hard time hitting him even if they make contact. He had an outstanding .213 batting average against this season and only allowed 3 home runs in the 67 hits he gave up.
The reason I’m wondering if they took him to early is this. He allowed 33 walks which ranked 124th best in JUCO. He also allowed 67 hits in 85 innings which is good, but ranked 240th best in JUCO. The only stats he ranks in the top 10 in are strikeouts (2nd), strikeouts per game (4th) & games started (10).
Nonetheless I think he was a great pickup and definitely will boost that farm system up and could potentially see action relatively soon with an aging and underperforming rotation depending on the roster moves in the near future.
At no. 30 the Cubs picked Alex Lange and I honestly love this pick the more I look at it. In each of his 3 seasons at LSU he threw over 100 innings for his team. Talk about reliable. Although 2015 was his best season at 12-0 with a 1.97 ERA with 131 strikeouts, he never had a losing record and was consistent. He had 120+ strikeouts in each of his 3 seasons at LSU. His era shot up to 3.97 in 2016 with an 8-4 record, but he brought it back down to 2.92 this season with a 9-5 record.
The area of concern with him is the hits he allows. In three seasons he allowed 276 hits in 337 innings. Which isn’t bad but it also means he gets hit a lot. And with the upgrade on quality of hitters that he will see now, there is reason for concern.
I do like this guy though because he has proven to be consistent. You know what you will get from him, which is always a good thing.
Overall, I am happy with the cub’s first round draft choices but there are still holes that need to be filled in later rounds. I think both of these guys will end up pitching in the majors at some point.