Chicago Cubs Top Prospects: THEM DUDES and the brick layer sections are done. I don’t have a fun name for this next set of guys so let’s start it off with a hot take at number nine.
9. Burl Carraway
- Age: 21
- B: Left
- T: Left
- HT: 6’0”
- WT: 173 pounds
- Drafted/Signed: Drafted out of Dallas Baptist University in the 2nd Round 51st overall in 2020
- Risk: High
- Ceiling/Floor: High Ceiling/Low Floor
HOT TAKE: Prospects that are relievers should get more love. Insert Burl Carraway and his two plus pitches. Burl is a smaller guy and has the perfect name for a reliever. He has two very high spin rate pitches in his fastball and curveball. He is a true two-pitch guy that will be in Chicago sooner rather than later.
Burl has legit back of the bullpen stuff but he comes with some risk. He throws a fastball that sits 96-98 and has touched 100 with a very high spin rate. He also throws a curveball that tunnels really well with the fastball that is devastating on right handed hitters. The issue here is controlling and commanding both pitches. If that continues to develop like it did in college then he has a closer type ceiling.
Burl has somewhat of a high effort delivery. He throws from a high ¾ arm slot and gets really good extension on his pitches. The delivery is pretty simple and he pitches with tempo. He has a classic lefty setup so just imagine what that looks like in your head and that is how he sets up.
Two hilarious stats from his time at Dallas Baptist that stick out to me. In 51.1 college innnings Burl struck out 15.6 per/9 and walked 5.6 per/9. That strikeout number is something that the Cubs don’t have much of in the system. We haven’t seen him in the minors yet because of no minor league season last year but I’d expect him to start in A ball and push his way to Chicago pretty quickly depending on his walk numbers.
The worry here is walks and controlling and commanding his pitches. If he can build off of what Dallas Baptist was working on he will move very quickly through the minor leagues. If he struggles with that then we could see another Dillon Maples.
If Burl Carraway reaches his ceiling he could be a closer. His fastball curveball combo are current plus pitches and with added command/control he will be a closer. If the Cubs can start to develop homegrown pitching he can be a backend bullpen piece. I think we either see that outcome or the Dillon Maples outcome.
10. Richard Gallardo
- Age: 19
- B: Right
- T: Right
- HT: 6’1”
- WT: 187 pounds
- Drafted/Signed: Signed out of Venezuela in 2018 for $1,000,000
- Risk: Moderate
- Ceiling/Floor: Medium Ceiling/High Floor
This is a big kid. That 187 pounds looks more like 215 pounds. He has a workhorse frame and doesn’t pitch like a 19 year old. He is a more advanced high IQ pitcher with a high floor. Very simple low effort delivery that he repeats very well. He looks the part of a back of the rotation starter.
The curveball sticks out because of how well he commands the pitch. This pitch will miss bats and it plays well with his sinking fastball. I think he will be a heavy ground ball pitcher with the sinking action on the heater and his curveball is already producing ground balls. He is working on a changeup that he has the feel for but it will have to develop for him to be a productive starter.
He somewhat reminds me of Julio Teheran with his mechanics. He has a simple low effort delivery and he hides the ball pretty well. The best thing about Gallardo is how well he repeats his delivery. He has a whippy arm so I wouldn’t be shocked if he adds a few ticks on the fastball.
He only has 30 innings of pro ball experience so there isn’t a lot to dive into. I think he will be a ground ball dominant pitcher with low strikeout and low walk numbers. He may fit the mold of someone that can throw a ton of innings and go deep in games because of his ground ball worries.
My worry here is the Cubs and the changeup. As I have mentioned a thousand times the Cubs haven’t developed homegrown pitching in a long time. So, they have done a good job of not getting guys to the big leagues so I worry about that with Gallardo being so young. I am slightly worried about the changeup but it has flashed plus so I bet he finds one.
This is a number four starter with the upside of a number three in some years. Gallardo is a high floor starter and I think he is overlooked in this system. The Cubs don’t have a ton of high floor starters especially at this age. Gallardo fits the mold of a innings eater that will contribute year in and year out at the big league level.